The Fifth Skandha

Chapter I

On the superiority of Rudra over Visnu

1-5. The Risis said :– “The great legendary story, the life of S’rî Krisna, supremely divine, destructive of all sins, has been narrated by you, O Sûta! But, O Blessed One! You, though highly intelligent, have dwelt on it not at a great length; hence many doubts are cropping up in our minds. A very difficult tapasyâ was performed by Vâsudeva the part incarnate of Visnu, who had to go to forest to worship S’iva. Next, it has been known that the Devî Pârvatî, the part incarnate of the Great Mother, the Mother of the universe, the Supreme, and Perfect offered boons to S’rî Krisna. How did it then come to pass that S’rî Krisna, being himself the God, had to worship Pârvatî and Mahâdeva? Is it that S’rî Krisna was inferior to Mahâdeva and Pârvatî? This is our doubt.”

6-7. Sûta spoke :– “Hear then, the reasons, O noble Risis! that I heard from Vyâsa; I will now sing before you those meritorious deeds S’rî Krisnâ.” The son of Parîksit, the intelligent Janamejaya had also the same doubts that you now have, when he heard the story before from Vyâsa; and he asked the same questions that you now ask.”

8-11. Janamejaya said :– “O son of Bhagavatî! I have heard from you much about the Supreme Goddess, the Highest Cause; still the doubts are not leaving me. O Fortunate One! Krisna the Deva of the Devas, the Visnu incarnate, worshipped Sambhû and had to perform dire penances; this is my great wonder! He is the soul of all the Jîvas, the One Ruler and Lord of this world and He is able to confer all the Siddhis; how is it, then, that the Lord Hari had to perform very difficult asceticism like an ordinary mortal. He who is able to create this universe, moving and non-moving, He who is able to preserve and destroy it, why did He practise such a terrible penance.”

12-54. Vyâsa said :– “True it has been said by you that Vâsudeva the Janârdana, is the destroyer of the Daityas and He is able to create and preserve the Devas and do all other acts for them. But the Great Lord assumed a human body; therefore he had to perform his duties like a man and observe the Varna and Âs’rama Dharmas pertaining to human beings. Respecting the elderly persons, worshipping the spiritual teachers, doing service to the Brahmânas, adoring and propitiating the Devas, feeling sorrow at times of sorrow, feeling pleasure at times of happiness, feeling dejection or expressing censure or scandal, or having sexual intercourse with women, in other words, to feel lust, anger, greediness and other passions when their proper time arises. All these are natural to all human beings; how can, then, S’rî Krisna though intrinsically of pure qualities, become Nirguna (devoid of human qualities) when he assumed a human body which is Saguna, i.e., with qualities. O Ruler of men! The extinction of the Yâdava race by the curse of Gândhârî, the daughter of Subala, and the curse of a Brâhmin, Krisna’s leaving his human coil, the stealing away of his wives, the robbing of their wealth on the way by the dacoits of the Âvîra tribe, Arjuna’s becoming powerless to hurl any weapons on those dacoits, Krisna’s not knowing anything about the stealing away of Pradyumna and Aniruddha from his Dvârkâ palace, these all correspond verily to exertions and failings appropriate to human bodies. Again the Risi Nârâyana is the part incarnate of Visnu, and Vâsudeva is the part incarnate of the Risi Nârâyana; hence what wonder is there, if Vâsudeva be seen to adore and propitiate S’iva? S’iva is the God of gods; and He is the Lord of all the causal bodies that exist; in the state of Susupti (deep sleep). In this respect, S’iva is the creator of Visnu and Visnu worships Him in this light. Râma, Krisna and others are all part incarnations of Visnu; so there is no wonder if they worship S’iva. The letter A is Bhagvân Brahmâ ; the letter “U” is Bhagvân Hari; the letter “M” is Bhagvân Rudra and the half letter m is Mahes’varî, the Supreme Mother of the universe. The sages, therefore, consider Visnu superior to Brahmâ; they again consider Rudra superior to Visnu and Mâhes’varî (Turîya State) again superior to Rudra. The speciality of the half letter is that it can never be uttered; it is the symbol of the Eternal Devî. In all the S’âstras, therefore, the superiority of the Devî is established. Visnu is superior to Brahmâ; Rudra is superior to Visnu. Therefore no doubt can arise in Krisna’s worshipping S’iva. It is through the will of S’iva that a second Rudra originated from the forehead of Brahmâ to offer boons to him (i. e., to Brahmâ). This second Rudra is venerable and entitled to all worship; what to speak of the First Rudra? O King! It is through the proximity of the Devî that the importance and superiority of S’iva is thus established. Thus the incarnations of Hari arise in yugas after yugas through the intervention of the Yoga

Mâyâ; so there is no need to discuss on this point. Why to Achyuta alone, to Brahmâ and S’iva also She gives troubles for getting involved into incarnations, She the Yoga Mâyâ who is indirectly, with the twinklings of Her eyes, creating, preserving and destroying this universe. It is the Yoga Mâyâ that caused Krisna to be transferred from his lying-in chamber to the village Vraja and then protected him in the house of the cowherd Nanda; afterwards took him to Mathurâ for the destruction of Kamsa, whence he was led again out of Jarâsandha’s fear to the city Dvârkâ. It is She that created from Her Ownself the eight Nâikâs (the leading mistresses) and also sixteen thousand and fifty women for the pleasure and enjoyment of Krisna Bhagwân, the incarnation of Ananta (Visnu Bhagavân); thus Krisna Bhagavân was made completely subservient to them just like a perfect slave. When a young woman, though she is alone, can bind a man down by the network of Mâyâ, like strong iron chain, what wonder is there that the sixteen thousand and fifty women would make Krisna play in their hands like a S’uka bird and make him an instrument to serve any purpose that they liked. S’rî Krisna got himself so much under the control of Satyabhâmâ that He went gladly under her commands to Indra’s heavens to get the Pârijâta flowers. There he had to fight with Indra and subsequently stole away the Pârijâta tree and gave it to Satyabhâmâ as a very valuable ornament to be kept in her room. Behold! The same Krisna, by His own prowess, defeated S’is’upâla and others for the preservation of religion and then stole away Rukminî, the daughter of Bhîma and afterwards married her as his legal wife; where is the rule, then observed that it is a sin to take away another’s wife? Thus all embodied beings get themselves subdued by Ahamkâra and do acts, good or bad, confounded and deluded by the network of Moha that always drags one down below. From the Mûlâ Prakriti are born Brahmâ, Visnu, and Hara and from the Tâmasic Ahamkâra of Prakriti is created this whole cosmos, moving and non-moving. The lotus-born Brahmâ becomes free when he is free from Ahamkâra; otherwise He becomes engaged in this world affairs. When freed from this Ahamkâra, all the Jîvas become free; and their houses, wealth, wives, sons and brothers are quite powerless to tie them down; but when bound by Ahamkâra, the Jîvas come under their control. O king! This Ahamkâra is the cause bondage to all the beings; “I am the doer, this work is done by my power; or this I will do myself” thinking thus, the embodied beings fall themselves under this bondage. An earthen pot cannot be made without earth; no effects can be visible without a cause; consequently Visnu is preserving this universe, because of this Ahamkâra (imposed on

him by Prakriti). The human beings are always drowned in their cares and anxieties simply because they are bound by this Ahamkâra; when they become free from this Ahamkâra, their cares and anxieties at once vanish. Moha (delusion) comes out of Ahamkâra; world and the enjoyments thereof come out of Moha; otherwise how can it be accounted for, that Hari and others, the mine of all good and auspiciousness, take their several incarnations in various wombs? Neither Moha nor this world comes to those that are bereft of Ahamkâra. Men are of three kinds, Sâttvic, Râjasic, and Tâmasic; O king! Brahmâ, Visnu and S’iva are sprung respectively from the Râjasic, Sâttvic, and Tâmasic Ahamkâras. In these three, the three Ahamkâras are always to be found, so the Munis, that have realised the Real Essence, declare. They are all bound by this Ahamkâra; there is no doubt in this. The Pundits of dull intellect, and deluded by Mâyâ declare that Visnu takes various incarnations out of his own free will; for when it is seen that men of even inferior intellects do not entertain any desire to enter into the wombs, painful and terrible; how will Visnu, then, the Holder of the discus, like to come into this womb! The slayer of Madhu, the Vaisnavas say, entered all at once into the wombs of Kaus’alyâ and Devakî, full of faeces and other dirty things, of His own free will. But you must think out what happiness can Madhusûdana, quitting his Vaikuntha Heavens, attain in this womb, full of so many troubles, and where arise, like poisons, hundreds of cares and thoughts to torment an individual! Especially when it is seen that human beings perform asceticism, sacrifice Yajñas and do various charities, that they would avoid thus entering in wombs, which is very painful and terrible. How can Bhagavân Visnu be called independent? If so, He would never have yielded to enter into various wombs. Therefore, O king! Know this that this whole universe is under the control of Yoga Mâyâ; the Devas, men, birds, what more everything from Brahmâ down to a blade of grass are all under the control of Yoga Mâyâ. Brahmâ, Visnu and Hara all are bound by the rope of Her Mâyâ. So they roam easily by Her Mâyâ from womb to womb like a spider.

Here ends the First Chapter of the Fifth Book on the superiority of Rûdra over Visnu in the Mahâ Purânam of S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa, consisting of eighteen thousand verses.

Chapter II

On the birth of Dânava Mahisa

1-2. The king said :– “Lord! You have described fully the glory of the Mahâ Mayâ Yoges’varî; now describe Her Life and Character; I am very eager to hear them. This whole universe, moving and nonmoving, has been created by Mahes’varî; who is there that desires not to hear Her Glory!”

3-7. Vyâsa spoke :– O king! You are very intelligent; I will describe in detail all this to you; whoever does not describe Her Glory to the peaceful and faithful, is certainly low-minded? In days of yore, a terrible battle ensued between the Devas and Dânava forces on this earth when Mahisâsura was the Ruler of this world. O king! Mahisâsura went to the mountain of Sumeru and performed a very severe and excellent tapasyâ, wonderful even to the gods. O king! Meditating on his Ista Devatâ (the deity for his worship) in his heart, elapsed full ten thousand years, when Brahmâ the Grandfather of all the Lokas, was pleased with him. The fourfaced Brahmâ, arrived there on his vehicle the swan, asked Mahisâsura “O One of virtuous soul! Ask from me what is your desired object; I will grant thee boon.”

8. Mahisa said :– “O Lord, Lotus-eyed! I want to become immortal! therefore O Thou, the Grandfather of the Devas! Dost thou do for me so that I have no fear of death.”

9-11. Brahmâ said :– “O Mahisa! Birth must be followed by death, and death must be followed by birth; this is the eternal law of nature. Then know this as certain that when one is born, one must die; and when one dies, one will be born. O Lord of the Dânavas! What more to say than this, that high mountains, vast oceans, and all the beings will die when time will come. O Ruler of the earth! You are virtuous; therefore ask any other boon than this immortality; I will grant that to you.”

12-13. Mahisa said :– “O Grand Sire! Grant, then, that no Deva, Dânava, nor human being of the male sex can cause my death. There is none among women who can cause my death. Therefore, O Lotus-eyed! Let woman be the cause of my death; how can women slay me! The are too weak to kill me!”

14. Brahmâ said :– “O Lord of the Dânavas! Your death will certainly occur, at any time, through a woman; O Highly Fortunate One! No man will be able to cause your death.”

15. Vyâsa said :– Thus granting him the boon, Brahmâ went to his own abode; the lord of the Dânavas, too, returned to his place, very glad.

16. The king said :– “O Bhagavân! Whose son was this powerful Mahisâsura; how his birth took place? and why, too, did he get a body of a buffalo?”

17-26. Vyâsa said :– O king! Rambha and Karambha were the two sons of Danu; these two Dânavas were far famed in this world for their pre-eminence. O king! They had no issues; hence, desirous of issues, they went to the sacred banks of the Indus (Pañcha Nada) and there performed severe asceticism for long years. Karambha got himself submerged in water and thus began his severe tapasyâ; while the other, Rambha, had recourse to a juicy peepul tree (haunted by Yakshinîs) and there began to worship Fire. Rambha remained, engaged in worshipping the Five Fires; knowing this, Indra, the Lord of S’achî, was pained and hurried thither, being very anxious. Going to Pañcha Nada, Indra assumed the form of a crocodile and caught hold of the legs of the wicked Karambha and killed him. Hearing of the death of his brother, Rambha got very much enraged and wishing to offer his own head as an oblation to the Fire, he wanted to cut off his own head; he, being infuriated, held the hairs of his head by his left hand, and, catching hold of a good axe, by his right hand, was on the point of cutting it, when the Fire gave him knowledge, desisted him from this act and spoke thus :– You are stupid; why have you desired to cut off your own head; killing one’s ownself is a great sin; and there is no means of deliverance from this sin. Why are you then ready to execute it? Do not seek your death now; what end will that serve you? Rather ask boons from me; thus you will get your welfare.

27-31. Vyâsa said :– O king! Hearing thus the sweet words of Fire, Rambha quitted the hold of his hairs and said :– O Lord of the Devas! If thou art pleased, grant my desired boon that a son be born unto me, who will destroy the forces of my enemy and who will conquer the three worlds. And that son be invincible in every way by the Devas, Dânavas and men, very powerful, assuming forms at will, and respected by all. The Fire said :– O highly Fortunate! You will get your son, as you desire; therefore desist now from your attempting suicide. O highly fortunate Rambha! With any female of whichever species, you will co-habit, you will get a son, more powerful than you; there is no doubt in this.

32-50. Vyâsa said :– O king! Hearing thus the sweet words of the Fire as desired, Rambha, the chief of the Dânavas, went, surrounded by Yaksas, to a beautiful place, adorned with picturesque sceneries; when one lovely she-buffalo, who was very maddened with passion, fell to the sight of Rambha. And he desired to have sexual intercourse with her, in preference to other women. The she-buffallo, too, gladly yielded to his purpose and Rambha had sexual intercourse with her, impelled as it were by the destiny. The she-buffalo became pregnant with his semen virile. The Dânava, too, carried the she-buffalo, his dear wife, to Pâtâla (the lower regions) for her protection. On one occasion, another buffalo got excited and wanted to fall upon the she-buffalo. The Dânava was also ready to kill him. The Dânava came hurriedly and struck the buffalo for the safety of his wife; whereon the excited buffalo attacked him with his horns. The buffalo struck him so violently with his sharp horns that Rambha fell down senseless all on a sudden and finally died. Seeing her husband dead, the she-buffalo quickly fled away in distress and, with terror, she quickly went to the peepul tree and took refuge under the Yaksas. But that buffalo, excited very much and maddened with vigour, ran in pursuit of her, desiring intercourse with her. On seeing the miserable plight of the weeping she-buffalo, distressed with fear, and seeing the buffalo in pursuit of her, the Yaksas assembled to protect her. A terrible fight ensued between the buffalo and the Yaksas, when the buffalo, shot with arrows by them, fell down and died. Rambha was very much liked by the Yaksas; so they cremated his dead body for its purification. The she-buffalo, seeing her husband laid in the funeral pyre, expressed her desire to enter also into that fire. The Yaksas resisted; but that chaste wife quickly entered into the burning fire along with her husband. When the she-buffalo died, the powerful Mahisa rose from his mother’s womb from the midst of the funeral pyre; Rambha, too, emerged from the fire in another form out of his affection towards his son. Rambha was known as Raktavîja after he had changed his form. His son was thus born as a very powerful Dânava and became famous by the name of Mahisa. The chief Dânavas installed Mahisa on the throne. O king! The very powerful Raktavîja and the Dânava Mahisa, thus took their births and became invincible of the Devas, Dânavas and human beings. O king! I have now described to you the birth of the highsouled Dânava Mahisa and his getting the boon, all in detail.

Here ends the Second Chapter of the Fifth Book on the birth of Mahisa Dânava in the Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam composed of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter III

On the Daitya armies getting ready

1-14. Vyâsa said :– The very powerful Asura Mahisa, puffed up with vanity on his getting the boon, obtained sovereignty and brought the whole world under his control! He, being the paramount power, began to protect the sea-girt earth acquired by the power of his own arms, over which he had the sole sovereignty, there being no other rival king nor any cause of the slightest fear. His Commander-in-Chief was then the very powerful Chiksura, maddened with pride; and Tâmra was in charge of the Royal Treasury, guarded by many soldiers. There were, then, many generals Asilomâ, Vidâla, Udarka, Vâskala, Trinetra, Kâla, Bandhaka and others, very proud, and each in charge of his own corps respectively and occupying this sea-girt earth. O king! The powerful kings that reigned before were made subservient and tributary; and those, that fought valiantly befitting the Ksattriya line, were slain by Mahisa. The Brâhmanas over the earth became subservient to Mahisa and gave their Yajña offerings to him. When that Mahisâsura got the sole sovereign sway of this world, he, proud of his boons, desired to conquer the Heavens. Then Mahisa, the Lord of the Daityas, desirous to send an envoy to Indra, the Lord of S’achî, instantly called for the messenger and spoke to him thus :– Go, O hero! O valiant one! to Heaven. Act as my messenger and tell Indra fearlessly thus :– “O thousand-eyed one! Quit the Heavens; go anywhere you like, or offer your service to the high-souled Mahisa! He is the lord; and if you take refuge unto him, he will certainly protect you. Therefore, O Lord of S’achî, better seek the protection of Mahisa. If, O Balasûdana! Not willing, wield your Vajra at once; we know your powers; you were, in days of yore, conquered by our ancestors. O chief of the Sûras! You are the paramour of Ahalyâ; your strength is well known, give battle or go anywhere you like.”

15-21. Vyâsa said :– Hearing the messenger’s words, Indra became very indignant and laughed and said :– I did not know, O you stupid, that you were maddened with vanity; I will shortly give medicines for your master’s disease. Now I will extirpate him by the roots; wise persons do not slay messengers; I therefore let you go. Better go and tell him what I say :– “Son of a buffalo! If you are willing to fight, better come and do not delay. O Enemy of horse! (Buffaloes and horses are always at war with each other) Your strength is well known to me; you are a grass eater and your appearance is stupid, idiotic; out of your horns I will make a good bow. You depend on your horns for your strength;

that I well know. You are clever in striking with your horns; you don’t know anything about warfare; therefore I will out off your both the weapons and render you powerless. You are very much puffed up with vanity due to that.”

22. Vyâsa said :– Indra having spoken thus, the messenger quickly returned to his haughty master Mahisa and saluting, spoke :–

23-28. The messenger said :– Indra counts you not even a fig, as he is surrounded by his Deva forces and considers himself quite sufficient. It ought one’s servant to speak true and pleasant before one’s master; how can I utter the words before my master, that are spoken by that brute Indra. Whereas the well known maxim reigns in my mind withal that I am your well-wishing servant and I ought to speak truth before you, my master, and that truth is to be pleasant to hear also. If pleasant words I speak only, then I fail in my duty; at the same time, harsh words ought not to be spoken by me, your sincere well-wisher. My Lord! The cruel poison-like words that come from the mouth of an enemy, how can I, a servant of yours, utter those harsh sayings! O Lord of the Earth! I will never be able to utter those rude sayings that Indra has spoken.

29-53. Vyâsa said :– Hearing the messenger’s words full of meaning the grass-eater Mahisa Dânava got very angry and, waggling his tail behind his back, passed urine; then his eyes reddened with anger, he called the Dânavas before him and said :–O Dânavas! The Lord of the Devas is firmly resolved on battle; therefore collect your forces; we will have to conquer that devil, the chief of the Sûras. Who can stand for him a my rival here! If hundreds and thousands of warriors like Indra come I do not fear any of them at all; O Dânavas, we will thoroughly put a end to him. His heroism is before those only that are peaceful and quiet before the ascetics that have become lean and thin by the penances; he is licentious and can only seduce other’s wives by craftiness and arts. He is a thorough rogue and hypocrite, vicious and faultfinding; otherwise why does he put obstacles before others, depending for his strength only on the beauties of the Apsarâs or heavenly prostitutes. He is treacherous to his very core; therefore he, being afraid at the very outset, took oaths, and entered into agreement with the high-souled Namuchi; afterwards, when his time turned favourable, that villain broke his treaty and treacherously killed him. Again the powerful Visnu is a thorough master of treachery and hypocrisy, the mine in taking oaths and can only show his vanity and is expert in that. He can assume many forms at will by his Magic power. For these very reasons Visnu had to take the form of a boar and

kill Hiranyâksa; and again he had to take up a man-lion form to kill Hiranya Kas’îpu. O Dânavas! Never shall I surrender myself to Visnu, for I never place my trust in the words or deeds of Visnu and his Devas. What can Indra or Visnu do against me, when the most powerful Rudra is not able to fight against me in the battle-field! I will instantly defeat Indra, Varuna, Yama, Kuvera, Fire, Sun and Moon and get possession of their Heavens. On our conquering the Devas, we all shall get our share of Yajñas and we along with other Dânavas drink the Soma juice and enjoy ourselves in Heaven. O Dânavas! I have got the boon; what do I now care for the Devas. My death is not from men too. What can a woman do to me? O my emissaries! Call without any delay the chief Dânavas from the nether regions and the mountains and make them my generals? O Dânavas! I can alone conquer all the Devas; only to make the war arrangements look nice, that I am taking you to defeat them. There is no fear of mine from the Devas, consequent on the boon conferred on me. I will kill them by my hoofs and horns. I am not to be killed by Suras, Asuras, as men; therefore get yourselves ready to conquer the Devas. O Dânavas! After conquering the Heavens we will be garlanded with Pârijâta wreaths and we will enjoy the Deva women in the Nandana Garden. We will drink the milk of the heavenly milching cow (the cow that yields all desires) and, intoxicated with the heavenly drinks, we will hear and see the music and singing the dancing of the Gandarbhas there. You will all be served there with various bottles of wine by Urvasî, Menakâ, Rambhâ, Ghritâchî, Tillottamâ, Pramadvarâ Mahâsenâ, Mira Kesî, Madotkatâ, Viprachitti and others. Then be all ready at once for this auspicious occasion to march to Heavens and fight there with the Suras. And be pleased to call that pure-souled Muni S’ukrâchârya, the son of Bhrigu and the Guru of the Daityas and worship him and tell him to perform sacrificial ceremonies for the safety and victory of the Dânavas. O king! Thus, ordering the chief Dânavas, the wicked Mahisa went to his abode, with gladness.

Here ends the Third Chapter of the Fifth Book on the Daitya armies getting ready in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam by Maharsi Vedavyâsa of 18,000 verses.

Chapter IV

On the war counsels given by Indra

1-17. Vyâsa said :– O King! The messenger of the Dânavas having departed, Indra, the lord of the Devas, Yama, Vâyu, Varuna, and Kuvera and other Devas, called an assembly and addressed thus :– O Devas! the most powerful Mahisa, the son of Rambha, is now the king of the Dânavas; he is particularly expert in hundreds of Mâyâs (magic) and has become haughty on the strength of his boon. O Devas! Mahisa has sent his messenger; he wants to take possession of the heaven; he came down to me and spoke thus :– “O Indra! Quit your this heaven and go any where you like, or be ready to pay your homage to the highsouled Mahisâsura, the Lord of the Dânavas. The Dânava Chief never becomes angry with his opponent who becomes submissive like a servant; if you surrender and serve him, he will, out of mercy, grant an allowance to you. O Lord of the Devas! If this does not like you, then collect your forces and be ready for fight; no sooner I return, the Lord of the Dânavas will come here at once ready to give battle to you.” Thus saying, the messenger of that wicked Dânava departed. Now what are we to do? O Devas! Think on that. O Devas! Even a weak enemy is not to be overlooked by a powerful opponent, especially when the enemy is powerful by his own powers and is ever energetic, never is he to be overlooked. It is always incumbent on us to make our efforts, as best as we can, both by our body and mind as far as lies in our power; the result, victory or defeat depends entirely on Fate. It is useless to make treaty with a deceitful and dishonest person; we therefore never should make treaty with this person; you are all honest; that Dânava is dishonest; therefore ponder and ponder deeply and ponder again; do you that which is proper. It is not advisable to go out at once for fight when we are unaware of our enemy’s strength; let us therefore send spies truthful, honest, motiveless, quick, to ascertain their strength, those who can easily enter amongst our enemies and yet who have no relation, nor any interest with them. The arrangements of their forces, their movements, their numbers, they will ascertain correctly who are their generals, what is their number and what is their strength, they will thoroughly examine and return here quickly. First, we will ascertain the strength of the forces of our opposite party and then we will decide at once whether we will start for battle or seek protection within forts. Wise persons always consider before they act; any act done rashly leads in all respects to many troubles, and anything done after mature prejudgments leads to happiness; so the wise do. The Dânavas are all one in their heart and mind; therefore it is not advisable, in any way to apply the principle of Bheda (sowing principles of discord). Let our spies go there, ascertain their strength, return and inform us; we will then judge what principle is proper and apply to the expert Dânavas. Any act done contrary to policy and expediency will undoubtedly produce effects contrary in every way just like a medicine which we have not tried already.

18-22. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus counselling with the Devas; Indra sent expert spies to ascertain the true state of affairs. The spies, too, went into the abode of the Daityas, with no delay and made their searches thoroughly into every nook and corner and returned and told Indra all the strength of the Dânava forces. Indra was very much startled to know, then, of their arrangements. He immediately bade all the Devas be ready for battle and called for his High priest Brihaspati, expert in giving advices and began to consult with him how to carry on the warfare with that indomitable enemy, the Lord of the Asuras. On Bhihaspati, the best and famous of the Angirâ family, taking his excellent seat.

23-25. Indra thus said :– “O Guru of the Devas! O Learned! Please say what are we to do now in this critical juncture? You are omniscient; to-day you are our guide. The Demon Mahîsa has become very powerful, very haughty; surrounded by Dânavas he is now coming to fight with us. You are expert in mantras; find out the remedy for us. S’ukrâchârya is the remover of all obstacles on their side; and that you are our safe guard is well known to us.”

26. Vyâsa said :– Hearing these words of Indra, Brihaspati, who is always ready to effect the Deva’s purposes, thought intently on the subject, said very shortly thus :–

27-51. Brihaspati spoke :– O Lord of the Devas! O Venerable One! Be peaceful; have patience; when a difficulty comes, one should not, all on a sudden, lose one’s patience. O Chief of the Immortals! Victory or defeat is completely under the control of destiny: therefore intelligent ones should always be patient. O S’atakratu! What will unavoidably be done must come to pass; knowing this as certain, one would always be an enthusiast and exert one’s powers. Everything is guided by Fate. Knowing this, the Munis devote themselves at all times solely filled with energy in their meditation and Yoga practices for their final liberation. Therefore, to show one’s energy, according to the rules of the daily practices, ought to be indispensably done; and one should not repel or feel pleasure on failure or success; for that is under Fate. Success sometimes comes without the exercise of one’s own powers, as seen in cases of the lame and the blind; and that is not the reason why one should be very glad. The embodied beings are all under Daiva (Fate); therefore even if success be not attained, though one’s own powers are exercised thoroughly, no one is to blame for that. O Lord of the Suras! What to say of forces, Mantras, or advices, what of chariots or weapons, nothing to lead to success; It is Daiva, and only Daiva that makes one successful. This whole universe is under Daiva; it is, therefore, that we see powerful persons suffering pains, and weak ones getting happiness; the intelligent ones sleeping without any food and fools enjoying merrily; distressed persons getting victory and powerful ones suffering defeats; what cares, then ought one to entertain in this. O Lord of the Suras! Whatever is inevitable to come to pass, be it success or failure, one will lead one’s energies to that end; therefore one needs to consider beforehand whether one’s energies will be successful or not. In times of distress, one sees distress too much and in times of pleasure, one seeks pleasure too much; one’s self, therefore one should not surrender to one’s enemies, pleasure and pain. Pain and suffering is not felt so much in patience as is felt when impatient; therefore one must practise patience when pain or pleasure comes. Indeed it is very difficult to bear oneself up in distress or happiness; therefore wise persons try not to let these feelings crop up at all from the very beginning. “I am always full, undiminishable, I am beyond these Prâkritic qualities. Who is there to suffer? What is suffering?” Thus one ought to think at that moment. I am beyond the twenty-four Tattvas; what pleasure or pain can, then, arise to me? Hunger and thirst are the Dharma of Prâna; pain and insensibility is the Dharma of mind, age and death belong to this physical body. I am free from these six diseases; I am S’iva. Grief and delusion are the qualities of this body what then do I care for them? “I” am not the qualities of the body nor “I” am the soul pertaining to that. I am beyond the seven transfigurations, changes, e. g., Mahat, etc., I am beyond this Prakriti, Nature, and beyond the sixteen changes wrought out by Prakriti; I am therefore eternally happy, I am beyond Prakriti and its transformation, then why am I to suffer pain always? O Lord of the Suras! Think on these and be without any passion. O S’atakratu! This attachment is the root of all miseries and non-attachment is the source of all happiness; non-attachment therefore, is the chief means of the extirpation of all your troubles. Lord of S’achi! Nothing can be happier than contentment. In case you find it difficult to practise dispassion, apply, then, discrimination and think of Fate, that what comes inevitably to pass. O Lord of the Suras! Actions already done cannot die out without their effects being enjoyed. O Best of the Suras! Let all your intelligence be brought to action, let all the Devas lend their helping hands to you; what is inevitable must come to pass; what then can you care for your happiness or pain? O King! Happiness is felt for the expiation of good deeds and pain is felt for the expiation of bad deeds; therefore wise persons get thoroughly delighted when their punya ends. O King! Judge and hold a council to-day; then try your best. But what is unavoidable will come to pass, even if you try your best.

Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the counsels given by Indra in the Mâhâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter V

On the defeat of the Dânava forces of Mahisa

1-6. Vyâsa said :– The thousand eyed Indra, hearing this, again asked to Brihaspati that he would make preparations for war against Mahisâsura. Without effort kingdoms are not attained; no – nor happiness, nor fame, nor anything; those who are weak, they extol effortlessness; but the powerful never praise that. Knowledge is the ornament of the ascetics and contentment is the ornament of the Brâhmanas; but those who desire lordship over powers, effort and prowess to destroy one’s enemies are their excellent ornaments. O Muni! I will kill this Mahisâsura by my heroism as I had, of old, destroyed Vritra, Namuchi and Balâsura. You are the Deva Guru; therefore you and my thunderbolt are my strength. The immortal Hari and Hara also will help me in this. O Guru! Preserver of my honour and prestige! Now recite the mantras calculated to remove all the obstacles towards my victory. I, too, am making preparations and raising up my own forces to wage up war against that Dânava Mahisa.

7-13. Vyâsa said :– On hearing Indra’s words, Brihaspati smiled and said “O Lord of the Devas! I see you are bent on fight. I will neither stimulate you to fight nor shall I make you desist from the purpose. The issue is doubtful. There may be defeat or there may be victory. O Lord of S’achî! You are not to blame at all in this matter; what is written in the Book of Fate will come to pass, be it victory or defeat. I am not aware of the future in this respect. O Child! You know already what an amount of suffering I had to endure in times gone by when my wife had been stolen. O Destroyer of the enemies! My wife had been stolen by Moon who turned out my enemy; living in my stage of an householder I was put to all sort of miseries, deprived of all my happiness. O Lord of the Suras! I am renowned in all the worlds as a man of much wisdom and intelligence. Where then was my intelligence, when Moon carried away, perforce, my wife. O Lord of the Suras! To my mind, the success or failure depends entirely on destiny; yet intelligent ones should always resort to efforts and be energetic.

14-17. Vyâsa said :– O King! On hearing the words of Brihaspati, pregnant with truth, Indra went with him to Brahmâ, took his refuge and saluting him said :– O Grand Sire! The Dânava is collecting a big army, and wants to conquer and take possession of the Heavens. All the other Dânavas have enrolled themselves in the list of his army; they are eager to fight and they are all very powerful and skilled in arts of warfare. I am therefore very afraid and have come to you. You know everything; please help me in this matter.

18-20. Brahmâ said :– We all will go today to the Mount Kailâs’a and take S’ankara with us and go to Visnu. There all the Devas, assembled, will hold a council and consider the time and place, when it will be settled whether it is proper or not to fight. For one who dares to do any act without considering one’s strength and without any judgment, certainly courts his own downfall.

21-35. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing this, Indra with the other Lokâpalas and Devas, headed by Brahmâ, went to Kailâs’â. Then they came to S’ankara and sang vedic hymns to him. Mahes’vara became very much pleased and they taking Him went to Vaikuntha, the abode of Visnu. Indra saluted Visnu and sang hymns to him, and told him about his errand thus :– “Mahisa has become very haughty on account of the favour bestowed on him and therefore we are very afraid (and therefore ask your help to relieve us from this danger).” Visnu, then, hearing the cause of fear, told them :– “We all will fight and kill that Demon.” Vyâsa said :–O king! Thus settling the question, Brahmâ, Visnu, and Hari and Indra and the other Devas riding on their own Vâhanas (means of conveyance) respectively dispersed. While Brahmâ on his vehicle Swan, Visnu on his Garuda, S’ankara on his Bull, Indra on his elephant Airâvata, Kârtika on his peacock, and Yama, the god of death on his Vâhana, the Buffalo, were on the point of going with the other Deva forces, the army of the Dânava Mahisa met them on their way, all fully equipped with arms and weapons. A dreadful fight then ensued between the Devas and the Dânavas.

Arrows, axes, Prâsas, Musalas (clubs), Paras’us (pick axes), Gadâs (clubs), Pattis’as, S’ûlas (tridents), chakras (discus) S’akti (weapons), Tomaras, Mudgaras, Bhindipâlas, Lângalas, and various other deadly weapons appeared on the scenes with which they fought against one another. The Commander-in-Chief of Mahisa, the very powerful Chiksura, shot five sharp arrows at Indra. The ever-ready and light-handed Indra too, with his arrows cut off all of them and struck at his heart heavily with his Ardhachandra (half moon) arrow. The Commander-in-Chief, struck by this arrow fell senseless on the back of his elephant. Indra, then struck the trunk of the elephant with his Vajra (thunderbolt); the elephant then severely struck with the Vajra fled away into the Dânava’s forces. The Lord of the Dânavas seeing this, got very angry and addressed the general Vidâla “O Hero! You are very powerful; go then and kill first that haughty Indra; then kill Varuna and other Devas and come back to me.”

