The Mahabharata Home
"The Brahmana said, 'Thou goest away for dragging the one-wheeled car of Vivaswat according to thy turn. It behoveth thee to describe to me anything wonderful that thou mayst have noticed in those regions through which thou sojournest!'
"The Naga said, 'The divine Surya is the refuge or home of innumerable wonders. All the creatures that inhabit the three worlds have flowed from Surya. Innumerable Munis, crowned with ascetic success, together with all the deities, reside in the rays of Surya like birds perching on the branches of trees. What, again, can be more wonderful than this that the mighty Wind, emanating from Surya, takes refuge in his ray and thence yawns over the universe? What can be more wonderful than this, O regenerate Rishi, that Surya, dividing the Wind into many portions from desire of doing good to all creatures, creates rain that falls in the rainy season? What can be more wonderful than this that the Supreme Soul, from within the solar disc, himself bathed in blazing effulgence, looketh upon the universe? What can be more wonderful than this that Surya has a dark ray which transforms itself into clouds charged with rain and pours showers of rain when the season comes? What can be more wonderful than this that drinking up for eight months the rain he pours down, he pours
it down once again in the rainy season? In certain rays of Surya, the Soul of the universe is said to reside. From Him is the seed of all things, and it is He that upholds the Earth with all her mobile and immobile creatures. What can be more wonderful, O Brahmana, than this, that the foremost of Purushas, eternal and mighty-armed, endued with exceeding effulgence, eternal, and without beginning and without end, resides in Surya? Listen however, to one thing I shall tell you now. It is the wonder of wonders. I have seen it in the clear sky, in consequence of my adjacence to Surya. In former times, one day at the hour of noon, while Surya was shining in all his glory and giving heat to everything we beheld a Being coming towards Surya, who seemed to shine with effulgence that was equal to that of Surya himself. Causing all the worlds to blaze up with his glory and filling them with his energy, he came, as I have already told thee, towards Surya, rending the firmament, as it were, for making his path through it. The rays that emanated from his body seemed to resemble the blazing effulgence of libations of clarified butter poured into the sacrificial fire. In consequence of his energy and splendour he could not be looked at. His form seemed to be indescribable. Indeed, he appeared to us to be like a second Surya. As soon as he came near, Surya extended his two hands (for giving him a respectful reception). For honouring Surya in return, he also extended his right-hand. The latter then, piercing through the firmament, entered into Surya's disc. Mingling then with Surya's energy, he seemed to be transformed into Surya's self. When the two energies thus met together, we were so confounded that we could not any longer distinguish which was which. Indeed, we could not make out who was Surya whom we bore on his car, and who was the Being that we had seen coming through the sky. Filled with confusion, we then addressed Surya, saying,--'O illustrious one who is this Being that has mixed himself with thee and has been transformed into thy second self?'
Next: Section CCCLXIII