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...
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Thus the ravaging war was making a rapid end of men, horse, elephants and all; and the bravos coming foremost in the combat, fell in equal numbers on both sides.
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These (as named before), and many others were reduced to dust and ashes; and the bravery of the brave, served but to send them like poor moths to the fire and flame of destruction.
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Those arrayed in silken attire, being dismantled by the enemy, fell upon the ground, and were trodden down by the elephants.
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The bravadoes of Daspura, being hacked in their breasts and shoulders by the hostile weapons, were pursued by the Banabhuma warriors, and driven to the distant pool.
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The Santikas being ripped in their bellies, lay dead and motionless in naked field, and wrapped in their mangled entrails, which were torn and devoured by the voracious Pisachas at night.
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There the veteran and vociferous warriors of Bhadrasiri, who were well skilled in the battle field, drove the Amargas to the ditch, as they drive the tortoises to their pits.
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The Sakas and Dasakas were fighting together, by holding down one another by the hair on their heads, as if the whales and elephants were struggling mutually from their respective elements.
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The lifted swords and pikes of the Tongas (Tonguise), destroyed the Gurjara (Guzrati) force by hundreds, and these like razors balded the heads (i. e. made widows) of hundreds of Gurjara women. (It is their custom to remain bald-headed in widowhood).
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The lustre of the lifted weapons of the warriors, illumined the land as by flashes of lighting; and the clouds of arrows were raining like showers of rain in the forest.
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The flight of the crowbars (bhusundis), which untimely obscured the orb of the sun, affrighted the Abhira (cowherd) warriors with the dread of an eclipse, and overtook them by surprise, as when they are pursued by a gang of plunderers of their cattle.
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The Tongons were beset by the Kanasas, like cranes by vultures with their blazing weapons, destroying elephants and breaking the discuses in war.
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The rumbling noise (gudugudurava), raised by the whirling of cudgels by the Gauda gladiators, frightened the Gandharas to a degree, that they were driven like a drove of beasts, or as the dreading Dravidas from the field.
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The host of the Saka or Scythian warriors, pouring as a blue torrent from the azure sky, appeared by their sable garb as the mist of night, approaching before their white robed foes of the Persians.
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The crowded array of lifted arms in the clear and bright atmosphere, appeared as a thick forest under the milk white ocean of frost, that shrouds the mountainous region of Mandara.
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The flights of arrows which seemed as fragments of clouds in the air from below, appeared as waves of the sea, when viewed by the celestials from above.
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The air appeared as a forest thickly beset by the trees of spears and lances, with the arrows flying as birds and bees; and innumerable umbrellas, with their gold and silver mountings, appearing as so many moons and stars in the sky.
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The Kekayas made loud shouts, like the war hoops of drunken soldiers, and the Kankas covered the field like a flight of cranes, and the sky was filled with dust over their heads.
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The low statured Salwas came with the jingling bells of their waist bands, flinging their arrows in the air, and darting showers of their darts around.
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The big Pancha-nadas (Punjabis), and the furious warriors of Kasi (Benares), crushed the bodies of stalwart warriors with their lances and cudgels, as elephants crush the mighty trees under their feet and tusks.
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The Matangajas (of Elephanta) fell under the hands of Kashthayodhas (of Katiawar), as old unchained elephants falling in the miry pit; and others that came to fight, fell as dry fuel into the blazing fire.
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The Mitragartas falling into the hands of the Trigartas, were scattered about as straws in the field, and having their heads struck off in their flight, they entered the infernal regions of death.
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Those that were pierced by pikes and spears, became as coral plants red with blood all over their bodies, and thus besmeared in bloodshed, they fled to the sheltering hills like red hot suns to the setting mountains (astachala).
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The flight of arrows and weapons borne away by the rapid winds, moved about in the air as fragments of clouds, with a swarm of black bees hovering under them.
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The flying arrows seemed as showering clouds, and their feathers appeared as the woolly breed; their reedy shafts seeming as trees, were roving with the roar of elephants.
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War chariots with their broken wheels, fell into the pits like the broken crags of mountains, and the enemy stood upon their tops as a thick mist or cloud.
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The multitude of stalwart warriors meeting in the field, had given it the appearance of a forest of tala and tamala trees; but their hands being lopped off by weapons, they made it appear as a mountainous wood, with its clumps of tapering pine trees.
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The forest of the army howled in a tremendous roar, until it was burnt down by the all devouring fire of the enemy.
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Hacked by the Pisachas (Assamese), and snatched of their weapons by the Bhutas (Bhoteas), the Dasarnas (at the confluence of the ten streams of Vindhya) threw off their staffs, and fled as a herd of heifers (nikuchya karnidhavati—bolted with their broken staves. Panini).
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The elephant drivers, that struck off the heads of their hosts in a trice, were pursued by the harpooners, and fled with their severed heads, as they do with the lotus-flowers plucked by their hands.
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The Saraswatas fought on both sides with one another until it was evening, and yet no party was the looser or gainer, as in a learned discussion between pandits and among lawyers.
Footnotes and references:
Note. It is not easy to say, whether this continuation and lengthy description of the warfare, is Vasishtha's or Vālmīki's own making; both of them being well acquainted with military tactics: the former having been the general of King Sudāsa against the Persians, and the latter the epic poet of Rāma's wars with Rāvana in the celebrated Ramāyana.
These descriptions are left out in the vernacular translations of this work as entirely useless in Yoga philosophy, without minding, that they formed the preliminary step to Rāma's military education, which he was soon after called to complete under the guidance of Viswāmitra in the hermitage.