36-57. Vyâsa said :– The very powerful Asura Vidâla, on receiving the order came up at once to Indra, mounted on a very furious elephant. Seeing him coming, Vâsava shot at him angrily with very terrible and most powerful arrows that looked like deadly snakes. But the Demon, too, out off those arrows at once with his excellent arrows and quickly shot at Vâsava fifty arrows, sharpened on stones. Indra cut off all those and, being infuriated, shot again sharp deadly serpent-like arrows at him, and cutting off again all his enemies’ arrows by arrows discharged from his bow, struck the elephant’s trunk with his Gadâ (club). The elephant, being thus struck on his head, cried aloud in a distressed tone and being afraid turned back, thus killing the Dânava forces as he fled away. The general Vidâla, seeing the elephant fleeing away from the battle-field, mounted on a beautiful chariot and instantly appeared before the Devas to fight with them. Seeing the Dânava coming again on a chariot, Indra shot at him sharp arrows after arrows like venomous snakes. The powerful Dânava, too, infuriated hurled at him terrible arrows; then a sharp conflict ensued between Vâsava and the Dânava. Finding the Dânava powerful, Vâsava’s senses were confounded with anger; he then took his son Jayanta before him and began to fight. Jayanta stretched his bow tight and shot at the breast of the Dânava swelled with pride, five sharp arrows with his full strength. Thus shot at by the network of arrows, the Dânava fell unconscious on the chariot; the charioteer then fled away with his chariot from the battle-field. Thus on the Dânava Vidâla becoming unconscious and being taken away from the field, the Dunduvis (drums) of the Devas were resounded and great acclamations of “Victory to the Devas” were heard. The Devas were very glad and sounded hymns before Indra; the Gandarbhas began to sing and the Apsarâs began to dance. O king! Hearing the loud acclamations of victory to the Devas, Mahisa became very angry and ordered the Dânava Tâmra, the destroyer of enemy’s pride, to go to the battle-field. Tâmra appeared in the battle, and, coming face to face with many Deva warriors, hurled on them showers of arrows. Varuna appeared with his Pâs’a weapon and Yama, mounted on his buffalo, appeared with his Danda (staff). A terrible fight then ensued between the Devas and Dânavas and the weapons, arrows, axes, Musalas, S’aktis and Paras’us glittered in the fields. Yama raising his Danda with his hands struck at Tâmra; but the powerful Tâmra, though severely struck, was not at all moved and remained firm in his place in the field. On the other hand Tâmra, violently drawing his bow, hurled a mass of sharp arrows at Indra and the other Devas. The Devas got angry and shot at the Dânava multitudes of divine arrows sharpened on stone, and frequently called aloud “Wait, wait.” The Dânava Tâmra thus shot at by the arrows of the Devas, fell unconscious in the battle-field; the Dânava forces got afraid and a cry of universal consternation and distress arose.

Here ends the Fifth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on the defeat of the Dânava forces of Mahisa in the Mâhâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses.

Chapter VI

On the Deva Dânava fight

1-8. Vyâsa said :– O King! On the Daitya Tâmra becoming unconscious Mahisa became very angry and, raising his Gadâ (club), came up before the Devas and said :– “Devas! O Ye powerless like crows; wait; with one stroke of Gadâ, I will kill you.” Thus saying, the powerful Mahisa swelled with pride, seeing Indra before him mounted on his elephant instantly struck him on his arms. Indra, again lost no time, and struck violently with his thunderbolt and cut the Dânava’s Gadâ into pieces, and came up very close, wanting to strike at him. Mahisa, too, becoming very angry took up his lustrous sword and came to Indra to attack him with this weapon. A fight then occurred between the two, terrible to all the Lokas and wonderful to the Munis, where various weapons were showered from both the sides. The Demon Mahisa spread then his S’âmvarî Mâyâ, destructive to all the worlds and fascinating to the Munis.

Hundreds and hundreds of powerful buffalo-like appearances resembling Mahisa became, then, visible on the battle-field; they all began to kill the Deva forces with weapons in their hands.

9-14. Seeing this magic of the Dânava, Indra became thunderstruck and very much confounded with terror. Varuna, Kuvera, the Lord of wealth, Yama, Fire, Moon, Sun, and other Devas all fled with terror. Indra then, being surrounded by the network of magic, began to call Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a in his mind. At the instant when they were called in mind, Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a riding on respective conveyances Swan, Garuda, and Bull, came up there with best weapons in their hands for Indra’s protection. Visnu seeing the play of that fascinating magic hurled his bright discus, Sudars’an; and caused the magic to vanish at once. Seeing the three, the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer, the Dânava Mahisa came up there with his Parigha (a club tipped with iron) weapon, desirous to fight with them.

15-16. Then the general Chiksura, Ugrâsya, Ugravîrya, Asilomâ, Trinetra, Vâskala, Andhaka and other warriors came up to fight.

17-23. Those Proud Dânavas, clad in armour and mounted on chariots with bows in their hands besieged the Devas, like a tiger attacking an heifer. Then those Dânavas swelled with pride began to shower on arrows after arrows; the Devas, too, began to do the same, desiring to extirpate them.The General Andhaka, coming up to Hari, drew his bow with great force up to his ear and shot at him five sharp arrows tipped with poison. Vâsudeva, the Destroyer of the enemies, cut off those arrows no sooner they came up before him; and He shot at the Dânavas five arrows. Then Hari and the Dânava struck each other with various weapons and arrows, swords, discus, Musala, clubs, S’akti, and Paras’u. Here, on the other hand, the fight lasted for fifty days between Mahes’a versus Andhaka; and it was a very close conflict, causing horripilation. Thus severe fights ensued between Vâskala and Indra, Mahisa and Rudra, Trinetra and Yama, Mahâ Hanu and Kuvera, Asilomâ and Varuna.

24-39. The Dânava Mahisa struck Garuda, the conveyance of Hari, with his club; Garuda, being very much distressed with the blow, sat down, gasping. Visnu then comforted the powerful Garuda, the son of Vinatâ and made him calm and quiet. Wanting to kill Andhaka, Janârdana became infuriated, and, drawing his bow made of horn, call S’ârnga, shot at him arrows after arrows. The Dânava cut off all those arrows to pieces with his own mass of arrows. Then, becoming very angry, he shot fifty sharp arrows at Hari. Vâsudeva quickly made all those arrows useless

and hurled Sudars’ana Chakra with thousand spokes on the Dânava with great violence. Andhaka thwarted this with his own discus and shouted aloud with such a great force that all the Devas became confused and confounded. Visnu’s Chakra being baffled, the Devas became distressed with grief and the Dânavas got elated. Seeing the Devas thus grieved, Visnu held aloft his Kaumodakî Gadâ (club) and came hurriedly before the Dânava. Hari struck then with his Gadâ on the Dânava’s head whereon he fell senseless on the ground. The hot-tempered Mahisa, seeing Andhaka senseless, bellowed aloud and, terrifying Hari, came up there. Seeing him there, Vâsudeva made such a thundering noise with his bow string that the Devas became highly glad. Then the Bhagavân shot showers of arrows on Mahisa; and Mahisa, too, cut those arrows while they were seen in the air. O king! Then a very close fight ensued between the two, Kes’ava struck on the head of the Dânava with his club. Thus struck, he fell in a swoon on the ground and a general cry of distress arose amongst the Dânavas. In a moment the Dânava got up again, free from trouble; he then struck again on Visnu’s head with his Parigha (a club mounted with iron, a mace). Struck by that mace, Janârdan lay senseless; Garuda, seeing him thus unconscious, immediately took him away from the battle field.

40-55. When Visnu thus fled, Indra and the Devas were much distressed with fear and began to cry aloud. Hearing the Devas cry, S’ankara became wrathful and, quickly coming before Mahisa, struck him with his trident (S’ûla). The wicked Mahisa made his weapon ineffectual and bellowed aloud and struck on the breast of S’ankara with his S’akti (a kind of missile). Thus wounded in his breast S’ankara did not feel any pain; rather, with his eyes red with anger, He struck him again with Trisûla. Seeing S’ankara engaged with Mahisa, Hari becoming conscious came again on the battle-field. Seeing the two powerful Deva-chiefs, Hari and Hara, in the battle-field Mahisa became very much angry: he then assumed a buffalo body and wagging his tail to and fro came in front of them with a desire to fight. That terrible Mahisa of a huge body shook his horns and bellowed so deep like a thunder cloud that even the Devas got frightened. He began to hurl the huge mountain peaks with his two horns. The two powerful Devas Hari and Hara, began to shoot at the Dânava deadly arrows after arrows. Seeing these two gods shower arrows upon him, Mahisa began to hurl mountains on them by his tail. Visnu cut off those mountains into hundred pieces by his arrow; and struck at him instantly with his Chakra. Struck thus by Chakra, the Lord of the Dânavas fainted, but he instantly rose up with a human body. The mountain-like terrible Dânava with a club in his hand frightened the Devas and uttered grave sounds like those of rumbling rain clouds. Hearing that, the Bhagavân Visnu sounded a more terrible sound with his Pañchajanya S’ankha (conchshell). Hearing the sound of that conchshell, the Dânavas were struck with terror and the ascetic Risis and Devas became exalted with joy.

Here ends the Sixth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on the Deva Dânava fight in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 versus by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VII

On the going of the Devas to Kailâsa

1-3. Vyâsa said :– O King! Mahisa seeing the Dânavas afflicted with grief, quitted his buffalo appearance, assumed a lion form and spreading this long manes began to roar aloud and fell amidst the Deva forces; then the Devas were terrified on seeing his sharp nails. That lion-form Mahisa first attacked so severely the Garuda with his nails, that his whole body was besmeared with blood; then he attacked Visnu’s arms with his nails.

4-11. Seeing the Dânava, Vâsudeva Hari raised his discus in anger and attacked him with great force to kill him. Just when Hari struck the Dânava violently with his Chakra, the powerful Dânava quitted immediately his lion-form, assumed the buffalo form and struck Hari with his two horns. Vâsudeva, thus pierced in his breast with the horns, became confounded and fled away as best as he could till he reached his own abode, Vaikuntha. Seeing Hari thus fleeing away, S’ankara, too, thought him invulnerable and fled to his Kailâs’a mountain with fear. Brahmâ, too, fled to his own abode with terror; but the powerful Vâsava took patience and remained steady in the battle. Varuna taking his S’akti waited patiently for battle. Yama, too, with his staff remained there ready to fight. Kuvera, the Lord of the Yaksas, remained very busy in close fighting with the Dânavas; Fire, taking S’akti, also waited. The Sun and Moon, the Lord of the stars, both remained in firm resolve to fight with Mahisa, the lord of the Dânavas.

12-22. O King! In the meanwhile, the Dânava forces got angry and attacked them on all sides, shooting at the enemies a mass of dangerous serpent-like arrows. The Lord of the Dânavas, Mahisa, too, assuming the buffalo appearance, reigned supreme in the middle. At this moment fierce sounds of the warriors on both the sides were heard. During the sharp contest of the Devas and Dânavas, the sounds from the bowstrings and the clappings of the hands were heard like the roarings of thunder. The powerful Dânava, then, swelled with pride, began to hurl the mountain tops with his horns, thus killing the Deva forces. Some by hoofs and some by the lashing of the tail, that angry Mahisa, very wonderful to behold, sent to the region of Death. Then the Devas and Gandarbhas became very much frightened; so much so, that Indra fled away at once on the sight of Mahisa. Indra thus retreating from the field, Yama, Kuvera, and Varuna all quitted the battle-ground with fear. Indra fled away quitting his Airâvata elephant and Uchchais’ravâ horse; so Mahisa got the possession of the elephant and the horse, as well the heavenly cow of the Sun. So the Dânavas considered themselves pre-eminently victorious and returned to their abodes. Next they wanted to go, as early as possible, to the Heavens, with all their forces. In no time Mahisa went to the abode of Indra, deserted by all the terror-stricken Devas and got the possession thereof. Then taking his seat on the beautiful throne of Indra, he made the other Dânavas occupy the several seats of the other Devas.

23-27. Thus fighting full one hundred years, the Dânava Mahisa, puffed up with pride, acquired the seat of Indra, his desired object. He banished the Devas from the Heavens; the Devas, thus tormented began to wander in the caves of hills and dales for a period of good many years. O King! The Devas, at last, were quite tired and took the four-faced Brahmâ, the Creator’s refuge. At that instant, the Lord of the world, the Rajas incarnate, the Originator of the Vedas, was seated on His lotus seat; surrounding Him were standing his mortal sons Marîchi, etc., with their passions subdued, mind calm and beyond the sphere of the Vedas and Vedângas; there were there also Siddhas, Gandarbhas, Kinnaras, Châranas, Uragas, and Pannagas. The terrified Devas then began to praise and chant hymns to Brahmâ, the Lord of the world.

28-33. The Devas said :– “O Creator! O Lotus-born! O Thou, the Remover of the pains and afflictions of all this world! How is it that you are not moved with pity towards the Devas, seeing that we are defeated by the lord of the Dânavas and have been banished from our abode; what more shall we say, our troubles are now indescribable, as we are living in the caves of hills and dales. O Creator! A son may be a hundred times guilty of offence; is it, then, that the father, devoid of any feeling of covetousness, deserts his sons and gives them trouble! We are oppressed by the Dânavas, we who are wholly devoted to your lotus-feet, why are you today showing signs of indifference towards us! That wicked Dânava is thoroughly enjoying to-day the Heavens of the Devas, is forcibly taking their share of the oblations of clarified butter in the Yajñas (sacrifices) from the Brâhmanas; is enjoying the Pârijâta tree and also the heavenly milching cow, the jewel of the ocean. What more shall we describe to you the strange doings of the Asuras; O Lord of the Devas! You are perfectly aware of all that they strive and execute; for, by your knowledge, you know everything of this world; therefore, O Lord! We lie prostrate at your feet. That vicious Dânava, of wicked character and full of mischievous actions, gives us troubles in various ways wherever we go; O Lord of the Devas! Thou art our only Protector; therefore, O Lord! Do what is good to us. Thou art the Awarder of the desires of the Devas. Thou art the First Creator of the world, and Preserver; therefore if Thou dost not do us our good, to whom else shall we take refuge, when we are so severely oppressed as if we are burnt in a forest conflagration! Who else is more lustrous, more beneficent and more peace-giving Governor?

34-35. Vyâsa said :– O king! All the Devas, praising Him thus, bowed down to the Lord of creation with folded hands and saluted him, with their faces very heavy, overladen with deep sorrow. The Grand Sire of all the Lokas, seeing the plight of the Devas, consoled them with sweet words and made them happy.

36-43. O Suras! What shall I do? The Dânava has become exceedingly haughty on account of his getting boons; he can be killed by females only; He is invulnerable by any male. What remedy is there now? Therefore, O Suras! Let us all go to Kailâsa, the best of all the mountains; thence we will take S’ankara, the expert in doing the works of Gods, and go to Vaikuntha, where Visnu, the Deva of the Devas resides. There we all will unite and hold a counsel and decide what is best to do, to serve the purpose of the gods. Thus making out the programme, Brahmâ riding on his Hamsa went to Kailâsa, accompanied by all the Devas. At the same time S’iva came to know out of his introspection about the coming of Brahmâ and the other Devas and soon came out of his dwelling abode. When they met each other, they saluted each other and felt very glad. The Devas then bowed down to them. Seats were given to the Devas; and when they sat respectively on their Âsanas, the Lord of Pârvatî also took his own seat. S’iva asked the welfare of Brahmâ and the Devas and asked the reasons of their coming to Kailâsa.

44. O Brahmâ! What has caused you to come here along with Indra and the other Devas? O highly fortunate one! Please mention it.

45-47. Brahmâ said :– O Deva of the Devas! The Dânava Mahisa is oppressing all the Devas in the Heavens; they therefore terrified are wandering hither and thither in the caves and hills with Indra. Mahisa

and the other Dânavas are now accepting their share of Yajñas; the Lokopâlas, being oppressed, have come to-day and are now taking shelter of Thee. O S’ambhu! Considering the situation serious, I have taken them with me here; therefore, O Deva, do that which is reasonable and by which the purpose of the Devas can be carried out. O Bhûta Bhâvana! (The creator of the world) The whole charge and responsibility of all the Devas devolves on Thee.

48. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus, S’ankara smiled a little and spoke charming words to the Lotus-born in the following manner :–

49-55. O Bibhu! It is You that gave before this boon to Mahisa; and therefore it is you that have wrought this mischief. The Dânava has become so strong a hero that he has caused terror to all the Devas even. Now where can we get such a noble woman who becomes able to kill that Dânava, elated with pride. My wife nor your wife ought to go to battle; even if they, the good ladies go, how will they be able to fight? The fortunate wife of Indra, too, is not expert in the art of warfare; where else there is another lady who can kill this demon, blinded with pride. I, therefore, propose this; let us all go today to Visnu and, praising him with hymns, engage him quickly to this cause of the gods. Visnu is foremost amongst the intelligent; therefore it is highly advisable to execute all actions after duly consulting with him. He, by dint of his high intelligence, will find out means and effect our purpose.

Vyâsa said :– O King! Brahmâ and the other Devas heard Rudra and approved heartily and saying, “Be it so” instantly rose up. At the time, seeing all the auspicious signs concerning the success of the gods, they all became glad; and, riding on their respective vehicles, drove towards the abode of Visnu. Favourable fragrant winds, pleasant to touch, began to blow gently, birds began to chant hymns of praise and signs of success were seen all along their way. The sky was clear and the quarters became free; in short, everything showed favourable all along their way.

Here ends the Seventh Chapter on the going of the Devas to Kailâsa in the Fifth Skandha of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VIII

On the description of the origin and the form of the Devî

1-4. Vyâsa said :– Soon the Devas reached Vaikuntha, protected by Visnu; they at once began to look at the exquisite indescribable beauty of the place. At intervals they saw nice lovely divine houses, shining and appearing very splendid; pools and lakes were seen in front of them beautified with Kalhâra lotus flowers. They began to see, at other places, rivers flowing; swans, cranes, Chakravâkas and other aquatic birds were swimming there easily and warbling lovely sounds. At other places again, beautiful gardens came to their sight adorned exquisitely by Champaka, As’oka Mandâra, Bakula, Âmrâtaka, Tilaka, Kuruvaka and Mallikâ and various other flower trees, the cuckoos were seen there cooing melodiously, bees humming gently and peacocks dancing beautifully.

5-6. In the centre was situated the golden palace of Hari, towering to heavens, the rooms and quadrangles were all charming; at places, they were bedecked with gems and jewels and adorned with various paintings. There was the Divine Seat in the centre, composed wholly of gems and jewels; and Visnu was occupying this place. There were Visnu’s Pârisadas or attendants, Sunanda, Nandana, and others; they were so much devoted to their master that their hearts never become attached to any other thing; so they were devotedly singing His praises and chanting His hymns with undivided attention.

7-10. There were dancing the Apsarâs (celestial nymphs) and the Devas, Gandarbhas, and Kinnaras were singing in melodious tunes. Those who love the chanting of the Vedas, such calm-tempered Munis were reciting the Vedic Sûktas and thus highly extolled Him. The two lovely gate-keepers Jaya and Vijaya were waiting at the entrance gate with golden sticks in their hands; the Devas coming nigh the city of Visnu caught sight of them and said :– “Any of you may go and inform Visnu that Brahmâ, Rudra, and the whole host of gods are waiting at His door to see Him.”

11. Vyâsa said :– O king! Hearing their words, Vijaya went away at once to Visnu; and, saluting Him, informed Him of the arrival of the Devas.

12-13. Vijaya said :– O Lord! Thou destroyest the enemies of the gods; hence Thou art the most worshipped of them. O Lord of Ramâ! The whole hosts of gods have come and are waiting at Thy door, O Bibhu!

Brahmâ, Rudra, Indra, Varuna, Fire and Yama and other gods, anxious to see Thee, are all praising Thee by proper hymns.

14-32. Vyâsa said :– Hearing Vijaya’s words, Visnu, the Lord of Ramâ became very anxious and soon went out of his room to see the Devas. Hari came up to them and seeing the Devas waiting at the doors very morose and tired, cheered them up by casting a favourable glance full affection and love. The gods bowed down and praised hymns to Jagannâtha the Deva of the Devas, the enemy of the Daityas and revealed in the Vedas. O Deva of the Devas! Thou art the Creator, Preserver and the Destroyer of the worlds; Thou art the ocean of mercy and the sole refuge of this Universe; O Lord! We have come to Thee as our Great Refuge; therefore dost Thou save us from the present difficulty. Thus praised by the gods, Visnu said :– O Immortals! Take your respective seats and speak how are you all? Why have you all in a body come here? Why are you so much depressed and worn out with cares? Why do you look so melancholy? Say soon for what purpose you with Brahmâ and Rudra have come here. The Devas said :– “O Lord! The Asura Mahisa is very cruel and wicked; always addicted to vicious acts; now that most sinful Dânava has become very much puffed up with pride and is tormenting us always. What more shall we say than this, he is appropriating to himself the share of the Yajñas performed by the Brâhmins; we are therefore, terror-stricken and are wandering in mountains and fastnesses. O Destroyer of Madhu! He has become unconquerable due to his being granted the boon; considering, therefore, the gravity of our situation we have taken refuge unto Thee. O Krisna! Thou art acquainted with all the tricks and Mâyâ of the Daityas; therefore Thou art capable to kill them. Therefore Thou alone art able to deliver us from the present difficulty; be pleased, therefore; to Devîse means for that purpose. The Creator Brahmâ has granted him this boon that the demon could not killed by any man; therefore we are asking you where can we get a female who will be able to kill that hypocrite in battle. Mahisa has turned out very wicked on the strength of that boon; say, therefore, who amongst Umâ, Laksmî, S’achî, or Vidyâ or any other woman will be able to kill him. Therefore, O Gracious One to faithful worshippers and attendants! Thou art the Preserver of this world; now Devîse specially the cause of his death and carry out the purpose of the gods.” Vyâsa said :– O king! Visnu on hearing their words, spoke smiling “We fought before; but this Asura could not at that time be killed. Hence if some beautiful female Deity be now created out of the collective energy and form of the S’aktis of each of the Devas, then that Lady would be able easily to destroy that Demon by sheer force. The Lady Deity then sprung from the collective energy of ours, would at once be able to destroy that Mahisa, elated on his getting the power, though he is skilled in hundreds of Mâyâs (magics). Therefore ask ye now all, with your wives respectively, boons from that portion which resides in you all in the form of Fiery Energy, that the collected energy thus manifested may assume the form of a Lady. We will then offer unto Her, all the Divine weapons, the trident, etc., that belong to us. That Deity, then, full of energy and with all the weapons in Her hands would kill that wicked Demon, vicious and swelled with vanity.”

33-46. Vyâsa said :– On Visnu, the Lord of the Devas, saying thus, came out spontaneously, at once, of the face of Brahmâ, the brilliant fiery energy, very difficult to conceive. That energy looked red like gems and pearls, hot, at the same time, a little cool, having a beautiful form, and encircled by a halo of light. O King! The high-souled Hari and Hara, of mighty valor, were astonished to see this Fire, emitted from Brahmâ. Next came out of the body of S’ankara, His fiery spirit, quite in abundance and very wonderful to behold; it was silvery white, terrible, unbearable, and incapable of being seen even with difficulty. It extended like a mountain and looked horrible as if the incarnation of the Tamo Guna like another Tamo Guna (S’iva is the incarnation of Tamo Guna that destroys everything). It was very surprising to the Devas and very fearful to the Daityas. Next a dazzling light of blue colour emanated from the body of Visnu. The light that came out of the body of Indra was hardly bearable, of a beautiful variegated colour, and comprised in itself the three qualities. Thus masses of lights came out respectively from Kuvera, Yama, Fire and Varuna. The other Devas, too, gave their shares of fiery lights, very lustrous and splendid. Then these all united into a great Mass of Fire and Light. Like another Himalayan mountain shone full their lustrous Divine light; Visnu and the other Devas were all extremely surprised to see this. While the Devas were thus looking steadfastly on that Fire, an exquisitely handsome Lady was born out of it, causing excitement and wonder to all. This Lady was Mahâ Laksmî; composed of the three qualities of the three colours, beautiful, and fascinating to the universe. Her face was white, eyes were black, her lips were red and the palms of her hands were copper-red. She was adorned with divine ornaments. The Goddess was now manifest with eighteen hands, though She had a thousand hands (in Her unmanifested state). Now She became manifest out of the mass of fire, for the destruction of the Asuras.

47-52. Janamejaya said :– O Best of the Munis! O Krisna! You are highly fortunate and you are all-knowing. Kindly describe, in detail the birth of Her body. O Deva! Please say whether the energies of all the gods united into one or remained separate? Whether Her body and Her limbs were all luminous. Was it that Her face, nose, eyes, etc., and all other parts of Her body were created out of the different fires respectively or whether was it that those limbs were fashioned when the different fires blended into one huge mass? Describe, in detail, the origin of the body and the several limbs thereof; also inform me the limbs that were produced out of the corresponding Deva’s fiery part; as well tell me the several ornaments and several weapons given by the several Devas respectively. I am very desirous to hear all these from your lotus-like mouth. O Brahmân! Hearing from your lotus-like mouth the life and doings of Mahâ Laksmî, the sweet juice as they are, I am as yet not satiated (and am desirous to hear more).

53. Sûta said :– Veda Vyâsa, the son of Satyavatî, hearing his words addressed him in the following sweet words :–

54. “O Best of Kuras! Very fortunate you are. I will describe in detail, to the best of my understanding, the origin of Her body.

55. Even Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a and Indra are never competent enough to describe Her form properly.

56. As I already told you that She sprung at the instant the word was spoken, how then can I ascertain the form or likeness of the Devî.

57. She is constant, She is always existent; though She is one, yet She assumes different forms for the fulfilment of the Deva’s ends, whenever their positions become serious.

58-59. Though the actor is one, yet for the entertainment of the spectators, he assumes different forms in the stage, so the Nirgunâ Devî, though formless, assumes in Her pastime, many different forms of Sâttvic, Râjasic or Tâmasic qualities, to fulfill the Deva’s purposes.

60. There are various names given to Her, according as the works done by Her vary immensely in their natures, just as the meanings of one root vary, some being principal and some secondary, according to the meanings and objects they convey.

61. O King! I will now describe to you as far as my knowledge goes, the Excellent Form that came out of that mass of Celestial Light.

62. Her grand beautiful white lotus-like face was created out of the fiery energy of S’ankara.

63. Her glossy black beautiful hairs of the head, overhanging to the knees, were formed out of the light of Yama; these all came to a fine pointed end.

64. Her three eyes came out of the energy of Fire; the pupils of those eyes were of a black colour; the middle parts were of a white colour and the ends were red.

65. The two eyebrows of the Devî were black and came out of the spirit of Sandhyâ (twilights); they were nicely curved and were looking spirited, like the bow of the Cupid and they were shedding, as it were, cooling rays.

66. From the light of Vâyu (air), Her two ears were created; they were not very long, nor very short, beautiful like the swinging seat (rocking chair) of the God of Love.

67. Her nose was fashioned out of the fire of Kuvera, the Lord of wealth; it looked like the til flower, glassy and exquisitely charming.

68. O King! Her pointed rows of glossy and brilliant teeth, looking like gems, came out of the energy of Daksa; they looked like the Kunda flowers.

69. Her lower lip was deep red and it came out of the fire of Aruna (the charioteer of the Sun); Her beautiful upper lip came out of the energy of Kârtika.

70. Her eighteen hands came out of the Tejas of Visnu and Her red fingers came out of the Tejas of the Vasus.

71. Her breasts came out of the energy of Soma and Her middle (navel) with three folds was created out of the spirit of Indra.

72. Her thighs and legs were from Varuna and Her spacious loins came out from Earth.

73-74. O King! Thus from the various Tejas, contributed by the Devas, that Heavenly Lady came out. Her body and the several parts thereof were beautiful; Her form was incomparably graceful and the voice was exquisitely sonorous and lovely. The Devas, oppressed by Mahisâsura, became overpowered with joy seeing this well decorated Devî, having beautiful eyes and teeth, and charming in all respects.”

75. Visnu then addressed all the Devas to give all their auspicious ornaments and weapons, He said :– “O Devas! Better give, all you the various arms and weapons, endowed with strength, created out of your own weapons and give them all today to the Devî.”

Here ends the Eighth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on the description of the origin and the form of the Devî in S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter IX

On the worship by the gods to the Devî

1-22. Vyâsa said :– On hearing Visnu’s words, the Devas became very glad and presented immediately their own weapons, ornaments and clothings. The Ksiroda (Milk) Ocean presented to Her gladly, the well fitted necklace, clear as crystal, and a pair of divine cloths, of a red colour, never becoming old and very fine. Vis’vakarmâ was very much gratified in his heart and presented a divine jewel to be worn in Her diadem or crest blazing like hundreds of suns; white earrings; bracelets for Her wrist, bracelets for Her upper arm, and other bracelets decked with various gems and jewels and anklets brilliant like gems, of a clear Sun-like lustre, decked with jewels, and tinkling nicely. The architect of the gods, the ocean of intellect, Vis’vakarmâ gave Her as offerings beautiful ornaments also for the neck, all very beautiful, as well as for the fingers decked with gems and jewels, all shining splendidly. Varuna gave for Her head garland of lotuses, never fading away, of such a sweet fragrance as bees constantly hover round them and the Vaijayantî garland for Her breast. The mountain Himâlyâ gladly offered Her various gems and a beautiful lion, of a golden colour for Her conveyance. Then that beautiful Lady, having all the auspicious signs, wishing welfare to all, and decorated with the divine ornaments began to look grand and splendid, mounted on Her conveyance, the Lion. Visnu then created another thousand spoked discus (Chakram) from His own Chakra, capable to take off the head of any Asura, and offered it to Her. S’ankara created another excellent Tris’ûla from his own Trident, terrible and demon-killing, and offered it to the Devî. Varuna created another bright conch from his own conch and offered it gladly to the Devî. Fire offered Her a weapon named S’ataghni which kills violently the demons, as if that is another god of death. Maruta (wind), the chief of the gods, offered Her a wonderful bow and arrow case filled with arrows. The bow can be drawn with great difficulty and emits a very harsh sound. Indra created another dreadful thunderbolt from his own thunderbolt and gave it at once to the Devî; as well the beautiful sonorous bell that used to hang from the elephant Airâvata. Yama, the God of Death, created another beautiful staff from his own sceptre which takes away when time comes, the life of all beings. Brahmâ gladly gave Her a divine Kamandalu, filled with the Ganges water; and Varuna offered Her a weapon called Pâs’a. O King! Time gave Her an axe and a shield and Vis’vakarmâ gave Her a sharp Paras’u. Kuvera, the Lord of wealth, gave her a golden drinking cup, filled with wine; and Vâruna offered Her a divine beautiful lotus. Vis’vakarmâ became very glad and gave Her the Kaumodakî gadâ, capable to kill the enemy of the gods and whence hundreds of bells are hanging, an impenetrable armour and various other weapons. The Sun gave to the Divine Mother his own rays. The Devas, seeing Her adorned with ornaments and weapons, began to praise and chant hymns to that most Auspicious Goddess, the Great Enchantress of the three worlds.

23-29. The Deva said :– “Salutation to S’iva, Salutation to the Most Auspicious; Thou art peace and nourishment; we salute again and again to Thee. Salutation to Thee, the Bhagavatî Devî; Thou art the Goddess Rudrânî (the terrible), we always salute again and again to Thee. Thou art the Kâlarâtri (the night of destruction at the end of the world); Thou art the Indrânî. Thou art the Mother, we salute again and again to Thee; Thou art the success, Thou art the intelligence, Thou art the growth, Thou art the Vaisnavî; salutation again and again to Thee. Thou art within the earth; yet the earth does know know Thee. Thou art again the inmost of the earth and controllest the things within this earth; we offer our salutations to that Supreme Cause, the Highest Goddess. Thou art within this Mâyâ (the unborn) yet the Mâyâ does not know Thee. Thou residest again within the innermost of the Mâyâ and directest that Unborn One, the Mâyâ, we salute again and again to that Supreme Cause, the Great Directress, the S’ivâ (the most auspicious). O Mother! Do what is good to us; we are oppressed by our enemy, dost then protect us; by Thy own power dost Thou overpower and kill that Mahisa. That demon is vulnerable by woman only, he is deceitful, cunning, dreadful, and swollen with pride on his having got the blessing; he assumes many forms and torments the Devas. O One, devoted to the Bhaktas! Thou art the only refuge of all the gods; O Thou art the supreme goddess, we are very much harassed and oppressed by the Dânava; therefore dost Thou now protect us; we bow down to Thee.”

30. Vyâsa said :– When the Devas had praised thus, the Highest Goddess, the Giver of all happiness, then smilingly said in the following auspicious terms :–

31. “O Devas! Today in the battle ground I will overpower that wicked Mahisa, of cruel disposition and take away his life.”

32-40. Vyâsa said :– Speaking thus in a melodious voice, the Supreme One smiled and again said :– “This world is all full of error and delusion. Really, it is very wonderful that Brahmâ, Visnu, Indra and other gods are all shuddering out of fear from Mahisa Dânava. The power of Destiny is exceedingly great and terrible; its influence cannot be overcome even by the best of the Devas. O king! The Time is the Lord of happiness and pain; Time is, therefore, the God. The wonder is this that even those who can create, preserve and destroy this world, they are being overpowered and tormented by Mahisa. The Devî, thinking thus, smiled; then laughed and laughed very hoarsely; it seemed that a roar of laughter then arose. And the Dânavas were struck with terror at that very dreadful sound. The earth trembled at that extraordinary sound; the mountains began to move and the vast oceans that remained calm began to be agitated with billows. The uproar filled all the quarters and the mountain Meru trembled. Then the Dânavas, hearing the tumultuous uproar, were all filled with tremendous fear. The Devas became very glad and said thus :– “O Devî! Let victory be Yours; save us.” The intoxicated Mahisa, too, hearing those words, became very angry. Mahisa, struck with terror at those words, asked the Daityas “O Messengers! Go and ascertain how has originated this sound.

