The Mahabharata Home
"Lomasa said, 'Armed with the Vajra then, and supported by celestials endued with great might, Indra then approached Vritra, who was then occupying the entire earth and the heaven. And he was guarded on all sides by huge-bodied Kalakeyas with upraised weapons resembling gigantic mountains with towering peaks. And the encounter that took place between the gods and the Danavas lasted for a short while and was, O chief of the Bharatas, terrific in the extreme, appalling as it did the three worlds. And loud was the clash of swords and scimitars upraised and warded off by heroic hands in course of those fierce encounters. And heads (severed from trunks) began to roll from the firmament to the earth like fruits of the palmyra palm falling upon the ground, loosened from their stalks. And the Kalakeyas armed with iron-mounted bludgeons and cased in golden mail ran against the gods, like moving mountains on conflagration. And the gods, unable to stand the shock of that impetuous and proudly advancing host, broke and fled from fear. Purandara of a thousand eyes, beholding the gods flying in fear and Vritra growing in boldness, became deeply dejected. And the foremost of gods Purandara, himself, agitated with the fear of the Kalakeyas, without losing a moment, sought the exalted Narayana's refuge. And the eternal Vishnu beholding Indra so depressed enhanced his might by imparting unto him a portion of his own energy. And when the celestials beheld that Sakra was thus protected by Vishnu, each of them imparted unto him his own energy.
[paragraph continues] And the spotless Brahmarshis also imparted their energies unto the chief of the celestials. And favoured thus by Vishnu and all the gods and by the high-blessed Rishis also, Sakra became mightier than before. And when Vritra learnt that the chief of the celestials had been filled with might of others, he sent forth some terrific roars. And at these roars of his, the earth, the directions, the firmament, heaven, and the mountains all began to tremble. And the chief of the celestials, deeply agitated on hearing that fierce and loud roar, was filled with fear, and desiring to slay the Asura soon, hurled, O king, the mighty Vajra. And struck with Indra's Vajra the great Asura decked in gold and garlands fell head-long, like the great mountain Mandara hurled of yore from Vishnu's hands; and although the prince of Daityas was slain, yet Sakra in panic ran from the field, desiring to take shelter in a lake, thinking that the Vajra itself had not been hurled from his hands and regarding that Vritra himself was still alive. The celestials, however, and the great Rishis became filled with joy, and all of them began to cheerfully chant the praise of Indra. And mustering together, the celestials began to slay the Danavas, who were dejected at the death of their leader. And struck with panic at sight of the assembled celestial host, the afflicted Danavas fled to the depths of the sea. And having entered the fathomless deep, teeming with fishes and crocodiles, the Danavas assembled together and began to proudly conspire for the destruction of the three worlds. And some amongst them that were wise in inferences suggested courses of action, each according to his judgment. In course of time, however, the dreadful resolution arrived at those conspiring sons of Diti, was that they should, first of all, compass the destruction of all persons possessed of knowledge and ascetic virtue. The worlds are all supported by asceticism. Therefore, they said, 'Lose no time for the destruction of asceticism. Compass ye without delay the destruction of those on earth that are possessed of ascetic virtues, that are conversant with duties and the ways of morality, and that have a knowledge of Brahma; for when these are destroyed, the universe itself will be destroyed.' And all the Danavas, having arrived at this resolution for the destruction of the universe, became highly glad. And thenceforth they made the ocean--that abode of Varuna--with billows high as hills, their fort, from which to make their sallies."
Next: Section CII