Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Astika Parva 12

"Sauti said, 'Then hearing of and beholding his own body, that bird of
beautiful feathers diminished its size.'

"And Garuda said, 'Let no creature be afraid; as ye are in a fright at
the sight of my terrible form, I shall diminish my energy.'

"Sauti continued, 'Then that bird capable of going everywhere at will,
that ranger of the skies capable of calling to his aid any measure of
energy, bearing Aruna on his back, wended from his father's home and
arrived at his mother's side on the other shore of the great ocean. And
he placed Aruna of great splendour in the eastern regions, just at a time
when Surya had resolved to burn the worlds with his fierce rays.'

"Saunaka said, 'When did the revered Surya resolve at the time to burn
the worlds? What wrong was done to him by the gods that provoked his

"Sauti said, 'O sinless one, when Rahu was drinking nectar among the gods
at the time of the churning of the ocean he was pointed out to the gods
by Surya and Soma, and from that time he conceived an enmity towards
those deities. And upon this Rahu sought to devour his afflictor (Surya),
became wroth, and thought, 'Oh, this enmity of Rahu towards me hath
sprung from my desire of benefiting the gods. And this dire consequence I
alone have to sustain. Indeed, at this pass help I obtain not. And before
the very eyes of the denizens of heaven I am going to be devoured and
they brook it quietly. Therefore, for the destruction of the worlds must
I strive.' And with this resolution he went to the mountains of the west.

"And from that place he began to radiate his heat around for the
destruction of the world. And then the great Rishis, approaching the
gods, spake unto them, 'Lo, in the middle of the night springeth a great
heat striking terror into every heart, and destructive of the three
worlds.' Then the gods, accompanied by the Rishis, wended to the
Grandsire, and said unto him, 'O what is this great heat today that
causeth such panic? Surya hath not yet risen, still the destruction (of
the world) is obvious. O Lord, what will happen when he doth rise?" The
Grandsire replied, 'Indeed, Surya is prepared to rise today for the
destruction of the world. As soon as he will appear he will burn
everything into a heap of ashes. By me, however, hath the remedy been
provided beforehand. The intelligent son of Kasyapa is known to all by
the name of Aruna. He is huge of body and of great splendour; he shall
stay in front of Surya, doing the duty of his charioteer and taking away
all the energy of the former. And this will ensure the welfare of the
worlds, of the Rishis, and of the dwellers in heaven.'

"Sauti continued, 'Aruna, at the behest of the Grandsire, did all that he
was ordered to do. And Surya rose veiled by Aruna's person. I have told
thee now why Surya was in wrath, and how Aruna, the brother of Garuda,
was appointed as his charioteer. Hear next of that other question asked
by thee a little while ago.'"

And so ends the twenty-fourth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi

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