Mahabharata Vana Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section CV

"Lomasa said, 'That blessed saint, the son of Varuna, having reached the sea spake unto the assembled gods, and the saints gathered together, saying 'I surely am going to drink up the ocean--that abode of the god of waters. Be ye quickly ready with those preparations which it devolves upon you to make.' Having spoken these few words, the unswerving offspring of Mitra and Varuna, full of wrath, began to drink up the sea, while all the worlds stood observing (the deed). Then the gods, together with Indra, seeing how the sea was being drunk up, were struck with mighty amazement, and glorified him with laudatory words, saying, 'Thou art our protector, and the Providence itself for men,--and also the creator of the worlds. By thy favour the universe with its gods may possibly be saved from havoc.' And the magnanimous one, glorified by the gods--while the musical instruments of celestial choristers were playing all round, and while celestial blossoms were showered upon him--rendered waterless the wide ocean. And seeing the wide ocean rendered devoid of water, the host of gods was exceedingly glad; and taking up choice weapons of celestial forge, fell to slaying the demons with courageous hearts,--And they, assailed by the magnanimous gods, of great strength, and swift of speed, and roaring loudly, were unable to withstand the onset of their fleet and valorous (foes)--those residents of the heavenly regions, O descendant of Bharata! And those demons, attacked by the gods, bellowing loudly, for a moment carried on terrible conflict. They had been in the first instance burnt by the force of penances performed by the saints, who had matured their selves; therefore, the demons, though they tried to the utmost, were at last slaughtered by the gods. And decked with brooches of gold, and bearing on their persons ear-rings and armlets, the demons, when slain, looked beautiful indeed, like palasa trees when full of blossoms. Then, O best of men! a few--the remnant of those that were killed of the Kalakeya race, having rent asunder the goddess Earth, took refuge at the bottom of the nether regions. And the gods, when they saw that the demons were slain, with diverse speeches, glorified the mighty saint, and spake the following words. 'O thou of mighty arms, by thy favour men have attained a mighty blessing, and the Kalakeyas, of ruthless strength have been killed by thy power, O creator of beings! Fill the sea (now), O mighty-armed one; give up again the water drunk up by thee.' Thus addressed, the blessed and mighty saint replied, 'That water in sooth hath been digested by me. Some other expedient, therefore, must be thought of by you, if ye desire to make endeavour to fill the ocean.' Hearing this speech of that saint of matured soul, the assembled gods were struck with both wonder and sadness, O great king! And thereupon, having bidden adieu to each other, and bowed to the mighty saint all the born beings went their way. And the gods with Vishnu, came to Brahma. And having held consultation again, with the view of filling up the sea, they, with joined hands, spake about replenishing it."