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 XXVI - Battle of the deities and demons

Argument. The war of the gods with the Demons, rising from the Rasatala or Infernal regions.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. So saying, the chief of the demons despatched his generals Dama, Vyala and Kata, to lead his armies for the destruction of the Deities upon earth.

2. The demoniac army rose out of the foaming sea and infernal caverns, in full armour and begirt with fiendish arms; and then bursting forth with hideous noise, soared aloft with their huge bodies, like mountains flying on high.

3. Their monstrous and mountainous bodies, hid the disk of the sun in the sky; and their stretching arms smote him of his rays. They increased also in their number and size under the leadership of Dama, Vyala and Kata. (This is the war of the Gods and Titans, wherein Sambara is the Satan, and his generals are the devils, Damon, Baal or Bel etc.?)

4. Then the dreadful hosts of the celestials also, issued out from the forests and caverns of the heavenly mountain—Meru, like torrents of the great deluge.

5. The forces under the flags of the deities and demons, fought together with such obstinacy, that it seemed to be an untimely and deadly struggle between the gods and Titans as of the prior world.

6. The heads of the decapitated warriors, decorated with shining earrings, fell down on the ground like the orbs of the sun and moon;which being shorn of their beams as at the end of the world, were rolling in the great abyss of chaos.

7. Huge hills were hurled by the heroes, with the hoarse noise of roaring lions; and were blown up and down, by the blast of an all destroying tornado.

8. The broken weapons of the warriors, fell on mountain tops, and ground them to granules; that fell down as hailstones upon the lions, that had been resting by their sides below.

9. The sparks of fire that flew about by the commingled clashing of the weapons, were as the scattered stars of the sky, flying at random on the last day of dissolution.

10. The ghosts of Vetalas as big as the talas or palmtrees, were beating the tala or time of their giddy dance, with the tali or clapping of their palms, over the heaps of carnage, floating on floods of blood flowing as a sanguinary sea, on the surface of earth.

11. Showers of shedding blood, had put down the flying dust of the battlefield; and numbers of the crowned heads separated from their bodies, glistened amidst the clouds, like so many stars sparkling in the sky.

12. All sides were filled by the demons, who blazed like burning suns with their luminous bodies, and held the tall kalpa branches in their hands for striking the enemy therewith, and with which they broke down the tops and peaks of mountains.

13. They ran about with their brandished swords in hand, and broke down the buildings by the rapidity of their motion, like the blast of a gale; and the rocks which they hurled at the foe, were reduced to dust, like the ashes of a burning mountain.

14. The gods also pursued them as sacrificial horses, and drove the weaponless Asuras, like clouds before the storm.

15. They fell upon and laid hold of them like cats pouncing upon rats, and seizing them for their prey; while the Asuras also were seizing the devas as bears lay hold on men, mounting on high trees for fear of them.

16. Thus the gods and demigods dashed over one another, as the forest trees in a storm, striking each other with their branching arms, and strewing the flowers of mutual bloodshed.

17. Their broken weapons lay scattered on all sides, like heaps of flowers lying on the sides of a hill after a strong gale is over.

18. There was a close fight of both armies, with a confused noise filling the vault of the sky; which like the hollow of the Udumbara tree, resounded to the commingled hum of the gnats rumbling within it.

19. The elephants that were the regents of the different quarters of the skies, sent their loud roars, answering the tremendous peal of the world-destroying cloud.

20. The thickened air grew as hard as the solid earth with the gathering clouds, and the thickened clouds that became as dense as to be grasped in the fist, were heavy and slow in their motion.

21. The broken weapons which were repelled by the war-chariots and hit against the hills, emitted a rattling noise from their inward hollowness, like the cacophony of a chorus.

22. The mountain forests were set on fire by the fiery weapons, and the burning rocks melted down their lava with as dreadful a noise, as that of the volcanic mount of Meru with its melting gold, and blazing with the effulgence of the twelve suns of the zodiac.

23. The clamour of the battle, was as that of the beating waves of the boisterous ocean, filling the vast deep of the earth, and resounding hoarsely by their concussion.

24. The huge rocks which were hurled by the demons, flew as birds in the air with their flapping wings sounding as thunder claps; while the hoarse noise of the rocky caverns, sounded as the deep sounding main.

25. The clamour of the warfare resembled the rumbling of the ocean, at its churning by the Mandara mountain, and the clashing arms sounded as the clappings of the hands of the gods, in their revelry at the ambrosial draughts.

26. In this warfare of the two armies, the haughty demons gained the day; and laid waste the cities and villages of the gods, together with whole tract of their hills and forests.

27. The mountainous bodies of the demons also, were pierced by the great weapons of the gods; and the vault of heaven was filled with the flying weapons, flung by the hands of both parties.

