The Mahabharata Home
"Indra said, "Even so it is; the might of Brahmanas is great and there are none more powerful than Brahmanas, but I can never bear with equanimity the insolent pride of Avikshita's son, and so shall I smite him with my thunderbolt. Therefore, O Dhritarashtra, do thou according to my direction repair to king Marutta attended by Samvarta, and deliver this message to him--'Do thou, O prince, accept Vrihaspati as thy spiritual preceptor, as otherwise, I shall strike thee with my terrific thunderbolt.'"
Vyasa said, "Then Dhritarashtra betook himself to that monarch's court and delivered this message to him from Vasava."
Dhritarashtra said, "O lord of men, know that I am Dhritarashtra the Gandharva, come here with the object of delivering to thee the message of Indra. Do thou, O lion among kings, listen to the words which the high-souled lord of all the worlds meant for thee,--That one of incomprehensible achievements (Indra) only said this much, 'Do thou accept Vrihaspati as thy officiating priest for the sacrifice, or if thou do not comply with my request, I shall strike thee with my terrific thunderbolt.'"
Marutta said, "Thou, O Purandara, the Viswadevas, the Vasus and the Aswins ye all know, that in this world there is no escape from the consequences of playing false to a friend; it is a great sin like unto that of murdering a Brahman. Let Vrihaspati (therefore) officiate as priest to that Mahendra the supreme Deva (god), the highest one wielding the thunderbolt, and O prince, Samvarta will act as my priest, as neither his (Indra's) words, nor thine commend themselves to me."
The Gandharva said, "Do thou, O lion among princes, listen to the terrible war-cry of Vasava roaring, in the heavens. Assuredly, and openly will
[paragraph continues] Mahendra hurl his thunderbolt at thee. Do thou therefore be-think thyself of thy good, for this is the time to do it."
Vyasa said, "Thus accosted by Dhritarashtra, and hearing the roar of howling Vasava, the king communicated this intelligence to Samvarta steadfast in devotion and the highest of all virtuous men."
Marutta said, "Verily this rain-cloud floating in the air indicates that Indra must be near at present, therefore, O prince of Brahmanas, I seek shelter from thee. Do thou, O best of Brahmanas, remove this fear of Indra from my mind. The Wielder of the thunderbolt is coming encompassing the ten directions of space with his terrible and superhuman refulgence and my assistants at this sacrificial assembly have been overcome with fright.
Samvarta said, "O lion among kings, thy fear of Sakra will soon be dispelled, and I shall soon remove this terrible pain by means of my magic lore (incantation); be calm and have no fear of being overpowered by India. Thou hast nothing to fear from the god of a hundred sacrifices. I shall use my staying charms, O king, and the weapons of all the gods will avail them not. Let the lightening flash in all the directions of space, and the winds entering into the clouds pour down the showers amid the forests and the waters deluge the heavens and the flashes of lightning that are seen will avail not. Thou hast nothing to fear, let Vasava pour down the rains and plast his terrific thunderbolt where he will, floating among the watery masses (clouds) for thy destruction, for the god Vahnni (Agni) will protect thee in every way, and make thee attain all the objects of thy desire."
Marutta said, "This appalling crash of the thunderbolt together with the howling of the winds, seem terrible to my ears and my heart is afflicted again and again, O Brahmana, and my peace of mind is gone at present."
Samvarta said, "O king, the feat in thy mind from this terrible thunderbolt will leave thee presently. I shall dispel the thunder by the aid of the winds, and setting aside all fear from thy mind, do thou accept a boon from me according to thy heart's desire, and I shall accomplish it for thee."
Marutta said, "I desire, O Brahmana, that Indra all on a sudden should come in person at this sacrifice, and accept the oblation offered to him, and that all the other gods also come and take their own shares of the offerings and accept the libations of Soma offered to them."
Samvarta said, "I have by the power of my incantations attracted Indra in person to this sacrifice. Behold, O monarch, Indra coming with his horses, and worshipped by the other gods hastening to this sacrifice."
Then the lord of the Devas attended by the other gods and riding in his chariot drawn by the most excellent steeds, approached the sacrificial altar of that son of Avikshit and drank the Soma libations of that unrivalled monarch. And king Marutta with his priest rose to receive Indra coming with the host of gods and well-pleased in mind, he welcomed the lord of the Devas with due and foremost honours according to the Sastras.
Samvarta said, "Welcome to thee, O Indra, by thy presence here, O learned one, this sacrifice has been made grand. O slayer or Vala and Vritra. do thou again quaff this Soma juiced produced by me today.'
Marutta said, "Do thou look with kindness upon me, I bow unto thee, O Indra, by thy presence, my sacrifice has been perfected, and my life too blessed with good results. O Surendra, this excellent Brahmana, the younger brother of Vrihaspati is engaged in performing my sacrifices."
Indra said. "I know thy priest, this highly energetic ascetic, the younger brother of Vrihaspati, at whose invitation I have come to this sacrifice. I am, O monarch, well-pleased with thee and my resentment against thee hath been destroyed."
Samvarta said, "If, O prince of the Devas, thou art pleased with us, do thou thyself give all the directions for this sacrifice, and O Surendra, thyself ordain the sacrificial portions (for the gods), so that, O god, all the world may know that it hath been done by thee."
Vyasa said, "Thus accosted by the son of Angira, Sakra himself gave directions to all the gods to erect the hall of assembly, and a thousand well-furnished excellent rooms looking grand as in a picture, and speedily to complete the staircase massive and durable, for the ascent of the Gandharvas and Apsaras and to furnish that portion of the sacrificial ground reserved for the dance of the Apsaras, like unto the palace of Indra in the heaven. O king, thus directed, the renowned dwellers of heaven speedily fulfilled the directions of Sakra. And then, O king, Indra well-pleased and adored, thus said to king Marutta,--O prince, by associating with thee at this sacrifice, thine ancestors who have gone before thee, as well as the other gods have been highly gratified and have accepted the oblations offered by thee. And now, O king, let the foremost of regenerate beings offer on the sacrificial altar a red bull appertaining to the Fire-god and a sacred and duly consecrated blue bull with a variegated skin, appertaining to the Viswedevas. Then, O king, the sacrificial ceremony grew in splendour, wherein the gods themselves collected the food, and Sakra, the lord of the gods, possessed of horses, and worshipped by the Brahmanas, became an assistant at the sacrifice. And then the high-souled Samvarta ascending the altar, and looking radiant as the second embodiment of the blazing fire, loudly addressing the gods with complaisance, offered oblations of clarified butter to the fire with incantation of the sacred hymns. And then the slayer of Vala first drank the Soma juice, and then the assembly of other gods drank Soma. And then in happiness and with the king's permission they returned home and well-pleased and delighted. Then that monarch, the slayer of his enemies, with a delighted heart, placed heaps of gold on diverse spots, and distributing the immense wealth to the Brahmanas, he looked glorious like Kuvera, the god of wealth. And with a buoyant heart, the king filled his treasury with different kinds of wealth, and with the permission of his spiritual preceptor, he returned (to his kingdom) and continued to rule the entire realm extending to the borders of the sea. So virtuous in this world was that king, at whose sacrifice such an enormous quantity of gold vas collected, and now, O prince, thou must collect that gold and worshipping the gods with due rites, do thou perform this sacrifice."
Vaisampayana continued, "Then the Pandava prince Yudhishthira was
delighted on hearing this speech of the son of Satyavati (Vyasa), and desirous of performing his sacrifice with those riches, he held repeated consultations with his ministers."
Next: Section XI