41-48. Who has made this harsh sound? Bring that devil who has made this hoarse noise, be he a Deva, Dânava, or anyone else unto me and I will kill that roaring villain, who, it seems, has been puffed with egoism and vanity. The Devas are not making this noise, for they are vanquished and terror-stricken; The Asuras are not doing so, for they are my subjects; then, who is the stupid fellow that has done so? Surely he is of very little understanding; his days are numbered; and I will carry him to the home of Death. Go you, ascertain the cause of sound and come back to me; then I will go there and destroy that wretch who made this noise to no purpose.” Vyâsa said :– No sooner the messengers heard these words of Mahisa, than they at once went to the Devî and saw that Her body and the several parts thereof were all very beautiful; She had eighteen hands, She was decorated completely with various ornaments all over Her body, all the auspicious signs were being seen in Her body and that She was holding excellent divine weapons. That auspicious Goddess beautiful, was holding in Her hands, the cup and drinking wine again and again. Beholding Her this form, they were afraid and fled at once to the Mahisa and informed him the cause of that sound.

49-54. The Daityas said :– “O Lord! We have seen one grown up woman; whose whereabouts we are quite ignorant. The Devî is decorated with jewels and ornaments all over Her body; She is not human nor Asurî but Her form is extraordinary and beautiful. That noble Lady is mounted on a lion, holding weapons on all Her eighteen hands and is roaring loudly; She is drinking wine; so it seems that She is puffed up with liquor. It is quite certain that She has no husband. The Devas are gladly chanting praises from the celestial space that Let Victory be to Her side and that She save the Devas, O Lord! We don’t know at all who is that handsome woman? or whose wife is she; why has she come there? and what is Her motive? Sentiments of love, heroism, laughter, terror and wonder are all fully shining in Her; therefore we are very much overpowered by the halo emitted from Her; and we could not even see Her well.

Note :– Rasas means sentiments. The rasas are usually eight. Sringâra, Hâsya, Karunâ, Raudra, Vîra, Bhayânakâh, Bibhatsâdbhû tasangau, Chetyastau, Natyan, Rasâh smritâh but sometimes Sântarasah, is added thus making the total number nine; sometimes a tenth, Vâtsalyarasa is also added.

55. O King! In compliance with your order, we have come back to you no sooner we had seen the Lady, without even addressing Her in any way. Now order us what we are to do.”

56-58. Mahisa said :– “O Best of ministers! O Hero! Under my command, go there with all the forces and use the means, conciliation, etc., and bring that woman, having a beautiful face (like the Moon), to me. If that Lady do not come even when the three policies, Sâma (conciliation), Dâna (making gifts), and Bheda (sowing dissensions in an enemy’s party and thus winning him over to one’s side, one of the four Upâyas or means of success against an enemy) are adopted by you, then apply the last resort Danda, (or war) in such a way that Her life be not destroyed and bring that beautiful woman to me. I will gladly make Her, of black curling hairs, my queen-consort. In case that deer-eyed one comes gladly, then do my desires without causing any unpleasant feeling; (a cessation of sentiment). I am enchanted on hearing about Her beauties and wealth.”

59-67. Vyâsa said :– The prime minister, on hearing the words of Mahisa, took with him elephants, horses, and chariots and hurriedly went to the desired place. On coming near to the Devî, the minister began to address Her in sweet words from a sufficient distance in a very humble and courteous way. O Sweet speaking! Who art Thou? What has caused Thee to come here? O Highly fortunate! My master has asked through me these

questions. My master cannot be killed by all the Devas and men; he has conquered all the Lokas (worlds). O Beautiful-eyed! On account of getting his boon from Brahmâ, the Lord of the Daityas has become very powerful and consequently being very proud, assumes different forms at will. He, our King-Emperor Mahisa, the lord of the earth, hearing about Thy beauty and dress, has expressed a desire to see Thee. O Beautiful one! Whether he will appear before Thee in a human form? He will do whatever Thou likest. O Deer-eyed One! Be pleased now to go to that intelligent King. In case Thou dost not go, we will bring the King, Thy devotee, to Thee. O Lord of the Devas! Our King has heard of Thy beauty and grandeur and has become very much submissive to Thee. We will therefore do exactly what Thou desirest. Therefore, Thou having thighs thick and round like those of a young of an elephant! Be pleased to express what Thou likest and we will do quickly as Thou desirest.

Here ends the Ninth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the worship offered by the gods to the Devî and the weapons offered by them in the Mahâ Purânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhagâvatam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter X

On the messenger’s news to Mahisa

1-16. Vyâsa said :– The Mahâ Mâyâ, that Excellent Lady, hearing thus the words of the prime minister of Mahisa, laughed and spoke with a voice, deep like that of a cloud, thus :– O Minister-in-chief! Know Me as the Mother of the gods; my name is Mahâ Laksmî. It is I that destroy all the Daityas. I am requested by all the Devas to kill Dânava Mahisa; they have been oppressed and deprived of their share of Yajña offerings. Therefore I have come here today alone, without any army to take away his life. O Good One! I am pleased with your sweet words of welcome, in showing me marks of respect. Had you not behaved thus, I would have certainly burnt you to ashes by my fiery sight, which is the universal conflagration at the break up of the world. O Minister! Who is there that gets not pleased with sweet words! Go you to Mahisa and speak to him the following words of mine “O Villain! Go down to Pâtâla (the nether regions) at once if you have any desire to live. Otherwise, I will slay you, the wicked one, in the battle-field; you will have to go to the house of Death, pierced by my mass of arrows. O Stupid One! Know that this is merely kindness shown unto you, that I have told you to go soon to Pâtâla and that the Devas get possession of their Heaven, with no delay. O One of weak intellect! Therefore dost Thou leave possession of this sea-girt earth and go alone without any delay to Pâtâla, before my arrows are shot at you. O Asura! Or if you desire to fight, then come at once with your powerful warriors; I will destroy all of them. O One of dull intellect! I will kill you in battle, just as I killed before in yugas after yugas countless Asuras like you. O Passionate creature! Better shew that your efforts in holding weapons have been crowned with success by your being engaged in battle against Me; otherwise they will all be useless. O Stupid! You thought that you would be vulnerable alone to women hence you oppressed the Devas entitled to worship; O wicked one! No longer show your pride on the strength of your getting the boon from Brahmâ, that you would be vulnerable only to the females. Thinking it advisable to observe the words of the Creator, I have assumed this incomparable Eternal Female appearance and I have come here to slay you, O wicked one! O stupid one! If you have any desire for your life, then quit this Heaven and go to Pâtâla, infested with snakes, or anywhere else you like.”

17-28. Vyâsa said :– Hearing these words of the Devî, that minister, surrounded by forces, replied in reasonable words thus :– “O Devî! You are speaking in words befitting a woman and puffed up with pride. You are a woman; the lord of the Daityas is a hero; how can a battle be engaged between you two. It seems to me impossible. Your body is delicate, a girl in full youth; especially you are alone and Mahisa is of huge body and powerful; so the fight comes next to impossibility. He has elephants, horses, chariots, infantry, etc., and countless soldiers all armed with weapons. Therefore, O Beautiful One! He will find no difficulty in killing you in battle as an elephant finds no difficulty in treading over the Mâlati flowers. Rather, if I utter anything harsh to you, that would go against the sentiment of love, with you; therefore I cannot speak rudely to you out of my fear not to interrupt the above feeling. True, that our king is an enemy of the gods; but be has become extremely devoted to you. Therefore it is wise to speak words full of conciliation or generosity. Were it otherwise, I would have shot arrows at you and would have killed you in as much as you have thus boasted in vain and spoken so dire a falsehood, resting merely on the strength of your youthful pride and cleverness. My master has become fascinated on hearing your extraordinary beauty hardly to be seen in this world; it therefore behoves me to speak sweet words to you for the sake of pleasing my master. O Large-eyed! This kingdom and the wealth thereof are all yours; in fact, Mahisa will be your obedient servant; therefore, better forsake your anger, leading

to your death; and cultivate friendship with him. O Sweet Smiling One! I am falling at your feet; you better go to him and become at once queen-consort. O Handsome Woman! No sooner you become the queen of Mahisa than you will get at once all the pure wealth of the three worlds and the unbounding happiness of this world.”

29-45. The Devî said :– “Minister! I now speak what is pregnant with goodness and wisdom to you, according to the rules of the S’âstras, keeping in view also the cleverness that you have shown in using your words. Now I come to understand from your talk, that you are the chief secretary of Mahisa; and therefore your nature and intelligence are like those of a beast. And how can he be intelligent, whose ministership is occupied by a man of your nature! Nature has ordained connection between two persons of like nature. O Stupid One! Did you think a little beforehand the meaning of your words when you told me of my feminine nature? Though I am not apparently a man, yet my nature is that of the Highest Purusa (Man); I shew myself simply in a feminine form. Your master asked before from Brahmâ that he would prefer death, if possible, at the hands of a woman ; therefore, I consider him quite illiterate and ignorant of the sentiment, worthy of a hero. Because to die at the hands of a woman is very painful to one who is a hero; and this is gladly welcome to one who is a hermaphrodite. Now see that your master Mahisa has shown his intelligence, when he courted his death from the hands of a woman. For that very reason, I have come here in the shape of a woman to effect my purpose; why shall I fear, then, to hear your words, contradictory to those of the S’âstras. When Fate goes against any one, a grass comes like a thunderbolt; and when fate goes in favour of anyone, a thunderbolt becomes as soft as a bundle of cotton. What does it avail even when one possesses an extensive army or various weapons in abundance, taking shelter in a wide extending fort? What will his soldiers do to him, whose death has come close at hand? Whenever, in due time, the connection of the Jîva (the human soul) with this body is brought about, then his pleasures, pains and death are written. Know this as certain, very certain, that death will come to him in the manner as written by the hands of Fate; it will never be otherwise. As the birth and death of Brahmâ and other gods are ordained, your death has been similarly ordained; no, there is no need of taking the example further than this. Those who are tied up by the hands of death are surely fools and of extremely blunt intellect, if they think simply on the strength of their getting some boons “that they would never die.” Therefore go quickly to your king and speak to him what I have said; you will then surely obey what he commands you to do. If he wants his life, he, with his retinue, would at once go down to Pâtâla; let Indra and the other Devas get possession of the Heavens and their share of Yajñas. If he holds a contrary opinion, let him be eager to go to the house of Death and come and fight with Me. If he thinks that Visnu and the other Devas have fled from the battle-fields, he has nothing to boast of; for he has not shewn his manliness at all even then; for his victory is solely due to his having got the boon from Brahmâ.”

46-52. Vyâsa said :– Hearing these words of the Devî, the Dânava began to think whether I ought to fight or to go to Mahisa? The King has become very enamoured and has sent me hither to negotiate for marriage; how then will I be able to go to him if I make this affair unpleasant and interrupted in the middle in its course of harmony. Now it is wise for me to go to the King without fighting; let me then go as early as possible in this way and inform him about this whole affair. The King is exceptionally intelligent and experienced; he will consult with his other experienced ministers and do what is best. Therefore I ought not to fight here rashly; for victory or defeat would alike be distasteful to my monarch. Whether this Lady kills me, or I kill this Lady, the king will be angry in either case. I will therefore go now to the king and tell him what the Devî has said; he will do whatever he likes.

53-66. Vyâsa said :– Thus that intelligent son of the minister argued and went to the king. Then, bowing down before him, he began to say thus :– O King! That excellent woman, fascinating to the world, the beautiful Devî is sitting on a lion with weapons in all her eighteen hands. O King! I told her “O Beautiful Lady! Be attached to Mahisâsura; you will become, then, the queen-consort of the king, the lord of the three worlds. You will certainly then be his queen-consort; he will pass his life, ever obedient to you like an obedient servant. O Beautiful One! If you choose to make Mahisa your husband, you will become fortunate amongst women and will enjoy ever all the wealth of the three worlds.” Hearing my these words, that large-eyed woman, puffed up with egoism, laughed a little and said thus :– “Your king is born of a buffalo and is the worst of brutes; I will sacrifice him before the Devî for the benefit of the gods. Is there any woman in this world so stupid as to select Mahisa as her husband? O You stupid! Can a woman like me ever indulge in bestial sentiments! A female buffalo has got horns; she, being excited with passion, may select your Mahisa with horns as her husband and come to him bellowing. I am not stupid nor like her so as to make him my husband. O Villain! I will fight and destroy the enemies of the gods in the battle-field. Or if he desires to live, let him flee to Pâtâla. O King! Hearing those rough words uttered by Her in a moment of madness, I have come to you, thinking also how to redress this wrong. O King! Only I feared not to interrupt in your love sentiment; and therefore I did not fight with Her; especially, without Your command, how can I engage myself in useless excitement? O Lord of the Earth! That handsome woman rests maddened on Her own strength; I do not know what is in the womb of future or whatever is destined to happen, will surely come to pass. You are the sole master in this matter; I will do whatever you order me. The matter is very difficult to be reflected upon; whether it is better to fight or it is better to fly away, I cannot say definitely.”

Here ends the Tenth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on the messenger’s news to Mahisa, in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XI

On the appearing of the Dânava Tâmra before the Devî

1-3. Vyâsa said :– The King Mahisâsura, maddened with pride, heard the messenger’s words and called the aged and experienced ministers and said thus :– O Ministers! What am I to do now? Better judge you all well, and speak out definitely to me. Is it that this Devî has been created by the Devas like the Mâyâ of Sambarâsura and thus has appeared before us? You are all dexterous and know where to apply the four means of success, viz., conciliation, gift or bribery, sowing dissensions, and war; and therefore you would better tell me which one of the above four, I am to adopt now.

4-7. The ministers said :– O King! One should always speak true and at the same time pleasant; the wise ones should then select only those which are beneficial and apply them. O King! As a medicine, though bitter, cures diseases, so true words, though appearing unpleasant, lead to beneficial results. Those that are simply pleasant, are generally injurious as to their effects. O Lord of the Earth! The bearers and approvers of truth both are very rare; truth speakers also are very difficult to be seen; laudatory sycophancy is found in a great measure in this world. O King! Nobody in the three worlds knows what will be good or what will lead to inauspicious results? How can we then definitely pronounce our judgment in this difficult matter?

8-9. The King said :– Let each of you say separately, according to his own intellect, what is his opinion; I will hear them all and consider for myself. Clever persons should hear the opinions of several persons, then judge for himself what is the best and then adopt that as what is to be done.

10. Vyâsa said :– Hearing his words, the powerful Virûpâksa came out foremost of all and began to say pleasant words to the King.

11-16. O King! Please take for certain, what has been spoken by that ordinary woman, swelled with vanity, as words simply to scare you. The efforts and courage of a woman are known to all; who will be afraid therefore, to hear abusive language from a woman, praising her ownself in matters of warfare? O King! You have conquered the three worlds by your own heroic valour; now if you acknowledge your inferiority, out of fear to a woman, you would be subject to very much disgrace in this world. Therefore, O King! I will go alone to fight with Chandikâ and I will kill Her. You can stay here now without any fear. O King! See my prowess now; I am just now going with my army and I will kill that violent Chandikâ, maddened with pride, or I will tie Her down by a coil of snakes and bring Her before you; then that Lady, seeing Herself helpless, will become quite submissive to you; there is no doubt in this.

17-30. Vyâsa said :– Hearing these words of Virûpâksa, Durdhara said :– O King! Virûpâksa is very intelligent; what he has said just now is all reasonable and true. O King! You are intelligent; hear my words full of truth also. As far as I think, I consider that woman with beautiful teeth as passionate. For that woman of broad hips has expressed a desire to bring you under control by making you fearful; the mistresses, proud of their beauty generally use such words when they become passionate. When they behave in this way, people call these amorous gestures. These crooked words of mistresses are the chief causes in attracting dear persons unto them. Those who are skilled in the art of love affair, some of them can know these things thoroughly well. O King! That woman has said, “I will pierce and kill you by arrows, face to face, in the battlefield.” The sense of this is different. The wise persons that are clever and experienced in the art of finding out the cause, declare that the above sentence is pregnant with deep and esoteric meaning. You can easily see that the handsome women have no other arrows with them; their side-glances are their arrows. And their words carry their hidden meanings, and, expressing their desires, are their flowers. O King! Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a even have no powers to shoot arrows at you; how can, then, that helpless woman, who appears so passionate, dart real arrows at you? O King! That lady said :– “O Stupid! I will kill your King by my arrow-like eye-sight.” But the messenger was wanting in that power to appreciate; so he, no doubt, understood her words in their contrary sense. The saying of that lady, “I will lay your lord in the death-bed in the battle-field” is to be taken in the light of inverted sexual intercourse, where woman is above the man. Her utterance, “I will take away the vitality (life) of your lord” is also significant. The semen virile is known as the vitality (life). Therefore the above expression means that she will make you devoid of your virility. There can be no other meaning. O King! Those women that are excellent shew by too much of their covert expressions (innuendos) that they select and like very much their beloved. The experts only in these amorous affairs will be able to appreciate these things. Knowing thus, dealings ought to be made with Her so that the harmony in amorous sentiments be not broken. O King! Sâma (conciliation) and Dâna (gifts) are the two means to be adopted; there is no other way. By these two, that Lady, whether she be proud or angry, is sure to have brought under control; I will go now and bring Her before you by such sweet words. O King! What is the use of my talking too much? I will make Her submissive to you like a slave girl.

31-44. Vyâsa said :– Hearing those words of Durdhara, the Dânava Tâmra, who was very experienced in finding out the real nature, said :– “I am telling you what is sanctioned by virtue and is at the same time full of sweet amorous feelings, pregnant with deep meanings. Kindly hear; O Giver of honour! This intelligent woman is not at all passionate nor devoted to you; nor has that woman used any covert expressions to you. O Great Hero! This is strange indeed that a Lady, beautiful, handsome, and of strange features, at the same time alone and helpless, has come here to fight. A good-looking woman, powerful, and having eighteen hands is never heard of, nor ever seen by me in these three worlds. She is holding in each of Her hands powerful weapons. O king! All these seem to be the contrary actions of Time. O King! I saw ominous dreams during the night; and I conclude, therefore, that great dangers are over our heads. Early in the morning twilight, I saw in my dream that a woman, wearing a black raiment, was weeping in the inner courtyard; that some inauspicious events are forthcoming can be easily judged from the above. O King! The birds were screaming hoarsely in every house and various calamitous events were seen in various houses; at this time that woman, firmly resolved, was challenging you to fight; it, therefore seems to me that there is something very serious in this matter. O Lord! This woman is neither human, nor a Gandharvî, nor the wife of any Asura. Only to cause delusion to us, she, this wondrous Mâyâ has been created by the gods. O King! In no case, weakness is to be resorted; it is wise by all means to fight as best as possible; what is inevitable will come to pass; this is my opinion. No one is able to unriddle the of the Devas, whether they would be auspicious or inauspicious. Therefore intelligent ones should weigh pros and cons carefully and remain patient and steady. O King! Life or death is at the hands of Destiny; Nobody, therefore, can do it otherwise.”

45-51. Hearing this, Mahisâsura said :– “O Highly fortunate Tâmra! Better, then, stand for fight, fully resolved and go to that Lady, beautiful, and conquer Her according to rules of justice and bring Her before me. In case She does not come under your control in fight, kill Her; but if She comes round, then show Her honour; do not kill Her. O All-knowing! You are a great hero and at the same thoroughly conversant with Kâma S’âstra (science of love); therefore conquer that Fair One by any means you can. O valiant Tâmra, of mighty prowess! Go then with a mighty force and ponder over again and again and find out Her intention. Is She prompted by passion or by real inimical feeling or by any other motive? Try to find out whose Mâyâ is this? Know all these beforehand; then find out the remedy; next fight with Her according to your strength and prowess. Weakness should not be shown nor merciless behaviour is to be resorted; you should behave with Her according to the bent of Her mind.”

52. Vyâsa said :– O king! Thus hearing the King’s words, Tâmra coming as if under the sway of Death, saluted the king Mahisa and marched away with his army.

53-66. That wicked Dânava, who, on his way, began to see all the fearful inauspicious signs, indicative of Death, became surprised and was caught with fear. When he arrived at the spot, he saw the Devî standing on a lion, while She was decorated with all the weapons and instruments, and all the Devas were chanting hymns to Her. Tâmra, then bowed down before Her with humility and modesty and addressed Her with sweet words, according to the rules of the policy of conciliation. “O Devî! Mahisa, the lord of the Daityas, has become enchanted on hearing Your beauty and qualifications and has become desirous to marry You. O Beautiful One! You would better be graciously pleased with that conqueror of the Immortals, the Mahisâsura; O Thou of delicate limbs! Make him your husband and enjoy all the exquisite pleasures of the Nandana garden as best as you can. The end and aim of attaining this human form, beautiful in every respect and the abode of all bliss, is to enjoy, in every way, all the pleasures of human existence and to avoid the sources of all troubles. This is the rule.

“O Thou of beautiful thighs like those of the young of an elephant! Your soft and delicate lotus-like hands are fit to play only with nice balls of flowers; why then are You holding in Your hands all the weapons and arrows? What is the use of holding ordinary arrows, when those two eye-brows like bows, are existing with You? What need have you to take ordinary arrows when you are graced with those piercing eye sights, your arrows. The war is exceedingly painful in this world; those who know thus ought never to fight. It is only those human beings that are prompted by greed that fight with each other. What to speak of those sharpened arrows, one ought not to fight with flowers even; O Devî! You can well say who is it that feels pleasure, when one’s own body is pierced? Therefore, O Delicate One! Gladly you can worship Mahisa, the lord of the world and the object of worship of the Devas and Dânavas. Then he will satisfy all your desires. What more to say, you will no doubt be his queen-consort. O Devî! If one tries one’s best, it is doubtful whether one would be crowned with success; therefore keep my this request; you will surely get all the best pleasures. O Beautiful! You are well acquainted with all the politics; therefore you better enjoy thoroughly the pleasures of the kingdom for full many years. And if you marry Mahisa you will have beautiful sons and those sons again will be kings; and enjoying the pleasures of your full grown womanhood, you will no doubt, be happy in your old age.”

Here ends the Eleventh Chapter of the Fifth Book on the appearing of the Dânava Tâmra before the Devî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

THE FIFTH BOOK

Chapter XII

On the holding of counsel by Mahisâsura

1. Vyâsa said :– The World-Mother, hearing Tâmra’s words, spoke laughing a little and with a deep voice like that of a rumbling thunder cloud.

2-13. The Devî spoke :– “O Tâmra! Go and say to your Lord Mahisa who, it seems, is stupid, whose end is nigh, who has become very passionate, and who is void of knowledge what is proper and what is improper. I am not like your grown up mother, the she-buffalo, having horns, eating grass, with a long tail and a big-belly. I do not like to have Visnu, the god S’ankara, Brahmâ, Kuvera, Varuna, or Fire. How then can I select a beast? If I do so, I will be an object of much censure amongst the several worlds. I am not desirous of any more husband; my Husband is existing; though He is the Lord of all, Witness of All, yet He is not the Actor; He is without any desires and He is calm and tranquil. He, the S’iva, is devoid of any Prakritic qualities, without any attachment, the Great Infinite, without anyone to rely on, without any refuge, omniscient, omnipresent, the Great Witness, the Full, and the seat of the Full, the Auspicious. He is the abode of all, capable to do all, the peaceful, capable to create everything and He is seeing everywhere. How can I then leave Him and try to serve the dull, stupid Mahisa? Let him come and fight with this understanding that he will be defeated and be made the conveyance of Yama, the God of Death or the carrier of water of the human beings. And if that impious heretic desire to live, let him fly at once to Pâtâla with all his demon comrades; else I will slay him in battle. See! The combination of similar substances leads to happiness; and if out of ignorance, the connection takes place between things entirely different in their natures, it becomes at once the source of all pains and troubles. You are a thorough illiterate when you ask me to worship your lord; do you not see me endowed with exquisite beauty? and what is your Mahisa? A buffalo with horns; how can then creation become possible between us? Better fly away or fight if you like; I will kill you and your friends, and if you leave the region of Heavens and the share of Yajñâ, then you will become happy.”

14-30. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus saying, the Devî howled and roared so loudly that it appeared strange and it caused a great terror to the Dânavas who took it as the great dissolution of the universe at the end of a Kalpa. The earth and the mountains trembled; the wives of the Dânavas, had miscarriages at that terrific noise. Tâmra hearing that sound was terrified; his mind became unsteady and he at once fled to Mahisa. O King! The Dânavas present in the city became deaf; thy fled and became very anxious and were absorbed in the thought whence and how that sound came. The lion, too, enraged and, raising up its manes, roared so loud that the Daityas became very much terrified. Mahisa, too, became confounded to see Tâmra returning; he then held a council with his ministers what ought to be done next? Mahisâsura said :– “O best of the Dânavas! Shall we now take our shelter within the forts? Or shall we go out and fight? Or will it be favourable to us if we fly away? You all are intelligent and versed in all the S’âstras and unconquerable by your foes; therefore ought you all to consult over the the matter in utmost privacy for our success at the present moment. The root of Kingdom lies in the council in the secret place (cabinet) and Statesmanship; if this counsel be kept well preserved in secrecy, then that Kingdom is also kept entire; therefore it is highly incumbent that the plan be kept in strictest confidence amongst the good and virtuous ministers. If the plan be out, then destruction comes both to the King and his Kingdom; hence the plan must be kept secret by those wanting glory, lest it be taken advantage of and rendered ineffective by other persons. O Ministers! Now declare, taking due consideration of time and place, after duly discussing and ascertaining what is the best course to adopt, what would be beneficial and full of reason and intelligence. First find out the cause why this powerful woman, created by the Devas has come here alone and helpless? That woman is challenging us to fight. What more wonder can there be than this? Who can say in the three worlds what the result will be, whether it will be good or otherwise? Victory comes not to many persons nor defeat comes to a single individual; therefore victory or defeat lies at the hands of the Luck and Destiny. Those who plead for place, policy, statesmanship, they say what is Fate? Is there anyone who has seen Fate? (Adrista) No one has seen His appearance. It may be argued that there may exist such a thing as Fate; to which it might be replied, what proofs are there for such an existence? Thus the weak persons alone hold it out as their only hope; nowhere are seen energetic persons who can fulfil their ends by their own efforts, by those who enrol themselves under Fate. Therefore “effort,” “energy” are the words of the heroes and “Fate” is the word of the cowards. You should all consider today these subjects fully and intelligently and then decide what are we to do?”

31-39. Vyâsa said :– Thus hearing the King, the famous Vidâlâksa with folded hands spoke thus :– O King! First it should be definitely ascertained whose wife is she, this woman possessing large eyes? Whence and for what purpose has she come here; next what ought to be done should be decided. It seems to me that the Devas, knowing that your death will ensue from the hands of a woman, have created very carefully this lotus-eyed woman out of their own essences. And they are lying in wait, unknown to anybody in the celestial space with a desire to see the battle but really to fight with you. In due time, they will undoubtedly help this woman. When the war will ensue, Visnu and the other Devas will put this woman in front and slay us all. Whereas this Devî will slay you. This is their earnest desire. O King! I have come to know this beforehand; but what will be the actual result I cannot say. I cannot say also whether it is advisable for You to fight now; therefore it would be better if you consider yourself well on this matter of the gods and do accordingly. Our duty, the duty of your servants lies in this :– That we should sacrifice at any moment our lives for the preservation of your prestige and to enjoy with you whenever you are enjoying. But, O King! It is extremely advisable to ponder over this very carefully when we see that this woman, though alone, is challenging us to fight who are armed with powerful soldiers.

40-44. Durmukha said :– O King! I know for certain, that we will not get victory in this battle; still we ought not to show our backs; for that would lead us to sheer disgrace. Even in our encounter with Indra and other Devas, we did nothing hateful and blameable; then how can any of us fly away when we come face to face with a helpless woman? Therefore fight we must; that is certain; let whatever happen. What is inevitable, must come to pass. Thus considered, what need we care for the result? If we die in the battle, we will get name and fame; if we be victorious, we will get happiness. Thus thinking both the cases, we must fight today. Death is inevitable when our longevity expires; our prestige will suffer if we fly away; therefore we ought not to spend uselessly our time in thus expressing our vain regret for life or for death.

45-51. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the Durmukha’s words, Vâskala, the eloquent speaker, thus spoke to the king, with clasped hands and his head bowed down. O King! You need not think thus in agony with this unpleasant affair; alone I will kill that Chandikâ, of unsteady eyes. O Best of kings! To be always prompt and energetic indicates that one is steady in one’s heroic valour; to consider one’s enemy as dreadful is contrary to above; so we ought now to take recourse to heroic valour. O King! Therefore I will discard fear altogether and fight out valiantly; I will no doubt, send Chandikâ in the battlefield to the abode of Death. I fear not Yama, nor Indra, nor Kuvera, nor Vayu nor Agni, nor Visnu, nor S’ankara, nor Moon nor Sun; I do not fear any of them; what fear can I, then, entertain of that vain arrogant woman, who has got none to support her. I will kill Her with these arrows, sharpened on stones. You can see today the prowess of my arms and enjoy peace; you will not have to go to battle anymore to fight with Her.

52-65. Vyâsa said :– O King! Vâskala having said thus to the lord Mahisa in a haughty spirit, Durdhara bowed down and said thus :– O Lord of the earth! Let the purpose be whatsoever, with which the beautiful Devî with eighteen hands, the creation of the gods, may come hither, I will vanquish Her. O King! I think, it is simply to terrify you, as the Suras have thus created this Mâyâ woman; therefore, do you forsake your delusion by knowing this merely as a scare. O King! Such is the statesmanship; now hear about the workings of the ministers. Ministers in this world are of three kinds :– (1) Sâttvik; (2) Râjasik and (3) Tâmasik. Those ministers in whom the Sattva quality is predominant, they perform their Master’s duties according to their own strength. The Sâttvik Mantris (ministers) are well versed in their Mantra S’âstras (the policies and statesmanship), virtuous and one-pointed in their thoughts, they never do any injury to their king and they fulfil their own purposes. The Râjasik Mantris are of different sorts; they are always after their own interests; at times, whenever they like, they do the State duties. The Tâmasik Mantris always look of their own interests out of their greedy nature; they serve their ends even by ruining the regal interests. It is the Tâmasik Mantris that are influenced by the bribes from the enemies, become separated at their hearts from their own masters and give out the secrets to the enemies, while staying in their homes. They always advise alienation policy like the sword ensheathed in a scabbard; and when the time of war comes, they always frighten their masters. Therefore, O King! Never put your trust on ministers; if you do so, they will always hinder you in your actions and counsels; what harm cannot be done by those ministers that are treacherous, greedy, deceitful and void of any intelligence and always addicted to vicious acts, when they are trusted! Therefore, O King! I will go myself to the battle and serve your purpose; you need not be at all anxious in this matter. I will soon bring before you that vicious woman; I will do your actions by my own strength and powers. Let you be calm; and look at my strength, fortitude and valour.

Here ends the Twelfth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the holding of counsel by Mahisâsura in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 Slokas by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIII

On the killing of Vâskala and Durmukha

1-6. Vyâsa said :– O King! The two powerful Dânavas Vâskala and Durmukha, well-versed in arts of warfare, went out for battle, maddened with their prowess. The two Dânavas, elated with vanity, went to the battle-field and began to address the Devî in voice deep as the rumbling of a cloud. O Beautiful Devî! You better choose and worship the Lord of the Daityas, that high-souled Mahisâsura who has conquered all the Devas. He will come before you in privacy in a human shape, with all auspicious signs and adorned with beautiful ornaments. O Sweet smiling One! better place your highest feelings of love on the lovely Mahisa as your husband, and you will get all the pleasures of the three worlds as you desire. O Sweet speaking! In short, if you select him as your husband, you will be the mistress of those incomparable worldly happinesses that women always aspire.

7-13. Hearing thus the words of Vâskala and Durmukha, the Devî said :– “O Stupid! Do you think Me as deluded by passion? Do I not possess strength and intelligence that I will worship that hypocrite Mahisa as husband? See! The ladies of a high family select those persons that are equal in rank as far as family and distinctions, qualifications and propriety of conduct are concerned or those who are superior in beauty, cleverness, intelligence and other qualifications. Then how can a Devî, becoming passionate, worship the worst of all beasts, the beast Mahisa? O two Asuras! Go you immediately to your King Mahisa resembling in his body like an elephant and having a pair of horns and tell him, Go either to Pâtâla (the nether regions) or come and fight with Me; the Lord of the Devas will no doubt be happy if the war ensues. O Stupid! My advent here cannot go in vain; I will easily slay you and then depart; knowing this do as you like. O Beast! Without conquering Me, you would get no shelter either in the heavens, or in this earth, or in the caves of mountains?”

14-25. Vyâsa said :– Hearing thus, the two powerful Daityas, with eyes reddened with anger, firmly resolved to fight and took bows and arrows in their hands. O Descent of Kuru! The Devî then made a terrible noise and fearlessly stood there. The two Dânavas then began to shoot dreadful arrows at Her. For the victory of the Devas, the Devî also begin to hurl arrows after arrows on the two Dânavas, emitting a sweet sound. Vâskala first came forward with no delay; and Durmukha stood aloof there simply as a witness. The terrible fight then ensued between the Devî and Vâskala; arrows, swords and weapons were seen shining in the air and raised terror to those that were dull in intellect. Then the Mother of the Universe seeing Vâskala growing turbulent shot at him five arrows sharpened on stone. The Dânava, too, cut off the arrows of the Devî and hurled seven arrows at Her, seated on a lion. The Devî cut off the Dânava’s arrows and shot at that hypocrite, sharpened arrows and began to laugh frequently. She again cut off his arrows with Ardhachandra arrow; Vâskala then pursued the Devî with a club in his hands to slay Her. Seeing the arrogant Dânava with club in his hands, Chandikâ Devî struck him down on the ground with Her own club. The very powerful Vâskala fell down on the ground but rose up within a very short time and hurled again on the Devî his club. Seeing him again attacking Her, the Devî got angry and pierced him with Her trident; Vâskala fell down, thus pierced, and died.

