Chapter 28 — Description of Renewed Battle between Gods & Demons

Vasishta continued:—

Saying so, the god Brahma vanished from the sight of the gods, just as the wave of the sea retires and mixes with its waters after having dashed and crashed against the shore.

The gods, having heard Brahma’s words, returned to their respective homes as the breeze bearing the lotus fragrance blows it to the forests on all sides. They stayed in their delightful houses for some days, like bees resting themselves in the cells of flowers after their wanderings. Having refreshed and invigorated themselves over the course of time, they gave the alarm of their rising with the beating of their drums, sounding like the peals of the last day.

Immediately the demons rose from the infernal regions and met the gods midway in the air, and commenced their dreadful attack upon them. There was a clashing of armor, clattering of swords and arrows, the flashing of lances and spears, and the crackling of mallets and various other weapons such as battle axes and discuses, thunderbolts, and hurling of rocks and huge trees and the like. There were many magical weapons that ran on all sides like the torrents of rivers, while rocks and hills, high mountains and huge trees were flung and hurled from both sides, filling the earth with confused noise and rumbling.

The encampment of the gods was beset by a magical flood of demons resembling the Ganges River, while showers of firearms and missiles of all sorts were hurled upon their heads from above. Many big bodies of gods and demons rose and fought and fell by turns, like the elemental bodies of earth and other elements rise and disappear from view by the act of illusion (maya). 10 Big bombs broke the heads of mountains, and the earth became a vast sheet of blood like a red sea. Heaps of dead bodies on both sides rose like forests to the face of heaven. 11 Living lions with iron bodies, rows of saw-like teeth, and nails white as kasa flowers were let loose by the magic art to roam rampant in the airy field. They devoured the stone flung by the gods and demons, and burst out into shells and shots and many other weapons.

12 Serpentine weapons flew with their mountainous shapes in the ocean of the sky. Their eyes flashed with their venomous heat, burning with the fire of the twelve suns on the last day of desolation. 13 A hydraulic engine sent forth floods of weapons, whirling like whirlpools and sounding loud as the rattling thunder, sweeping hills and rocks in their currents. 14 Stone missiles thrown by the garuda engine to the gods’ aerial battlefield emitted at intervals water and fire, sometimes shining as the sun, and at others becoming altogether dark. 15 Garuda weapons flew and roared in the sky, and firearms spread a conflict of burning hills above. The gods’ towers burned and fell upon the earth, and the world became as unendurable as in its conflagration on the last day.

16 Demons jumped up to the sky from the surface of the earth, as birds fly to heaven from mountain tops. Gods fell violently on the earth like pieces of rock plummeting to the ground. 17 Long weapons sticking in the bodies of gods and demons were like bushes with their burning pain. Their big statures appeared like rocks decorated with trees growing on them. 18 Gods and demons wandering with their mountainous bodies, all streaming in blood, appeared like the evening clouds of heaven pouring the purple floods of the celestial Mandakini River (the Milky Way).

19 Showers of weapons fell like waterfalls or rain showers, and the tide of thunders flowed as fast as the fall of meteoric fire in haphazard confusion. 20 Those skilled in the arts were pouring floods of purple fluids mixed with the red clay of mountains from the pipes of elephant’s trunks, just like they sprinkle the festive water of Holi mixed with red powder through a syringe. 21 Gods and demons, though worried by one another, did not yet give up their hope of victory, but hurled weapons from their hands to harass each other. Riding on the broad backs of big elephants, they wandered in the air spreading their brightness all around. 22 Then they wandered in the sky like flights of inauspicious locusts, their bodies pierced in the heads, hands, arms and breasts. They filled the vault of the world like flying clouds obscuring the sun and the sides of heaven, and the surface and heights of the earth.

23 The earth was battered and rent to pieces by fragments of broken weapons falling from the waists of combatants who assailed one another with their loud shouts. 24 The sky echoed to the thunderclaps of weapons striking each other, the clattering of the stones and trees, and the blows of the warriors on one another, as if it was the commotion of the day of universal destruction. 25 The disordered world seemed to approach its untimely end from the blowing of furious winds mixed with fire and water, and the many suns of the gods and demons shining above and below. 26 All quarters of heaven seemed to be crying aloud with the sounds of hurling weapons rolling as mountain peaks, roaring as lions, and borne by the blowing winds on all sides.

27 The sky appeared as an ocean of illusion burning with the bodies of warriors like flaming trees, and rolling in surges of gods’ and demons’ dead bodies floating on it like mountains. The edges of the earth seemed like forest made by the clubs, lances, spears and many other weapons constantly falling upon them. 28 The horizon was surrounded by the big and impenetrable line of demonic bodies resembling the chain of Mount Sumeru encircling the earth. The earth itself resembled an ocean filled with the mountainous bodies of fallen warriors and towers of celestial cities blown down by the winds.

29 The sky was filled with violent sounds, and the earth and its mountains were washed by torrents of blood. Bloodsucking demons danced on all sides and filled the cavity of the world with confusion. 30 The dreadful warfare between gods and demons resembled the tumults that rage through the endless space of the world that rise and fall with the alternations of pleasure and pain to which it is constantly subject.