Chapter 78 — Vasishta Describes a Final Dissolution of the World (5)

Vasishta continued:—

The rainstorm, falling hail and snow shattered the surface of the earth. The violence of the waters increased like the oppression of kings in the Kali Yuga. Rainwater falling on the ethereal Ganges made it run in a thousand streams flowing with huge torrents higher than the mountains of Meru and Mandara. Here waves rose to the path of the sun and there waters sank down and lay dull in mountain caves. The dull element made the universal ocean, just as a fool made the sovereign lord of earth.

Great mountains were hurled down like straw into the deep and broad whirlpools of water. The tops of huge surges reached the far distant sphere of the sun. The great mountains of Meru, Mandara, Vindhya, Sahya and Kailash dived in the waters moving like fish and sea monsters. The melted earth set like its soi, and large snakes with their lotus-like hoods floated on the waters like plant stalks. Half-burned wood and floating plants were like its moss and bushes and the wet ash of the burned world was like the dirty mud underneath the waters.

The twelve suns shone like so many full blown lotuses in the large lake of the sky. The huge and heavy pushkara cloud, with its dark showers of rain, seemed like a blue lotus bed filled with the dark leaves. Raging clouds roared aloud from mountain sides, like foaming waves of the ocean. The sun and moon rolled like two pieces of sapphire over cities and towns. The gods, asura demons and people at large were blown up and carried into the air until at last they flew up and fell into the disc of the sun. 10 Clouds rained in torrents with loud clattering noise, their currents carrying floating rocks into the distant sea as if they were mere bubbles of water. 11 Deluging clouds rolled in the air after pouring their water in floods on earth, as if they were in search of other clouds with their open mouths and eyes.

12 Rushing tornados filled the air with uproar and with one gust of wind, blasted the boundary mountain from its bottom into the air. 13 Furious winds collected the waters of the deep to the height of mountains, which ran with a great gurgling noise all about in order to flood the earth under them. 14 The world was torn to pieces by the clashing of bodies driven together by tempestuous winds which scattered and drove millions of beings over against one another in mingled confusion.

15 Hills floated on waves like bits of straw. Dashing against the disc of the sun, they broke it into pieces as if by throwing stones. 16 The great void of the universe, spread with the great net of waters in its vast space, caught the great hills resembling big eels caught in fishing nets. 17 Big animal bodies and whales, living or dead, rose, floated and plunged in the deep from the currents made by whirlpools. 18 Those still alive floated about the tops of sinking mountains resembling the floating froths of the sea. Gods were fluttering over them like gnats and flies. 19 The spacious firmament, filled with innumerable raindrops shining like bubbles of water in the air, appeared as the thousand eyes of Indra looking on the rains below. 20 Indra, the god of heaven with his body of the autumn sky and his eyes of bubbling raindrops, looked on the floating clouds in the midway skies flowing like the currents of flooded rivers. 21 Pushkara and avartaka clouds with their world floods joined together in embrace, like two winged mountains flying in the air and clashing against one another. 22 These clouds, at last satisfied having devoured the world under their all swallowing waters, were now roaring loudly and flying lightly in the air, as if they were dancing with uplifted hilly arms. 23 Clouds were poured their floods of water and mountain tops were aflame in the midway sky. The huge snakes that had supported the earth were now diving deep into the mud of the infernal regions.

24 The constant showers filled the three regions, like the triple stream of Ganges running in three directions. They drowned the highest mountains, whose tops floated like froth in the universal ocean. 25 Floating mountains struck against the sphere of heaven and broke it into fragments. The vidyadharis of heaven floated like pretty lotuses on the surface of waters. 26 The universe was reduced to a universal ocean which roared with a tremendous noise. The three worlds, split to pieces, were carried away into the waters of the endless deep.

27 There remained no one to save another. There was no one who was not swept away by the flood. For who can save us when all devouring time grasps up in his clutches? 28 There remained neither sky nor horizon. There was no upside or downward in infinite space. There was no creation or creature anywhere. All were submerged under one infinite sheet of water.