26-38. Vâskala falling thus dead on the field, the soldiers of the wicked demon routed; whereas the Devas became glad and repeatedly shouted aloud, “Victory to the Devî.” On this Daitya being slain, Durmukha came forward on the battle-field, filled with anger and accompanied by a stronger army. Mounted on a chariot, shielded all over his body with a coat of armour, Durmukha came before the Devî, shouting all along, “Wait, wait, O You weak woman!” and with bows and arrows in his hands. The Devî blew Her conchshell and made sounds by stretching Her bow in order to make the Dânava infuriated with anger. The Asura then began to shoot sharp arrows after arrows like poisonous snakes. The Mahâmâyâ, by Her own arrows, cut off those of Her enemy and began to shout loudly. The fight then raged furiously, when both parties began to use arrows, S’aktis, clubs, Musalas, and Tomaras. Blood began to flow in the battle-field in torrents like rivers and on the banks of that river of blood, were seen the severed heads of the dead bodies which looked like so many hollow shells of gourds, as if kept there by the attendant of the god of Death, for their swimming purposes. The battle-field, then, became very dreadful and impassable; at some places dead bodies are lying; wolves are feeding on their flesh; at other places are seen jackals, dogs, herons, crows, vultures, eagles, and other voracious birds and beasts and iron-tipped arrows, eating the dead bodies of those wicked demons. Air began to emit an offensive smell, because of its contact with these corpses; and there were heard the heart-rending sounds of various carnivorous birds and animals. Then the wicked Durmukha began, as if inspired by the god of Death, to address the Devî angrily and arrogantly with his right hand raised up before Her. “Your brain has become perverted; fly away just now or I will send you unto death, or you better accept the proud Mahisa, the lord of the Daityas, as your husband.”

39-50. The Devî said :– “O Villain! I see your death at hand this very day; therefore you are deluded and therefore raving like a mad man. I will kill you today like Vâskala. O Stupid! Better fly away; or if you prefer death, then wait; I will slay you first; then the dull Mahisa, the son of a she-buffalo.” Hearing thus, Durmukha, as if prompted by Death, hurled dreadful arrows on the Devî. Instantly the Devî, too, cut off all his arrows and, infuriated with anger, pierced the Dânava by sharpened arrows as Indra had pierced Vritrâsura before. The fight then turned out very dreadful. O King! Weak persons become very afraid and strong ones become very excited. Instantly the Devî cut off the Asura’s bow and broke his chariot by five arrows. On seeing his chariot broken, the powerful Durmukha attacked on foot the Devî with his club, very hard to overcome. He knocked at the head of the lion with that club with great force; but the powerful lion did not become unsteady, though so very hard hit. Seeing the demon thus standing before Her, the goddess Ambikâ cut down his head by her sharpened axe. On his head being thus severed, Durmukha fell down dead on the field. The band of Immortals, then, loudly shouted, “Victory to the Devî.” When Durmukha was slain, the Immortals from the celestial space began to chant praises and hymns to the Devî, showered down flowers on Her head and gave shouts of “Victory to the Devî.” The Risis, Siddhas, Gandarbhas, Vidyâdharas, and Kinnaras all became very glad to see the Demon dead on the field.

Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Vâskala and Durmukha in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIV

On the killing of Tâmra and Chiksura

1-4. Vyâsâ said :– Hearing the death news of Durmukha, Mahisâsura became blind with anger and began to utter repeatedly to the Dânavas, “O! What is this? What is this? Alas! That delicate woman has slain in battle the two heroes Durmukha and Vâskala! Lo! Now look at the wonderful workings of the Daiva (Fate). It is the acts virtuous, or otherwise that make men dependent; and the powerful Time awards pleasure or pain accordingly. The two powerful Demons are killed; what are we to do hereafter? You all judge and say what is reasonable at this critical juncture.”

5-23. Vyâsa said :– When the powerful Mahisa said thus, his general Chiksura, the great warrior spoke as follows :– “O King! Why are you so anxious as to take away the life of a delicate woman? I will kill Her;” thus saying he departed for battle, mounted on his chariot and accompanied by his own army. The powerful Tâmra accompanied him as his attendant; the sky and all the quarters became filled with the clamour of their vast army. The auspicious Devî Bhagavatî saw them before Her and She made an extraordinary wonderful sound with Her conchshell, with Her bow string and with Her great bell. The Asuras heard that and trembled and fled, speaking amongst each other, “What is this?” The Chiksurâksa seeing them turning their backs, told them very angrily, “O Dânavas! What fear has now overcome you? I will slay today this vain woman in the battle with arrows; so you should quit your fear and remain steady in battle.” Thus saying, the Dânava Chieftain Chiksura came fearlessly before the Devî with bows and arrows in his hands and, accompanied by his army, angrily spoke thus :– “O Thou of large and broad eyes! Why are you roaring to terrify the weak persons! O the Soft limbed One! I have heard all about your deeds but I am not a bit afraid of You. O One of beautiful eyes! It is a matter of disgrace, rather sin, to kill a woman; knowing this my heart wants to pass over this act (does not like to do it, if my purpose be served without it).

O Beautiful One! The women fight with their side glances and amorous gestures; but I have never heard a woman like you coming to fight with arms and weapons. Even the delicate flowers, Mâlati, etc., cause pain on the bodies of beautiful women like you; so it is not advisable to fight against you with flowers even; what to speak of sharpened arrows! Fie on those who spend their lives according to the Ksatriya Dharma! Oh! Who can praise that Dharma which allows this dear body of ours to be pierced by sharpened arrows? This dear body is nourished by sweet food, by being smeared with oil, and by smelling the scents of beautiful flowers. Ought, then, one to destroy it by arrows from an enemy? Men get their bodies pierced by arrows and then become rich. Now is it possible for the riches to give pleasure afterwards when they caused such pains in the beginning? Even if this be so, fie on those riches! O Beautiful One! It seems you are not intelligent; why have you desired to fight instead of to enjoy sexual pleasures. O beautiful! What merits have you found in the battle that you have chosen this. Where you see the action of the axes and spears, striking each other with clubs, and hurling of sharpened arrows and weapons and where, when death comes, jackals come and feed upon the dead bodies, what merits have you been able to trace out in these things! It is only those cunning poets that praise these; they say that those who die in battle go to heaven! O Beautiful! Those sayings are, no doubt, mere flatteries. Therefore, O Excellent One! Go away anywhere else you like; or accept this king Mahisa, the tormentor of the Devas, as your husband.”

24-30. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Dânava Chiksura speaking thus, the Divine Mother addressed him thus :– O Stupid! Why are you speaking false words, having no significance, like a literary man giving out mere words only? You do not know anything of politics, ethics, metaphysics; you serve the illiterate and stupid; therefore, you are also a first class illiterate; you do not know what are the royal duties; then what are you speaking before me? I will kill that Mahisâsura in battle make the soil muddy with his blood, thus establish firmly My pillar of Fame and then go happily to My abode. Surely will I slay that vain vicious demon, the tormentor of the Devas. Better fight steadily. O Stupid! Better go to Pâtâla with all the Dânavas, if you and Mahisa desire to live any longer. And if you like to go unto death, then be ready and fight without any delay; I will slay you all; this is My firm resolve.

31-39. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing the Devî’s words, the Dânava, proud of his own strength, began to hurl instantly on Her showers of arrows, as if another shower of rain burst upon Her. The Devî cut off those arrows into pieces by Her sharp arrows and shot at him dreadful arrows like poisonous snakes. Then their fight became astounding to the public; the Divine Mother, then, struck him with Her club so much that he fell down from his chariot. That vicious demon, thus struck by the club, remained senseless near to his chariot for two muhûrtas, fixed like a mountain. Tâmra, the tormentor of the foes, seeing him thus, could not remain steady and came forward to fight with Chandikâ. The Devî seeing him laughed and said, “O Dânava! Come, Come, I will instantly send you unto death. Or, what is the use of your coming? You are so weak that you can be called lifeless. What is that stupid Mahisa doing now? Is he thinking out the way to save his life? You all are too weak; no use in killing you, all my labours will go in vain, if that wicked Mahisa, the enemy of the gods, be not slain. Therefore, do you go to your home and send here your king Mahisa. I am staying here in that form in which that wicked one likes very much to see Me.”

40-56. Hearing Her words, Tâmra became very angry and drawing his bow up to his ear, began to hurl arrows after arrows on Chandikâ Devî. The Bhagavatî, too, had her eyes reddened with anger and drawing Her bow began to shoot arrows quickly at the demon, wishing to kill, as early as possible, the enemy of the gods. In the meanwhile, Chiksura regained his senses, and taking up again his bow in an instant, came before the Devî. Then Chiksura and Tâmra, the two valiant warriors, began to fight dreadfully with the Devî. Mahâ Mâyâ then, became very angry and began to hurl arrows after arrows so incessantly that all the armours of all the Dânavas became pierced and were cut down to pieces. The Asuras, thus pierced by arrows, became infuriated with anger and hurled angrily a network of arrows upon the Devî. The Dânavas, thus struck with sharp arrows and filled with cuts and wounds looked like the red Kims’uka flowers in the spring. The fight then grew so severe between Tâmra and Bhagavatî that the seers, the Devas, were all struck with wonder. Tâmra struck on the head of the lion with his dreadful hard Musala (club), made of iron, and laughed and shouted aloud. Seeing him thus vociferating, the Devî became angry and cut off his head by her sharp axes in no time. The head being thus severed from the body, Tâmra, though headless, for a moment turned round his Musala and then fell down on the ground. The powerful Chiksura, seeing Tâmra thus falling down, instantly took up his axe and ran after Chandikâ. Seeing Chiksura with axe in his hand, the Bhagavatî quickly shot at him five arrows. With one arrow, his axe was cut down, with the second arrow his hands were cut and with the remaining ones his head was severed from his body. Thus when the two cruel warriors were slain, their soldiers soon fled away in terror in all directions. The Devas were exceedingly glad at their downfall and showered gladly flowers from the sky and uttered shouts of Victory to the Devî. The Risis, Gandarbhas, the Vetâlas, the Siddhas and Châranas were all very glad and began to utter repeated, “O Goddess! Victory, victory be Yours.”

Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on the killing of Tâmra and Chiksura in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XV

On the slaying of Vidâlâksa and Asilomâ

1-3. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing the two Demons slain by the Devî, Mahisâsura became very much amazed and sent the powerful Asilomâ and Vidâlâksa and the other Dânavas to the battle to kill the Devî. The Dânavas, all very skilled in the art of warfare, marched on for battle, fully equipped with weapons and clad in armour, and we attended by a vast army. They arrived there and saw the Divine Mother with eighteen hands taking Her stand on a lion, with axes and shield in Her hands.

4-5. The calm-tempered Asilomâ appeared before the Devî ready to kill the Daityas, saluted Her and smilingly said :– O Devî! Why have You come here? and what for You are killing these faultless Daityas? O Beautiful One! Tell all these to me truly. We will make treaty with you.

6-17. Take gold, jewels, pearls and any other excellent things the you like and retire from the field as early as passible. Why do you like this warfare tending to increase misery; the wise persons say that it leads to the destruction of all happiness. Your body is very delicate; it cannot bear the stroke of flowers even; then why are you suffering the stroke of weapons on your bodies; I am very much puzzled to think these things. See! The cleverness is judged when peace is the result thereof; for it leads always to happiness. Then why are you liking to fight which will lead only to pain and suffering. Happiness is only to be had and pain is to be avoided; this is the rule. O Devî! That happiness is again of two kinds :– Permanent and transitory. The pleasure that comes out of the knowledge of Atmajñân is permanent and that which is derived from enjoyments is transitory; these who know truly the Veda S’âstra, they avoid this transitory pleasure of enjoyments. If you follow the opinion of the Mimâmsakas and do not believe in the existence of future births, even then you ought not to fight; when you have got this youthful age, you ought to enjoy the excellent pleasures in this world. O One of lean stomach! And if you doubt in the existence of the other worlds after death, even then you ought to desert from fighting and perform, in this life, such actions as will lead you to the attainment of Heavens. This fully developed womanhood is transient; knowing this do virtuous actions always; the wise ones always avoid tormenting others; thus one ought to perform things not contradictory to Dharma, Artha and Kama. Therefore, O Auspicious One! Do You also things virtuous always. O Mother! Why are you killing these Daityas without any cause? There is, again, the feeling of mercy; the lives again of all are dependent on Truth. Therefore the sages always preserve piety, mercy and Truth. O Beautiful One! Then what is the use in Your killing these Demons? Please say explicitly on this point.

18-27. The Devî said :– O Powerful one! Hear why I have come here and why I am killing the Daityas? I answer your question on the above points. O Demon! I, though merely a spectator, always go about all over the worlds, seeing the justices and injustices done by the several souls there. Never I possess any desire of enjoyment, nor have I greed for anything, nor have I enmity with any creature. Only to preserve the virtue and religion and to keep up the righteous, I roam over the worlds. This is My vow and I always adhere to it. To preserve the good and to put down the evil doers is My duty. Many Avataras are to take their incarnations, cycles after cycles, to preserve the Vedas; therefore I incarnate Myself in yugas after yugas. Now the wicked Mahisa is ready to destroy the Devas; seeing this, I have come here to kill him. I tell you verily that I will slay that vicious powerful Mahisâsura, the enemy of the gods. Knowing this, you remain or depart, as you desire. Or you can go to Mahisa, that impious son of a she-buffalo, and say what is the use in sending other Asuras to the battle; he can come himself and fight. If your king likes to make a treaty, then let him avoid his enmity with the Devas and go down to the Pâtâla. Let him return to the Devas whatever he has taken perforce from them and go to the Pâtâla, where Prahlâda is residing.

28-29. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the Devî’s words, Asilomâ asked gladly, before the Devî, the powerful Asura Vidâlâksa :– Well, Vidâlâksa! You have heard just now all what the Devî has said; now are we to observe treaty or declare war. What are we to do under the circumstances?

30-34. Vidâlâksa said :– Our king knows full well that his death will certainly take place in the battle; knowing this, he is not willing to make peace, out of his egoism and vanity. He is seeing before him daily the deaths of the Dânavas and still he has sent us to battle. Who can overcome the destiny? The duty of a servant is a very difficult one; he will have to be always submissive and obedient, without caring the least for his own self-respect; just as the dancing dolls are completely under the hands of the actors and their movements vary according to the pulling of the wires employed in making them dance. How can we then go to our master and say such hard words as he would give away to the Devas all the gems and jewels and go down to Pâtâla with other Dânavas. One considers it one’s duty to speak pleasant words though untrue; true words cannot be beneficial; true and at the same time beneficial words are very rare in this world; at such critical cases, one ought to remain silent. Especially heroes ought never to excite their kings by useless words; this is the essence of politics. We should never go and advise our king with eagerness what is best or to ask advice from him about such things; the king would then certainly be very angry. Therefore we ought to do our duties to the king, even if our lives be at stake. To consider our lives as nothing and to fight for our king are what is best for us.

35-57. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus thinking, the two heroes then wore their coats of armour, mounted on their chariots and, with bows and arrows in their hands, became ready for fight. First Vidâlâksa shot seven arrows; the great warrior Asilomâ stood aloof at a distance as a mere witness. The Divine Mother cut off those arrows to pieces with Her arrows, no sooner they reached Her, and then shot at Vidâlâksa three arrows sharpened on stone. The demon Vidâlâksa fell senselss by these arrows on the battle-field and after a short while died, as if ordained by Fate. Seeing Vidâlâksa thus dead, Asilomâ took up his bows and arrows and came up, for fight. The hero, then, raising his left hand, said briefly, thus :– “O Devî! I know that death is inevitable to the Dânavas; still I am ready to fight; for I am dependent and Mahisa is of very dull intellect; he cannot make any distinction between what is really good and what is merely pleasant. I will never speak before him unpleasant words, though beneficial. Rather I will sacrifice my life in the battle-field than advise him anything, be that auspicious or inauspicious. The Dânavas are being killed no sooner they are shot at by your arrows; seeing this I consider Fate superior to all. Prowess does not lead to any success; Fie on one’s prowess! Thus saying, the Demon began to shower arrows after arrows on the Devî; the Devî, too, cut them to pieces with Her own arrows before they came to Her; and, becoming angry, soon pierced him with arrows. The Devas witnessed this sight from above. The body of the Demon was then covered with cuts and wounds; blood began to flow from them; the Demon consequently began to shine like the jovial Kimsuka tree. Asilomâ then lifted aloft his heavy iron club and ran after Chandikâ and hurt the lion on his head with anger. Not caring at all this severe stroke of the club inflicted by that powerful Demon, the lion tore asunder his arms with his claws. Then that dreadful Demon leapt with club in his hand and got up the shoulder of the lion and hit the Devî very hard. O King! The Devî, then, baffled the hit and cut off the Demon’s head with Her sharp axe. The head being thus severed, the Demon was thrown on the ground with great force; seeing this, a general cry of distress arose among his soldiers. The Devas shouted aloud “Victory to the Devî” and chanted hymns to Her. The drums of the Devas resounded and the Gandarbhas began to dance in great joy. Seeing the two Demons thus lying dead on the battlefield, the lion killed some of the remaining forces by his sheer strength and ate up others, and made the battlefield void of any persons. Some fled away in great distress to Mahisâsura. The fugitives began to cry aloud, “Save us, save us” and said, “O King! Asilomâ and Vidâlâksa are both slain; and those soldiers that remained were eaten up by the lion.” Thus they told and plunged the King in an ocean of dire distress. Hearing their words, Mahisa became absent minded through pain and grief and began to think over the matter with great anxiety.

Here ends the Fifteenth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the slaying of Vidâlâksa and Asilomâ in S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVI

On the conversation between the Devî and Mahisâsura

1-7. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing those words, the King Mahisa in anger addressed the charioteer Darûka :– “Bring over my chariot quickly. That chariot is drawn by one thousand excellent horses, is bedecked with banners, flags, and ensigns, is furnished with various arms and weapons, and is endowed with good wheels of a white colour, and beautiful poles in which the yoke is fixed.” The charioteer brought the chariot instantly and duly informed the king, “O King! I have got the chariot ready at your door, your beautiful chariot, bedecked with beautiful carpets and various arms and weapons.” Hearing that the chariot had been brought, Mahisa thought, the Devî might not care him, seeing him ugly faced with a pair of horns and therefore decided to assume a human shape and then go to the battle. The beauty and cleverness are the delights of women; therefore I will go before Her, with a beautiful body and with all the cleverness and dexterities. For I will never be delighted with anything but that woman looking at me with fondness and becoming passionately attached to me.

8-33. Thus thinking, the powerful King of the Demons quitted the buffalo appearance and assumed a beautiful human shape. He put on beautiful ornaments, armplates, etc., and wore divine cloths and had garlands on his neck and thus shone like a second Kandarpa, the god of Love. Taking, then, all the arrows and weapons, he mounted on the chariot, and attended by his army, went to the Devî, elated with power and vanity. The Devî blew Her conchshell when She saw Mahisâsura, the lord of the Dânavas, come before Her with a handsome appearance, tending to captivate the minds of mistresses and surrounded by many powerful and valiant warriors. The King of the Demons heard the blow of the conchshell, wondrous to all, came up before the Devî and smilingly spoke to Her thus :– O Devî! Whatever person there exists in this world, this wheel of Samsâra (the eternal round of births and deaths), be he or she a man or a woman, everyone always hankers after pleasure or happiness. And that pleasure is derived in this world by the combination of persons with each other; never is it seen where this combination is absent. Again this combination is of various kinds; I will mention them; Hear. Union is of various kinds according as it arises out of affection or out of natural consequences. Of these, I will now speak of unions coming out of affection, as far as my understanding goes. The union that comes between father, mother and their sons arises out of affection; it is therefore good. The union between brother and brother is middling, for mutual interests of give and take are there between the two. In fact, that union is considered as excellent which leads to happiness of the best sort and that union which leads to lesser happiness is known as mediocre. The union amongst the sailors, coming from distant lands, is known as natural. They come on various errands concerning their varied interests. This combination, because it offers the least amount of happiness, is considered as worst. The best union leads in this world to best happiness. O Beloved! The constant union of men and women of the same age is considered as par excellence; for it gives happiness of the very best sort. Both the parties, men and women, are elevated when they want to excel each other in their family connections, qualities, beauty; cleverness, dress, humility and propriety of conduct. Therefore, O Dear! If you establish with me that conjugal relation, you will get, no doubt, all the excellent happiness. Specially I will assume different forms at my mere will. All the Divine jewels and precious things that I have acquired after defeating Indra and the other Devas in battle, and others are lying in my palace; you can enjoy all of them as my queen consort or you can make a charity of them as you like. O Beautiful One! I am your servant; consequently, at your word, I will no doubt quit my enmity with the Devas. In short, I will do anything that leads to your pleasure and happiness. O Sweet speaking One! O Large-eyed One! My heart is enchanted very much with your beauty; I will do, therefore, as you order me. O One having a broad hip! I am very much distressed; I now take refuge unto You. O One having beautiful thighs! I am very much struck with the arrows of Cupid, and I am very much discomforted; therefore, save me. To protect one who has come under one’s refuge is the best of all virtues. O One of a somewhat whitish body! O One having a slender waist! I will spend the remaining portion of my life in serving you as your obedient servant. Never will I act contrary to your orders to the risk even of my life. Take this as literally true and do accordingly. I now throw aside all my weapons before Your feet; O Large eyed! I am very much distressed by the arrows of Cupid; dost Thou therefore show Thy mercy on me. O Beautiful One! Never I showed my weakness to Brahmâ and the other Devas; but today I acknowledge that before You. I have defeated Brahmâ and others; they are fully acquainted with my prowess in the battlefield. But, O Honoured Woman! Though I am so powerful, I now acknowledge myself as your servant. Better look at me and grant your mercy.

34. Vyâsa said :– O King! Mahisa, the lord of the Daityas, having said so, that beautiful Bhagavatî laughed loudly and spoke smiling :–

35-45. The Devî said :– I do not desire any other body than the Supreme One! O Demon! I am His Will-power; I therefore create all these worlds. I am His S’ivâ (auspicious) Prakriti (Nature); That Universal Soul is seeing Me. It is owing to His proximity that I am appearing as the Eternal Consciousness, manifesting Itself as this Cosmos. As irons move owing to the proximity of magnets, I, too, though inert, owing to His proximity, work consciously. I do not desire to enjoy the ordinary pleasures; you are very dull and stupid; there is no doubt in this, when you desire sexual union. For women are considered as chains to hold men in bondage. Men bound up by iron chains can obtain freedom at any time, but when they are fastened by women, they can never obtain freedom. O Stupid! You now want to serve the source of urine, etc. Take refuge under Peace; peace will lead you to happiness. Great pain arises from connection with women; you know this; then why are you deluded? Better avoid your enmity with the Devas and roam over the world anywhere you like. Or, if you desire to live, go to Pâtâla; or fight with Me. Know this for certain that I am stronger than you. O Dânava! The Devas collected have sent Me here; I tell you this very truly; I am satisfied with you by your words of friendship; therefore dost thou fly away while you are living. See! When words are uttered seven times amongst each other, friendship is established between saints. That has been done so amongst us; so there is friendship now between you and me; I won’t take away your life. O hero! If you desire to die, fight gladly; O powerful one! I will, no doubt, kill you.

46-65. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing the Bhagavatî’s words, the Dânava, deluded by passion, began to speak in beautiful sweet words :– O Beautiful One! Your body and the several parts thereof are very delicate and beautiful. A mere sight of such a lady makes one enchanted. Therefore, O Beautiful faced one! I fear very much to strike against your body. O Lotus-eyed One! I have subjugated Hari, Hara, the Lokapâlas and the several other Devatâs; I therefore ask whether it is proper for me to fight with you! O Fair one! If you like, you marry and worship me, or you can return to your desired place whence you have come. You have declared friendship with me; I therefore do not like to strike any weapons on you. I have now spoken for your good and welfare. You can gladly go away. O beautiful one! You are a fair woman with beautiful eyes; what fame shall I earn by killing you! O One of slender waist! Murdering a woman, a child, and a Brâhmin certainly makes the murderer liable to suffer the consequences thereof. I will certainly carry you today to my place without killing you. If I use force to you, I will not get happiness; for, in such cases, the application of force leads to no happiness. O One having good hairs! I salute before you and speak that a man cannot be happy without the lotus face of a woman; similarly a woman cannot be happy without a man’s lotus face. Where comes off the good combination between these two, then the highest pitch of happiness is conceived and pain arises on the disjunction thereof. True that you are well decked with ornaments all over your body but you seem wanting in cleverness; for you are not worshipping me. Who has advised you to renounce enjoyments? O Sweet speaking One! If this be true; then surely he is your enemy; he has deceived you. O Dear! Leave your this stubbornness and marry me; both of us shall then be happy. Visnu shines well with Kamalâ, Brahmâ looks splendid with Savitrî, Rudra is well associated with Parvatî and Indra with S’achî, so I will shine well with you; there is no doubt in this. No woman can ever be happy without any good husband. And why are you not then, acknowledging me your husband even when you have got him. O Beloved! Where is now that Cupid of dull intellect? Why is he not troubling you with his maddening delicate five arrows? O Fair one! I think that Madana (the god of Love) out of his pity to you, seeing that you are very weak is not striking his arrows on you as he has done to me. O One looking askance! Or it may be that I have got some enmity with that Cupid; else why is he not shooting arrows at you? Or my enemies the Devas have advised the God of Love not to dart his arrows on you. O One of slender body! As Mandodarî had to marry afterwards, when she became passionate, a hypocrite, and so she had to repent thinking that she had not married before a beautiful auspicious king, so I think, O One, having eyes like the young of a deer! You, too, will have to repent like her if you decline to marry me now.

Here ends the Sixteenth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the conversation between the Devî and Mahisâsura in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVII

On Mandodarî’s accounts

1-2. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus, the Devî asked the Dânava, “Who is that Mandodarî? Who is that king who was not first taken by her? And who is that king whom she married afterwards? And how did she repent afterwards? Describe all these in detail to me.”

3-26. Thus asked by the Devî, Mahisa began to say :– “O Devî! There is a place, named Simhala, noted in this earth and decorated with various trees and prosperous with wealth and grains. A virtuous king, named Chandrasena, used to reign there; he was calm, peaceful, truthful, heroic, charitable, steady, forbearing, well versed in polities, ethics and morals vast as a wide ocean, learned in S’âstras, knowing all forms of religions and much skilled in archery. He was mindful in governing his subjects and he used to punish according to the laws of Justice. The king had a beautiful well-qualified wife, very handsome and broad-hipped. She was very much devoted to her husband and always engaged in religious acts and of good conduct. This wife, endowed with all auspicious signs, gave birth to a beautiful daughter in her first delivery. The King Chandrasena, the father, was very pleased to have this beautiful daughter and gladly called her by the name of Mandodarî. This daughter began to grow daily like the phases of the Moon. When she grew ten years old, she became very handsome. The King now became anxious to have a suitable bridegroom and used to think of it everyday. The Brâhmins then told the king that there was a prince named Kambugrîva, the intelligent son of the powerful king Sudhanvâ of Madra; this prince was endowed, with all kingly qualifications and versed in all knowledge and was therefore a fit match for your daughter. The king then asked his dear qualified wife that he would like to marry his daughter to Kambugrîva. The queen, hearing this, asked her daughter Mandodarî that her father was desiring to marry her to Kambugrîva, the son of the king of Madra. Hearing her mother’s words, Mandodarî spoke thus :– “O Mother! I have got no desire to marry; I will not accept any husband; I will take the vow of leading a chaste virgin life and thus pass the rest of my life. O Mother! There is nothing more miserable in this ocean of world than dependence; I therefore prefer to lead incessantly a life of severe asceticism. The Pundits versed in the S’âstras say that taking up the vow of separateness and independence leads to salvation; I will thus be liberated; I have no need for a husband. At the time of marriage ceremony, one has to say before the consecrated Fire that one will remain always a dependent to one’s husband in every way; besides in a father-in-law’s house, one has to pass one’s time as a slave, as it were, to one’s mother-in-law and to husband’s (younger) brothers; again one will have to think oneself as happy when one’s husband is happy and as unhappy when one’s husband is unhappy; this is the worst of all miseries. Again if the husband marries again another woman, then this misery of having a co-wife is extreme. O Mother! Jealousy arises then towards even one’s own husband and therefore suffering is endless. Therefore what happiness can there be in this dream-like worlds; especially with women who are made dependent by Nature? O Mother! I heard that in days of yore the religious son of Uttânapâda, Uttama was younger than Dhruva; and yet he became King. And the King Uttânapâda banished his dear wife, solely devoted to her husband, without any cause, to the forest. Therefore women have to suffer such diverse pains while their husbands are living; and if by chance the husband dies, then women get interminable pains; the widowhood becomes the only source of grief and sorrow. Again if the husband be in foreign lands, women become subjected to the fire of Cupid, and then the house becomes an object of more agony. Thus whether the husband lives or dies, there is no happiness at any time. Thus, according to my opinion, I ought never to accept any husband.”

27-31. The Mother then told her husband all about what the daughter had said. Mandodarî would accept the vow of a life-long virgin; she had no desire to marry. She had brought forward many faults in a worldly life and thus would perform vows and Japams and pass her time alone.

She did not yearn after a husband. The King, hearing thus, came to know, that his daughter had no intention to marry and so began to pass his time without giving away his daughter in marriage. Thus the daughter lived in family protected by her father and mother; by that time signs of puberty were seen in the body of the daughter. Her comrades requested her repeatedly to select a bridegroom; but she spoke many words of wisdom and did not show any inclination for marriage.

32-44. Once, on an occasion, that beautiful faced woman went out with her female attendants on a pleasure trip to a garden, beautified with various trees. There the slender bodied one began to play and enjoy with her comrades in picking up various flowers and beautiful flowering creepers. Just at that time, the famous King of Kosala, the powerful Vîrasena came there accidentally. Alone he was on his chariot, attended by a few soldiers; his large army and retinue were coming slowly behind him at some distance. Her comrades, then, looking at that King from a distance, told Mandodarî, “O friend! See! Somebody, strong and beautiful, like a second God of Love is coming towards us, mounted on a chariot. I think some King he will be and we are very lucky that he has come here.” While thus talking, the King arrived there. The King, looking on that blue coloured woman with beautiful eyes became surprised and getting down from the chariot, asked the maidservant, “O Gentle one! Who is this woman with large eyes! Who is her father? Tell me this without any delay.” The attendant smiling, told him thus :– O Beautiful-eyed One! Pray speak first who are you? What for have you come here? What do you want to do here? The female attendant thus asking him, the King replied :– There is a very beautiful country named Kosala, in this earth; I am the King of that place; my name is Vîrasena. My fourfold army is coming at my will at my back. I have lost my way and have come here. Know me as the King of the country Kosala.

45-49. The female attendant said :– “O King! This lotus-eyed one is the daughter of the King Chandrasena; her name is Mandodarî. She has come here in this garden for sporting.” Hearing thus the attendant’s words, the King replied :– “O Sairandhri! You appear to be smart; therefore make the King’s daughter understand my following words clearly! O Sweet-eyed one! I am the King descended from the Kakutstha line; O fair woman! Marry me according to the rules of Gandarbha marriage.”

Note :– Gandharva marriage: one of the eight forms of marriage; this form of marriage proceeds entirely from love or the mutual inclination of a youth and maiden without ceremonies and without consulting relatives.

“O broad hipped One! I have no other wife; you are a beautiful woman, of a good family and of a marriageable age; I therefore like to marry you? Or your father may marry you to me according to rules and ceremonies; if so, I will no doubt be your husband as you desire.”

50-55. Mahisa said :– O Devî! The female attendant, expert in the science of love, hearing the King’s words, spoke to the daughter smilingly and in sweet words. “O Mandodarî! A very good-looking beautiful King of the solar dynasty has come here; he is very pretty, powerful, and of your age; O Beautiful! The King is entirely devoted to you and loves you very much. O Large-eyed One! Your time of marriage has come and yet you have not married; rather you are against it. Your father is, therefore, always very sorry and remorseful. See! How many a time your father sighed and told us, ‘O attendants! Always serve my daughter and awaken her to this.’ But you are engaged in penances and austerities, in Hatha Dharma; therefore we cannot request you on this matter. The Munis have said :– To serve the husband is the highest virtue of a woman. O Large-eyed! Women get Heaven if they serve their husband; therefore you better marry according to rules and ceremonies.”

56. Mandodarî said :– I am not going to marry; better that I should perform an extraordinary tapasyâ (asceticism); O Girls! You go and ask the King desist in his request; why is he shamelessly looking at me.

57-59. The female attendant then said, “O Devî! Passion is very hard to conquer; time is also surmountable with difficulty; so know my advice as the medicinal diet and keep my request. And if you do not keep it, surely danger will befall you.” Hearing this, Mandodarî replied, “O attendant! I know whatever is ordained by Fate will inevitably come to pass; for the present, I am not going to marry at all.”

60-61. Mahisa said :– The female attendant, knowing this her obstinate view, told the King :– “O King! This woman likes not a good husband; you would better go wherever you like.” The King heard and did not want to marry that woman any more; and, being sad and broken-hearted, went back with his army to Kosala.

Here ends the Seventeenth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on Mandodarî’s accounts in the Mahâpurânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVIII

On the killing of the Dânava Mahisâsura

1-4. Mahisa said :– O Devî! Mandodarî had a sister Indumatî; unmarried and endowed with all auspicious signs. She grew up in time to a marriageable age. The Svayambara assembly (a marriage in which the girl chooses her husband from among a number of visitors assembled together) was then called for the marriage of the maiden Indumatî. The Kings from various parts came there and the maiden Indumatî selected from among them a beautiful strong king, of noble lineage and endowed with all auspicious signs. At that time, by the undescribeable power of Destiny, Mandodarî seeing the deceitful, cunning, and hypocrite King of Madra, became passionate and desired to marry him.

