(Astika Parva continued)
"Saunaka said, 'O son of Suta, what was Indra's fault, what his act of carelessness? How was Garuda born in consequence of the ascetic penances of the Valakhilyas? Why also Kasyapa--a Brahman--had the king of birds for a son? Why, too, was he invincible of all creatures and unslayable of all? Why also was that ranger of the skies capable of going into every place at will and of mustering at will any measure of energy? If these are described in the Purana, I should like to hear them.'
"Sauti said, 'What thou askest me is, indeed, the subject of the Purana. O twice-born one, listen as I briefly recite it all.
"Once upon a time, when the lord of creation, Kasyapa, was engaged in a sacrifice from desire of offspring, the Rishis, the gods, and the Gandharvas, all gave him help. And Indra was appointed by Kasyapa to bring the sacrificial fuel; and with him those ascetics the Valakhilyas, and all the other deities. And the lord Indra, taking up according to his own strength, a weight that was mountain-like, brought it without any fatigue. And he saw on the way some Rishis, of bodies of the measure of the thumb, all together carrying one single stalk of a Palasa (Butea frondosa) leaf. And those Rishis were, from want of food, very lean and almost merged in their own bodies. And they were so weak that they were much afflicted when sunk in the water that collected in an indentation on the road produced by the hoof of a cow. And Purandara, proud of his strength, beheld them with surprise, and laughing at them in derision soon left them behind insulting them, besides, by passing over their heads. And those Rishis being thus insulted were filled with rage and sorrow. And they made preparations for a great sacrifice at which Indra was terrified. Hear, O Saunaka, of the wish for accomplishment of which those vow-observing wise, and excellent ascetics poured clarified butter of the sacrificial fire with loudly uttered mantras, 'There shall be another Indra of all gods, capable of going everywhere at will, and of mustering at will any measure of energy, and striking tear into the (present) king of the gods. By the fruit of our ascetic penance, let one arise, fleet as the mind, and fierce withal.' And the lord of the celestials of a hundred sacrifices, having come to know of this, became very much alarmed and sought the protection of the vow-observing Kasyapa. And the Prajapati Kasyapa, hearing everything from Indra, went to the Valakhilyas and asked them if their sacrifice had been successful. And those truth-speaking Rishis replied to him, saying, 'Let it be as thou sayest!' And the Prajapati Kasyapa pacifying them, spake unto them as follows, 'By the word of Brahman, this one (Indra) hath been made the Lord of the three worlds. Ye ascetics, ye also are striving to create another Indra! Ye excellent ones, it behoveth you not to falsify the word of Brahman. Let not also this purpose, for (accomplishing) which ye are striving, be rendered futile. Let there spring an Indra (Lord) of winged creatures, endued with excess of strength! Be gracious unto Indra who is a suppliant before you.' And the Valakhilyas, thus addressed by Kasyapa, after offering reverence to that first of the Munis, viz., the Prajapati Kasyapa, spake unto him:
"The Valakhilyas said, 'O Prajapati, this sacrifice of us all is for an Indra! Indeed this hath also been meant for a son being born unto thee! Let this task be now left to thee. And in this matter do whatsoever thou seest to be good and proper.'
"Sauti continued, 'Meanwhile, moved by the desire of offspring, the good daughter of Daksha, the vow-observing, amiable, and fortunate Vinata, her ascetic penances over, having purified herself with a bath in that season when connubial companionship might prove fruitful, approached her lord. And Kasyapa spake unto her, 'Respected one, the sacrifice commenced by me hath borne fruit. What hath been desired by thee shall come to pass. Two heroic sons, shall be born unto thee, who shall be the lords of the three worlds. By the penances of the Valakhilyas and by virtue of the desire with which I commenced my sacrifice, those sons shall be of exceedingly good fortune and worshipped in the three worlds!' And the illustrious Kasyapa spake unto her again, 'Bear thou these auspicious seeds with great care. These two will be the lords of all winged creatures. These heroic rangers of the skies will be respected in all the worlds, and capable of assuming any form at will.
"And the Prajapati, gratified with all that took place, then addressed Indra of a hundred sacrifices, saying, 'Thou shalt have two brothers of great energy and prowess, who shall be to thee even as the helpmates. From them no injury shall result unto thee. Let thy sorrow cease; thou shalt continue as the lord of all. Let not, however, the utterers of the name of Brahma be ever again slighted by thee. Nor let the very wrathful ones, whose words are even the thunderbolt, be ever again insulted by thee. Indra, thus addressed, went to heaven, his fears dispelled. And Vinata also, her purpose fulfilled, was exceedingly glad. And she gave birth to two sons, Aruna and Garuda. And Aruna, of undeveloped body, became the fore-runner of the Sun. And Garuda was vested with the lordship over the birds. O thou of Bhrigu's race, hearken now to the mighty achievement of Garuda.'"
"So ends the thirty-first section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.