Chapter 133 — Bhasa’s Story of the Wonderful Carcass

Vipaschit (Bhasa) said:—

In some part of some other world, I saw another great wonder which I will now describe to you. It was a horrible sight that attends sin, and which I had to see by my blind attachment to ignorance.

Somewhere in the vast emptiness there is a wonderfully bright world which is quite impassable for you. It is situated in an emptiness like this of ours, but so different, just as a city in dream differs from one in waking life. I wandered in that world searching everywhere for the object that I had in my heart. I saw a huge and unmoving shadow, like that of a body of locusts spread over the earth. I was astonished at what I saw, and looked all around to see what it was. I found the mountainous form of a man falling fast from the sky, hurling down upon the earth like a whirlpool. I thought, “Who can be this person? Is it Lord Viraj with his mountainous body, or a mountain falling from the clouds? It fills the sky and the whole space of heaven, hiding the light of the day under its all developing shadow.”

As I was watching, thinking about what this portent might mean, I saw the bulky body of the sun falling down from heaven. It seemed to be hurled down by the hurricane of desolation, hitting with a hideous crash against the backbone of the cosmic egg of Brahma. As this hideous and enormous body fell down on the earth, it filled its whole surface covering the face of the seven continents and oceans. With that impact, I feared for my imminent destruction, together with that of entire earth. I was determined to enter into the ever burning fire by my side. Then the fire god Agni, the source of Vedas and my adored divinity in a hundred repeated births, manifested before me in his cooling, moonlike form and said, “Fear not. No evil will betide you.”

10 Then I addressed the fire god, saying, “Be victorious, O my lord and adored one in repeated births. Save me from this untimely desolation which is now impending on all.”

11 Thus invoked by me, the fire god replied with the same words, “Fear you not, but rise, O sinless one, and follow me to my region of the highest heaven.” 12 Saying so, he made me sit on the back of his parrot vehicle. He flew with me up to heaven by burning through a part of the falling body. 13 Getting to the upper sky, I found the huge, falling body as if it were made of wood. It was this that had created so much terror below, like that attending a terrible omen.

14 Then, as the huge body fell down with full force, the earth shook beneath its weight, with all trembling waters and tottering mountains and shaking woods and forests. Mountains burst forth in waterfalls which flooded the land creating horrible holes and chasms. 15 The earth groaned from inside and the sky roared on all its four sides. The heavens resounded to the roar and mountains growled with the fearful howling of all beings, like at the approach of their last doom. 16 The earth groaned under the burden and all the quarters trembled with fear. The emptiness was filled with the echo of cries rising from the earth and garuda birds were in flight shaken by fear. 17 There arose a harsh and hideous uproar on high from the loud shattering of mountains below. It was like the crashing and clattering of dark and dense flood clouds when they are shattered and scattered by the blasts of howling winds during the world deluge.

18 The earth trembled and roared at the impact of the fall of the hideous carcass and the sky roared to the sound from its hundred mouths. Mountains burst on all sides, their falling fragments hurried headlong and were buried under the ground. 19 Its fall was like the breaking down of a mountain peak, smashing the tops of lower hills, rending and splitting the ground, and leveling all things on earth with the dust. 20 It disturbed the waters of the deep and hurled hills down to the ground. It crushed all living beings and gave ample range to the play of the agents of destruction. 21 The sun fell upon the earth and hid the face of the continents under him. There was the crushing of mountains and a breaking down of towering cities.

22 The celestials saw all these from above this earth which forms one half of the cosmic egg, turning to a vacuum form. 23 As I was looking at that mountainous body of flesh, I observed that the ample space of all the seven continents of the earth was not enough to contain this single body. 24 Seeing this, I applied to the good grace of the god of fire and asked him, “Lord, what is this and what does it mean? 25 Why did the sun down from heaven with that corpse? How is it that the entire earth and all its oceans do not have sufficient room to contain it?”

26 The god of fire replied, “Hold your patience, my son, for a while until this portentous event passes away. Then I will explain this marvelous matter fully to you.” 27 As soon as the god had said these words, an assembly of celestials gathered all around us. It consisted of all kinds of beings that are born and move about in the aerial regions. 28 There were siddhas, sadhyas, apsaras, daityas, gandharvas and kinnaras among them, together with munis, rishis, yakshas, Pitris, Matris and gods with them. 29 All these celestials bowed down their heads in veneration. All joined with their prostrate bodies to praise the dark goddess of night, who is the refuge and resort of all.

30 The celestials said, “May that goddess who is stainless and incomparable protect us, her supplicants. She has the grey braids of Brahma’s hairs tied at the top of her sword and the heads of the slain Daitya demons strung to the neck-chain hanging on her breast. She wears the feathers of garuda on her head. After devouring the world, in the end she swallows all beings and worlds. May that goddess be compassionate and protect us.”