The third vIra

Whom shall vR^itrahan make the master of the realm?
Whom shall the wise asura of the skies favor?
Whom shall the bright Aditya be the friend of?
Whom shall father dyaus and mother pR^ithivi raise to glory?
Whom will the golden-handed deva savitA impel?

The third hero has broken forth.
He has become the winner of the gaviShTi.
Those who destroyed his ratha are dead.
The abhichAryamAnas have run away from him
The vajra of indra has broken his confinement.
He has become a victorious hero, the Ishvara of his realms.
They call him the bearer of the suparNa.

The other two heroes only dreamed of such glory.
Broken in battle, without friends and kinsmen,
running from pillar to post, were sinking.
Borne away by rAkShasis they were eaten.

The third hero was unfazed. Everyone knew he was wiser than all, and in this world it is wisest who wins. He was the master of dissimulation, in contrast to the last hero who knew nothing of this art. He was stationed there, where the one who had in his days attained eko mAnuSha AnandaH was dragged away by the son of vivasvAn. The third hero waited confidently in his lair with great patience, because he knew how to lure the prey. In contrast, the brash first hero rushed into the thick of battle and was hit by the brahmAstra vidyA. The third hero was hit many times but he was the one favored by the gods and he stood there hiding in the cave for his moment with his strung bow ready for action. He saw the first hero, who had exhausted his thunder, being carried away by a form like that of ayomukhI. He gently slid back behind the shadows. In the silent evening, the asymmetric archer crawling behind an overgrown hedge saw the third hero hiding in the cave. He thought to himself this fellow is afraid. Nay, fear was not going to be part of the third hero’s day but that of the asymmetric archer.

Two days went by– “I see it” he said. It was there fearsome as a phantasmagorical vision in the pit where atri had fallen. He looked back the door was shut. A single dimension separated him from the great unknown.

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