The Mahabharata Home
Vaishampayana said, "Collecting all articles as laid down in the scriptures for the ceremony of investiture, Brihaspati duly poured libations on the blazing fire. Himavat gave a seat which was adorned with many costly gems. Kartikeya was made to sit on that auspicious and best of seats decked with excellent gems. The gods brought thither all kinds of auspicious articles, with due rites and mantras, that were necessary for a ceremony of the kind. The diverse gods--Indra and Vishnu, both of great energy, and Surya and Candramas, and Dhatri, and Vidhatri, and Vayu, and Agni, and Pushan, and Bhaga, and Aryaman, and Ansa, and Vivaswat, and Rudra of great intelligence, and Mitra, and the (eleven) Rudras, the (eight) Vasus, the (twelve) Adityas, the (twin) Ashvinis, the Viswedevas, the Maruts, the Saddhyas, the Pitris, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas, the Pannagas, innumerable celestial Rishis, the Vaikhanasas, the Valakhilyas, those others (among Rishis) that subsist only on air and those that subsist on the rays of the Sun, the descendants of Bhrigu and Angiras, many high-souled Yatis, all the Vidyadharas, all those that were crowned with ascetic success, the Grandsire, Pulastya, Pulaha of great ascetic merits, Angiras, Kasyapa, Atri, Marichi, Bhrigu, Kratu, Hara, Prachetas, Manu, Daksha, the Seasons, the Planets, and all the luminaries; O monarch, all the rivers in their embodied forms, the eternal Vedas, the Seas, the diverse tirthas, the Earth, the Sky, the Cardinal and Subsidiary points of the compass, and all the Trees, O king, Aditi the mother of the gods, Hri, Sri, Swaha, Sarasvati, Uma, Sachi, Sinivali, Anumati, Kuhu, the Day of the new moon, the Day of the full Moon, the wives of the denizens of heaven, Himavat, Vindhya, Meru of many summits, Airavat with all his followers, the Divisions of time called Kala, Kashtha, Fortnight, the Seasons, Night, and Day, O king, the prince of steeds, Ucchaisravas, Vasuki the king of the Snakes, Aruna, Garuda, the Trees, the deciduous herbs, and the adorable god Dharma--all came there together. And there came also Kala, Yama, Mrityu, and the followers of Yama. From fear of swelling the list I do not mention the diverse other gods that came there. All of them came to that ceremony for investing Kartikeya with the status of generalissimo. All the denizens of heaven, O king, brought there everything necessary for the ceremony and every auspicious article. Filled with joy, the denizens of heaven made that high-souled youth, that terror of the Asuras, the generalissimo of the celestial forces, after pouring upon his head the sacred and excellent water of the Sarasvati from golden jars that contained other sacred articles needed for the purpose. The Grandsire of the worlds, Brahman, and Kasyapa of great energy, and the others (mentioned and) not mentioned, all poured water upon Skanda even as, O monarch, the gods had poured water on the head of Varuna, the lord of waters, for investing him with dominion. The lord Brahman then, with a gratified heart, gave unto Skanda four companions, possessed of great might, endued with speed like that of the wind, crowned with ascetic success, and gifted with energy which they could increase at will. They were named Nandisena and Lohitaksha and Ghantakarna and Kumudamalin. The lord Sthanu, O monarch, gave unto Skanda a companion possessed of great impetuosity, capable of producing a hundred illusions, and endued with might and energy that he could enhance at will. And he was the great destroyer of Asuras. In the great battle between the gods and the Asuras, this companion that Sthanu gave, filled with wrath, slew, with his hands alone, fourteen millions of Daityas of fierce deeds. The gods then made over to Skanda the celestial host, invincible, abounding with celestial troops, capable of destroying the enemies of the gods, and of forms like that of Vishnu. The gods then, with Vasava at their head, and the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas, the Munis, and the Pitris, all shouted, 'Victory (to Skanda)!' Then Yama gave him two companions, both of whom resembled Death, Unmatha and Pramatha, possessed of great energy and great splendour. Endued with great prowess, Surya, with a gratified heart, gave unto Kartikeya two of his followers named Subhraja and Bhaswara. Soma also gave him two companions, Mani and Sumani, both of whom looked like summits of the Kailasa mountain and always used white garlands and white unguents. Agni gave unto him two heroic companions, grinders of hostile armies, who were named Jwalajihbha and Jyoti. Ansa gave unto Skanda of great intelligence five companions, Parigha, and Vata, and Bhima of terrible strength, and Dahati and Dahana, both of whom were exceedingly fierce and possessed of great energy. Vasava that slayer of hostile heroes, gave unto Agni's son two companions, Utkrosa and Panchaka, who were armed respectively with thunder-bolt and club. These had in battle slain innumerable enemies of Shakra. The illustrious Vishnu gave unto Skanda three companions, Chakra and Vikrama and Sankrama of great might. The Ashvinis, O bull of Bharata's race, with gratified hearts, gave unto Skanda two companions Vardhana and Nandana, who had mastered all the sciences. The illustrious Dhatri gave unto that high-souled one five companions, Kunda, Kusuma, Kumuda, Damvara