Chapter 158 — Agni Completes the Story of the Fall of the Hunter’s Huge Body

The hunter’s sage resumed and said:—

I have thus related these future events to you as if they were past accounts. Do now, O hunter, what you wish and think best for yourself.

Agni the god of fire said:—

Hearing these words of the sage, the hunter remained aghast in wonder for a while. Then rising with the sage, they went to bathe themselves in the nearest pool. In this manner they continued together, conducting their religious austerities and discussions at the same place, remaining in terms of disinterested friendship with one another. After some time the muni sage met with his final extinction in the state of nirvana. By casting off his mortal body, he obtained his last rest in the state of transcendent tranquility.

In course of time and the lapse of ages, it pleased the god Brahma to give the hunter a call in order to confer upon him the object of his desire. The hunter, unable to resist the impulse of his longing, begged to obtain the very same favor blessing of his god which the sage had predicted to him. “Be it so,” said the god, and he returned to his favorite abode. The hunter flew aloft into the open air in order to enjoy the fruits of his austere meditation.

He flew with incredible velocity to the extensive empty space which lies beyond the spheres of worlds. It was over the course of an incalculable duration that the ever expanding bulk of his body filled the regions of the upper sky, like a mountain range stretches across this lower world. He flew with the force and swiftness of the great garuda, up and down and to all sides of heaven, until the huge bulk of his body occupied the whole area of open air over the course of an indefinite period of time. 10 Thus increasing in his size with the course of time, and infatuated in the maze of his delusion, he began to grow uneasy in himself.

11 From the great anxiety of his mind, he suppressed the respiration of his breath until he breathed out his last breath of life in the air. His body dropped down as a carcass in the earth below. 12 His mind, accompanied by his vital breath, fled through the air into the body of King Sindhu who became the ruler of the whole earth and the great antagonist of King Viduratha. 13 His great body, resembling a hundred mountain ranges, became a huge mass of a carcass that fell down with hideous clattering of thunder, like one earth falling upon another. 14 At a certain time, it shines like a ball of hair (kesandraka). At other times it appears like a covering of a huge range of buildings in sky.

15 I have already related to you, O learned sage, how this huge carcass fell from above and covered the surface of this earth. 16 The earth where this huge carcass fell resembled in every way this earth of ours, which appears to us as a city in our dream. 17 Then the dry and big bellied goddess Chandi devoured this carcass, filling her bowels with its flesh and stuffing her entrails with its red hot blood. 18 The earth is called medini or fleshy from the flesh of this corpse which spreads over its surface with its prodigious bulky frame. 19 It was this huge fleshy body which was reduced to the substance of the earth over time. It received the name of the earth from the dust of this body. 20 This fleshy earth gave rise to forests and habitable parts. The fossil bones rose high in the forms of mountains from underneath the ground, which grew everything useful to men.