The Battle of the Maina and the Heron ||9||
1-3The birds said: – On Harishchandra having been deprived of his kingdom and gone to the region of the celestials, his highly effulgent priest come out of his watery habitation, on the expiration of the twelve years which he spent on the Ganges. The ascetic Vashistha learnt everything about the work of Vishwamitra, the misfortune of the liberal king Harishchandra, his being reduced to the condition of a Chandala and the sale of his wife and son. 4Hearing this, that energetic and great one, who was delighted with the king, became offended with the ascetic Vishwamitra.
5-6Vashistha said: – “My hundred sons were destroyed by Vishwamitra; even in that I was not offended so much as I have been to-day, hearing that this high-souled and greatly meritorious king, given to the adoration of the deities and the Brahmanas, has been deprived of his kingdom. 7-9As the truthful and the self-controlled king, having no ill-will even towards his enemies, meaning no harm, virtuous-souled, careful, and our support, has been reduced to this state along with his wife, servants and son, and has been deprived of his kingdom and subjected to various miseries, that vicious-souled hater of a Brahmana, that one, foolish and shorn of wisdom, imprecated by me, shall become a heron.”
10The birds said: – Hearing of the imprecation, the highly energetic Vishwamitra, the son of Kausika, cursed him in return saying “Be you an Ari”. 11And in accordance with each other’s curse, both Vashistha and the highly energetic Vishwamitra, the son of Kausika, although endowed with great effulgence, came by inferior births. 12Although born in other species they both of incomparable energy and endued with mighty strength and prowess, being greatly enraged, fought with each other. 13O Brahmana, the Ari was two thousand Yoyanas high and the heron was three thousand and ninety-six Yoyanas high. 14Endued with great strength, they, striking each other with their wings, created exceeding fear of creatures. 15Shaking his wings, the heron, with reddened eyes, struck Ari and the latter too, uplifting its neck, attacked the heron with its legs. 16Dashed with the wind of their wings, the mountain dropped down on earth, and assailed by the downfall of the mountain the earth shook. 17The earth shaking, the ocean, overleaping its bounds, flooded the earth; and sinking on one side the earth was going to seek the nether region. 18Some by the fall of the mountain, some with the waters of the ocean, and some with the shaking of the earth, all creatures met with destruction. 19All greatly agitated and deprived of their consciousness began to exclaim Oh and Alas. The universe was greatly agitated and the terrestrial round was all confused. 20-21“Oh child! O husband! O infant! Fly. I am in this plight. O my dear, O my husband, the mountain falls down. Do ye fly at once.” Thus did the creatures, overwhelmed with fear, cry at that time. Then came the Grandfather (Brahma) encircled by all the celestials. 22The Lord of the Universe addressed them both who were greatly worked up with anger: – “Do you both desist from fight and let the creatures get respite.” 23Although hearing the words of self-sprung Brahma, they, possessed by anger and spite, fought on and did not desist. 24Thereat beholding the destruction of creatures the Deity, the Grandfather, wishing the well-being of them both, removed their beast-hood. 25Those two best of ascetics, Kausika and Vashistha, regaining their former forms on the destruction of the condition pervaded by ignorance, the Deity Brahma said: 26“My child Vashistha, O you foremost of the Kausikas, desist from this conflict having its origin from the quality of ignorance. 27This conflict of yours obstructs the Rajashuya of king Harishchandra and brings destruction of earth. 28Nor has this foremost of Kausikas committed any wrong to the king; but (on the other hand) being instrumental to his attainment of heaven proved a benefactor to him. 29Having come under the control of anger you have been the agents in obstructing asceticism. May good betide you, cast it off. Brahman is highly powerful.” 30Being thus addressed by him both of them were ashamed; embracing each other affectionately they forgave each other. 31Thereupon worshipped by the celestials Brahma repaired to his own region. Vashistha wended his way to his own habitation and Kausika to his own hermitage. 32This conflict between Ari and heron and the story of Harishchandra, as soon as heard, become free from sin those mortals who hear as well as those who narrate; nor any impediments fall in the way of their action.