Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Astika Parva 19

"Saunaka said, 'O son of Suta, what was Indra's fault, what his act of
carelessness? How was Garuda born in consequence of the ascetic penances
of the Valakhilyas? Why also Kasyapa--a Brahman--had the king of birds
for a son? Why, too, was he invincible of all creatures and unslayable of
all? Why also was that ranger of the skies capable of going into every
place at will and of mustering at will any measure of energy? If these
are described in the Purana, I should like to hear them.'

"Sauti said, 'What thou askest me is, indeed, the subject of the Purana.
O twice-born one, listen as I briefly recite it all.

"Once upon a time, when the lord of creation, Kasyapa, was engaged in a
sacrifice from desire of offspring, the Rishis, the gods, and the
Gandharvas, all gave him help. And Indra was appointed by Kasyapa to
bring the sacrificial fuel; and with him those ascetics the Valakhilyas,
and all the other deities. And the lord Indra, taking up according to his
own strength, a weight that was mountain-like, brought it without any
fatigue. And he saw on the way some Rishis, of bodies of the measure of
the thumb, all together carrying one single stalk of a Palasa (Butea
frondosa) leaf. And those Rishis were, from want of food, very lean and
almost merged in their own bodies. And they were so weak that they were
much afflicted when sunk in the water that collected in an indentation on
the road produced by the hoof of a cow. And Purandara, proud of his
strength, beheld them with surprise, and laughing at them in derision
soon left them behind insulting them, besides, by passing over their
heads. And those Rishis being thus insulted were filled with rage and
sorrow. And they made preparations for a great sacrifice at which Indra
was terrified. Hear, O Saunaka, of the wish for accomplishment of which
those vow-observing wise, and excellent ascetics poured clarified butter
of the sacrificial fire with loudly uttered mantras, 'There shall be
another Indra of all gods, capable of going everywhere at will, and of
mustering at will any measure of energy, and striking tear into the
(present) king of the gods. By the fruit of our ascetic penance, let one
arise, fleet as the mind, and fierce withal.' And the lord of the
celestials of a hundred sacrifices, having come to know of this, became
very much alarmed and sought the protection of the vow-observing Kasyapa.
And the Prajapati Kasyapa, hearing everything from Indra, went to the
Valakhilyas and asked them if their sacrifice had been successful. And
those truth-speaking Rishis replied to him, saying, 'Let it be as thou
sayest!' And the Prajapati Kasyapa pacifying them, spake unto them as
follows, 'By the word of Brahman, this one (Indra) hath been made the
Lord of the three worlds. Ye ascetics, ye also are striving to create
another Indra! Ye excellent ones, it behoveth you not to falsify the word
of Brahman. Let not also this purpose, for (accomplishing) which ye are
striving, be rendered futile. Let there spring an Indra (Lord) of winged
creatures, endued with excess of strength! Be gracious unto Indra who is
a suppliant before you.' And the Valakhilyas, thus addressed by Kasyapa,
after offering reverence to that first of the Munis, viz., the Prajapati
Kasyapa, spake unto him:

"The Valakhilyas said, 'O Prajapati, this sacrifice of us all is for an
Indra! Indeed this hath also been meant for a son being born unto thee!
Let this task be now left to thee. And in this matter do whatsoever thou
seest to be good and proper.'

"Sauti continued, 'Meanwhile, moved by the desire of offspring, the good
daughter of Daksha, the vow-observing, amiable, and fortunate Vinata, her
ascetic penances over, having purified herself with a bath in that season
when connubial companionship might prove fruitful, approached her lord.
And Kasyapa spake unto her, 'Respected one, the sacrifice commenced by me
hath borne fruit. What hath been desired by thee shall come to pass. Two
heroic sons, shall be born unto thee, who shall be the lords of the three
worlds. By the penances of the Valakhilyas and by virtue of the desire
with which I commenced my sacrifice, those sons shall be of exceedingly
good fortune and worshipped in the three worlds!' And the illustrious
Kasyapa spake unto her again, 'Bear thou these auspicious seeds with
great care. These two will be the lords of all winged creatures. These
heroic rangers of the skies will be respected in all the worlds, and
capable of assuming any form at will.

"And the Prajapati, gratified with all that took place, then addressed
Indra of a hundred sacrifices, saying, 'Thou shalt have two brothers of
great energy and prowess, who shall be to thee even as the helpmates.
From them no injury shall result unto thee. Let thy sorrow cease; thou
shalt continue as the lord of all. Let not, however, the utterers of the
name of Brahma be ever again slighted by thee. Nor let the very wrathful
ones, whose words are even the thunderbolt, be ever again insulted by
thee. Indra, thus addressed, went to heaven, his fears dispelled. And
Vinata also, her purpose fulfilled, was exceedingly glad. And she gave
birth to two sons, Aruna and Garuda. And Aruna, of undeveloped body,
became the fore-runner of the Sun. And Garuda was vested with the
lordship over the birds. O thou of Bhrigu's race, hearken now to the
mighty achievement of Garuda.'"

"So ends the thirty-first section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.

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