5-17. That slender woman Mandodarî then addressed her father thus :– “O Father! Seeing the King of Madra in this assembly, I am desirous to marry him; so perform also my marriage ceremony now.” When the king heard this request from her own daughter privately, he became very glad and began with promptness, to make preparations for the marriage. He invited the King of Madra to his own palace and gave him in marriage his own daughter Mandodarî, according to due rites and ceremonies with an abundance of dowry and wealth. The King of Madra Chârudesna became very glad to marry the beautiful Mandodarî and went back with her to his own abode. The King Chârudesna then enjoyed her for good many days; when one day a maid-servant found the king in sexual intercourse with another maid-servant in a lonely place and divulged this to Mandodarî; she finding the king in that state became angry and rebuked him with a slight smiling countenance. Again, on another occasion, Mandodarî saw the king willingly engaged in amusements and sports with an ordinary beautiful woman and became very sorry and thought thus :– When I saw him in the Svayamvara, I could not recognise him as a cheat; I am deceived by this King; Oh! What a wrong act have I done through delusion. This King is a rogue and he is totally shameless and has no dislike for contemptible things; it is now too late to repent for him. How can I have any affection for this husband; fie on my living now! I forsake from this very day all the pleasures with my husband and all other worldly pleasures, and I take recourse now to contentment alone. I have committed a very wrong act that I ought never to have done; therefore it causes intense pain to me now. If I now commit suicide, then that sin will never forsake me, and I must have to enjoy the consequences thereof. And if I return to my father’s house, I will not be happy there, for my companions seeing me thus will, no doubt, ridicule me. Therefore, it is now advisable for me to avoid all the sensuous pleasures, become dispassionate and remain here patiently and abide by the strange combinations of Time.

18-20. Mahisa said :– Thus that women lamented and remorsed and began to remain there, very much sorrowful and distressed, renouncing thoroughly all the pleasures of the world. O Auspicious One! I am the king, yet you are showing your dislike for me; know, eventually, you, too, will be passionate and entertain afterwards an illiterate coward. Keep my word even now, it will be of great benefit and it will serve as a medicinal diet to you as to all women. In case you do not follow my advice, you will have to meet with extreme pain and misery, certainly.

21-25. Hearing the words of Mahisâsura, the Devî said :– O you fool! Go to the lower worlds or stand up for fight; I will send you and the other Dânavas unto death and then go away at my pleasure. O Demon! I take up form to preserve the righteous, whenever they suffer pain in this earth. O Lord of the Daityas! Formless, birthless I am; yet, at times, I take up form and be born to save the Devas. Know this firmly. O wicked Mahisa! The Devas prayed to Me for your destruction. Therefore I will not rest until I kill you. I speak all these truly to you. Therefore fight or go to Pâtâla, the abode of the Asuras; I speak truly to you again that I will destroy you wholly.

26-51. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the Devî’s words, the Dânava took up his bow and came to the battle, fully stretching the string of his bow up to his ears, and began to shoot sharpened arrows with great force at the Devî. The Devî, too, hurled with anger, arrows tipped with iron and cut off the Asura’s arrows to pieces. The fight between them rose to such a terrible pitch that it caused terror to both the Devas and the Dânavas, trying hard to be victorious over each other. In the midst of the terrible encounter, the demon Durdhara came up to fight and made the Devî angry and shot arrows, all terribly poisonous and sharpened on stones, at Her. The Bhagavatî, then, got very angry and hit him hard with sharp arrows. Durdhara, struck thus, fell down dead on the battlefield like a mountain top. The demon Trinetra, well skilled in the uses of arrows and weapons, seeing him killed, came up to fight and shot at the Great Goddess with seven arrows. Before these arrows came on Her, She cut them to pieces with Her sharp arrows and by Her trident killed Trinetra. Trinetra thus killed, Andhaka quickly came in the battlefield and struck violently on the head of the lion with his iron club. The lion killed that powerful Andhaka by striking the demon with his nails and, out of anger, began to eat his flesh. Mahisâsura became greatly astonished at the death of these Asuras and began to shoot pointed arrows, sharpened on stone, at Her. The Devî Ambikâ cut his arrows into two before they came on Her and struck the Demon on his breast by Her club. That vile Mahisâsura, the tormentor of the Devas, fell in a swoon under the stoke of the club but patiently bore it and, at the next moment, came again and struck the lion on his head by his club. The lion, too, by his nails rent that great Asura to pieces. Mahisâsura, then, quitting the man-form took up the lion-form and by his claws cut the Devî’s lion and wounded him very much by his nails. On Mahisâsura taking up this lion-form, the Devî became very angry and began to shoot arrows after arrows at him all very terrible, sharp and like poisonous snakes. Then the Asura quitting the lion form assumed the appearance of a male elephant, oozing out juice from his temples and began to hurl the mountain tops by his trunk. Seeing the mountain peaks thus hurled on Her, She cut them off to pieces by Her sharp arrows and began to laugh. The Devî’s lion on the other hand, sprang on the head of the elephant Mahisa and by his claws rent him to pieces. To kill the Devî’s lion, then, Mahisa quitted his elephant-form and assumed the appearance of a Sarabha, more powerful and terrible than lion. The Devî seeing that Sarabha became angry and struck on the head of that Sarabha with Her axe; the Sarabha, too, attacked the Devî. Their fight became horrible; Mahisâsura, then, assumed the appearance of a buffalo and struck the Bhagavatî by his horns. That horrible Asura, of hideous appearance, swinging his tail, began to attack the thin bodied Devî. That violent Asura caught hold of the mountain peaks by his tail and, whirling them round and round, hurled them on the Devî. That vicious soul, then, maddened with his strength, laughed incessantly and addressed thus :– “O Devî! Be steady in the battlefield. I will send you today unto death, and your youth and beauty too. You are an illiterate fellow as you have come maddened to fight with me. Really you are deluded in your pretensions that you are very strong; this idea of yours is absolutely false. I will kill you first and the hypocrite Devas after who want to vanquish me by standing up a woman in their front.”

52-53. The Devî said :– “O Villain! Do not boast; keep yourself firm in the fight. Today I will kill you and make the Devas discard their fear. O Wretch! You are a Sinner; you torment the Devas and terrify the Munis. Let me have my drink of sweet decoction of grapes. And then I will slay you undoubtedly.”

54-70. Vyâsa said :– O King! Saying thus, the Devî, wrathful and eager to kill Mahisâsura, took up the golden cup filled with wine and drank again and again. When the Devî finished Her drink of the sweet grape juice, She pursued him with trident in Her hands, to the great joy of gladdening all the Devas. The Devas began to rain showers of flowers on the Devî and praised Her and shouted victories to Her with Dundubhi (a Divine drum) Jai, Jîva; victory, live. The Risis, Siddhas, Gandarbhas, Pis’âchas, Uragas, and Kinnaras witnessed the battle from the celestial space and became very much delighted. On the other hand, Mahisâsura, the hypocrite Pundit, began to assume various magic forms and struck the Devî repeatedly. The Devî Chandikâ, then, infuriated and with eyes reddened, pierced violently the breast of that vicious Mahisa with Her sharp trident. The Demon, then, struck by this trident, fell senseless on the ground; but got up in the next moment and kicked the Devî forcibly. That Great Asura, thus kicking the Devî, laughed repeatedly and bellowed so loudly that the Devas were all terrified with that noise. Then the Devî held aloft the brilliant discus of good axle and of thousand spokes and loudly spoke to the Asura in front :– O Stupid! Look! This Chakra will sever your throat today; wait a moment, I am sending you instantly unto death. Saying this, the Divine Mother hurled the Chakra. Instantly that weapon severed the Dânava’s head from his body. The hot streams of blood gushed out from his neck as the violent streams of water get out from mountains, coloured red with red sandstones. The headless body of that Asura moved, to and fro, for a moment and then dropped on the ground. The loud acclamations of “Victory” were sounded to the great joy of the Devas. The very powerful lion began to devour the soldiers that were flying away, as if he was very hungry. O King! The wicked Mahisâsura thus slain, the Demons that remained alive were terrified and fled away, very much frightened, to Pâtâla. The Devas, Risis, human beings and the other saints on this earth were all extremely glad at the death of this wicked Demon. The Bhagavatî Chandikâ quitted the battlefield and waited in a holy place. Then the Devas came there with a desire to praise and chant hymns to the Devî, the Bestower of their happiness.

Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of the Dânava Mahisâsura in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIX

On the prayer and hymns to the Devî

1. Vyâsa said :– O King! Then Indra and all the Devas became very glad to see the great Mahisâsura slain; they all began to praise and chant hymns to the World-Mother.

2-33. The Devas said :– It is by thy Power that Brahmâ becomes able to create this world, Visnu, to preserve, and Mahes’vara to destroy during the Pralaya time (the Great Dissolution) of this universe. But when they are bereft of Thy Power, they are quite unable to do such. Therefore, O Devî! Thou art undoubtedly the Prime Cause in the preservation and destruction of this whole Universe. O Devî; Thou art, in this world, Fame, idea and ideal, memory; Thou art the goal, mercy, compassion, faith, constancy, earth; Thou art Kamalâ, the Mantra Ajapâ, respiration and perspiration, nourishment, Jayâ, Vijayâ (the destroyer of obstacles; a name of Durgâ); Thou art contentment, correct notion, measure, intellect, Ramâ (Laksmî), (wealth), knowledge, forgiveness, beauty, intelligence; Thou art the S’akti (power) of Rudra, Thou art Girijâ and the Energy of God Umâ and all other forces in this universe; this is known to everyone in the three worlds. Without any or all of these forces, no one is able to perform any action. Thou art the Supreme Cause of all this world. Therefore everything rests on Thee. If Thou wert not the upholding Power, how could Kurma (in the Tortoise Incarnation) and Ananta have upheld this world? O Mother! Wert Thou not this Earth, could all these world-load of things have rested on the sky? O Mother! Those human beings that worship Brahmâ, Visnu, Rudra, Moon, Fire, Yama, the God of Death, Vâyu, Ganes’a, and the other Devas, they are certainly deluded by Thy Mâyâ. Could all those Devas do any action or any favour without Thy Energy? O Mother! Those that offer in any Sacrifice, a profuse quantity of ghee (clarified butter) as oblations to the several Devas, they are certainly conceived to be of very narrow views; Wert Thou not the Svâhâ, could it have been possible for those Devas to get the offered oblations at that very instant? Certainly, therefore, they are fools and ignorant persons. There is no doubt in this. O Mother! Thou givest the several objects of nourishment and enjoyment to all the beings in this universe by Thy parts (the several transformations of these material things); it is Thou that nourishest the Devas, Thy devotees, as well as the others (the Dânavas, according to their Karma). O Mother! As the owner of any garden plants, with pleasure, the beautiful trees in his garden for his delight and, finding some of them not to bear any fruits or leaves or of a bitter taste, does not cut them off by their roots, so, O Devî! Thou hast brought into existence these Daityas out of their inferior Karmas and Thou art supporting them. Knowing that the Daityas like to enjoy the celestial nymphs, Thou hast, out of compassion, killed them by their arrows in the battlefield, to afford them facilities in their re-birth in Heavens and thus to enjoy the Deva women which they could not have got in any other possible way. Therefore this Thy dealings with them are to fulfil their intentions and not to kill them. O Mother! It is a great wonder that to kill these Asuras Thou hadst to assume this Divine Body; Thou couldst have done so by Thy mere will. It seems that this act of Thine is but a mere Pastime. There is no other cause for this. O Devî! Those human beings that do not worship Thee in this dreadful age of Kâlî, they are certainly deceived by the cunning Purâna makers who have deluded them to worship Hari and Hara, who are Thy creations. Oh! What an amount of evil has befallen to those poor souls! O Devî! Those men know that the Devas, tormented by the Asuras, are Thy devotees, and yet they worship them; certainly such fellows, holding the lighted torches in their hands, plunge deep into the darkest waterless wells. O Mother! Thou art the Vidyâ (Blissful Intelligence) and Thou grantest pleasure and liberation; Thou art the Avidyâ, (Great Delusion) and thus Thou causest bondage and pain in this world. O Mother! Thou only destroyest the affliction of the human beings; those that want liberation worship Thee, and those that are ignorant and attached to worldly enjoyments do not worship Thee. What more can be said than this, that Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahesa and the other Devas incessantly worship Thy adorable lotus-feet; but those men that are of dull intellect and are mistaken, they do not meditate Thy feet and, therefore, they come again and again into this ocean of world. O Chandikâ! It is through the grace of the dust of Thy lotus-feet that Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara are creating, preserving and destroying this universe. Therefore, O Goddess! Those men that do not serve Thee, are certainly very unfortunate. O Mother of the Universe! Thou art the Goddess of speech of the Suras and the Asuras; thus if Thou didst not dwell in their mouths, they would not have been able to utter a single word; therefore, O Goddess! How can men speak, when they are thus deprived of Thee! O Mother! It is due to the curse of Bhrigu Muni that Hari takes several incarnations as Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-Lion, and deceitful Dwarf Incarnations; all these show clearly the dependence of Hari,

*N.B. – The Devas and the Daityas are the opposite polarities of the same creation.

How, then, can they avoid the fear of death when they serve these dependent incarnations! O Mother! It is well known that the male generative organ of S’ambhu, the Mahâdeva fell unto the ground, owing to the curse of Bhrigu Muni, when he went to the hermitage of the Risis. How can, then, happiness come in this world or in the next, to those who worship such a S’ambhu who wears human skulls on His body! O Devî! Those that worship Ganes’a, born of the above qualified Mahâ Deva are awfully mistaken; they are especially quite ignorant of Thee, the Goddess of the Universe, that can be easily worshipped and that can give the fourfold aims of human existence. O Devî! It is out of Thy kindness that Thou hast slain with Thy arrows the enemies and thus hast translated them into Heavens; otherwise they would have certainly gone down to Hell owing to their own Karmic effects. Brahmâ, Hari, Hara and the other Devas cannot realise Thy greatness; how can, then, ordinary men know Thee, when they are deluded by immeasureably strong Sâttva, Râjas and Tâmas qualities. O Mother! Those who do not worship Thy lotus-feet as very hard to be brought within this mind and therefore worship this visible Sun and Fire, they cannot grasp the Essence of the Vedas, demonstrated by hundreds of passages of S’ruti; they are deluded and simply suffer pains. O Mother! I think that the influences of Thy Sâttva, Râjas and Tâmas qualities are widely known in this world; those qualities as taught in various deluding schools of Tantras by various persons, stimulate people to the worship of Visnu, Mahes’vara, Sun and Ganes’a and thus detract them from worshipping Thee. O Mother! Those that detract thus the Brâhmanas from worshiping Thy lotus-feet and advise them through the Âgamas, to worship Hari, Hara and others, Thou dost not get angry with them, rather Thou dost shew Thy kindness to them and make them widely celebrated as possessing the occult powers of enchanting, bringing others under their control, or attracting towards them various other persons. In the Satya Yuga, Sâttva Guna was more powerful and therefore the untrue S’âstras could not rear their heads; but in this Kâlî Age, owing to the Sâttva Guna being not so powerful, the lower qualities have got preponderance; so these so-called clever Pundits instead of worshipping Thee, worship Hari, Hara and the other Devas, the products of their fancy and hide Thee. O Mother! Thou art the Brahmâ Vidyâ, the knowledge of the Supreme Consciousness, Thou givest liberation to Thy devotees when they succeed in their Yogas. Therefore the pure Sâttvik Muni meditate on Thee and Thee alone. Those that get themselves diluted in Thee, they are very blessed; what more to speak of them in their praise, they will no longer have to suffer any pains in their mother’s wombs! O Mother! Thou art inherent as Chit S’akti (the power of consciousness) in the Supreme Spirit and therefore He is become manifest specially as this Great Cosmos and becomes known as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of this world, fashioned out of five elements. O Devî! What male can by his own power work out this Jagat Prapancha, enjoy it and move in this, without the aid of Thy power. O Bhagavatî! This universe has been created by Thee; Thou art, therefore, its Mother. The twenty-four Essences or Tattvas are inert; how can they without Thy Chits’akti, create this universe? O Devî! Never can these senses and organs, endowed with Guna and Karma, do any work or bestow any fruits without Thy energy.

O Mother! Wert thou not Svâhâ, the instrumental cause in the sacrifice, how could the Devas have got their shares of the ghee offered in the Yajñâs by the Munis! Therefore, O Devî! Thou art, no doubt, preserving this universe. O Bhagavatî! It is Thou that hast created this world in the beginning; it is Thou that art preserving the gods Hari, Hara and others; it is Thou that art destroying this universe. Therefore, O Brâhman! The Devas cannot know Thy deeds; how can, then, the men who are of dull intellect, know Thee. O Mother! Thou hast now saved the Devas by killing this terrible Mahisâsura. O Mother! All the Vedas have not been able to know exactly all Thy movements; how can we, of dull intellect, praise Thee! O Mother! Thou has served our cause by killing our enemy, the wicked Dânava, the inconceivable source of pain to all the world by this act of Thine, Thy fame has spread far and wide in this universe; therefore, O Thou of renowned prowess! Thou art the Mother of this world; save us, and maintain us by Thy mercy.

34-35. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Devas having praised the Devî thus, the Devî addressed them gently :– “O Devas! Say if you have any other difficult thing for Me to do; remember Me whenever any difficult crisis occurs to you; I will destroy that evil.”

36-42. The Devas said :– “O Devî! All our purposes have been served when Thou hast killed lately our enemy Mahisâsura. Now dost Thou do for us so that we can always recollect Thy lotus feet, and our Bhakti be firm and steadfast towards Thee. It is only the Mother the bears the thousand offences of the son; we, therefore, cannot say why men, knowing this, do not worship the Mother of the Universe. There are two birds always dwelling in this body, Jivâtmâ (human soul) and the Paramâtmâ (the Supreme Soul). They are so very intimate friends toward each other that they never separate. But there is no other third friend that can bear the faults of these two. Therefore the embodied soul that forsakes Thee, his friend, can never attain any welfare; what more to say on this! That vicious soul is very unlucky amidst the Devas and men, no doubt. He who on attaining this excellent human body, attained with much difficulty, does not remember Thee frequently by words and deeds, is certainly the vilest of men. O Devî! Whether in times of distress or happiness, Thou art our Saviour; therefore dost Thou protect us with Thy best weapons. O Devî! There is no other means of our security than the Grace of the dust of Thy Feet.”

43. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Devas having prayed to the Devî thus, the Devî vanished then and there. The Devas, seeing the disappearance of the Devî, were sufficiently struck with surprise.

Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the prayer and hymns to the Devî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XX

On the peace of the world

1-11. Janamejaya said :– O best of Risis! I have now seen the wonderful excellent deeds of the Devî for the enhancement of peace in this world. Though I have heard from thy lotus face these nectar-like words, still I am not satisfied. O best of Munis! What did the chief Devas do when the Goddess disappeared, kindly say to me. O Bhagavân! I think those Jîvas cannot fully comprehend these excellent sacred deeds of the Devî, that are less fortunate and have done not many meritorious deeds in this world. O Muni! What to speak of the less fortunate souls, even the Mahâtmas who are well versed in hearing such things, can hardly be satiated on hearing the Devî’s deeds. O! Fie to those, that do not hear of these things, the essence of essences, on hearing which men become Immortals. The Mother’s Lîlâ is to preserve the Devas as well as the great Munis and to serve as a boat for the human beings to cross this ocean of world. How can, then, the grateful souls forsake Her? The Pundits versed in the Vedas declare, that the Devî’s life is able to fulfil all the desires. Therefore the liberated souls that want liberation, the worldly souls, the diseased all ought to drink incessantly the nectar-like nectar of Devî’s doings. Especially the kings that are engaged in Dharma, in earning wealth and in enjoyments, ought to hear Her life. O Muni! When the liberated souls drink the nectar-like doings of the Devî, what doubt can there be with the ordinary human beings, to listen with rapt devotion those wondrous things! O Best of Munis! It is those that worshipped the Goddess Bhavânî in their previous births with beautiful Kunda flowers, Champaka flowers and Bel leaves, they have, it is inferred, in their present births become possessed of rich enjoyments. And those devoid of any devotion, that obtained this human body in the land of Bhârata and did not worship the Mother Goddess, they are, in the present births, without grains and riches, diseased, and void of any issues. Wander they always as servants, carrying out orders, and bearing on the burden loads; day and night, they seek for their own selfish ends, yet they cannot get their belly full meals. The blind, deaf and dumb; lame and lepers suffer pain and misery in this earth; seeing them, it should be inferred that they never worshipped the Goddess Bhavânî. And those that are wealthy, prosperous, attended by numerous attendants and are always enjoying, like kings, it is to be inferred that they certainly worshipped the lotus feet of the Mother Goddess in their past lives.

12-15. Therefore O Son of Satyavatî! As you are kind-hearted, kindly narrate before me the excellent deeds of the Devî. O best of Munis! Where did the Goddess, Mahâ Laksmî, created out of the energies of all the gods, depart after She had slain the Mahisâsura and had been worshipped and praised by the Devas? O highly Fortunate one! You told me that She vanished from the sight of the Devas; now I like to know where is She staying now, whether in the Heavens or in the Land of Mortals? Did She melt away then and there or did She descend to Vaikuntha or did She go to the mountain Sumeru? O Muni! Narrate all these duly before me.

16-50. Vyâsa said :– O King! I told you before about the beautiful Mani Dvîpa; that island is the place of sport to the Devî and very dear to Her. In that place Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahâdeva were transformed into females; they afterwards became males and were engaged in their respective duties. That place is grand and splendid and is in the centre of the ocean of Nectar; the Devî Ambikâ assumes various forms there as She likes; and She sports there. To that Mani Dvîpa the auspicious Devî departed after She had been praised by the Gods, to that place where sports always the eternal Bhagavatî Bhuvanes’varî, the incarnate of Para Brahmâ. When the Highest Goddess vanished, the Devas installed, on the throne of Mahisâsura, the powerful King S’atrughna, endowed with all auspicious qualities, the Lord of Ajodhyâ and descended from the Solar line. After making him thus the King, Indra and the other Devas went to their respective abodes on their own conveyances. O King! The Devas having gone to their places, the subjects were governed on this earth according to Dharma; and they passed their times in ease and comfort. It used to rain, then, timely and the earth was covered with plenty of grains and wealth; the trees were all filled with fruits and leaves and gave enjoyment to people. The cows with their udders full like earthen pots gave such a profuse quantity of milk that men began to milk them whenever they liked. The rivers’ waters were all clear and cooling; and they flowed full in regular channels; the birds grouped round them. The Brâhmanas, versed in the Vedas, were engaged in performing sacrifices; the Ksattriyas observed their virtues and were engaged in doing charities and in their education; the kings held their rods of justice and were engaged in governing their subjects; though the several kings were busy with various arms and weapons, they all became fond of peace. Thus no wars nor quarrels were seen amongst the subjects; and the mines yielded plenty of wealth to the people. O best of Kings! There were the Brâhmans, Ksattriyas, Vais’yas and S’ûdras who became the devotees of the Goddess. The Brâhmanas and Ksattriyas used, then, to perform so many sacrifices that, at every nook and corner in this globe, the sacrificial altars and the sacrificial posts became visible. The female sex became gentle and of good behaviour, truthful and chaste towards their husbands respectively. Atheism and unrighteous acts vanished entirely from the face of the earth; the people left all dry discussions; they argued only about the S’âstras that did not go in contra-distinction to the Vedas. Nobody liked to quarrel with each other; poverty, and evil inclinations were checked; the people everywhere lived in happiness. Untimely death was not there; so the people had no bereavements with their friends; no distress was seen. Famine, want of rains, and deadly plagues were out of sight. The people had no illness even; and jealousies and quarrels vanished. O King! all men and women began to sport merrily everywhere like the Gods in Heaven. Theft, atheism, deceit, vanity, hypocrisy, lustfulness, stupidity, and the anti-Vedic feelings were not to be seen. O Lord of the Earth! All the men were then extremely devoted to their Dharma and engaged in serving the Brâhmanas. The Brâhmins were also, according to the three-fold plan of the creation, Sâttvik, Râjasik and Tâmasik. The Sâttvik Brâhmins were all versed in the Vedas, clever and truthful; they were kind, they controlled their passions and they did not accept any presents from others. Filled with their ideas of Dharma, they used to perform their Purodâsa and other such sacrifices with Sâttvik rice, etc., but never, never did they immolate any animals.* O King! The Sâttvik Brâhmanas gave charities, studied the Vedas and offered sacrifices for themselves. These were their three ordained actions. They were busy in these. O King! The Râjasik Brâhmanas were versed in the Vedas and acted as priests to the Ksattriyas and ate flesh as sanctioned by recognised rules. They were busy with their six duties. They offered sacrifices on their own behalf, assisted others in sacrifices, took gifts, made charities, studied and taught others the Vedas. The Tâmasik Brâhmanas were angry, attached to worldly objects, and jealous. They studied very little of the Vedas and spent most of their time in serving the kings. O King! Mahisâsura was killed, all the Brâhmanas were glad and began to practise Dharma according to the Vedas, observed vows and made charities. The Ksattriyas began to govern the subjects, the Vaisya carried on their trading business and the other tribes went on with their agriculture, preservation of the cows, and lending money on interest. Thus all men became vary glad on the death of Mahisa. Devoid of cares and anxieties, the subjects got much wealth! The cows were endowed with suspicious signs and gave plenty of milk and the rivers flowed full of waters. The trees looked splendid with abundance of fruits; men were without diseases: in short, people had no mental agony and too much or too little of rains were not there; S’alavas, mice, birds, and seditions we not extant. O King! The beings died not prematurely; rather enjoyed incessantly, their full health and possessed lots of riches; especially beings, engaged in the Vedic Dharma, served the lotus feet of Chandikâ and thus spent their lives.

Here ends the Twentieth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the peace of the world in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXI

On the conquest of the Heavens by S’umbha and Nis’umbha

1-6. Vyâsa said :– O King! I am describing to you that excellent pure life and doings of the Devî that destroy all the sins of all the beings and make them happy. In days of yore, there were two very powerful demons S’umbha and Nis’umbha; they were two brothers, strong heroes and invulnerable by the male persons. Those two wicked Asuras were surrounded with numerable Dânavas; they tormented always the Devas. Then the Goddess Ambikâ, for the good of the Devas, killed S’umbha and Nis’umbha with all their attendants in a very dreadful battle. In the battlefield the Devî killed their main assistants Chanda Munda and the exceedingly terrible Rakta Vîja and Dhumralochana. When the Devî destroyed those Dânavas, the Devas became fearless; the Devas then went to the beautiful Sumeru mountain and praised Her and chanted hymns to Her.

7-8. Hearing about the names of S’umbha and Nis’umbha, Janamejaya asked :– O best of Munis! Who were those two Asuras? How came they to be most powerful? Who put them here? Why were they vulnerable to women only? Under whose tapasyâ and under whose boon did they become so strong? And why did that great Devî kill them? Describe all these to me in detail.

9-20. Vyâsa said :– O King, I am describing to you that beautiful anecdote where the Devî’s holy deeds are involved. Hear. This incident full of all that is good, destroys the hearer’s all sins and grants them all their desired ends. In days of yore, S’umbha and Nis’umbha, the two fair and good looking brothers came out of Pâtâla to this earth. These two Asuras, when they grew to their manhood, performed severe asceticism in Puskara, the holy place of pilgrimage, the most purifying place in this world and they refused to eat rice and water. They became so very skilled in their Yoga practices that they passed away in their one posture and seat one Ajuta (10,000) years. Thus they performed very difficult Tapasyâ. Then the God Brahmâ, the Grandsire of all, became pleased with their asceticism and appeared before them, riding on His vehicle, the Swan. The Creator, seeing them thus deeply merged in meditation, asked them to get up from that state and told them thus :– “I have become pleased with your asceticism. I fulfil the desires of all the Lokas; I have now come to you, pleased to see you so very strong in your ascetic practices; better ask your desired boons from me; I will grant them to you.” Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the Grandsire’s wards, S’umbha and Nis’umbha got up from their meditation; concentrating their attention towards Him, circumambulated Him and bowed down to Him with their hearts full of reverence. The two Asuras were very weak, lean and thin by their hard tapasyâ and they looked very humble. They fell down before Him like a piece of wood and began to speak in a sweet voice, choked by intense feelings. O Brâhman! O Deva of the Devas! O Thou, the Ocean of Mercy! O Destroyer of fear of the devotees! O Lord! If Thou art pleased then dost Thou grant us immortality. There is nothing in this world more fearful than death; we two have taken refuge unto Thee, being afraid of this death. O Thou, Ocean of mercy! O Creator of the world! O Lord of the Devas! O Universal Soul! Protect us from this fear due to the terrible Death.

21-23. Brahmâ said :– Is this the boon that you ask? This is in every way, against the Law of Nature; for no one, in these three Lokas, can grant this boon to anybody. When one becomes born, one must die; and when one dies, one must be born again. This Law is ordained in this world by the Supreme Creator of this Universe, from time immemorial. Therefore all the beings must die; there is no doubt in this. Better ask any other boon that you desire; I will grant that to you.

24-27. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the words of Brahmâ, the two Dânavas pondered over the matter and bowed down to the Prajâpati, the Lord of the Creation and said :– O Merciful One! Grant us then so that we shall be invulnerable to any of the male of the Immortal Devas down to human beings and birds and deers; this is the boon that we ask. Where exists the woman so powerful as to kill us? We never fear any woman in all the three Lokas. O Lotus-born! We, the two brothers, want not to be killed by any male; the females are naturally weak therefore we need not fear them.

28-58. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing their words, the Grandsire Brahmâ gladly granted them their desired boon and returned to His own abode. On Brahmâ going away, the two Dânavas, too, returned to their own places. They then appointed the Muni Bhrigu as their priest and began to worship him. Bhrigu, the best of the Munis, then, on an auspicious day and when the star was benign, got a beautiful golden throne built and gave it to the king. S’umbha, being the eldest, was then installed on the auspicious throne as the king; the other brave and excellent demons began to assemble there quickly for serving him. The two great warriors Chanda and Munda, proud on account of their great strength came there with their large armies, chariots, horses, and elephants. Similarly the valiant warriors Dhumralochana, hearing that S’umbha had become their King, came there with his own army. There came up also at that time the great warrior Rakta Vîja, more powerful on account of his getting a boon, attended by his army of two Aksauhinî soldiers. O King! Hear why this Rakta Vîja became so very unconquerable; whenever this Asura was wounded by any weapon, if one drop of blood fell on the ground, at once would be created so many innumerable Asuras, resembling his wicked nature and with similar weapons in their hands. The Asuras born of this blood would have similar appearances and would be similar in strength and ready to fight at once when they were born. That great warrior, the great Demon Rakta Vîja was unconquerable in battle for this very reason and no being could now kill him. The other Asuras, when they heard that S’umbha had become their king, came up there with their armies consisting of four divisions of elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry and began to serve him. The army of S’umbha and Nis’umbha thus became countless; and they forcibly conquered and got possession of all the kingdoms that existed then on the surface of the earth. Then Nis’umbha, the destroyer of enemies, collected his army and marched up to the Heavens without any delay to conquer Indra, the Lord of S’achî. He fought very hard with all the Lokapâlas on all sides when Indra struck him on his breast with His thunderbolt. Nis’umbha fell unconscious on the ground with that blow when his soldiers, defeated in the battle, fled away on all sides. S’umbha, the destroyer of the enemies’ forces, hearing the unconscious state of the younger brother, came up at once on the field and shot at the Devas with multitudes of arrows. The untiring S’umbha fought so violently that Indra and the other Devas and Lokapalas were defeated. S’umbha then took away, perforce, the position of Indra and he occupied the Celestial Tree and Heavenly milching cow that yielded all desires and other excellent things over which Indra used to reign. In fact, that high-souled Asura got the dominion of the three Lokas and took away all those that were offered at the sacrifices. He became highly glad on getting the Nandana Garden and was extremely delighted when he drank the celestial nectar. He then defeated in battle Kuvera, the god of wealth and occupied his kingdom. He defeated the Moon, Sun, and Yama, the God of Death and occupied their positions. Surrounded by his army, Nis’umbha dispossessed Varuna, Fire, and Air of their kingdoms and began to reign in their stead. Thus deprived of their kingdoms, prosperity and wealth, the Devas left the Nandana Garden and fled, out of terror, to the caves of hills and mountains. Thus deprived of all their rights, the Devas without any weapons, without any lustre, without any home, and without anywhere to go, began to wander in lonely forests. O King! All the Immortals began to knock about in lonely gardens, mountain caves and rivers; and nowhere they found happiness; for happiness depends entirely unto the hands of Fate. O Lord of men! Even those fortunate souls, who are powerful, and wealthy and wise, meet at times with distress and poverty. O King! How marvellous are the ways and manners of Time! It makes kings and donors beggars; it renders the powerful, weak; literates, illiterates; and it makes great warriors into terrible cowards. O King! Vâsava performed one hundred horse-sacrifices and got the excellent Indra’s position; but again be fell into extreme difficulties; thus runs the wheel of Time.

59. It is Time that bestows the gem of knowledge to a person and it is Time again that deprives that very same man of his wisdom and makes him a great sinner.

60-61. The Bhagavân Visnu takes incarnations, under the control of Time, in several lower wombs as boar, etc., and Mahâ Deva carries on His body the human skulls, that are not even fit to be touched. When Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a and others suffer such painful things, then one need not wonder at the workings of the Great inscrutable Time.

Here ends the Twenty-first Chapter of the Fifth Book on the conquest of the Heavens by S’umbha and Nis’umbha in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXII

On the eulogising of the Devî by the Devas

1-7. Vyâsa said :– O King! When the Devas were all defeated, S’umbha began to govern all their kingdoms; thus one thousand years passed away. The Devas, on the other hand, deprived of their kingdoms, were all drowned in an ocean of cares and anxieties; at last they began to feel very much and were greatly afflicted. They asked with reverence their own Guru Brihaspati, “O Guru! What are we to do now? O All knowing! You are the Great Muni; kindly say unto us if there be any means by which we can get rid of this our present crisis. There are thousands of Vedic Mantrams which yield the desired results, if they are worshipped with due rites and ceremonies and if all the rules be observed thereof. O best of Munis! Many Yajñâs are mentioned in the Vedas that yield all the desired results; you know them all; so kindly perform those Yajñâs. Do all those ceremonies duly that are ordained in the Vedas for the killing of enemies; O Descendant of Ângirasa! You ought to perform as early as possible those sacrifices for magical purposes to destroy the Dânavas so that all our miseries come to an end.”

