Chapter 76 — Vasishta Describes a Final Dissolution of the World (3)

Vasishta added:—

Destructive winds blew and shook mountains by their force, filling the seas with tremendous waves and tearing the skies with cyclonic storms. The force of winds made seas break their boundaries and run to the limitless oceans, just as poverty drives poor people to run to the rich. The earth, fried by fire, went under the overflowing waters and joined with the infernal regions lying below the waters of the deep. Heaven disappeared into nothing and the entirety of creation vanished into air. Worlds were reduced to emptiness and sunlight decreased to that of a star in the starry sphere.

From some opening in the sky appeared some hideous clouds called pushkaravarta and others in the forms of dreadful demons, roaring with tremendous noise. The noise was as loud as the bursting of the mundane-egg or the hurling down of a large building, and like the dashing of waves against one another in a furiously raging sea.

Loud sound resounding through air and water reechoing off city towers, deafening and stunning to the ear. Swelling on mountain tops, it filled the world with uproar. The sound, swelling as if in the conch-shell of the cosmic egg, echoed with triple clanging sounds from the vaults of heaven, sky and the infernal world. The supports of all distant sides swayed at their base. The waters of all seas mixed together as if to quench the thirst of the all devouring doomsday. 10 The doomsday advanced as the god Indra mounted on the back of his elephantine clouds roared aloud amidst the waters contained in the ethereal ocean from the beginning. 11 The great doomsday was attended with a noise as loud as that of the churning of the ocean in olden days, or as that emitted by the revolving world or a hydrostatic engine of immense force.

12 Hearing this roaring of clouds amidst the surrounding fires, I became quite astonished at the harsh creaking noise and cast my eyes on all sides to see the clouds. 13 I saw no trace of a cloud in any part of the heavens. I only heard their roar and saw flashes of lightning in the sky with showers of thunderbolts falling from above. 14 The flaming fire spread over millions of miles on all the sides of earth and heaven, burning everything in a horrible devastation.

15 After a little while, I discovered a spot at a great distance in the sky and felt cool air blowing on my body. 16 I observed kalpa clouds appearing and gathering at a great distance in the sky, where there was no trace of the living fire perceptible to the naked eye. 17 Then kalpa airs blew from the watery corner or western side of the sky, burning at last in blasts capable of carrying away the great mountains of Meru, Malaya and Himalaya. 18 These winds blew away the mountainous flames and burning cinders like birds. The winds carried down the spreading sparks and drove away the fire from all sides. 19 Clouds of fire disappeared from the air, like evening clouds. Then clouds of ash rose into the sky and the atmosphere was cleared of every particle of fire. 20 The air was blowing with fire passing everywhere and melting down the golden strongholds on flying Mount Meru. 21 The mountains on earth burning, their flames spread all about like the rays of the twelve suns. 22 The waters of oceans boiled with rage and the trees and leaves of the forest were burning with the blaze. 23 Cities and celestials, sitting on their happy seats in the highest heaven of Brahma, fell down with all their inhabitants of women, young and old people, all burnt by the flames.

24 The end of period (kalpanta) fire of dissolution was mixed with the water of the lake of Brahma. 25 Strong winds uprooted deep rooted mountains and rocks and plunged them headlong into the fiery swamp of the infernal regions. 26 Chaotic clouds advanced like a troop of dark colored camels, moving slowly in the blue sky with a grumbling noise. 27 They appeared from a corner of the sky, like a huge mountain flashing with lightning of gorgeous flames, filled with the waters of the seven oceans. 28 These clouds were capable of tearing the great vault of the world with their loud uproar, splitting all sides of heaven standing upon their solid snow white and impregnable walls. 29 The doomsday was like a raging ocean. The planets were the rolling islands in the whirlpools of their orbits. Quickly moving lightning strikes were like its shifting aquatic animals and the roaring of clouds was like the howling of its waters.

30 The moon, being devoured by Rahu and burned away by the fiery comet, rose to heaven again and assumed the colder form of a cloud to pour down more moisture than her nightly beams and dews. 31 Lightning, like golden spheres in the frigid shapes found in the Himalayas, held all paralyzed waters, woods and hills. 32 After the clouds split the vault of heaven with their harsh crackling and thunder, they dropped down solid snow at first, which then melted to the form of liquid rain.

33 There was a jarring of discordant sounds that rubbed upon the ear and proceeded from the bursting of woods by wildfire, and the harsh shrill sound of thunderclaps in the bellowing air, and the cracking and crackling and dashing and crashing of everything in the shattering world. 34 There was a sharp and shrill noise arising from the warring winds blowing in a hundred ways, and drifts of bleak cold showers of driving snow covered the face of heaven.

35 The vault of heaven, supported by the blue and sapphire-like pillars of blue skies on all sides, shattered the earth and its props of the mountains with big and heavy showers of flooding rain. 36 The earth was bursting and splitting from the blazing furnaces of fires on all sides. The hearts of all living beings were torn by the loud rattling of thunderbolts from heaven. 37 The rain that ruled long over the realm of the fiery earth was now going upward in the form of steam which the burning earth heaved from her surface like her sighs towards heaven. 38 Now the vault of heaven appeared to spread with a network studded with red lotuses of the flying fires on high. Dark showers appeared like swarms of black bees, the raindrops like their fluttering wings.

39 All sides of heaven resounded to the mingled clatter of hailstone and firebrands falling down simultaneously from mixed clouds of terrible and dreadful appearance. The scene all around was as dreadful to see as the mingled warfare of two dreadful forces with deadly arms and mixed bloodshed.