The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'After this, he of hundred sacrifices beheld the goddess of Prosperity, in her own embodied form that blazed splendour, issue out of the form of the high-souled Vali. The illustrious chastiser of Paka, beholding the goddess blazing with radiance, addressed Vali in these words, with eyes expanded in wonder.'
"Sakra said, 'O Vali, who is this one, thus shining with splendour, thus decked with head plumes, thus adorned with golden bracelets on her upper
arms, and thus emitting a halo of glory on all sides in consequence of her energy that is issuing out of thy body.'
"Vali said, 'I do not know whether she is an Asura damsel or a celestial one or a human one. Thou mayst not ask her thyself. Do what pleases thee.'
"Sakra said, 'O thou of sweet smiles, who art thou that art possessed of such radiance and adorned with plumes that thus issuest from the body of Vali. I do not know thee. Kindly tell me thy name. Who, indeed, art thou that thus standest here as Maya herself, blazing with thy own splendour, after having deserted the lord of the Daityas? O, tell me this as I question thee.'
"Sree said, 'Virochana did not know me. This Vali also that is the son of Virochana knows me not. The learned called me by the name of Duhshaha. 1 Some knew me by the name of Vidhitsa. 2 I have other names also, O Vasava! They are Bhuti, Lakshmi, and Sree. 3 Thou knowest me not, O Sakra, nor doth any one among the deities know me.'
"Sakra said, 'O lady that is difficult of being borne, why do you desert Vali now after having lived in him for a long time? Is it due to any act of mine or is it due to any act that Vali has done?'
"Sree said, 'Neither the Creator nor the Ordainer rules me. It is Time that moves me from one place to another. Do not, O Sakra, disregard Vali.'
"Sakra said, 'For what reason, O goddess adorned with plumes, do you desert Vali? Why also do you approach me (for living in me)? Tell me this, O thou of sweet smiles!'
'Sree said, 'I live in truth, in gifts, in good vows, in penances, in prowess, and in virtue. Vali hath fallen off from all these. Formerly, he was devoted to the Brahmanas. He was truthful and had controlled his passions. Latterly, however, he began to cherish feelings of animosity towards the Brahmanas and touched clarified butter with soiled hands. 4 Formerly, he was always engaged in the performance of sacrifices. At last, blinded by ignorance and afflicted by Time he began to boast before all persons, saying that his adorations towards me were ceaseless. Deserting him (for these faults) I shall henceforth, O Sakra, dwell in thee. Thou shouldst bear me without heedlessness, and with penances and prowess.'
"Sakra said, 'O thou that dwellest amid lotuses, there is not a single person among gods, men, and all creatures, that can bear thee for ever.'
"Sree said, 'Truly, O Purandara, there is none among gods, Gandharvas, Asuras, or Rakshasas, that can bear me for ever.'
"Sakra said, 'O auspicious lady, tell me how I should conduct myself so that thou mayst dwell in me always. I shall certainly obey thy behests. It behoveth thee to answer me truly.'
"Sree said, 'O chief of the deities, I shall tell thee as to how I may be
enabled to dwell in thee always. Divide me into four parts according to the ordinance laid down in the Vedas.'
"Sakra said, 'I shall assign the habitations according to their strength and power in bearing thee. As regards myself, I shall always take care, O Lakshmi, that I may not offend thee in any way. Amongst men, the earth, that progenitrix of all things, bear them all. She shall bear a fourth part of thyself. I think she hath the strength to do it.'
"Sree said, 'Here, I yield up a quarter of myself. Let it be established on the earth. Do thou, after this, make a proper disposition, O Sakra, for my second quarter.'
"Sakra said, 'The waters, among men, in their liquid form, do various services to human beings. Let the waters bear a fourth part of thy person. They have the strength to bear a portion of thine.'
"Sree said, 'I yield up another quarter of mine that is to be established in the waters. Do thou, after this, O Sakra, assign a proper place for my third quarter.'
"Sakra said, 'The Vedas, the sacrifices, and the deities are all established in Fire. Fire will bear thy third quarter, when it is placed therein.'
"Sree said, 'Here I yield up my third quarter which is to be placed in Fire. Do thou, O Sakra, after this, assign a proper place for my last quarter.'
"Sakra said, 'They that are good among men, devoted to Brahmanas, and truthful in speech, may bear thy fourth quarter. The good have the power to bear it.'
"Sree said, 'Here I yield up my fourth quarter that is to be placed among the good. My portions thus assigned to different creatures, do thou continue to protect me, O Sakra.'
"Sakra said, 'Listen to these words of mine. I have thus distributed thee among different creatures. Those among creatures that will offend against thee shall be chastised by me. The chief of the Daityas, viz., Vali, thus deserted by Sree, then said these words.'
"Vali said, 'At present the Sun shines as much in the east as in the west, and as much in the north as in the south. When, however, the Sun, withdrawing himself from all sides, will shine only upon the region of Brahman situated in the middle of Sumeru, then will again occur a great battle between the gods and the Asuras, and in that fight I shall certainly vanquish all of you. When the Sun, withdrawing himself from all sides, will shine fixedly upon only the region of Brahman, then will again occur a great battle between the gods and the Asuras, and in that fight I shall surely conquer all of you.' 1
"Sakra said, 'Brahman hath commanded me saying that I should never
kill thee. It is for this reason, O Vali, that I do not hurl my thunderbolt upon thy head. Go whithersoever thou wishest, O chief of the Daityas! O great Asura, peace to thee! No time will come when the Sun will shine from only the meridian. The Self-born (Brahman) hath before this ordained the laws that regulate the Sun's motions. Giving light and heat to all creatures, he goes on ceaselessly. For six months he travels in a northward course and then for the other six in a southward course. The sun travels by these courses (one after another), creating winter and summer for all creatures.'
"Bhishma continued, 'Thus addressed by Indra, O Bharata, Vali, the chief of the Daityas, proceeded towards the south. Purandara proceeded towards the north. The thousand-eyed Indra, after having listened to this speech of Vali which was characterised by an entire absence of pride, then ascended the skies.'
134:1 One that is borne with great difficulty.
134:2 Literally, the desire for action; hence abundance or plenty that is the result of action or labour.
134:3 All these names imply plenty and prosperity.
134:4 i.e., with hands not washed after rising from his meals or while going on with his meals.
135:1 The commentator explains that according to the Pauranic theory, the world stands all around the mountains of Meru. The region of Brahman stands on its top. The Sun travels round Meru and shines over all the directions or points of the compass. This happens in the age called the Vaivaswata Manwantara (the age or epoch of Manu the son of Vivaswat). But after the lapse of this age, when the Savarnika Manwantara comes, the sun will shine upon only the region on the top of Meru, and all around there will be darkness.
Next: Section CCXXVI