The Mahabharata Home
"Kanwa said, 'When Matali was wending his way, he saw the great Rishi Narada proceeding at his pleasure to pay a visit to Varuna (the god of the waters). And beholding Matali, Narada asked him, saying, 'Whither dost thou go? Is it, O charioteer, on any mission of thy own, or is it at Satakratu's command, that this journey of thine is undertaken?' Thus addressed on the way by Narada who was proceeding towards his destination, Matali duly informed Narada, of his mission. And the Rishi, informed of everything, then said unto Matali, 'We shall go together. As regards myself, it is to see the Lord of the waters that I am proceeding, having left the heavens, searching the nether regions, I shall tell you everything. After a good search there, we shall select a bridegroom, O Matali! And penetrating then into nether regions, that illustrious couple, Matali and Narada, beheld that Regent of the world--the Lord of the waters. And there Narada received worship due to a celestial Rishi, and Matali received that equal to what is offered to the great Indra. And both of them skilful in business, informed Varuna of their purpose, and obtaining his leave they began to wander in that region of the Nagas. And Narada who knew all the residents of the nether regions then began to describe in detail unto his companion all about
the dwellers of the Naga world.'
"And Narada said, 'Thou hast, O charioteer, seen Varuna surrounded by his sons and grandsons. Behold the dominions of the Lord of the waters. It is delightful all round, and full of riches. The son, endued with great wisdom, of Varuna, the Lord of the Ocean, is even much distinguished for his conduct and disposition and for his holiness. Possessed of eyes like lotus leaves, this Pushkara is, indeed, Varuna's much-loved son, endued with great beauty and delightful to behold. He has been chosen by Soma's daughter as her husband. That daughter of Soma, equal in beauty unto a second Sree, is known by the name of Jyotsnakali. Indeed, it is said, that she had once before chosen the eldest and foremost of Aditi's son as her lord. Behold now, O companion of the Lord of the celestials, that abode, made entirely of gold, and full of the wine called Varuni. Indeed, having obtained that wine, the gods acquired their god-heads. These blazing weapons also of every kind that thou seest, belonged, O Matali, to the Daityas who have been deprived of their sovereignty. These weapons are incapable of deterioration, and when hurled at the foe always return into the hand that hurleth them. Obtained by the gods as the booty of war, they require considerable mental energy to be used against foes. Here dwelt in days of yore many tribes of Rakshasas and Daityas, possessed of many kinds of celestial weapons, but they were all vanquished by the gods. Behold, there, in Varuna's lake is that fire of blazing flames, and that discus of Vishnu surrounded by the lustrous splendour of mighty caloric. Behold, there lieth that knotty bow that was created for the destruction of the world. It is always protected with great vigilance by the gods, and it is from this bow that the one wielded by Arjuna hath taken its name. Endued with the strength of hundred thousand bows, the power it assumes at the hour of battle is indescribably great. It punishes all punishable wicked kings endued with the nature of Rakshasas. This fierce weapon was first created by Brahman, the utterer of the Vedas. The great preceptor Sukra hath said that this weapon is a terrible one in respect of all kings. Endued with great energy, it is held by the sons of the Lord of waters. Behold, there in the umbrella-room is the umbrella of the Lord of the waters. It droppeth refreshing showers like the clouds. The water dropped from this umbrella, though pure as the moon, is yet enveloped by such darkness that it cannot be seen by anybody. There, in these regions, O Matali, innumerable are the wonders to be seen. Your business, however, will suffer if we spend more time here. We will, therefore, leave this region soon.'"
Next: Section XCIX