28. The bursting rockets broke the peaks and pinnacles of the rocks by hundreds; and the flying arrows pierced the faces of both parties of the gods and demigods.

29. The whirling disks lopped off the heads of the warriors like blades of grass, and the clamour of the armies rolled with an uproar in the midway sky.

30. Struck by the flying weapons, the heavenly charioteers fell upon the ground; and their celestial cities were deluged by the hydraulic engines of the demons.

31. Flights of swords, spears and lances were flying in the air, like rivers running down the sides of mountains; and the vault of heaven was filled by war-whoops and shouts of the combatants.

32. The habitation of the regnant divinities, were falling under the blows of demons from behind; and their female apartments re-echoed to the lamentations and jingling trinkets of the goddesses.

33. The stream of the flying weapons of the demons, washed the bodies of fighting men with blood, and made them fly off from the battle-field with hideous cries.

34. Death was now lurking behind, and now hovering over the heads of the gods and leaders of armies; like a black-bee now skulking in, and then flitting over the lotuses; while the armies on both sides, were discomfited by the blows of the gods and demigods on the battle-field.

35. The demons flew in the air like winged mountains, moving around the sky; and making a whizzing rustle that was dreadful to hear.

36. The mountainous bodies of the demons, being pierced by the weapons of the gods, were gushing out with streams of blood; which converted the earth below to a crimson sea, and tinged the air with purple clouds over the mountain heights.

37. Many countries and cities, villages and forests, vales and dales were laid waste; and innumerable demons and elephants, horses and human being were put to death.

38. Also numbers of elephants were pierced, with long and pointed shafts of steel and iron; and huge Airavatas were bruised in their bodies, by the blows of steeled fists.

39. Flights of arrows falling in showers like the diluvian rains, crushed the tops of mountains; and the friction of thunderbolts, broke down the bodies of the mountainous giants.

40. The furious flames of heavenly fire, burned the bodies of the infernal hosts; who in their turn, quenched the flame with water-spouts drawn out of the subterranean deep.

41. The enraged demons flung up and hurled, the huge hills to oppose the falling fires of the gods; which like a wild conflagration, melted down the hard stones to liquid water.

42. The demons spread a dark night in the sky, by the shadow of their arms; which the gods destroyed by the artificial flame of lightenings, blazing as so many suns in heaven.

43. The fire of the lightenings, dried up the waters of the raining clouds; and the clashing of arms, emitted a shower of fire on all sides.

44. The shower of thunder-arms, broke down the battery of mountain ramparts; and the Morphean weapon of slumber dispelled by that of its counteraction.

45. Some bore the sawing weapon, while others held the Brahmastra—the invincible weapon of warfare, that dispelled the darkness of the field by its flashing.

46. The air was filled with shells and shots, emitted by the fire-arms;and the machine of hurling stones, crushed the missile weapons of fire (agneyastra).

47. The war chariots with their up-lifted flags and moon-like disks, moved as clouds about the horizon, while their wheel rolled with loud roaring under the vault of heaven.

48. The incessant thunders of heaven were killing the demons in numbers, who were again restored to life by the great art of Sukra, that gave immortality to demoniac spirits.

49. The gods that were now victorious and now flying away with loss, were now looking to their good stars, and now to the inauspicious ones in vain.

50. They looked upon heaven for signs of good and evil with their uplifted heads and eyes, but the world appeared to them as a sea of blood from the heaven above to the earth below.

51. The world seemed to them as a forest of full blown rubicund (Kinsuka) flowers, by the rage of their obstinate enmity, and appeared as a sea of blood filled with mountains of dead bodies in it.

52. The dead bodies hanging pendant on the branches of trees, appeared as their fruits moving to and fro by the breath of winds.

53. The vault of the sky was filled with forests of long and large arrows, and with mountains of headless trunks with their hundred arms (as those of Briareus).

54. These as they leaped and jumped in the air, plucked the clouds and stars and the heavenly cars of the celestials with their numerous arms; and hurled their mountain like missile arms and clubs and arrows to the heavens.

55. The sky was filled with the broken fragments of the edifices, falling from the seven spheres of heaven, and their incessant fall raised a noise like the roaring of the diluvian clouds.

56. These sounds were resounded by the elephants of the deep (patala);while the bird of heaven—Garuda, was snatching the gigantic demons as his prey.

57. The dread of the demons drove the celestial deities, the Siddhas and Saddays and the gods of the winds, together with the Kinnaras, Gandharvas and Charanas, from all their different quarters to one indistinct side. (There was no distinction of the sides in the chaotic state).

58. Then there blew a tremendous tornado like the all-destroying Boreas of universal desolation;laying waste the trees of the garden of paradise, and threatening to destroy the gods; while the thunders of heaven were splitting and breaking down the mountains flung to the face of the sky.