Chapter 47 — Saraswati Explains Why Sindhu Will Win; the Encounter of Sindhu & Viduratha

Vasishta said:—

As the war was waging furiously between the two armies, the two Leelas addressed the goddess of knowledge and said, “Tell us, O goddess, what unknown cause keeps our husband from gaining victory in this war, in spite of your good grace to him and his repelling enemy elephants in the fighting.”

Saraswati replied:—

Know daughters that I was asked by Viduratha’s enemy to give him victory in battle, which your husband never craved of me. He lives and enjoys his life as it was desired by him, while his antagonist gains the conquest according to his aim and object. Knowledge is contained in the consciousness of every living being, and rewards every one according to the desire to which it is directed.

My nature, like that of all things, is as unchangeable as the heat of fire. So the nature of Viduratha’s knowledge of truth and his desire for liberation lead him to the like result. The intelligent Leela will also be liberated with him, but not the unintelligent one who by her nature is still unprepared for that highest state of bliss.

Viduratha’s enemy, the King of Sindhu, has long worshipped me for his victory in war. Therefore the bodies of Viduratha and his wife must fall into his hands. O girl, you will also have liberation like hers in course of time. But before that, this enemy of yours, the King of Sindhu, will reign victorious in this earth.

10 Vasishta said:—

As the goddess was speaking in this manner, the sun appeared on his rising hill to behold the wonderful sight of the forces fighting. 11 The thick mists of night disappeared like the enemy Sindhu hosts and left Viduratha’s forces to glitter like stars at the approach of night. 12 The hills and dales and the land and water gradually appeared to sight, and the world seemed to reappear to view from amidst the dark ocean of the deluge. 13 The bright rays of the rising sun radiated on all sides like streams of liquid gold and made the hills appear as they did the bodies of warriors besmeared with blood.

14 The sky seemed like an immense field of battle, stretched over by the radiant rays of the sun that made the warriors’ shining arms shake in a snake-like manner. 15 The helmets on their heads raised their lotus-like tops, and the rings about their ears blazed with their jeweled glare. 16 The pointed weapons were as fixed as the snouts of unicorns, and the flying darts fled about like butterflies in the air. The bloody field presented a picture of a ruddy dawn and dusk, and the dead bodies on the ground represented the figures of motionless saints in their yoga. 17 Necklaces hung on their necks like snakes, and armor covered their bodies like the skins of serpents. Flags were flying like crests of vines on high, and the legs of warriors stood like pillars in the field. 18 Their long arms were like tree branches, and the arrows formed a bush of reeds. The flash of weapons spread like a green meadow all around, while their blades blazed with the luster of the long-leaved ketaka flowers. 19 The long lines of weapons formed like rows of bamboo and bramble bushes. Their mutual clashing emitted sparks of fire like clusters of the red asoka flowers.

20 Bands of spiritual masters (siddhas) were flying with their leaders away in the air to avoid the weapons that were blazing with the radiance of the rising sun, forming as it were, a city of gold on high. 21 The sky re-echoed to the clashing of darts and discuses, of swords and spears, and of mallets and clubs in the field, and the ground overflowed with streams of blood bearing away the bodies of the slain. 22 The land was strewn with crowbars, lances and spears, and with tridents and stones on all sides. Headless bodies were falling hideously, pierced by poles and pikes and other instruments of death.

23 Above, the ghosts and demons of death were making horrible noise, and below, the shining chariots of Sindhu and Viduratha moved with a loud rumbling. 24 They looked like the two luminaries of the sun and moon in heaven, and they were equipped with various weapons of discs and rods, of crowbars and spears, and other missiles besides. 25 Each was surrounded by thousands of soldiers who shouted loudly as their king turned towards them.

26 Crushed under heavy discs, many fell dead and wounded with loud cries. Big elephants were floating lightly on the currents of blood. 27 Hairs on the heads of dead bodies floated like weeds in the stream of blood, and the floating discuses glided like the discs of the moon, reflected in the purple streamlet. 28 The air of the battlefield was filled the confused noise of the jingling of jeweled ornaments, the tinkling bells of war carriages, and the flapping of flags in the wind. 29 Numbers of valiant as well as dastardly soldiers followed their respective kings, some bleeding under the spears of Kuntas and others pierced by the arrows of archers.

30 Then the two kings turned their chariots in circling rings amidst phalanxes armed with all sorts of destructive weapons. 31 Each confronted the other with his arms, and having met one another face to face, commenced showering forth his arrows with the pattering sound of hailstones. 32 They both threatened one another with the roaring of loud surges and clouds. In their rage, the two lions among men fired their arrows at each another. 33 They flung their missiles in the air in the form of stones and malls, and some faced like swords, and others headed as mallets. 34 Some were sharp edged discs, and some curved as battle axes. Some were pointed like pikes and spears, and others had forms like bars and rods. Some were shaped like tridents, and others as bulky as blocks of stones.

35 These missiles were falling as fully and as fast as rocks hurled down from high by gusts of blustering hurricanes. The meeting of the two warring powers was as the confluence of the Indus and the sea, with tremendous roaring, collision and clashing.