The Mahabharata Home
"Arjuna said, 'Then with rocks of the proportions of trees, there commenced a mighty shower of crags; and this exercised me exceedingly. And in that high encounter, I crushed (those crags) by swift-speeding showers of arrows, issuing from Mahendra's weapon, like unto the thunder-bolt itself. And when the rocks had been reduced to powder, there was generated fire; and the rocky dust fell like unto masses of flames. And when the showers of crags had been repelled, there happened near me a mightier shower of water, having currents of the proportions of an axle. And falling from the welkin, those thousands of powerful torrents covered the entire firmament and the directions and the cardinal points. And on account of the pouring of the shower, and of the blowing of the wind, and of roaring of the Daityas, nothing could be perceived. And touching heaven and the entire earth, and incessantly falling on the ground, the showers bewildered
me. Thereupon, I discharged that celestial weapon which I had learnt from Indra--even the dreadful and flaming Visoshana: and by that the water was dried up. And, O Bharata, when the rocky shower had been destroyed, and the watery shower had been dried up, the Danavas began to spread illusions of fire and wind. Then by aqueous appliances I extinguished the flames; and by a mighty rock-issuing arm, resisted the fury of the winds. And when these had been repelled, the Danavas, irrepressible in battle, O foremost of the Bharata, simultaneously created various illusions. And there happened a tremendous horrifying shower of rocks and dreadful weapons of fire and wind. And that illusory downpour afflicted me in fight. And then on all sides there appeared a dense and thick darkness. And when the world had been enveloped in deep and dense darkness, the steeds turned away, Matali fell off, and from his hand the golden lash fell to the earth. And, O foremost of the Bharatas, being frightened, he again and again cried, 'Where art thou?' And when he had been stupefied, a terrible fear possessed me. And then in a hurry, he spake unto me, saying, 'O Partha, for the sake of nectar, there had taken place a mighty conflict between the gods and the demons. I had seen that (encounter), O sinless one. And on the occasion of the destruction of Samvara, there had occurred a dreadful and mighty contest. Nevertheless I had acted as charioteer to the lord of the celestials. In the same way, on the occasion of the slaying of Vritra, the steeds had been conducted by me. And I had also beheld the high and terrific encounter with Virochana's son, and, O Pandava, with Vala, and with Prahrada and with others also. In these exceedingly dreadful battles, I was present; but, O Pandu's son, never (before) had I lost my senses. Surely the Great-father hath ordained the destruction of all creatures; for this battle cannot be for any other purpose than destruction of the universe.' Having heard these words of his, pacifying my perturbation by my own effort, I will destroy the mighty energy of the illusion spread by the Danavas quoth I unto the terrified Matali. Behold the might of my arms, and the power of my weapons and of the bow, Gandiva. To-day even by (the help of) illusion-creating arms, will I dispel this deep gloom and also this horrible illusion of theirs. Do not fear, O charioteer. Pacify thyself.' Having said this, O lord of men, I created for the good of the celestials, an illusion of arms capable of bewildering all beings. And when (their) illusion had been dispelled, some of the foremost amongst the Asuras, of unrivalled prowess, again spread diverse kinds of illusion. Thereupon, now (the world) displayed itself, and now it was devoured by darkness; and now the world disappeared from view and now it was submerged under water. And when it had brightened up. Matali, sitting in front of the car, with the wellconducted steeds, began to range that hair-erecting field. Then the fierce Nivata-Kavachas assailed me. And finding my opportunity. I began to send them to the mansion of Yama. Thereupon, in that conflict then raging, calculated to annihilate the Nivata-Kavachas on a sudden, I could not see the Danavas concealed by illusion."
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