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 XXXIX - Description of the battlefield infested by nocturnal fiends

1. Now the blood-red sun set down in the west, like a hero red with blood; and hid his lustre, which was dimmed by the brightness of the weapons of war in the western main.

2. The sky which had reflected the blood-red flush of the field of blood, was now dimmed by the setting of the glorious sun, and darkened by the veil of evening.

3. Thick darkness overspread the face of heaven and earth like the waters of the great deluge, and there appeared a body of ghosts (Vetalas), dancing in a ring and clapping their hands.

4. The face of the day like that of an elephant, being besmeared with the blackness of night fall, was again painted by the light of evening with the pearly spots of stars on the cheeks.

5. The busy buzz of Creation being silent in the dead darkness of night, like the humming of bees over the surface of the waters, the hearts of men were closed in sleep as in death, like the petals of the lotus at night.

6. The birds lay with their folded wings and fallen crests in their nests, as the dead bodies were lying in the field, covered with their wounds and weapons.

7. Then the fair moonbeams shone above, and the white lotuses were blown below; the hearts of men were gladdened, and the victors felt joyous in themselves.

8. The ruddy evening assumed the shape of the blood-red sea of battle, and the fluttering bees now hid themselves like the faces of the fallen soldiers.

9. There was an etherial lake above spangled with stars like the white lotuses on high; and here was the earthly lake below, beset by lotuses resembling the stars of heaven.

10. The bodies that were thought to be lost in darkness, were now recovered in light, as the gems hid under the water, are found scattered about in moonlight.

11. The battlefield was filled by the Vetala demons, howling with their hideous cry; while bodies of vultures, crows and owls, were tearing the carcasses and sporting with the skeletons.

12. Then blazed the funeral piles as brightly as the starry frame on high, and the fire consumed the dead bodies together with their bones and raiments.

13. The fire burnt the bodies with their bones to ashes, after which it extinguished itself as if sated with plenty. The female fiends now began to sport in the water.

14. There arose a mingled cry of dogs and crows, of Yakshas and Vetalas, with the clapping of their hands; and bodies of ghosts were moving about as woods and forests.

15. The Dakinis (Dayinis) were eager to steal away the flesh and fat from the piles, and the Pisachas delighted in sucking the blood and the flesh and bones of the dead.

16. The demons were now looking and now lurking about the funeral piles, and the Rakshasas that rushed in, bore away the carcasses on their shoulders.

17. There came also bodies of ferocious Kumbhandas, and big Damaras, uttering their barbarous cries of chumchum, and hovering over the fumes of fat and flesh in the shapes of clouds.

18. Bodies of Vetalas stood in the streams of blood like earthly beings, and snatched the skeletons with hideous cries.

19. The Vetala younglings slept in the bellies and chests of the elephants, and the Rakshasas were drinking their fill in the bloody field.

20. The giddy Vetalas fought with one another with the lighted faggots of the piles, and the winds were wafting the stench of the putrid carcasses on all sides.

21. The female fiends (Rupikas), filled the baskets of their bellies with carrion, with a rat-a-tat (ratarata) noise; and the Yaksha cannibals were snatching the half-burnt carcasses from the funeral piles, as their roasted meat and dainty food (S. kali A. Kul).

22. Aerial imps (khagas) attacked the dead bodies of the big Bangas and black Kalingas, and flouted about with their open mouths, emitting the blaze of falling meteors.

23. The Vetala goblins fell down in the dark and discoloured blood-pits, lying hid in the midst of the heaps of dead bodies; while the Pisacha ogres and the leaders of Yogini sprites, laughed at them for their false step (vetala).

24. The pulling of the entrails (antras-ants), vibrated as by striking the strings of wired instruments (tantras—or tants); and the ghosts of men that had become fiends from their fiendish desires, fell fighting with one another.

25. Valiant soldiers were affrighted at the sight of the spectres (Rupikas); and the obsequies were disturbed by the Vetala and Rakshasa goblins.

26. The hobgoblins of the night, (nisacharas), got frightened at the fall of the carcasses from the shoulders of the elves (Rupikas), who were carrying them aloft in the air; where they were waylaid by a throng of ghostly demons (bhuta-sankata).

27. Many dying bodies, that were lifted aloft with labour by the bogies (Danas), were let to fall down dead on the ground, being found unfit for their food.

28. Pieces of blood-red flesh, fallen from the fiery jaws of jackals, resembled clusters of asoka flowers, strewn all around the funeral ground.

29. Vetala urchins were busy in putting on the scattered heads over the headless bodies of kabandhas (acephali); and bodies of Yaksha, Raksha and Pisacha ogres, were flashing as firebrands in the sky.

30. At last a thick cloud of darkness, covered the face or the sky, and the view of the hills and valleys, gardens and groves, was hid under an impenetrable gloom. The infernal spirits got loose from their dismal abodes, and ranged and ravaged at large over the field, as a hurricane under the vault of heaven.