8-22. Brihaspati said :– “O Lord of the Suras! All the mantras mentioned in the Vedas yield the desired results, but subservient to the Great Destiny only; they do not give results of themselves but do so in obedience to to the laws ordained by Nature. You all are the presiding Deities of the Vedic Mantras; but, now, by the strange irony of Time, you are put to difficulties and troubles; what can I do now in this case? See! Indra, Agni, Varuna, and other gods are invoked in sacrifices; how, then, can sacrificial ceremonies do good when you are put to so great difficulties. Therefore there is no remedy to those which will take place unavoidably; but those who are wise declare that in such cases means are to be adopted. Some sages say that Fate is strong but those who advocate the cause of taking remedial means say that Fate is powerless; remedies or manly exertions lead to all success. But, O King of the Devas! The embodied souls ought to resort to both Fate and Remedies; it is never advisable to depend solely on Fate. Therefore, it is advisable to think out again and again as far as one’s own Intellect goes, the best remedies. O Devas! I have thought over again and again on this subject and say to you my opinion. Hear. In days of yore, the Bhagavatî, being appeased, killed Mahisâsura; and when you all praised and chanted hymns to Her, She gave you this boon that She will remove all your sorrows and troubles no sooner you remember Her, and She told that you all must remember Her whenever any difficulty would arise to you out of this Great Destiny. She would, then, free you all of your ocean of great difficulties. Therefore do you all now go to the highly sacred and exquisitely beautiful Himâlayân mountains and worship the most worshipful Chandikâ Devî with your love and devotion. Know all the rules of the Seed mantra of Mâyâ and be engaged in taking Her name accompanied with burnt offerings. I have come to know, by Yogic power, that She will be pleased with You. I see that today your difficulties will come to an end; there is not the least doubt in this. I have heard that the Devî resides always in the Himâchal; if you worship and praise and chant hymns to Her, She will certainly grant you your desired boons. Therefore fully decide on this thing and go to the Himâlayâs. O Devas! She will fulfil all your desires and carry out all your intentions.”

23-24. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus his words, the Devas departed to the Himâlayâs and they became all merged in the devotional worship of the Supreme Goddess and began to meditate constantly in their hearts the Seed mantra of Mâyâ (Hrîm). They bowed down to the Goddess Mahâ Mâyâ, the Discarder of all the fears of Her Bhaktas and began to chant hymns to Her with perfect devotion.

25-42. O Goddess! Salutation to Thee! O Thou, the Lord of the Universe! the Lord of our hearts! Thou art the Everlasting Bliss and the Giver of bliss to the Devas! Salutation to Thee! Thou art the Destroyer of the Dânavas and Thou art the Giver of all desires of human beings. Thou canst be approached with devotion. Salutation to Thee! O Thou, the Incarnate of all the Devas! Thy names are endless; Thy forms are endless; none can count them. Thou residest always as the Force Incarnate in all the actions, in the Creation, Preservation and Dissolution of Beings. O Goddess! Thou art the Memory, Constancy, Intelligence, Old Age. Thou art the nourishment, contentment; Thou upholdest all; Thou art the beauty, peace, good knowledge, prosperity and happiness, Thou art the Goal, fame, and intellect and Thou art the Eternal Seed unmanifested. We now bow down to those forms of Thine through which Thou dost serve the purpose of the Devas in this world as we are now in need of peace. Thou art forgiveness and mercy; Thou art the Yoga Nidrâ (a state between sleep and wakefulness); Thou art the kindness and Thou residest in all the beings in so many forms, great and grand, and so very celebrated; O Goddess! Thou hadst already served the cause of the gods in killing our great enemy Mahisâsura, puffed up with vanity. Therefore Thy mercy is well known amongst the gods; what more, Thy mercy is known, since very ancient times and it is narrated in the Vedas. What wonder is there that a mother nourishes gladly her own sons and preserves them carefully! For Thou art the Mother of the Devas; Thou art the great source of help to them; therefore dost Thou fulfill all their desires with Thine whole heart. O Devî! We do not know the limit of Thy qualities nor of Thy forms; O Goddess! Thou art worshipped by the whole Universe. Thou art fully competent to save all from dangers; we are objects of Thy pity; dost Thou save us from our present troubles! Thou art capable to kill enemies without shooting any arrrows, without striking any blows, without hurling any trident, axes, S’aktis, clubs, or any other weapons; merely by Thy mere will Thou canst kill; still for sports and for the good of all beings Thou incarnatest and fightest for the sake of Lîlâ. The ignorant persons know such things as birth, death, etc., that this world is not eternal; that no actions can be without any cause; we, therefore, ascertain by reasoning and inference that Thou art the Supreme Cause of this whole Universe. Brahmâ is the Creator, Visnu is the Preserver, and Mahes’a is the Destroyer; so it is related in the Purânas. Thou again hast given birth to these three Gods in the respective cycles; therefore Thou art the Mother of all; there is no doubt in this. O Devî! In days of yore, these three Devas worshipped Thee; Thou Wert pleased and gavest them all the best powers. Being thus endowed with Thy powers, they have been able to create, preserve and destroy this Universe beautifully. Art they not foolish, though they be Yatis (persons of self-controlled nature), who do not worship the Universal Mother, the Consciousness Incarnate, the Giver of liberation, on Whose feet are worshipped by the Devas, and worshipping Whom, one gets the fruits of all one’s desires? Certainly those Vaisnavas, Sauras (worshippers of the Sun) and Pas’upatas (worshippers of S’iva) are foolish braggarts who do not meditate Thee as the embodiment of Kamalâ (prosperity), modesty, beauty, continuancy, Fame, nourishment. O Mother! The Asuras, Hari, Hara and other great Devas worship Thee in this world; therefore those mortals are certainly deceived by their Creator that do not worship Thee on the surface of this earth. O Devî! Hari himself serves the lotus feet of Laksmî by colouring them (toes and other fingers of the feet) red with lac juice; Hara is very anxious to serve the lotus feet and take the dust thereof of Parvatî; Laksmî and Parvatî are but Thy part manifestations; therefore to serve them is, in other words to serve Thee. What to speak of other persons, even those who can discriminate between real and unreal and those who have left their worldly homes and have become dispassionate towards worldly objects, even those Munis worship forgiveness and mercy, that are but Thy parts; therefore who is there in this world that does not serve Thy lotus-feet! O Devî! Those human beings plunge into the dreadful wells of this Samsâra, the round of birth and death, and are deprived of all pleasures, who do not serve Thy lotus feet. What more can be said than the fact that those fallen beings suffer terribly from poverty, humility, leprosy, headache, and the chronic enlargement of spleen. O Mother! Those persons are void of any wealth and wife; they are the carriers of loads of wood and collect grass and leaves and show their skill in such acts; they are of little understanding and never they served in their previous births Thy lotus-feet. This we have come to know very well within our heart of hearts.

43-47. Vyâsa said :– O King! When all the Devas thus eulogised, instantly the Devî Ambikâ, full of youth and beauty appeared there out of mercy. That extraordinary beautiful Bhagavatî, endowed with all auspicious signs, and adorned with the Divine clothings, ornaments, and garlands and sandal paste, etc., appeared before the Devas. Before Whom, even the world enchanter Cupid bows down; with such beautiful, Divine appearance, the Devî emerged from the mountain cave in order to take Her ablutions in the Ganges. That Devî, sweet voiced like a cuckoo, gladly smiling began to say to the Devas, singing hymns to Her, in a voice deep like that of a rumbling cloud.

48. The Devî said :– O Best of Suras! Whom are you praising constantly in this place? What do you want! Why are you so anxious and seem to be so much care-worn? Do please tell all this to Me in detail.

49. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Devas were first enchanted by Her beauty and softness; then, being encouraged by Her sweet words, began to speak with great joy.

50-57. O Devî! We pray toThee, O Lord of his Universe! We bow down to Thee. O Thou, the Ocean of mercy! Protect us from all the troubles; we are very much care-worn and tormented by the Daityas. O Great Goddess! In ancient times Thou didst kill Mahisâsura, the source of troubles to all and then told us to remember Thee whenever any difficulty would arise. Then Thou wouldst undoubtedly remove all the troubles arising from the Daityas no sooner we remember Thee. O Devî! We have now remembered Thee for that very reason. At present the two dreadful Asuras, S’umbha and Nis’umbha have sprang up and are creating great disturbances; and they cannot be killed by any male beings. The powerful Raktavîja and Chanda Munda and other Asuras united have dispossessed the Devas of their Heavens. Thou alone art our goal and refuge; without Thee there is none other to save us. Therefore, O Beautiful One! Thou dost do this work for the Devas who are extremely troubled and distressed. O Powerful Devî! The Devas are always at the services of Thy lotus feet; still the very powerful Dânavas are throwing them into dangers; O Mother! Thou art the Preserver of the distressed; therefore dost Thou preserve the Devas, devoted to Thee. O Mother! The Dânavas, being very much emboldened by their powers, are creating many havocs on the surface of the Earth; now remembering that, in the beginning of the Yugas, Thou didst create all this Universe, Thou dost now ought to protect all this Universe.

Here ends the Twenty-second Chapter of the Fifth Book on the eulogising of the Devî by the Devas in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXIII

On the prowess of Kaus’ikî

1-7. Vyâsa said :– O King! When the tormented Devas praised thus, the Devî created from Her body another supremely beautiful form. This created form, the Ambikâ Devî, became known in all the worlds as Kaus’ikî, as She came out of the physical sheath of the Devî Parvatî. When Kaus’ikî was created out of the body of Parvatî, the Parvatî’s body became transformed and turned out into a black colour and became known as KâIikâ. Her terrible black appearance, when beheld, increases the terror even of the Daityas. O King! This Devî is now become known in this world as Kâlarâtri, the night of destruction, at the end of the world, identified with Durgâ, the Fulfiller of all the desires. The Ambikâ Devî, then, began to look splendid, decked with various ornaments; Her beautiful form began to look very lovely. The Devî Ambikâ then smiled a little and said, “Better be fearless; I will slay just now your enemies. It is My incumbent duty to carry out your purposes; I will therefore slay in battle Nis’umbha and others for the sake of your happiness.”

8-30. Thus saying, the Devî Bhagavatî, elated with pride, mounted on lion and, taking Kâlikâ with Her, entered into the city of S’umbha, the enemy of the gods. Ambikâ went to a garden adjoining the city accompanied by Kâlikâ, and began to sing in such a sweet melodious tune that enchants even the God of Love, who fascinates the whole world. What more can be said than the fact that, hearing that sweet melodious song, the birds and beasts became enchanted; the Devas then began to feel much pleasure from the Sky. In the meanwhile Chanda, Munda the two dreadful Asuras, and attendants of S’umbha, came out accidentally there on their sportive excursions and saw the beautiful Ambikâ Devî singing and Kâlikâ Devî sitting before Her. O best of Kings! No sooner Chanda, Munda saw the extraordinary beauty of the Goddess Bhagavatî, than they went at once to S’umbha. On approaching towards the lord of the Daityas sitting in his room, they bowed down and told thus in a sweet voice :– “O King! Here has come from the Himâlayâs a woman accidentally, mounted on a lion; Her limbs are shining with all good signs so much so that even the God of love would be enchanted by Her sight. Nowhere, in the Devalokas, the Gandarbha Lokas or in this earth can be found such a beautiful lady; we never saw nor heard about such a lady before. O King! That lady is singing so beautifully and pleasingly to all that even the deer are standing motionless by Her side enchanted, as it were, by Her melodious voice. O King! That Lady is fit for you; therefore determine first whose daughter is this lady, what for she has come there and then marry Her. Know this as certain that such a beautiful lady is not to be found anywhere in this world. Therefore do you bring Her to your house and marry Her. O Lord of men! You have acquired all the gems and jewels of the Devas; why not, then, accept this Gem in the form of a lady? O King! You have taken by force the exquisitely beautiful Airâvata elephant of Indra, the Pârijâta Tree, the seven faced horse Uchchais’ravâ, and many other jewels. You have acquired by your might the Prince of Jewels, the celestial car of the Creator Brahmâ, ensigned by the emblematic Swan. You have dispossessed Kuvera of his treasure of the value of a Padma (one thousand billion) and Varuna, the God of oceans, of his white umbrella. O King! When Varuna was defeated, your brother Nis’umbha took perforce his Pâs’a weapon. O King! The Great Ocean gave you, out of terror, various jewels and honoured you by presenting a garland of lotuses which never fade away. What more can be said than the fact that you have conquered the Death and took away His force and that you have easily conquered Yama, the God of Death and have taken from Him His horrible staff. O King! You have brought that Heavenly cow which came out when the ocean was churned; that cow is still with you; what more to say than that Menakâ and other Apsarâs are under your control. Thus you have got by your strength all the jewels. Why, then, are you not taking this exquisitely beautiful lady, the Prince of Jewels, amongst women. O King! All the jewels in your house, will serve their real purpose, no doubt, then and then only when they will shine with this queen of jewels, this Lady. O Lord of the Daityas! There cannot be seen in all the Trilokas such a Beautiful Lady as this that I have now described before you. Therefore bring this Beautiful Lady quickly and accept Her as your wife.

31-35. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the sweet words of Chanda and Munda, S’umbha spoke gladly to Sugrîva who was close by :– “Go, Sugrîva, do my messenger’s work; you are well skilled in these things. Speak so that the Beautiful Lady of thin waist may come over to me. Those who are well versed in the science of amorous love declare that only two methods are to be adopted by the clever persons towards the female sex :– (1) conciliation and gentle words and (2) gifts and presents. For if the policy of division or sowing dissensions be applied, then hypocrisy is shewn and that means the improper manifestation of love sentiment; whereas if chastisement be applied then the love sentiment becomes interrupted. Therefore, the wise have condemned these as corrupt means. O Messenger! Where is that woman who does not come round excited with passion when good and sweet words are spoken to her in accordance with the S’ama and Dâna methods?”

36-37. Vyâsa said :– Sugrîva, hearing the nice skilled words of S’umbha went hurriedly to the spot where existed the Mother of the Universe. He saw the Fair Lady mounted on a lion, saluted Her and spoke gently and sweetly as follows :–

38-49. The messenger said :– “O Beautiful One! S’umbha, the enemy of the Gods and the King of all, is beautiful in all respects, the ruler of the three Lokas, a great hero and conqueror of all. Hearing your beauty and loveliness, that high-souled monarch is so much attached to you and has become so very passionate that he has sent me to you to express his views. O One of delicate limbs! Please hear what that Lord of the Daityas has spoken to Thee, after duly saluting Thee, words full of love and affection towards Thee :– O Beloved! I have defeated all the Devas and have thus become the Lord of the three worlds; specially I partake of all the offerings made in sacrificial acts and ceremonies, without moving away from my house. I have taken away all the gems, jewels and wealth that belonged to the Devas; consequently the abode of the Gods has become now worthless, on account of all its jewels being carried sway. O Fair One! I am now enjoying all the jewels that exist in the Trilokas; so much so that all the Devas, Asuras, and human beings are passing away their times, subservient to Me. But no sooner Thy qualifications reached my ears Thou hast penetrated into my heart and has made me completely subservient to Thee; O Fair One! What am I to do now? Whatever Thou commandest, I am ready to do that; verily I am now Thy servant; so Thou oughtest to save me from the darts of passion. O One having swan-like eyes! I am verily made your captive. Specially I am extremely agitated by the arrows of Cupid; therefore dost Thou serve me when Thou wilt be made the Lord of the three worlds and thus enjoy the incomparably excellent things. O Beloved! I will remain ever Thy obedient servant up to the last moment of death. O Excellent One! I cannot ever be killed by the Devas, Asuras and human beings. O Fair faced One! Thou wilt be always prosperous and fortunate. Thou wilt be able to sport anywhere Thou likest. O Devî! Please ponder over the above words of the Lord of the Daityas in Thy heart and speak out Thy views gladly and with the same sweetness in reply; O Brisk One! I will go immediately to S’umbha and inform him about Thy mind.”

50. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Devî, ready to serve the cause of the Gods, heard the messenger’s gentle words and replied smiling and sweetly.

51-66. S’rî Devî spoke :– I know fully well S’umbha and Nis’umbha; the King S’umbha is very powerful, the conqueror of all the Devas, and the destroyer of enemies. He is the repository of all good qualities, the enjoyer of all pleasures, very valorous, charitable and is beautiful, in fact a second Cupid. He is adorned with thirty-two auspicious signs; particularly he is a hero and cannot be killed by the Devas or human beings. O Messenger! Knowing this I have come here to have a look of that great warrior S’umbha. The jewel comes in contact with gold to increase its lustre; so I have come here from afar to see my husband. On seeing all the Devas, Gandharbhas, Râksasas and the eminent beautiful persons on the earth I have come to know that they are all terror stricken and almost unconscious and shudder at the name of S’umbha. So, on hearing about his abilities, I have now come here to see him. O Messenger! O Fortunate One! Better now go back to the great hero S’umbha and speak to him in private the following sweet words of Mine :– “That you are foremost amongst the powerful; beautiful of the beautifuls, skilled in all the branches of learning, well qualified, charitable, clever, born of a high noble family, energetic, and conqueror of the Devas; especially, by the sheer force of your arms, you are so much exalted and you now enjoy all the gems and jewels. Therefore, O King! Knowing your qualifications, I have come truly of my own accord to your city with the desire of getting for Me a husband. O High-souled One! I am fit for your consort. O Lord of the Daityas! There is a slight hitch in My marriage. It is this: In my early days while I was playing with My comrades, I promised before them privately partly out of childishness and partly out of vanity for bodily strength that I will certainly marry that hero who is powerful like Me and who will defeat Me in battle, thus testing his powers and weaknesses. My comrades laughed at my words and spoke with wonder, ‘Why has this girl made such an extraordinarily difficult promise?’ Therefore, O Monarch! Better marry Me and fulfil My desires after knowing My strength and defeating Me in a battle. O Beautiful One in all respects! Better come yourself or your younger Nis’umbha and perform the marriage ceremony after defeating Me in the battlefield.”

Here ends the Twenty-third Chapter in the Fifth Book on the prowess of Kaus’ikî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXIV

On the description and Dhûmralochana giving the news

1-12. Vyâsa said :– O King! The messenger was thunderstruck with Devî’s words and said :– “O Beautiful Lady! What art Thou speaking? It seems that Thou dost not think on this matter, owing to Thy feminine nature. O Devî! Thou art boasting in vain; how canst Thou expect to conquer S’umbha in a battle when he has conquered Indra and other Devas and many other Dânavas? Lotus-eyed One! There is no hero in the three worlds that can conquer S’umbha in battle; Thou seemest to be a mere trifle before that King of Demons in a face-to-face fight. O Fair One! Nowhere ought to be said any words without being thought over; one must weigh one’s own and other’s might and then speak accordingly. The King S’umbha, the Lord of the three worlds, enchanted by Thy fascinating beauty, is desirous of Thee; therefore dost Thou fulfill his desires and become his beloved wife. Thou better now abandonest Thy illiterate nature and worhippest S’umbha or Nis’umbha; I am speaking for Thy good; so keep my words. The amorous love sentiment is the best of nine prevailing sentiments. Therefore every intelligent being ought to cherish with gladness this amorous feeling. And if Thou, O Weak girl! dost not go to S’umbha, then that Lord of the Earth will become very angry and will order his servants to take Thee perforce before him. O Fair One! Those proud Demons will carry Thee by holding Thy hair before S’umbha; there is no doubt in this. O thin bodied One! Better forego Thy boldness in every way and keep Thy self-respect. Thou art the object of respect and admiration and so should go before him. What difference is there between the fight which makes one’s body liable to cuts and wounds by sharp arrows and pleasures that arise out of sexual intercourse! These are like the two opposite poles; therefore judge what is useless and what is useful and keep my good advice. Thou shalt be exceedingly happy if Thou servest S’umbha or Nis’umbha.”

13-19. The Devî spoke :– “O Messenger! You are fortunate; you are well trained to speak out truth; I know full well that S’umbha and Nis’umbha are strong. Still out of My childish nature, the promise that I made before I cannot undo it. Therefore speak to the powerful S’umbha or Nis’umbha that none can be my husband simply from his beauty without defeating Me in battle no one can marry Me. So conquer Me soon and marry Me as you like. Though of a weaker sex, I have come here to fight; know this as certain. Therefore if you be capable, fight and do the duty of a warrior. And if you be terrified by seeing my trident or if you want your life, quit the Heavens and this earth and go down to Pâtâla without any delay. O Messenger! Go just now to your master and tell him sweetly these words. Then that powerful Lord of the Dânavas will judge what ought to be done. O Knower of Dharma! To speak out truth before an enemy, before one’s own master is certainly the duty of a messenger in this world; therefore go quickly and tell him what are verily true.”

20-21. Vyâsa said :– O King! The messenger was quite surprised to hear the bold words, though full of reason and morals, of the Devî, puffed up by the vanity of Her strength and departed. Coming to the Lord of the Daityas, the messenger bowed down before his feet and told him sweet words, full of morals, in a very humble way after pondering over and over again what he would say.

22-29. The messenger said :– O King! Words, true and the same time sweet, ought to be spoken before one’s master; but these are very rare in this world. On the other hand, if unpleasant words be spoken, the King gets very angry. So I am very anxious now. O King! Whether that lady is weak or strong, whence has She come, whose wife is She, I have not been able to ascertain all these. How then can I say about Her conduct? But, on seeing that harsh speaking woman, I have come to understand this much that She is exceedingly haughty and has come to fight. O King! You are very intelligent; therefore judge what ought to be done after hearing only what that lady has told me to speak to you. That Lady said :– “In days of childhood, while I was playing, out of my childish nature, I promised before my comrades that I would marry that valiant warrior who would defeat me thoroughly in a battle and thus curb My pride. O best of kings! You are religious; so you ought to make My word turn out false. Bring Me under your control by defeating Me in a battle.” O King! Hearing these words I have returned; now do whatever you like. That Lady is determined to fight and is waiting there, firmly mounted on a lion, and with various weapons in Her hands. Now judge and do what is best.

30. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the words of Sugrîva, the king S’umbha asked his hero brother Nis’umbha who was close by.

31-32. O Brother! You are intelligent; speak out truly what ought to be done now? The lovely woman is challenging us to fight. Shall I go to fight or you would go with forces? I will do whatever you say.

33-34. Nis’umbha said :– O King! It is not proper that you or I would go to the battlefield. Better send Dhûmralochana to the field quickly. Let that hero go there and defeat that beautiful Lady and bring Her here. You can then marry Her.

35. Vyâsa said :– Hearing thus his younger brother’s words, S’umbha filled with anger, instantly sent Dhûmralochana who was close by to battle.

36-40. S’umbha said :– “O Dhûmralochana! Take a vast army and go at once to the battlefield and bring that stupid Lady, vainly boasting of Her strength. If any Deva, Dânava or any other powerful human being take Her side, kill him instantly. Slay Her companion the Goddess Kâlî and bring Her too. Do all these responsible duties and return quickly. That Chaste Lady is to be protected by all means. The body of that thin Lady is very delicate; so shoot arrows at Her very carefully and see that they are not sharp. But kill those that will help Her with weapons in their hands. Try your best to protect Her, never to kill Her.

41-60. Vyâsa said :– O King! No sooner ordered thus by the king, Dhûmralochana bowed down to the king, and, accompanied by sixty thousand Dânava forces, quickly went to the battlefield and saw there that the Lady was sitting in a beautiful garden. Seeing that deer-eyed Lady, Dhûmralochana began to address Her with great humility and in sweet words full of reason and goodness. O Devî! O highly Fortunate One! Hear! S’umbha is very much distressed owing to Thy absence. Lest there be any break in the love sentiments, that King, a wise statesman, sent a messenger with instructions to speak Thee in sweet and suitable terms; but, O fair One! That messenger, on arriving before the King had told all the contrary words. O Knower of love sentiments! Hearing thus the messenger’s words, my lord S’umbha, sick with love, has become immersed in cares and anxieties. That messenger had not been able to realise the true meaning of Thy words. O honourable Lady! The sentence uttered by Thee, “He who will conquer me in battle” is full of deep meanings; he was stupid; hence he could not realise the meaning of the word “battle” intended by Thee. O Beautiful One! “Battle” means two different things according to persons for whom it is intended; it is of two kinds :– One out of excitement and another out of sexual intercourse. With Thee, the sexual intercourse is intended; and with any other enemy, excitement in a real fight is meant. Out of these, the fight of sexual intercourse is full of sweetness and the fight with enemies is painful. O Beautiful One! I know Thy intentions fully. In Thy heart reigns that fight of sexual intercourse. Knowing me as expert in these affairs, the king S’umbha has sent me today to Thee with a vast army. O highly Fortunate Lady! Thou art clever and shrewd; hear my gentle words; serve S’umbha, the lord of the three worlds, the destroyer of the Deva’s pride. Thou wilt be the dearest queen-consort and enjoy the best pleasures. The powerful S’umbha knows the real meaning of the fight of sexual intercourse; so he will easily conquer Thee. When Thou wilt shew various amorous gestures, he will also show his feelings. And the Kâlikâ Devî, your companion will remain with Thee as a helping mate in your vital pleasures. The lord of the Daityas, expert in the science of love, will certainly conquer Thee engaged in amorous fight and will lay Thee stretched on a soft bedding and will make Thee tired; he will make Thy body covered with blood by striking with nails and he will bite Thy lips to pieces; then Thou wilt perspire profusely and wilt cease fighting. Thus Thy mental desire for fight – sexual intercourse – will be satisfied. O Beloved! At Thy mere sight S’umbha will be completely subject to Thee. Therefore dost Thou keep my sweet and beneficial words. Thou art an honourable Lady; and Thou wilt be highly honoured by all if Thou marryest S’umbha. Those are certainly very unfortunate who like fighting with weapons. O Beloved! The sexual intercourse is always favourite to Thee; therefore it is not worthy of Thee to fight with weapons. Therefore dost Thou make the king free of sorrows by pouring on him Thy mouth nectar and by making his heart bud forth by Thy kicking, as Bakula and Kurubaka trees blossom forth when drenched with mouth nectar and Asoka tree gets blossomed by the kicking of women.

Here ends the Twenty-fourth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the description and Dhûmralochana giving the news in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

ChapterXXV

On the killing of Dhûmralochana

1-7. Vyâsa said :– O Janamejaya! When Dhûmralochana ceased speaking, the Devî Kâlikâ made a wild laughter and began to speak sweetly thus :– O Stupid! Skilled in flattery, you know only how to use jugglery of words like an actor; do you think that your ends will be served if you speak only sweet words; this can never be. O Stupid! Fight now; there is no need of useless words. You are strong and have been sent by that wicked Demon with a great army. This Devî, out of wrath, will kill you, S’umbha, and Nis’umbha and other commanders by Her arrows and will then return to Her abode. Where is that stupid S’umbha? And where is this Devî, the Great Enchantress of the Universe!

Their marriage in this world is entirely out of question and can never take place. O Stupid! What do you think that a lioness becoming very passionate, would make an ordinary jackal her husband? or would a she-elephant prefer an ass? or would a heavenly Cow like a bison? Go to S’umbha and Nis’umbha and tell truly to them :– “Fight or go instantly to Pâtâla.”

8-10. Vyâsa said :– O Fortunate One! The Demon Dhûmralochana, hearing thus the Kâlikâ’s words, became very angry and spoke with reddened eyes :– “O Ugly One! I will slay Thee and this lion infatuated with pride in battle and take this Fair One to the king. O Kâlî! I have not been able to do this, simply it would break our amorous love sentiments. O Quarrelsome One! Otherwise I would have undoubtedly slain Thee just now with my sharpened arrows tipped with irons.”

11. Hearing thus, Kâlikâ said :– O Fool! Why do you boast vainly? this is not the religion of a hero with bows and arrows in their hands. Shoot your arrows with all your might; I will send you to the realm of Death.

12-31. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing the Devî’s words, Dhûmralochana caught hold of his very strong bow and began to shoot arrows after arrows at Kâlikâ. Indra and the other Devas came out to see the fight on their best cars in the celestial space and shouted “Victory to the Devî” and thus eulogised Her. Then a deadly fight ensued between them with arrows, axes, clubs, S’aktis, and Musalas and various other weapons. Kâlikâ cut off at the very outset all the asses that carried the chariot by Her arrows and next broke his chariot and began to laugh repeatedly. O Bhârata! Then Dhûmralochana becoming angry mounted on another chariot and began to shoot deadly arrows at Kâlikâ. Kâlikâ Devî, too, out off those arrows into pieces before they reached Her and shot arrows after arrows on the Dânava in quick succession. Thousands of his soldiers near to him were killed; the asses and the charioteer were killed and the chariot was broken. She cut off his arrows by Her swift serpent-like arrows and blew Her conchshell. The Devas seeing this became very glad. Dhûmralochana, seeing himself displaced from his chariot, took up with anger his very strong Parigha weapon and came near to the chariot of the Devî. Then the Dânava, terrific like death, began to abuse the Devî and said :– “O Ugly tawny-eyed Kâlî! I will kill Thee just now.” Thus saying, he suddenly went near to Her and when he was about to throw his Parigha weapon on Her, the Ambikâ Devî burnt him to ashes simply by Her loud shout (of defiance). Seeing Dhûmralochana burnt to ashes, his soldiers became panic-stricken, and fled away immediately, crying aloud “O Father! O Father!” The Devas saw this and and gladly showered from high heaps of flowers on the Devî. O King! The battle ground then assumed a dreadful appearance; at some places the slain Dânavas; at others, the horses; at other places elephants and at some other places the asses lay scattered on the field. The herons, crows, vultures, the Pis’âchas of the class Batabaraphas and jackals and other carnivorous animals, began to dance wildly and clamour hideously at the sight of the dead bodies, lying on the field. The Ambikâ Devî then quitting the field, went to a distant place and blew Her conchshell so furiously and terribly that S’umbha heard that terrific noise, while he was sitting in his own residence. At the next moment, he saw that the Dânava forces had retreated, and they were coming there crying. Some of them were besmeared with blood all over the bodies; some had got their feet, some their arms, cut asunder, some were devoid of eyes, some had got their backs broken; some had their waists broken; some got their necks broken and some were going on bedsteads. Seeing them thus, S’umbha and Nis’umbha asked them :– “Where is Dhûmralochana? Why have you all retreated? And why have you not brought that Lady? Where are the other forces? Who has blown this horrible conch-shell? O Fools! Inform me quickly and truly all these things.”

32-33. The soldiers said :– “O King! Dhûmralochana has been slain by Kâlikâ; She has destroyed all the soldiers and has done extraordinary deeds.” O King! Know the blowing of the conchshell that has caused terror in the hearts of the Dânavas and has enhanced the joy of the Devas and is being resounded in the celestial space, is that done by the Ambikâ Devî. (Note: In the Mârkandeya Purâna, Ambikâ killed Dhûmra.)

34-45. O Lord! When the Devî broke the chariot of Dhûmralochana by the multitude of Her arrows and killed the horses and at last slew Dhûmralochana himself, when all the forces were slain by Her who appeared like a lion and when the rest of the army retreated, the Devas seeing all these were very much gladdened and showered flowers from the celestial sky. O King! We have come to a perfect conclusion that we will not get the victory; now consult with your expert ministers and do what is needful. O King! The Supreme Goddess of the Universe is waiting there alone to fight with you without any help of any other forces; this is a great wonder to us. O King! Intoxicated with Her power, that Girl, fearless, is reigning there taking Her stand on the lion. All these seem wonderful to us. O King! Consult with your councillors and out of the four policies peace, fight, retreat or remaining neutral, accept what is best. O Tormentor of the foes! True! There are no forces with the Devî, but the whole host of the Devas will take up Her cause in crisis, there is no doubt. In due time, Hari and Hara both will come and assist Her; now the guardians of the several quarters, the Lokapâlas are waiting by Her side in the celestial space. O Tormentor of the Gods! Know that the Gandarbhas, Kinnaras, and human beings all will come timely and help Her. O King! We guess all these. But that Lady does not want the assistance of anyone nor does She expect that any other body would do the work for Her. You must know this certainly, that She alone can destroy this whole Universe. What to speak of the Dânavas only! O Highly Fortunate One! Knowing all these, do as you like. It is the duty of the servants to speak beneficial and at the same time true words with moderation.

46-51. Vyâsa said :– O King! S’umbha, the tormentor of others, hearing their words asked his younger brother in private :– “O Brother! This Kâlikâ has slain today Dhûmralochana with his forces; the few retreated and came over to me. Now the Ambikâ Devî, puffed up with pride is blowing Her conchshell. Brother! The ways of Time are knowable even to the wise. The grass becomes a thunderbolt and the thunderbolt becomes like a grass and powerless. Know thus the course of Destiny. O Fortunate One! Now I ask you, what are we to do now? Are we to entertain yet the desire of enjoying Ambikâ, or are we to fly away from here or are we to fight on? Say quickly. Though younger, in times of difficulty, I consider you as my elder.”

52-54. Hearing thus the S’umbha’s words, Nis’umbha said :– “O Sinless One! Flight or taking refuge in a fort is not reasonable. To fight with this Lady is the best course. I will take the best generals and soldiers with me and will slay that Lady and quickly return. And if Fate be strong and prove it otherwise, then, after my death, think out again and again and do what is best.”

55-60. Hearing thus the younger brother’s words, S’umbha said, “You better wait; let Chanda and Munda go to the battle, surrounded with forces. To kill a hare it is not necessary to send an elephant. This is a very trifling matter; the two great warriors Chanda and Munda will be freely able to slay Her.” Thus saying his younger brother, the King S’umbha addressed Chanda Munda, who were waiting before him, thus :– O Chanda! O Munda! Take your forces and go quickly to kill that shameless Lady, puffed up with pride. O Pair of Warriors! Kill that tawny-eyed Kâlikâ in the battle and bring that Ambikâ Devî here quickly. Do this Great Service. And if that haughty Ambikâ be unwilling to come here, though taken as a captive, then kill that Durgâ, the ornament of the battle, too, by sharp arrows.