and Adamvara. Tvashtri gave unto Skanda two companions named Chakra and Anuchakra, both of whom were endued with great strength. The lord Mitra gave unto the high-souled Kumara two illustrious companions named Suvrata and Satyasandha, both of whom were endued with great learning and ascetic merit, possessed of agreeable features, capable of granting boons and celebrated over the three worlds. Vidhatri gave unto Kartikeya two companions of great celebrity, the high-souled Suprabha and Subhakarman. Pushan gave him, O Bharata, two companions, Panitraka and Kalika, both endued with great powers of illusion. Vayu gave him, O best of the Bharatas, two companions, Vala and Ativala, endued with great might and very large mouths. Varuna, firmly adhering to truth, gave him Ghasa and Atighasa of great might and possessed of mouths like those of whales. Himavat gave unto Agni's son two companions, O King, Suvarchas and Ativarchas. Meru, O Bharata, gave him two companions named Kanchana and Meghamalin. Manu also gave unto Agni's son two others endued with great strength and prowess, Sthira and Atisthira. Vindhya gave unto Agni's son two companions named Uschrita and Agnisringa both of whom fought with large stones. Ocean gave him two mighty companions named Sangraha and Vigraha, both armed with maces. Parvati of beautiful features gave unto Agni's son Unmada and Pushpadanta and Sankukarna. Vasuki, the king of the snakes, O tiger among men, gave unto the son of Agni two snakes named Jaya and Mahajaya. Similarly the Saddhyas, the Rudras, the Vasus, the Pitris, the Seas, the Rivers, and the Mountains, all endued with great might, gave commanders of forces, armed with lances and battle-axes and decked with diverse kinds of ornaments. Listen now to the names of those other combatants armed with diverse weapons and clad in diverse kinds of robes and ornaments, that Skanda procured. They were Sankukarna, Nilkumbha, Padmai, Kumud, Ananta, Dwadasabhuja, Krishna, Upakrishnaka, Ghranasravas, Kapiskandha, Kanchanaksha, Jalandhama, Akshasantarjana, Kunadika, Tamobhrakrit, Ekaksha, Dwadasaksha, Ekajata, Sahasravahu, Vikata, Vyaghraksha, Kshitikampana, Punyanaman, Sunaman, Suvaktra, Priyadarsana, Parisruta, Kokonada, Priyamalyanulepana, Ajodara, Gajasiras, Skandhaksha, Satalochana, Jwalajibha, Karala, Sitakesa, Jati, Hari, Krishnakesa, Jatadhara, Chaturdanshtra, Ashtajihva, Meghananda, Prithusravas, Vidyutaksha, Dhanurvaktra, Jathara, Marutasana, Udaraksha, Rathaksha, Vajranabha, Vasurprabha, Samudravega, Sailakampin, Vrisha, Meshapravaha, Nanda, Upadanka, Dhumra, Sweta, Kalinga, Siddhartha, Varada, Priyaka, Nanda, Gonanda, Ananda, Pramoda, Swastika, Dhruvaka, Kshemavaha, Subala, Siddhapatra, Govraja, Kanakapida, Gayana, Hasana, Vana, Khadga, Vaitali, Atitali, Kathaka, Vatika, Hansaja, Pakshadigdhanga, Samudronmadana, Ranotkata, Prashasa, Swetasiddha, Nandaka, Kalakantha, Prabhasa, Kumbhandaka, Kalakaksha, Sita, Bhutalonmathana, Yajnavaha, Pravaha, Devajali, Somapa, Majjala, Kratha Tuhara Chitradeva, Madhura, Suprasada, Kiritin, Vatsala, Madhuvarna, Kalasodara, Dharmada, Manma, Thakara, Suchivaktra, Swetavaktra, Suvaktra, Charuvaktra, Pandura, Dandavahu, Suvahu, Rajas, Kokilaka, Achala, Kanakaksha, Valakarakshaka, Sancharaka, Kokanada, Gridhrapatra, Jamvuka, Lohajvaktra, Javana, Kumbhavaktra, Kumbhaka, Mundagriva, Krishnaujas, Hansavaktra, Candrabha, Panikurchas, Samvuka, Panchavaktra, Sikshaka, Chasavaktra, Jamvuka, Kharvaktra, and Kunchaka. Besides these, many other high-souled and mighty companions, devoted to ascetic austerities and regardful of Brahmanas, were given unto him by the Grandsire. Some of them were in youth; some were old and some, O Janamejaya, were very young in years. Thousands upon thousands of such came to Kartikeya. They were possessed of diverse kinds of faces. Listen to me, O Janamejaya, as I describe them! Some had faces like those of tortoises, and some like those of cocks. The faces of some were very long, O Bharata. Some, again, had faces like those of dogs, and wolves, and hares, and owls, and asses, and camels, and hogs. Some had human faces and some had faces like those of sheep, and jackals. Some were terrible and had faces like those of makaras and porpoises. Some had faces like those of cats and some like those of biting flies; and the faces of some were very long. Some had faces like those of the mongoose, the owl, and the crow. Some had faces like those of mice and peacocks and fishes and goats and sheep and buffaloes. The faces of some resembled those of bears and tigers and leopards and lions. Some had faces like those of elephants and crocodiles. The faces of some resembled those of Garuda and the rhinoceros and the wolf. Some had faces like those of cows and mules and camels and cats. Possessed of large stomachs and large legs and limbs, some had eyes like stars. The faces of some resembled those of pigeons and bulls. Other had faces like those of kokilas and hawks and tittiras and lizards. Some were clad in white robes. Some had faces like those of snakes. The faces of some resembled those of porcupines. Indeed, some had frightful and some very agreeable faces; some had snakes for their clothes. The faces as also the noses of some resembled those of cows. Some had large limbs protruding stomachs but other limbs very lean; some had large limbs but lean stomachs. The necks of some were very short and the ears of some were very large. Some had diverse kinds of snakes for their ornaments. Some were clad in skins of large elephants, and some in black deer-skins. The mouths of some were on their shoulders. Some had mouths on their stomachs, some on their backs, some on their cheeks, some on their calves, and some on their flanks, and the mouths of many were placed on other parts of their bodies. The faces of many amongst those leaders of troops were like those of insects and worms. The mouths of many amongst them were like those of diverse beasts of prey. Some had many arms and some many heads. The arms of some resembled trees, and the heads of some were on their loins. The faces of some were tapering like the bodies of snakes. Many amongst them had their abodes on diverse kinds of plants and herbs. Some were clad in rags, some in diverse kinds of bones, some were diversely clad, and some were adorned in diverse kinds of garlands and diverse kinds of unguents. Dressed diversely, some had skins for their robes. Some had head-gears; the brows of some were furrowed into lines; the necks of some bore marks like those on conchshells, some were possessed of great effulgence. Some had diadems, some had five tufts of hair on their heads, and the hair of some was very hard. Some had two tufts, some three, and some seven. Some had feathers on their heads, some had crowns, some had heads that were perfectly bald, and some had matted locks. Some were adorned with beautiful garlands, and the faces of some were very hairy. Battle was the one thing in which they took great delight, and all of them were invincible by even the foremost ones amongst the gods. Many amongst them were clad in diverse kinds of celestial robes. All were fond of battle. Some were of dark complexion, and the faces of some had no flesh on them. Some had very long backs, and some had no stomachs. The backs of some were very large while those of some were very short. Some had long stomachs and the limbs of some were long. The arms of some were long while those of some were short. Some were dwarfs of short limbs. Some were hunch-backed. Some had short hips. The cars and heads of some were like those of elephants. Some had noses like those of tortoises, some like those of wolves. Some had long lips, some had long hips, and some were frightful, having their faces downwards. Some had very large teeth, some had very short teeth, and some had only four teeth. Thousands among them, O king, were exceedingly terrible, looking like infuriated elephants of gigantic size. Some were of symmetrical limbs, possessed of great splendour, and adorned with ornaments. Some had yellow eyes, some had ears like arrows, some had noses like gavials. O Bharata! Some had broad teeth, some had broad lips, and some had green hair. Possessed of diverse kinds of feet and lips and teeth, they had diverse kinds of arms and heads. Clad in diverse kinds of skins, they spoke diverse kinds of languages, O Bharata! Skilled in all provincial dialects, those puissant ones conversed with one another. Those mighty companions, filled with joy, gambolled there, cutting capers (around Kartikeya). Some were long-necked, some longnailed, some long-legged. Some amongst them were large-headed and some large-armed. The eyes of some were yellow. The throats of some were blue, and the ears of some were long, O Bharata. The stomachs of some were like masses of antimony. The eyes of some were white, the necks of some were red, and some had eyes of a tawny hue. Many were dark in colour and many, O king, were of diverse colours, O Bharata. Many had ornaments on their persons that looked like yak-tails. Some bore white streaks on their bodies, and some bore red streaks. Some were of diversified colours and some had golden complexions, and some were endued with splendours like those of the peacock. I shall describe to thee the weapons that were taken by those that came last to Kartikeya. Listen to me. Some had noses on their uplifted arms. Their faces were like those of tigers and asses. Their eyes were on their backs, their throats were blue, and their arms resembled spiked clubs. Some were armed with Sataghnis and discs, and some had heavy and short clubs. Some had swords and mallets and some were armed with bludgeons, O Bharata. Some, possessed of gigantic sizes and great strength, were armed with lances and scimitars. Some were armed with maces and Bhusundis and some had spears on their hands. Possessed of high souls and great strength and endued with great speed and great impetuosity, those mighty companions had diverse kinds of terrible weapons in their arms. Beholding the installation of Kartikeya, those beings of mighty energy, delighting in battle and wearing on their persons rows of tinkling bells, danced around him in joy. These and many other mighty companions, O king, came to the high-souled and illustrious Kartikeya. Some belonged to the celestial regions, some to the aerial, and some to the regions of the Earth. All of them were endued with speed like that of the wind. Commanded by the gods, those brave and mighty ones became the companions of Kartikeya. Thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions, of such beings came there at the installation of the high-souled Kartikeya and stood surrounding him."
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