Here ends the Twenty-fifth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Dhûmralochana in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXVI

On the killing of Chanda and Munda

1-17. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus ordered, the two strong warriors Chanda and Munda hurriedly went to the battle, accompanied by a vast army. There they saw the Devî, intent on doing good to the Gods. Then they began to address Her in conciliatory words. O Lady! Dost Thou not know that the extraordinarily strong S’umbha and Nis’umhha, the Lords of the Daityas have crushed down the Devas and vanquished Indra and have become intoxicated with their victory? O Fair One! Thou art alone! Only Kâlikâ and Thy Lion are with Thee! It is Thy foolishness that Thou art desirous to conquer S’umbha, who is endowed with all power. I think there is no adviser to Thee, man nor woman; the Devas have sent Thee here simply for Thy destruction. Think, O Delicate One! over the powers of Thine as well as those of Thy enemy. Vainly dost Thou boast of Thy having eighteen hands. Before the great warrior S’umbha, the conqueror of the Devas, many hands and many weapons will be useless; they will prove mere burdens. So dost Thou fulfil what reigns in the heart of S’umbha, the destroyer of the legs and the uprooter of the teeth of Airâvata elephant. Vain is Thy boast, O Beloved! Follow my sweet words; they will do good to Thee, O Large-eyed One! They will destroy Thy pains and give Thee bliss. Those actions that lead to pain are to be avoided by the wise; and those that bring in happiness are to be served by the Pundits, versed in the S’âstras. O Sweet speaking one! Thou art clever. Look at the great strength of S’umbha with Thy eyes. He has enhanced his glory by crushing down the Devas. And if Thou thinkest the gods superior, that is false, for the wise men do not rely on the mere guess, full of doubts; they believe what they actually see. S’umbha, hard to be conquered in battles, is the great enemy of the Gods; they have been crushed down by him, and have therefore sent Thee here. O Sweet smiling One! Thou hast been deceived by their sweet words; they, prompted by their selfish ends, have sent Thee here simply to give Thee trouble. The friends that come with certain business and selfish ends are to be rejected. Friends out of religious motives are only to be sought for refuge. Verily I tell Thee that the gods are terribly selfish. Therefore dost Thou serve S’umbha, the conqueror of Indra and the lord of the three worlds; he is a hero, beautiful, lovely, cunning and thoroughly expert in the science of amorous love. Thou wilt get the prosperity of all the worlds by the mere command of S’umbha; therefore make a firm resolve and serve that splendid husband S’umbha.

18-30. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Universal Mother, hearing the words of Chanda spoke with a voice deep as thunder. O Boor! Why do you use false deceitful words? Fly away just now. Why shall I make S’umbha my husband, disregarding Hari, Hara and the other Devas? O You, a veritable Fool! I have no necessity for My lord; I have got nothing to do with my lord. I Myself am the Lord of all the beings; and I preserve this whole Universe with all the lords and beings therein. Note this. In ancient times I saw thousands and thousands of S’umbha and Nis’umbha and I slew them all. I sent hundreds and hundreds of Daityas and Demons to the realm of Death. Before Me the hosts of Devas were destroyed in yugas after yugas. Today the Daityas again will go unto destruction. The Time has come to destroy the Daityas; why, then, are you struggling in vain with your followers for your lives? Fight now and keep the Dharma of the warriors; death is inevitable; thinking thus, the high-souled ones should keep their name, fame, and respect. What business have you to do with S’umbha and Nis’umbha? Follow the warrior’s Dharma and go to Heavens, the abode of the gods. S’umbha, Nis’umbha and your other friends and followers, all will follow you and will come here no doubt. O Stupid One! I will put an end to all the Dânavas today. Therefore cast aside your weakness and go on, fight. I will slay you and your brother just now; next I will kill the proud Rakta Vîja, Nis’umbha and S’umbha and the other Dânavas in the battle field and will then go to My desired place. Now remain here if you like or fly away quickly. You have been fed in vain because you fear to fight. What use is there now in using sweet words like a weak and distressed man. Well! Take up your arms now and fight.

31-61. Vyâsa said :– O King! Chanda and Munda, elated with pride got excited at the Devî’s words, became angry and made a violent noise with their bow strings. The Devî, too, blew Her conchshell so loudly that the ten quarters of the sky reverberated; in the meanwhile, the powerful lion became very angry and roared loudly. Hearing that sound Indra and other Devas, the Munis, Yaksas, Siddhas, and Kinnaras became all very glad. A dreadful fight than ensued between Chandikâ and Chanda with arrows, axes and other weapons, causing terror to the weak. Then Chandikâ Devî became very wrathful and cut off to pieces all the arrows shot by Chanda and then hurled arrows serpent-like on him. Then the sky over the battle ground seemed to be overcast with arrows just as the clouds get covered over with locusts, dreadful to the cultivators. In the meanwhile Munda, exceedingly terrible, came up to the field, taking with him his army and becoming impatient with anger began to shoot arrows. Seeing that multitude of arrows, Ambikâ got very angry; out of Her frowny look, Her eyebrows became crooked, Her face became black, and Her eyes turned red like Kadalî flowers; at this time suddenly came out of Her forehead Kâlî. Wearing the tiger’s skin, cruel, covering Her body with elephant’s skin, wearing a garland of skulls, terrible, with a belly like a well dried up, mouth wide open, with a wide waist, lip hanging loosely, with axe, noose, S’iva’s weapon, in Her hands, She looked very terrible like the Night of Dissolution. She began to lick frequently and forcibly dashed into the Dânava army and began to destroy it. She angrily began to take the powerful Dânavas by Her arms and pouring them into Her mouth crushed them with Her teeth. Taking the elephants with bells by Her own power in Her hands She put them all into Her mouth and swallowed them all with their riders and began to laugh hoarsely. Thus camels, horses and charioteers with chariots all She put into Her mouth and began to chew them all grimly. O King! Seeing that the forces were being thus destroyed, the two great warriors Chanda and Munda began to shoot arrows after arrows without intermission and covered the Devî with them. Chanda hurled the Sudarsan-like disc, lustrous like the Sun, with great force against the Devî, and frequently shouted thundering cries. Seeing him roaring and the lustrous disc coming towards Her like another sun, She shot at him arrows sharpened on stones so that the warrior Chanda became overpowered by them and lay down senseless on the ground. The powerful Munda seeing his brother unconscious became very much distressed with grief; but he got angry and began to shoot arrows immediately on the Devî. Chandikâ Devî hurled the weapon named Îsikâ and thus cut off to pieces all the dreadful arrows of Munda in a moment and shot Ardha Chandra (semi-circular) arrow at him. With this arrow the powerful Asura was deprived of his pride and made to lie down unconscious on the earth. Munda thus lying on the ground, a great uproar arose amidst the army of the Dânavas; and the Devas became delighted in the sky. In the meanwhile Chanda became conscious and taking a very heavy club hurled it violently on the right hand of Kâlikâ. Kâlikâ rendered that blow useless and instantly tied down that Asura by Her Pâsa weapon, purified by Mantras. Munda again rose up, and, seeing his brother in that fastened condition, came to the front well armoured and with an exceedingly strong weapon called S’akti. Seeing the Asura coming, She instantly fastened him down like his brother. Taking the powerful Chanda and Munda like hares and laughing wildly, Kâlî went to Ambikâ, and said :– “I have brought the two beasts very auspicious as offerings in this sacrificial war. Kindly accept these.” Seeing the two Dânavas brought, as if they were the two wolves, Ambikâ told her sweetly :– O Thou, fond of war! Thou art very wise; so dost not commit the act of envy nor dost leave them; think over the purport of my words and know that it is Thy duty to bring the Devî’s work to a successful issue.

62-65. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the words of Ambikâ, Kâlikâ spoke to Her again :– “In this war-sacrifice there is this axe which is like a sacrificial post; I will offer these two as victims to Thy sacrifice. Thus no act of envy will be committed (i.e., killing in a sacrifice is not considered as envy).” Thus saying, the Kâlikâ Devî cut off their heads with great force and gladly drank their blood. Thus seeing the two Asuras killed, Ambikâ said gladly :– Thou hast done the service to the gods; so I will give Thee an excellent boon. O Kâlikâ! As Thou hast killed Chanda and Munda, henceforth Thou wilt be renowned in this world as Châmundâ.

Here ends the Twenty-sixth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Chanda and Munda in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXVII

On the description of the war of Raktabîja

1-14. Vyâsa said :– O King! Seeing the two Dânavas killed in the battle, the remnant soldiers all fled away back to S’umbha. Some of them were cut and wounded in many places by arrows, some had their arms severed, some were bleeding; thus they entered crying into the sky. On reaching the lord of the Daityas, they began to make frequently the noise indicative of danger and exclaimed, “O King! Save us, Save us; Kâlikâ is devouring everything today. The two great warriors Chanda and Munda, the tormentors of the Devas, were slain by Her; all the soldiers were devoured by Her; we have fled away panic-stricken. O Lord! Kâlikâ has rendered the battlefield horrible by the dead bodies of elephants, horses, camels, warriors, and foot soldiers. A river of blood is flowing there of which the flesh of the soldiers is sufficient mud, their hairs are like aquatic plants, the broken chariot wheels are like whirlpools, the severed arms and feet are like fishes and their heads look like Tumbi fruits (long gourds). O King! Save your line; go quickly to Pâtâla. The Devî has become angry and will, no doubt, destroy our race. Even the lion is eating away the Dânavas; and the Kâlikâ Devî is killing innumerable Dânavas by Her arrows. Therefore, O King! What intentions are you cherishing in your mind? Is it that you have desired to be merely slain with your younger brother Nis’umbha! And what good purpose will this cruel woman, destroying your race, serve, for Whose sake, you have desired to kill all your friends? O King! Victory or defeat in this world are under the Daîva. The wise never risk to meet with great difficulties for the gratification of an ordinary whim. O Lord! Look at the wonderful deeds of that Great Creator! What more wonder can there be than this that a woman alone killed all the Dânavas. O King! You have conquered by the help of your army all the Lokapâlas (guardians of the quarters of the sky); but now that Lady, though alone and unsupported by anybody, is challenging you to fight.

15-24. O King! In ancient times, in the holy pilgrimage of Puskara, the sacred place of the Devas, you performed austerities when Brahmâ, the Grandsire of all the worlds, came to you to grant a boon. Then you asked the boon and wanted to become to be immortal. But when Brahmâ refused to grant it you wanted from him and were granted that you would not be killed by any male being, be he a Deva, Dânava, a man, Nâga, Kinnara, Yaksa, or any other person. O Lord! For that very reason we think now that this Lady has timely come to kill you. Think over it seriously and cease fighting. O King! This Devî is the great Mahâ-Mâyâ, the Highest Prakriti; It is She that devours everything at the end of a Kalpa . This auspicious Devî is the Creatrix of all the worlds and the Devas. She is the embodiment of the three qualities, endowed with all the powers. She is Tâmasi, i.e., is the Destructrix of the whole world. This Devî can never be conquered, Imperishable, Eternal, She is the Sandhyâ and the Refuge of the Devas. She is Gâyatrî, the Mother of the Vedas. She is All-knowing and always manifested. This Undecaying Lady is void of any Prakritic attributes, though She at times possesses attributes. She is Success Incarnate and bestows success to all; She is Bliss Herself and gives bliss to all. This Gaurî bids all the Devas discard all their fears. She is S’uddha Sattva. Thus knowing, O King! Quit thy inimical feelings to Her; seek refuge unto Her; the Devî would then certainly protect you. Be obedient to Her and save your race. Then the remnant Dânavas will be able to live for a very long time.”

25. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus, S’umbha, the conqueror of the Devas, told them truly in words becoming of a hero.

26-42. S’umbha said :– “O Fools! Hold your tongue.You have fled because your desire to live is very strong. So you better go to Pâtâla without any delay. This world is under the control of Fate; so I need not think about Victory. I am under this Fate just as Brahmâ and other Devas are under it. Brahmâ, Visnu, Rudra, Yama, Agni, Varuna, Sûrya, Chandra, and Indra are all under the sway of this Destiny. O Fools! Whatever is inevitable will certainly come to pass. What need I think over it then? The effort also comes to be of such a nature as will lead to that ordained by Fate. Thus thinking, the wise never grieve; especially the wise ones never leave their own Dharma for fear of death. The happiness, pain, longevity, birth and death of all the embodied souls are all determined by Fate when their proper time arrives. See! When the time is over, Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahâdeva, the lord of Pârvatî die away; on the expiration of their terms of lives, Indra and other Devas go to destruction. Similarly I am also completely under the sway of time; so what doubt is there that I, too, will go to destruction when I have observed my own Dharma! This Lady is challenging me to fight of Her own will; how can I fly away and live hundreds of years. I will fight today. Let the result come whatever it may. I will gladly take the victory or defeat whatever the case may be. The learned approving of the cause of effort declare Fate as fictitious; those who realise their sayings know that they are full of reason. Without exertion no end can be achieved; weak persons depend on the destiny. Foolish persons say that Fate is strong; but the wise do not say so. There is no proof whether Fate exists or not; in fact what is called Fate is invisible; how can it then be seen? Has anybody seen Fate? It is simply a scare for the illiterate; remedy only to console one’s mind in times of distress. Simply proximity to a grindmill without any man’s effort cannot grind a material. Therefore if exertion be made in proportion to the gravity of the work, success is sure to ensue; if exertion be made less in proportion, the work does not come to a successful issue. If time, place and one’s enemies’ forces be correctly taken into account and then if the proper attempts be made, success follows; thus Brihaspatî has said.”

43-44. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus making a firm resolve to send the powerful Raktabîja to the battle with a vast army; S’umbha said :– “O Raktabîja! You are a very powerful hero; therefore do you go to the battle. O Fortunate One! Fight as you are the strength of your forces.”

45-46. Raktabîja said :– “O King! You need not be a bit anxious for this work.Certainly I will either slay Her or I will bring Her under your control. Please see my skill in this warfare; that Lady, favourite of the gods, is worth nothing; I will just now conquer Her and make Her your slave.”

47-50. Vyâsa said :– O Best of Kurus! Thus saying, the powerful Raktabîja mounted on his chariot and went to the battle accompanied by his forces. The battalion consisted of cavalry, infantry, chariots and elephants. Thus surrounded he departed from the city for that Devî, seated on a mountain top. Then the Devî, seeing him coming, blew Her conchshell; the Dânavas were terrified at that sound and the joy of the Devas increased. Hearing that sound Raktabîja came very hurriedly to Châmundâ and began to speak to Her sweetly.

51-62. O Girl! Do you think me weak and thus want to terrify me with the sound of a conchshell? O Lean One! Have you taken me to be a Dhûmralochana? O Sweet speaking one! My name is Raktabîja; I have come here for Thy sake. If Thou desirest to fight, be prepared; I am not a bit afraid of that. O Dear! You saw those who were weak; I do not belong to that class. Therefore dost Thou fight as Thou likest and then Thou wilt be able to ascertain my strength. O Beautiful! If Thou didst serve the old persons before, if Thou hadst heard the science of politics and morals, if Thou hadst studied the political economy, joined the assemblage of the Pundits or if Thou hast been well versed in literature and Tantras, then hear this my good counsel which will serve as a medicinal diet to Thee. Out of the nine sentiments, the S’ringâra (Amorous love sentiments) and S’ânti (Peace) are considered as the chief by the assemblage of the Pundits. Again out of these two, the love sentiment is the king. Drenched with this sentiment, Visnu lives with Kamalâ; Brahmâ, the four-faced, lives with Sâvitri; Indra with S’achî and S’ankara resides with his wife Umâ. The tree stands with creepers surrounding it, the deer lives with his female deer, the pigeon lives with the female pigeon; thus all the beings are very attached to this sentiment of remaining in couples. Those who cannot enjoy owing to certain disease or illness, they are deprived by Fate of such enjoyments. Those who are ignorant of this love sentiment in couples, they are deprived of it by the sweet jugglery of words of the cheat and yet attached to the Peace sentiment. When delusion, the destroyer of Buddhi, the common sense, occurs, when the violent indomitable anger, greed, and lust arise, where, then, is the place for knowledge and dispassion? Therefore, O Auspicious One! Dost Thou marry the beautiful S’umbha or the powerful Nis’umbha.

63. Vyâsa said :– O King! When Raktabîja spoke all these words, standing before the Devî Kâlikâ, Ambikâ and Châmundâ began to laugh.

Here ends the Twenty-seventh Chapter of the Fifth Book on the description of the war of Raktabîja in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXVIII

On the description of the fighting of the goddesses

1-5. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Devî, hearing thus, laughed and spoke the following reasonable words, in a voice deep as a rumbling cloud :– O Dull brained one! Already I told to that messenger before in reply to you; why then do you boast in vain? If there be any such in the three worlds who can stand equal to Me in appearance, strength, and prosperity, I will marry him. Go to S’umbha and Nis’umbha and inform them that thus I promised before; therefore let any of them conquer Me in battle and then marry Me according to the prescribed rules. You have come here to execute the order of S’umbha; so either stand up and fight or fly to Pâtâla with your King.

6-11. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing the Devî’s words, the Dânava was filled with anger and began to shoot dreadful arrows at once on the Lion. Ambikâ, then, ready-handed, seeing the multitude of arrows coming in the sky like serpents, cut them off in a moment to pieces by Her sharp arrows. The Devî, then, drawing Her bow, shot arrows sharpened on stone at the great Asura Raktabîja. Then that wicked Demon, thus shot at by the arrows, fell unconscious on the chariot. When he lay thus senseless, a great uproar arose amidst his army and the soldiers began to cry aloud saying, “Alas! We all are killed.” Then S’umbha, the king of the Asuras, hearing the sound of Boombâ (a danger cry by hands and mouth) ordered all the Dânavas to be ready for the battle.

12. Then S’umbha said :– Let all Kâmbojas go to the battle with all their forces; let other powerful heroes, especially the Kâlakeyâs, too, who are very strong heroes, go up for the battle. (Note: Kâmboja, name of a people and their country. They inhabited the Hindoo Koosh mountain which separates the Giljit valley from Balkh and probably extended up to little Tibet and Lâdak. The Kâlakeyâs may be the Afridis.)

13-33. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus ordered, all the fourfold army of S’umbha, viz., cavalry, infantry, elephants and chariots went out, intoxicated for war, to the battle ground where the Devî existed. The Devî Chandikâ, seeing the Dânava forces coming near, made at once terrible sounds frequently. The Ambikâ Devî also made the sound with Her bowstring and blew Her conchshell. Kâlî, then, shouted aloud opening Her mouth widely. The powerful Lion, the Devî’s Vâhana, hearing the terrible sounds, roared so loudly that the Dânavas were struck with strange terror. The powerful Dânavas, then, hearing that sound became impatient with anger and shot arrows after arrows on the Devî. The wonderful horrible battle, then, ensued, causing horripilation and the S’aktis of Brahmâ and the other Devas began to come to Chandikâ Devî. The Devîs, the wives of the several Devas, then went, to the battlefield in their respective forms with ornaments and Vâhanas as generally on such occasions. The S’akti (wife) of Brahmâ named Brahmâni, mounting on the back of Her Swan came there with a string of beads and Kamandalu (an wooden waterpot used by ascetics). The Vaisnavî with Her yellow robes came there mounted on Garuda (the sacred bird of Visnu, the carrier of Him) with conch, discus, club, and lotus in Her hands. The Devî S’ankarî, the wife of S’iva, the Auspicious One, arrived on the back of Her Bull. The emblem of half-moon was on Her forehead while in Her hands She held snake, bracelet, and trident (Trisûla) and the sign of fearlessness for Her devotees. The beautiful wife of Kârtika, Kaumâri Devî, looking like Kartika, came to fight there mounted on a peacock. The fairfaced Indrânî, decked with ornaments on Her several limbs, came there to fight, with thunder-bolt in Her hand, mounted on the elephant Airâvata. The Vârâhî Devî looking like a female boar, came also, seated on an elevated seat of departed souls (Preta). The Nârasimhî, resembling Nrisimha (the Man Lion Incarnation) came there. The wife of Yama, looking fearful like Yama arrived there on the battlefield smiling and with staff in Her hand and mounted on the back of a buffalo. Thus the wives of Kuvera, Varuna, and other Devas came there with proper forms, Vâhanas, ornaments, accompanied by their forces and all excited. Seeing them all, the Devî Ambikâ became glad; the Devas, too, became peaceful and expressed their great joy; the Dânavas were afraid at the sight of them. S’ankara, auspicious to all the beings, came there to the battlefield, surrounded by these goddesses and thus said to Chandikâ :– Slay quickly all these Asuras, S’umbha, Nis’umbha and all other Dânavas to serve the cause of the Devas. Let all the goddesses destroy the Dânava race and thus free the world from dangers; they may, then, return to their own abodes. Let the Devas get their shares of sacrifices, let the Brâhmanas perform the sacrificial acts, and let all the creatures, moving or not moving, be happy. Let all calamities such as proceed from drought, excessive rain, rats, foreign invasion, locusts and birds, bats, etc., come to an end. Let the clouds bestow rains regularly and let the cultivation yield ample harvests. Note here that rats bring in plague.

34-40. Vyâsa said :– O King! When S’ankara, the Lord of the gods and Auspicious to all, said thus, a wonderful female ensued out of the body of Chandikâ, very furious, horrible, with hundreds of jackals surrounding and yelling; then that S’akti, of dreadful appearance, said to the five-faced S’iva, smiling :– O Deva of the Devas! Go quickly to the lord of the Daityas; do the duty of a messenger for us, O Destroyer of lust! O S’ankara! Tell that haughty lustful S’umbha and Nis’umbha leave the Heavens and go to Pâtâla. Let the Devas reign in the Heavens; Indra go to his own beautiful throne; let all the Devas go to their appropriate places in Heaven and receive their sacrificial offerings duly. And if the Demons desire to live, let them go quickly to the city of Pâtâla where other Dânavas are dwelling. Else, if they like to die, let them go quickly to the battlefield and let their flesh be eaten up by Her jackals.

41. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing Her words, S’ûlapâni went quickly to S’umbha, the lord of the Dânavas, seated in the assembly, and said thus :–

42-44. O King! I am Hara, the Destroyer of the Asura Tripurâ; now I have come to you for your good as a messenger of Ambikâ Devî. Quit the Heavens and Earth and go quickly to Pâtâla where reside the powerful Bali and Prahlâda, or if you like to court Death, come to fight; I will slay you all in a moment. O King! The Great Queen Ambikâ Devî has sent me with these instructions for your welfare and information.

45-63. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus conveying the nectarlike, beneficial words of the Devî to the chief Daityas, S’iva, the Holder of the trident, returned to his own place. The S’akti that sent S’ambhu as a messenger to the Dânavas is known in three worlds as S’iva Dûtî. The Daityas, thus hearing the rigorous words of the Devî, put on their coats of armour and taking their bows and arrows quickly went out to fight. They came with great force to the battlefield, stretched their bows to their ears and shot piercing arrows, sharpened on stone and tipped with iron, at the Chandikâ Devî. The Kâlikâ Devî, too began to strike some with the trident, some with S’akti weapon, and some with clubs and rent them asunder and devoured them all, and began to roam in the field. Brahmâni began to pour water from Her Kamandalu on the powerful Dânavas in the battlefield and thus destroyed them. Mahes’varî, mounting on Her Bull gave violent blows by Her trident and thus lay them dead on the ground. Vaisnavî, with the blow of Her club, took away the lives of many Daityas and striking them with Her Discus out off the heads of several others. Indrânî hurled Her thunderbolt on the chief Dânavas, already struck by the feet of the elephant and lay them dead on the field. Nârasimhî tore the strongest Dânavas with the sharp nails and, devouring them, walked to and fro and made dreadful sounds. S’iva Dûtî began to laugh hoarsely and laid the Dânavas flat on the field, when they were at once devoured by Kâlikâ and Chandikâ. Kaumâri, seated on a peacock, by drawing the bowstring to Her ears hurled arrows sharpened on stone on the enemies and killed them to serve the cause of the gods. Vâruni tied down the Dânavas by Her Pâsa weapons in a face to face fighting; thus they lay down senseless on the ground. O King! Thus the Mâtrikâs, the goddesses, crushed the forces. Then the other powerful soldiers fled away terrified. The “Boombâ” danger cry rose then loudly; on the other hand, the Devas began to shower flowers on the Devîs. Hearing the distressful agonies of the Asuras and the shouts of victory of the Devas, Raktabîja, the chief of the Dânavas became very angry. Seeing specially the Dânavas flying away and the Devas shouting, that powerful Demon came hurriedly to the battlefield with anger. Then with eyes reddened with anger, and with various weapons came before the Devî, Raktabîja mounting on a chariot, and making sounds unusual with his bowstring.

Here ends the Twenty-eighth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the description of the fighting of the goddesses in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXIX

On the killing of Raktabîja

1-21. Vyâsa said :– O King! Please hear attentively about the extraordinary boon that was given by Mahâdeva, the God of gods, to the great warrior, Raktabîja. Whenever a drop of blood from the body of that great warrior will drop on the surface of the earth, immediately will arise innumerable Dânavas, equal in form and power to him; thus the Deva Rudra granted the Demon the wonderful boon. Thus elated with the boon, he entered into the battlefield with great force in order to kill Kâlikâ with Ambikâ Devî. Seeing the Vaisnavî S’akti, lotus-eyed, seated on the bird Garuda, the Demon struck Her with a violent weapon (named S’akti). She then baffled the weapon by Her club and hurled Sudars’ana disc on the great Asura Raktabîja. Thus struck by the disc, blood began to ooze out from his body as the red stream of soft red sandstone comes out of a mountain-top. Wherever on the surface of the earth drops of blood fell from his body, then and there sprang out thousands and thousands of demons like him. Indrâni, the wife of Indra, became very angry and struck the terrible Raktabîja with his thunderbolt. Streams of blood then began to ooze out from his body. No sooner the drops of blood fell from the Demon’s body, than were instantaneously born from the blood many powerful Asuras, of similar forms, having similar weapons and hard to be conquered in battle. Brahmânî then becoming enraged struck at him with the staff of Brahmâ with greater force. Mâhes’varî rent the Dânava asunder by striking him with Her trident. Nâra Simhî pierced the Asura with Her nails; Vârâhî struck at him with Her teeth. Then the Dânava becoming angry shot at them all with sharpened arrows and pierced them all. Thus when the Mâtrikâ Devîs were pierced by the club and other various weapons of that great Asura, they got very angry and pierced the Dânavas in return with shots of arrows. Kaumârî, too, struck at his breast with Her weapon, named S’akti. The Dânavas then got angry and hurled on them multitude of arrows and began to pierce them. O King! The Chandikâ Devî, getting angry, cut off his weapons into pieces and shot violently at him other arrows. O King! Thus struck by severe blows, when blood began to flow in profuse quantities from his body, thousands and thousands of Dânavas resembling Raktabîja sprang out instantly from it. So much so, that the heavens were all covered over with Raktabîjas that sprang up from the blood. They all covered all over their bodies with coats of armour, began to fight terribly with weapons in their hands. Then the Devas, seeing that the innumerable Raktavîjas were striking the Devî, became very much frightened and were distressed with sorrow. They began to talk with each other with sorrowful countenances that thousands and thousands of huge bodied warriors were springing from the blood. These were all very powerful; so how could they be destroyed! In this battlefield there were now left only the Mâtrikâs, Kâlikâ, and Chandikâ. It would be certainly extremely difficult for them to conquer all these Dânavas. And if at that moment, S’umbha and Nis’umbha were to join them with his army, certainly a great catastrophe would occur.

22-28. Vyâsa said :– O King! When the Devas were thus extremely anxious, out of terror, Ambikâ Devî said to the lotus-eyed Kâlî :– “O Châmundâ! Open out your mouth quickly, and no sooner I strike Raktabîja with weapons, you would drink off the blood as fast as it runs out of his body. Instantly I will kill those Dânavas sprung from the blood with sharpened arrows, clubs, swords and Musalas; and you would then be able to devour them all at your will, and, then, roam in this field as you like. O Large-eyed One! You would drink off all the jets of blood in such a way that not a drop of it escapes and falls on the ground. And then when they will all be devoured, no more Dânavas would be able to spring. Thus they will surely be extirpated; otherwise they will never be destroyed. Let me begin to strike blows after blows on Raktabîja and you better drink off quickly all the blood, being intent on destroying the forces. O Chamunde! Thus, the Dânavas being all exterminated, we will hand over to the Indra, the lord of the Devas, his Heavens without any enemy; and, thus, we can go peacefully and happily to our own places.”

29-47. Vyâsa said :– O King! The Châmundâ Devî, of furious strength, hearing thus the Devî’s words began to drink the jets of blood coming out of the body of Raktabîja. The Devî Ambikâ began to cut the Demon’s body into pieces and Châmundâ, of thin belly, went on devouring them. Then Raktabîja, becoming angry, struck Châmundâ with his club. But though She was thus hurt severely, She drank off the blood and then devoured all the limbs thereof. O King! Thus Kâlikâ Devî drank off the blood of all other powerful wicked Dânava Raktabîjas that sprang out of the blood. Ambikâ thus destroyed them. Thus, all the Dânavas, created out of the blood were devoured; then, there was left, lastly, the real Raktabîja. Ambikâ Devî then cut him asunder into pieces by Her axe and thus killed him. Thus, when the dreadful Raktabîja was slain in the battle, the Dânavas fled away trembling with fear. Without any weapons, covered all over their bodies with blood, and void of consciousness they uttered, dumb confounded “Alas! Alas! What has happened, what has happened.” Thus crying, they told their King S’umbha thus :– “O King of Kings! Ambikâ Devî has killed Raktabîja and Châmundâ has drunk off all their blood. The carrier (Vâhana) of Devî, the powerful ferocious Lion killed other powerful warriors and Kali devoured the remaining soldiers. O Lord of the Dânavas! We have fled and come to you to give the news of the battle and to describe the wonderful doings of that Chandikâ Devî in the battlefield. O King! In our opinion, no one will be able to conquer that Lady, be he a Daitya, Dânava, Gandarbha, Asura, Yaksa, Pannaga, Chârana, Râksasa, or an Uraga. O King of Kings! The other Goddesses, Indrâni and others, have come to the battle, on their own carriers respectively and are fighting with various weapons. O Lord of the Dânavas! The Dânava forces are all slain by them with the excellent weapons in their hands. Even Raktabîja has been slain in no time. That Lion, of indomitable prowess, killed the Râksasas in the battle; The Devî alone is hard to conquer; how much more would it be impossible to conquer Her, when She has been joined with other goddesses. So consult with the ministers and do what is reasonable. In our opinion it is better to make treaty with Her and quit your enmity. O King! Think over the fact that that Lady destroyed all the Dânavas and at last drank off the blood of Raktabîja and at last killed him. What on earth can be more wonderful than this? O King! The Devî Ambikâ killed all the other Daityas and Châmundâ devoured their blood, flesh, and all. Considering all this, it is now better for us to serve the Devî Ambikâ or fly away to Pâtâla. No more fighting is desirable. She is not an ordinary woman; She is Mahâ Mâyâ, there is not the least doubt in this. Only to serve the cause of the Gods, She has manifested Herself and is now destroying the Râksasas’ race.”

48. Vyâsa said :– Hearing thus, S’umbha got confounded by Kâla (Death), as his end was coming nigh, and said the following words, his lips quivering with anger.

49-54. You are struck with fear; so you all take the refuge of Chandikâ or fly down to Pâtâla; but I will kill Her with all my exertion and effort. I conquered all the hosts of Devas and I have enjoyed their kingdom; shall I now, out of the fear of one Lady, fly and enter into the Pâtâla. All my attendants, Raktabîja and other heroes, are now slain in the battle and is it possible that I will now fly away out of the sake of preserving my life only. See! The death of all the beings is ordained by Kâla and it is unavoidable. No sooner a being is born, he is liable to the fear of death. How can a man, then, out of fear of death, quit all his name and fame? O Nis’umbha! I will now go immediately to the battle, mounting on my chariot and will return after slaying Her in battle. And if I cannot kill Her, I will not then return any more. O Best of warriors! Better stand on my side with all your forces and kill that Lady in no time, with sharp arrows.

55-58. Nis’umbha said :– Today I will go to the battle and slaying that Kâlikâ, will shortly return here with Ambikâ. O King! Do not think at all for that Lady; see my world-conquering strength and look at that weak woman; there is a vast difference. Cast aside your this great mental anxiety and trouble. Enjoy, O Brother, excellent things. I will bring that dignified Lady with all honours before you. O King! You ought not to go to the battle when I am alive. I will presently go to the fight and bring for you that Lady as a sign of our victory.

59-60. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus saying, the younger brother, proud of his own strength, went hurriedly to the battlefield, mounting on his big chariot. He was protected all over his body by his coat of armour and he was well provided with various weapons and all other accoutrements of war. The bards began to sing hymns to him and various other propitious ceremonies were being performed.

Here ends the Twenty-ninth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Raktabîja in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXX

On the killing of Nis’umbha

1-10. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus making a firm resolve that there would be either victory or death, the great warrior Nis’umbha went to fight with the Devî, with great excitement and with all his forces. S’umbha, too the Lord of the Daityas, accompanied by his forces, went after Nis’umbha; S’umbha knew full well the rules of warfare; therefore he remained a witness there. Indra and the other Devas and Yaksas, all stationed themselves in the celestial space, eager to see that fight, covered with clouds. Nis’umbha came to the field, and, taking the strong bow made of horns, began to shoot arrows after arrows at the Divine Mother with the object of frightening Her. Seeing Nis’umbha with his excellent bow, shooting arrows, Chandikâ began to laugh frequently. With a soft slow voice She spoke to Kâlikâ :– “O Kâlî! See their foolishness! They have come before me, courting death. They are so much deluded by My Mâyâ, that they yet expect victory when they have already witnessed the death of Raktabîja and many Dânavas. Hope is so very strong that it never quits a man. How wonderful is this that some of their armies are destroyed, some are wounded, some are rendered senseless, some made powerless, some have fled; seeing all these, yet, they have come to fight, as it were, fastened by the cord of hope of victory. O Kâlî! Today I will certainly slay Nis’umbha and S’umbha. Their death is nigh; deluded by the Daivî Mâyâ, they have come to Me. Therefore, in the face of all the Devas, I will kill them today.”

11-24. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus saying, and suddenly drawing Her bow, Chandî covered Nis’umbha, in front, all over with a multitude of arrows. Nis’umbha, too, cut off those arrows into pieces by his sharp arrows; thus the fight became more and more dreadful between them. At this time, the lion of Bhagavatî, came down upon the forces, quivering his manes, like a powerful elephant going down into a lake. By his nails and teeth, he tore asunder the bodies of the Dânavas that fell before him and devoured them, as if they were infatuated elephants. That lion thus crushing down the soldiers, Nis’umbha came forward hurriedly, drawing his excellent bow. Hundreds of other generals of the Dânavas came up there to kill the Devî, biting their lips and with their eyes reddened with anger. In the meantime S’umbha killed Kâlikâ and came very hurriedly there with his forces to capture the Divine Mother. Coming to the battlefield S’umbha saw that the Divine Mother was standing before him; though She was looking very beautiful, fit for love sentiment, yet She was filled also with the sentiment of fiery wrath. At that time the large eyes of Bhagavatî, the Beautiful in the three worlds, though naturally red, looked more red due to wrath. When S’umbha saw Her lovely features, the desire to marry Her and the hope of victory all vanished away from his mind; and he stood there with bow in his hand, firmly holding in his mind that he would die. Seeing the Dânava in that state, She smiled and began to say, so that all the Dânavas could hear. O Wretched Fools! If you all want to live, quit all your weapons here, go to the Pâtâla or to the middle of the ocean. Or be slain in the battle by My arrows and go to heavens and enjoy there without any fear all the enjoyments and sports there. Weakness and heroism, both cannot be expected at one and the same time and at the same individual; therefore I am ordering you to dispel your fears. Now go wherever you find your ease and happiness.

25-35. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing these words of the Devî, that haughty Nis’umbha ran forward, holding in his hand the sharpened axe and shield adorned with eight Chandras (embossed) and firstly struck with sword violently on the proud lion; then, whirling with great force that sword, hurled it upon the Divine Mother. The Devî, then, thwarted off the blow of the sword by Her club and struck at his arm by Paras’u. The warrior Nis’umbha, thus struck at his arm, patiently bore that hurt and struck at Chandikâ by his axe. The Devî then made such a terrible noise of bells that all the Daityas were struck with terror. Then She, desiring to kill Nis’umbha, began to drink nectar frequently. O King! Thus the terrible fight went on between the Devas and Dânavas both trying to defeat the other party. Then began to dance in the battlefield, the cruel voracious dogs, jackals, vultures, herons, crows and other birds, very much gladdened. The battlefield was drenched with blood and the dead carcasses of innumerable Dânavas, elephants, and horses. Nis’umbha, then, seeing the Dânavas dead on the field, became very angry and ran forward with his terrible club before the Devî. That proud Asura struck first at the head of the lion with that club and laughed again and again and struck the Devî with that same club. The Devî, too, got very angry seeing Nis’umbha before Her and striking at Her. She then spoke thus :–

36. O You Stupid! Wait till I sever your head from your body by this axe. Soon you will be sent unto death with your head severed off your body.

37-64. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus saying the Chandikâ Devî instantly cut off the head of Nis’umbha by Her axe with great caution.

The head thus severed from the body by the blow of the Devî, the headless Demon began to roam there with great force with club in his hand. The Devas then got very much frightened; The Devî, then, cut off the hands and feet of that headless Demon with sharpened arrows. That vicious wretch fell down lifeless, on the ground like a mountain. The powerful Daitya Nis’umbha being thus killed, a great uproar arose amidst his panic stricken forces. The soldiers, covered all over their bodies with blood, left all their weapons in the field, began to make Boombâ sound (a piteous cry with mouth and hands as sign of danger) and fled away to the King S’umbha. He, the tormentor of the foes, then asked them coming :– “Where is Nis’umbha now? Why have you fled away from the field?” Thus hearing the King’s words, they bowed down and said :– O King! Your brother Nis’umbha is lying dead on the battlefield. O King! The Devî killed all the Dânava warriors that attended your brother; only we are left and have come here to give you the information. O King! Nis’umbha has been killed by the weapons of the Devî. So we think you ought not to go to the battle. Know this as certain that the Lady, the Highest Cause of this Universe has come here to destroy the Dânavas, the object being to serve the cause of the Gods. This Lady is not an ordinary woman; She is the Supreme Force; Her doings are inconceivable; what more can be said than the fact that the Devas never can know Her! This Devî can assume various forms; She is the origin of Mâyâ; She is very clever; She is adorned with various ornaments and is holding various weapons in Her hands. Her doings are incomprehensible; She is like a Second Night of Dissolution (at the end of the world); She is Perfect, endowed with all auspicious signs, capable to go beyond the insurmountable. This wonderful Devî is serving the cause of the gods and the Devas from the sky are singing hymns to Her. O King! It is now your paramount duty to fly away and save your life; if you live, you may have the chance for gaining the victory when time will turn out favourable; there is no doubt in this. It is Time that makes a strong man weak; and it is that very Time that makes that weak man strong again and stimulates him for victory. Time makes a generous donor a beggar and it is Time that makes the same beggar again a generous donor. Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a, Indra and other Devas are all under the sway of this Time; so Time is the Sovereign of all. Therefore, O King! Wait for this Time. Now Time is favourable to the Gods and inimical to you. Therefore Time is destroying now the Daityas. But the course of Time is not the same throughout. O King! The actions of Time are various no doubt. Time creates men and Time destroys them. The time of creation is different from the time of destruction, this is evident to you before your eyes. See! When Time was favourable to you, you subject Indra and all other Devas and made them pay taxes to you; and now Time is unfavourable to you; so an ordinary weak woman is killing the powerful Dânavas; Time, therefore, is doing favourable things and also unfavourable things. The host of Devas or the woman Kâlî is not the cause thereof. O King! The present Time is not favourable to you and the Daityas; knowing this, do as you like. See! Indra, Visnu, Varuna, Yama and other prominent Devas all fled before in battle, quitting the weapons. So, knowing this world as subject to the control of Time, you can now fly away and go quickly to the Pâtâla. For if you live, you will get in future all the pleasures; and if you be killed, your enemies will all be very glad and roam everywhere fearlessly, singing propitious songs.

Here ends the Thirtieth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Nis’umbha in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXI

On the death of S’umbha

1. Vyâsa said :– O King! S’umbha, the Lord of the Daityas, hearing the words of the soldiers, began to say, then, with eyes rolling with anger.

2-15. S’umbha said :– “O Fools! What are you saying all this? How can I do this unspeakably mean act and then hope to live? How shall I be able to roam in this world when I have become the cause the slaying of my brothers and ministers? Time is the more powerful cause of all that takes place, good or bad; so when this formless Time is the Supreme Ruler, what use is there in my brooding over the result? Let whatever come that is inevitable, let whatever be done that is destined to take place; death or life, I do not think of either. The more so when Time is never able, even when worshipped, to thwart off death or life when their proper moment arrives. See! The God of rain gives us rain in the rainy season; but, it is seen that sometimes it does not rain in the month of S’râvan (the rainy season); whereas it rains sometimes in the month Agrahâyana, Pausa, Mâgha, or Phâlguna (not the rainy season). Therefore it is evident that Time is not the chief factor. Fate is stronger than Time; Time is merely the instrumental cause. It is this Fate that has created all this universe; it cannot be rendered otherwise. I consider Fate Supreme; Fie on this one’s own exertion! For, Lo! Nis’umbha, who had before conquered all the Devas, is slain today by an ordinary woman! Alas! When Raktabîja, too, had been slain, how can I desire to hold on to my life, foregoing all my name and fame! Even Brahmâ, who has created all this universe, will not sooner come to an end than his longevity expires. Four thousand Yugas constitute one day of Brahmâ; and in that one day fourteen Indras perished; so twice the life of Brahmâ constitute the life of Visnu; similarly twice the life period of Visnu constitute the life period of Mahes’a; and when their longevities expire, they come to an end. This visible earth, mountains, sun and moon all will perish; so it has been specially ordained by the Destiny; therefore, O Fools! I do not care a bit for the death. When a being is born, he must die; and when anyone dies, he will be born again, there is no doubt in this. So one ought to preserve one’s name and fame which is more permanent in this transitory body. Prepare my chariot; I will go today to the battlefield; let victory or defeat come what it may, as Fate has ordained. I will soon go to fight.”

16-33. Thus saying, S’umbha mounted on the chariot quickly and went where the Devî Ambikâ was staying. Then the four-fold army, cavalry, infantry, chariots, horses and elephants and innumerable soldiers, followed him with weapons in their hands. Going there to the Himâlayâ mountain, he saw the Divine Mother sitting on Her Lion. She appeared so very lovely as to enchant the three worlds. Her body was decorated with various ornaments, all the auspicious gems were manifest; the Devas, Gandarbhas, Yaksas and Kinnaras in the heavens were all worshipping Her with hymns and Pârijâta flowers; and the Devî was making beautiful sounds with bells and conches, indicative of Her victory. Seeing Her S’umbha was very much enchanted with passionate love and struck with, the five arrows of cupid, thought thus :– How wonderful is Her lovely countenance! See! How wonderful and amazing is Her skilfulness! Delicacy and capability to endure the hardships of war, though quite contrary to each other, are both in Her. What a wonder is this! Her bodies are extremely delicate and limbs are lean and thin; besides She is lately blooming into womanhood; still She does not feel any passion; this is undoubtedly very wonderful! She is exquisitely beautiful that can be desired of in one’s mind; and though She is endowed with all the auspicious signs, yet She has no inclinations for all the pleasures and allurements of the world and is now slaying the powerful Asuras; this is wonderful indeed! Now what steps are to be taken so that this Lady comes under my control? All the Mantrams also are not with me now to bring over this Swan-eyed Lady unto me. This proud lovely Lady is the incarnate of all Mantrams; how will She come under my control? This heroic Lady cannot be controlled by conciliatory words, allurements, dissensions; it is not advisable, too, to fly away from the battlefield and to go to Pâtâla. What am I to do? Where shall I go in this critical moment? And if I die at the hands of this Lady, that death is not a glorious one; it will take away my fame. The death in a battlefield is conducive to one’s well being, so the sages say, when both the parties are equally strong. The Devas have created this Lady stronger than even hundred strong men; She is a woman merely in name. This Lady is very powerful and has come here to destroy the Dânavas; there is no doubt in this. What effect will conciliatory words now produce on Her; She has come to slay us; Will She be appeased with good words? Neither will allurements of precious things be of any avail, for She is decked with various arms and weapons; nor will it be of any use to sow dissensions between the Devas and Her. Further all the Devas are under Her control. Therefore it is far better to die than to fly; victory or death would come unto me today as Fate has ordained.

34-46. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus thinking in his mind, S’umbha became ready to shew his strength; and firmly resolved to fight, he said to the Devî before him :– Devî! Fight. But, O One of delicate limbs! Thy so much toil is in vain. Thou hast no sense at all; for Thou art doing contrary to the doings of woman-kind. The pair of eyes of women are their arrows; the eyebrows are their bows; their gestures and postures are their weapons and their hits are those persons who are skilled in amorous love sentiments. The dyes used in painting the bodies are their armours, their mental desires are their chariots, so sweet soft words and conversations are their trumpet sounds; women have no other things for their war preparations. Therefore, O Beloved! Any other weapons are mere mockeries and ridiculous; their modesty is their ornament; impudence can never grace them. An exquisitely beautiful woman, if engaged in a fight will look harsh; especially when Thou wilt draw Thy bow, how wilt Thou be able to hide Thy breasts? When Thou wilt run with Thy club, where will Thy gentle treadings go? O Beautiful! Thy councillors are this Kâlikâ and the stupid Châmundâ. Chandikâ is Thy adviser; her voice is very hoarse; how can then she be able to nurse Thee? Again this Lion, the terror of all the beings, is Thy carrier. Therefore, O Dear! Leave aside all these and come over unto me. O Beautiful One! That Thou art ringing Thy bells and dost not sound. Thy lute goes quite against Thy beauty and youth. O Sensitive One! If Thou likest to fight, better assume an ugly appearance, let Thy nature be ferocious and cruel; let Thy colour be black like a crow; lips elongated, legs long, nails ugly, teeth horrible, and let Thy eyes be ugly or yellow like those of a cat. O Devî! Assume such an ugly appearance and stand firmly for the fight. O Deer-eyed One! Speak first harsh words unto me; then I will fight with Thee; my hand does not get up to strike Thee with handsome teeth, in the battlefield, Who art like a second Rati.

47. Vyâsa said :– O Best of the descendants of Bhârata! When S’umbha said thus, the Divine Mother, seeing him passionate, smiled and said :–

48-50. O Stupid One! Why are you so much distressed with passion? O Fool! If your hand does not come forward to strike weapons at Me, then fight with this ugly Kâlikâ or Châmundâ; they are your best compeers in the battlefield; they will fight with you; I will stand as a mere Witness. Thus saying, the Devî Bhagavatî said to Kâlikâ, in sweet words :– “O Kâlikâ! Your nature is fierce; this S’umbha likes also the fierce; so kill him.”

51-69. Vyâsa said :– O King! That Kâlikâ, the incarnate of Death, thus ordered, took up Her club immediately and became ready to fight, as if sent there direct by the God of Death. A dreadful fight then ensued between the two; and the highsouled Munis and the Devas were present there and witnessed the great event. S’umbha first struck at Kâlikâ, raising his club. Kâlikâ, then, struck S’umbha in return with her club violently. Instantly she made a dreadful sound, broke down his chariot, glittering like gold, into pieces, killed the horses of the chariot and slew the charioteer. Walking, then, on foot with a very heavy club in his hand, S’umbha struck with great anger on the breast of Kâlikâ and began to laugh. Kâlikâ, in the meanwhile, rendering his stroke useless, soon took up Her axe and cut off his left hand, pasted with sandal and decked with arms and weapons. His left hand thus out off, his whole body was drenched with torrents of blood; yet he came up with club in his hand and struck Kâlikâ with it. Kâlikâ, too, laughed and with Her scimitar cut off his right arm holding the club and ornamented with armlet. S’umbha became angry and came up violently to kick Her when Kâlikâ quickly cut off his two legs. His arms and legs thus severed from his body, the Demon frightened Kâlikâ and told Her, “Wait, wait.” And soon he came up before Her. Seeing the Demon coming, Kâlikâ severed his neck from his body like a lotus; blood began to gush out in continuous streams. O King! The head of S’umbha, thus severed from his body, fell on the ground like a mountain. Immediately the life left the body. Seeing the Dânava fall down lifeless, Indra and the other hosts of Devas began to worship the Devî Bhagavatî, Châmundâ, and Kâlikâ and chanted lovely hymns to them. The winds then began to blow pleasantly; all the quarters looked very clear and Fire in sacrificial altars, being circumambulated, became very propitious. On the other hand, those Daityas that remained alive quitted their arms and weapons, bowed down to the Divine Mother, and fled away one and all to the Pâtâla. O King! I have now described in regular order to you how the Devî protected the Devas and destroyed S’umbha and other Asuras. Those human beings on the surface of the earth that read this anecdote from the beginning to the very end or hear it constantly, get all their desires fulfilled; there is no doubt in this. O King! Verily he gets a son who has not got any son; he gets abundance of wealth who is without any wealth; the diseased become cured of their diseases; what more can be said than the fact that he who hears this glorious deed of the Devî in its entirety, gets all that he desires. O King! That man who reads daily this holy anecdote or hears it, has never to fear from his enemies; in addition be gets liberation after leaving his this body.

Here ends the Thirty-first Chapter of the Fifth Book on the death of S’umbha in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXII

On the King Suratha’s going to the forest

1-4. Janamejaya said :– O Best of Munis! The glory of Chandikâ has been fully described by you. By whom was She worshipped in the ancient times after the reading and hearing of Her three glorious deeds (the killing of Madhu Kaitava, etc.)? Who was it that derived the best effects by worshipping the Devî, the Bestower of all desires? When and with whom was She pleased and then offered boons? O Ocean of mercy! Kindly narrate fully all these things to me. O Brâhmana! Describe to me also the rules how the meditation, worship and Homa of the Great Devî are conducted. Sûta said :– “O Risis! Krisna Dvaipâyana, the son of Satyavatî, was very glad to hear these questions of Janamejaya and began to describe how the worship, etc., of the Mahâ Mâyâ, the Devî Bhagavatî are to be done.”

5-21. Vyâsa said :– O King! In days of yore in Svârochisa Manvantara there was a king, named Suratha, very liberal-minded and devoted to govern well his subjects. He was truthful, active and energetic, and devoted to his Guru; he always served the twice-born and he never used to hold any sexual intercourse except with his legal wife. He was generous, not liking to quarrel with anybody, and expert in the science of archery. While he was thus governing his kingdom, the Mlechchas, the hill tribes, turned out his enemies. They destroyed the city of Kolâ, became very haughty and turbulent and desired to conquer the whole earth by their sheer force. Thus accompanied by the great four-fold army elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry they came to conquer the dominion of the King Suratha. A dreadful fight then ensued between the King and the dreadful Mlechchas. O King! The Mlechcha forces were not at all numerous whereas the armies of the king were large; still the Mlechchas were lucky to win the battle. The King, defeated, fled to his own city which was a strongly fortified place. The good King, wise in statesmanship when he saw that his ministers had gone over to the enemies’ party, became very anxious and thought whether it was advisable for him to wait for a better opportunity, remaining within his own extensive city, well guarded by a strong wall and ditch or it would be better to fight on. The King thought also that it would not at all be advisable to consult with his ministers who were, then, under the control of his enemies; what then would he do under the circumstances? Those vicious ministers could at any time deliver him to the hands of his enemies; what would then happen to him! Those men, that are avaricious, can do anything in this world; therefore it would never be advisable to trust them. The people under the sway of greed commit injury to their fathers, brothers, friends, acquaintances, their Gurus and the adored Brâhmanas. When the ministers had joined with his enemies, they could well be classed with the vicious; no doubt in this. Never could they be trusted under the above circumstances. Thus pondering over the matter, the King became absent-minded, and, finding no remedy, went out of the city alone, mounted on a horse. The intelligent King, helpless, entered into a dense forest and thought where would he go now? Knowing, then, that there was, at a distance of three Yojanas from that place, a hermitage of the great ascetic the Sumedhâ Risi, the King went there. (N.B. :– A Yojana is a distance measuring four Krosas or eight or nine miles.)

22-33. O King! That hermitage was more beautiful than even the Heavens; it was on the bank of a river; various kinds of trees were there; it was frequented with wild animals having no enmity with each other; the whole place was echoed with the sounds of cuckoos. The students were studying and reverberating the atmosphere with their Vedic chants; hundreds of herds of deers were running there; rice trees had grown there wildly at places and their harvests were collected at places; good flowery trees and others with delicious fruits were seen there; at places fragrant smells of oblations of ghee, etc., were coming; all these were delighting to any man who went or stayed there. The King Suratha was very glad to see that Âs’rama; he became fearless and wanted to stay there in the hermitage of the Brâhmin. Fastening his horse at the root of a tree, the King approached humbly to the Risi, and saw that the Muni was seated on a deer skin under the shade of dense Sâl trees. He was peaceful, lean and thin by tapasyâ. His stature was straight; and he was teaching his disciples and explaining to them the meaning of the Veda S’âstras.

He was void of anger, greed, etc., beyond all the dualities, without any jealousy, always devoted to the contemplation of his Self, truthful and full of peace. Seeing him the King was filled with tears and prostrated before him and fell like a stick before him. The Muni, seeing him thus asked him to get up and enquired about his welfare. A disciple then at the sign of the Guru, gave him a Kus’âsan, to take his seat. The King got up and at his permission took his seat on that kus’âsan; the the Muni worshipped the King duly by offering to him water to wash his feet, and Arghya (an offer of green grass, rice, etc). Then the Muni asked him, “Who are you? What for are you come here? Why are you so anxious? Tell frankly all these that are not yet known to me. What do you want? Speak out your mind. Even if that be impracticable, I will no doubt try my best to accomplish your desired ends.”

34-36. The King said :– “O Muni! I am the King Suratha; defeated by my enemy, I have left my kingdom, palace, and wife and have come to your refuge. O Brâhmana! I am ready to do whatever you order me; on this surface of the earth there is no one but you who can protect me. Now I am very much terrified by my enemy; therefore I have come to you. O Muni! You protect those who come to seek your refuge; I have now come here to seek your shelter; so save me from this danger.”

37-38. The Maharsi said :– “O King! Stay here without any fear; none of your enemies would be able to enter this hermitage by my power of Tapasyâ, even if they be very powerful. O Best of Kings! You will not be allowed to kill any animals here; you will have to sustain yourself on this wild rice, roots and fruits, etc., as the rules of the forest living permit.”

39-48. Vyâsa said :– Thus hearing his words, the King began to live there, with all purity and without any fear, on roots and fruits. Once the King, while taking rest under the shade of a tree, while thinking of various things, thought of his own house thus :– “My enemies have, no doubt acquired my kingdom, but they are vicious and wicked, shameless Mlechchas and always addicted to sinful deeds; certainly they are tormenting my subjects. My elephants and horses are not regularly getting their food and have all become powerless; certainly they are suffering very much from my enemies. All the servants that were nourished by me before are now all suffering from troubles, having been subjected by my enemies. The wicked enemies are certainly squandering away my hoarded wealth to bad immoral purposes, in gambling, drinking and in revelling with prostitutes. Those Mlechchas and my ministers are always intent on vicious acts; they do not know who are the proper persons to be given charities; so they will no doubt exhaust away my coffers in doing sinful acts.” While the King was thus meditating, seated at the root of a tree, there came one man of the Vais’ya caste looking very distressed. The King saw and instantly bade him take his seat beside him; then the King asked the Vais’ya :– “O Noble One! Of what caste are you? Whence are you coming to this forest? What is your name? What for you look so pale and distressed? What calamity has befallen to you? O Good One! Two persons become friends whenever they speak seven words amongst them; according to this rule I am your friend; tell me, therefore, truly all these things.”

49. Vyâsa said :– The Vais’ya, hearing these words from the King, took his seat and felt himself much relieved and thinking that he has met with a saint, began to speak thus :–

50-52. O my Friend! I belong to the Vais’ya caste; my name is Samâdhi; I was rich, never I had any jealousy towards anybody; always I used to speak truth and was devoted to religious acts. My wife and sons are very greedy of money and are irreligious; so they cut off all their affections and connections with me, very difficult to cut though, and have driven me out of the house on the pretext that I am very miserly. Thus forsaken by my relatives, I have now come to this forest. You look to be a fortunate man; therefore kindly, O Dear One! give me now your introduction and oblige.

53-55. The King said :– I am the King Suratha; lately I had a defeat from the dacoits; moreover my ministers deceived me; consequently I am deprived of my kingdom and have now come here. O Best of Vais’yas! Fortunately you have come to me today as my friend. We two will repose here gladly in this beautiful forest covered with trees. O Intelligent One! Now quit your sorrow; be calm and quiet and rest with me, at your leisure, here happily.

56-58. The Vais’ya said :– O King! My friends and relatives must have been helpless, very sorrowful and they are distressed at my absence; they must have been troubled very much by diseases and misfortunes no doubt and have become very anxious. O King! I cannot remain quiet; my mind is being troubled with the thought how my wife and sons are spending their times now in pain or happiness? I am always thinking when I would see again my sons, wife, relatives, friends, acquaintances and my house? I cannot make me calm and quiet.

59-60. The King said :– O Intelligent One! What pleasure can you expect to see your wicked sons and treacherous relatives who have driven you out of your house? Even the enemies are far better, provided they do good to us; what sorts of friends are they who impose on us afflictions and sorrows. Do you, therefore, make your mind calm and quiet and remain here in greatest peace and happiness.

61. The Vais’ya said :– O King! Even those that are wicked and cruel cannot quit their relatives. Today my mind is greatly agitated with the thought of my relatives; I cannot remain quiet.

62. The King said :– My mind too, is incessantly troubled with the thought of my kingdom. Come; let both of us go to the Muni and ask him what is the medicine for the cure of these our mental agonies.

63-64. Vyâsa said :– O King! Thus making their determinations, they went humbly to the Muni to ask him what were the causes of their sorrows? The King then went close to him and bowing down before him, took his seat and began to ask calmly and quietly the Muni who was sitting calm and serene.

Here ends the Thirty-second Chapter of the Fifth Book on the King Suratha’s going to the forest in the Mahâpurânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXIII

On the description of the greatness of the Devî

1-8. The king Suratha said :– “O Muni! This Vais’ya is now become a friend of mine in this forest; he has been expelled from his home by his sons and wife and he has come lately here in this forest. He is now suffering very much from the bereavement of his family and has become very much troubled in his mind. He is not getting any peace whatsoever. I am also become like him and have become very distressed owing to my kingdom being robbed away. This thought, though really devoid of any substantial cause, is not leaving my heart now. Oh! My elephants and horses, now under my enemies, have become weak; My servants are suffering very much owing to my absence! My enemies will, within no time squander away forcibly all my hoarded riches. This thought is not giving me any happiness; nay, I cannot get any sleep owing to this care and anxiety. O Lord! I know that this world is false as a dream; yet my mind is so deluded that I cannot make me quiet. Who am I? What are those horses and elephants to me? They are not my brothers, sons, nor friends; yet I feel very much for them and am troubled with their troubles. O Muni! I know these all are delusions; still I am not able to make my mind free from them. This is very wonderful indeed! What is the cause of all this? O Lord! Nothing is veiled from your sight, you are fully able to solve all these doubts. Therefore, O Ocean of mercy! Kindly explain to me and this Vais’ya the cause of all this delusion.”

9. Vyâsa said :– O King! When the King Suratha asked thus, the Muni in reply said to him the following words, full of wisdom, so that his delusion and sorrow might vanish.

10-25. The Muni said :– “O King! I am telling you the cause of bondage as well the cause of release of all the beings in this Universe. She is known as Mahâ Mâyâ. She is the Mûla Prakriti, the state of equilibrium of the three Gunas, Sâttva, Râjas and Tâmas. Even Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’vara, Indra, Varuna, Vâyu, and the other Devas, Gandarbhas, Nagas, Râksasas, men, deer, animals, birds, trees and various kinds of creepers all are under Mâyâ; thus they are all bound; again they all get release when they are released by that Mâyâ. By Her is created all this world, moving and not moving, all the beings are caught in Her net and all are under the control of Her. You are a Ksattriya; so Râjoguna preponderates in you and your heart is thus rendered impure. She, by Her Mâyâ, deludes even the minds of those who are Jñânins or wise; you are but an ordinary man compared to them. Even Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a, though possessed of vast wisdom, still roam, under the sway of Mâyâ, in the three worlds completely deluded by their attachments to the sensual objects. O King! In the Satya Yuga, in ancient times Visnu Nârâyana himself performed a very hard tapasyâ in S’vetadvîpa. He passed away full ten thousand years in meditation, with the object of attaining the unbroken everlasting Bliss and becoming steadfastly attached to Brahmâ Vidyâ. O King! Brahmâ, too, became engaged in performing a tapasyâ, meditating the Primordial Force, Âdyâ S’akti, in a very wonderful solitary place for the cessation of delusion. Once on a time Vâsudeva Hari wanted to go to another place; he got up and started to see other places. Brahmâ, also, left his place and started for another destination. When they met each other in their way, each one asked the other, “Who are you?” The Prajâpati answered :– “I am the Creator Brahmâ.” Hearing thus the Brahmâ’s words, Visnu said :– “O You Stupid! I am Achyuta Visnu; therefore I am the Creator of this world. You are inferior to Me as there is so much of Râjoguna in preponderance in you. Know Me as the eternal Vâsudeva, preponderating in Sâttva Guna. Do you not remember that I fought a dreadful battle for you and thus saved your life a short while ago, I slew the two Dânavas Madhu and Kaitava when you were much distressed by them and took My refuge. How then do you boast now! O Fool! Quit your this vain boasting now. In this wide world, there is none superior to Me.”

26-31. The Risi said :– Thus engaged in disputing with each other, their lips were quivering with anger and their eyes got red. When, Behold! there appeared suddenly between those two disputants, a nectar-like white phallic emblem (Lingam), wonderfully long and extensive. Then a voice, from without anybody, broke out in the Heavens and addressed Brahmâ and Visnu who were quarrelling thus! Whoever amongst you will be able to go to the other end of this Lingam whether beyond its top or below its bottom, he is certainly the superior of you two; let one of you therefore go down to Pâtâla and let the other go up to the Heavens. Leave off your useless disputations and take my word as proof. It is always advisable to select an umpire to decide such a quarrel as this that has sprung up between you two.

32-39. The Risi said :– O King! Hearing thus the divine word, both of them became ready and began energetically to measure the length of the wonderful Lingam that stood in front of them. Visnu went down to Pâtâla and Brahmâ went up to Âkâs’a to measure the Lingam and thus to ascertain their superiority. Going down some distance Visnu got tired and doing his best, when he could not find out the end of the Lingam, he returned and remained at the desired meeting place. On the other hand, Brahmâ was ascending to the skies when he got one Ketakî flower dropping from the head of the Lingam. He became over glad and returned also to the desired meeting place. Brahmâ became very much elated with vanity and when he returned, he at once showed that flower to Visnu and spoke thus the false words :– “O Visnu! This Ketakî flower has been obtained from the head of the Lingam. I have brought this to you simply that you would recognise it and be convinced in your heart.” Hearing these words of Brahmâ, Visnu saw the Ketakî flower and said :– “O Brahmâ! Who is your witness in this matter? He whose words are true, who is equal to all, who is intelligent, pure, and always of good conduct, he can be the witness in such matters of dispute.”

40-44. Brahmâ said :– “Who will come now as witness from that far off place? This Ketakî flower is the witness; this will give evidence.” Thus saying, Brahmâ requested Ketakî to give evidence; Ketakî soon replied thus to convince Visnu. O Visnu! I was on the head of Mahâdeva; Brahmâ has brought me from there down to this place; you ought not therefore to have any doubt on this point. My word is the evidence; Brahmâ has gone to the other end of the Lingam. Some devotee of S’iva put me on His head and Brahmâ has got me down from there. Hearing thus the words of Ketakî, Visnu was very much astonished and said this :– “I cannot trust your word; if Mahâ Deva comes and speaks this Himself, then I can trust and take it as a proof.”

45-53. The Risi said :– O King! The eternal Mahâ Deva, hearing the words of Visnu, spoke thus to Ketakî with great anger, “O Liar! Do not utter such false words; You dropped down from My head and Brahmâ while ascending up, picked you up on the way. Now as you have told a lie, I will never take you; you are henceforth forsaken by Me.” Brahmâ was then very much put to shame; he bowed down to Visnu; Mahâ Deva, forsook the Ketakî flower from that date. O King! Such is the power of Mâyâ; when Brahmâ, Visnu and other wise persons are so self-deluded by Her, what need to speak of other ordinary mortals! See! Visnu, the Lord of Laksmî, is self-deluded and is always deceiving the Daityas for the welfare of the Devas, without any fear whatsoever of the sin that he is thereby incurring. Though He is the Lord of all yet He has to take several incarnations in several wombs, forsaking the pleasures of the Heavens and fighting with the Daityas. O King! Visnu is omniscient and He is the Lord of this world; specially He is the only One, Supreme in the creation of the Gods. Now when Mâyâ exercises such a powerful influence on Visnu, what wonder is there that the other ordinary beings would be deluded by Her? O King! That Highest Prakriti draws away violently the hearts of the wise and drags them down into the ocean of world. That Omnipresent Bhagavatî is ever the cause of bondage of all when She casts Her net of delusion and She is again ever the cause of liberation when She imparts Her knowledge to them.

54. The King said :– O Brâhman! What is the nature of Her? and what is the Supreme Force? What is the Cause of this creation? And where is Her highest place? Kindly narrate all these to me.

55-66. The Risi said :– O King! She is beginningless; therefore She had no origin at any time; that Highest Devî is Eternal and She is always the Cause of all Causes. (How then can any other be powerful like Her). O King! She resides in all the beings as the essential vital Force; deprived of that Force, every being is reduced to a dead carcass. She is pervading as the Universal Force of Consciousness in all the beings. The form of this S’akti (Force) is the form made up of consciousness itself, the Brahmâ. (For the force of Fire is Fire itself; it is not seen in any other form). Her appearances and disappearances at times are simply for serving the purposes of the Gods. O King! Whenever the Devas and men worship Her, Ambikâ makes Her appearance visible to destroy their pains and sufferings. She assumes various forms and possesses various powers. That Highest Îs’varî comes down of Her free will to serve Her some purpose or other. She is not like the Devas, under the control of Daiva or Fate; She is not under the influence of Time (as both Fate and Time are created by Her). She puts always every being to action according to his capacity. Purusa is not the Doer; He is simply the Witness. This whole Universe is the object seen. That Devî is the Mother of all this that is witnessed. She is the Manifested and She is the Unmanifested and She is the Effect also. She alone is the Actress and manifests thus the world and thus gives the colouring to the Purusa. When the Purusa is coloured thus, She destroys quickly these worlds. It is said that Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a are respectively the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the world; but this is merely a statement; really they are merely instruments in Her hands. Bhagavatî has created them in reality for Her Pastime and stationed them in their respective posts. She has bestowed to them Her part manifestations, i.e., Sarasvatî to Brahmâ, Laksmî to Visnu, and Girijâ to Mahes’a and has thus rendered them more powerful. They, the lords of the Devas, always meditate and worship Her as the Creatrix, Preservrix and Destructrix of this Universe. O King! I have thus described to you, as far as my intelligence and knowledge go, the holy greatness and the excellent glory of Her (in reality, I have not been able to come to the end of it).

“Aim Hrîm Klîm Châmundâyai Vichche” is the (9) nine lettered mantra.

Here ends the Thirty-third Chapter of the Fifth Book on the description of the greatness of the Devî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXIV

On the methods of the worship of the Devî

1. The King said :– O Bhagavân! Kindly narrate to me in detail now the methods how to serve and worship the Goddess and the Mantrams that are used on such occasions.

2-12. The Risi said :– O King! I am now describing the method how to worship the Goddess. Hear. This leads to the fulfilment of all desires, to the liberation from one’s bondage, to self-realisation and to the destruction of all miseries. The worshipper has to perform his bath; then putting on a white cloth, he will have to perform his Vaidik and Tântrik Sandhyâ; then he should, with his heart controlled, perform his Âchamana ceremony and select a good auspicious site for his own Poojâ purposes. Next he should plaster the site with cow-dung and spread his sacred carpet (Âsana) whereon he is to take his seat with a cheerful mind and sip water for Âchamana three times. Then he is to collect the articles for worship according to his best capacity and place them duly in their respective positions. He is to perform Prânâyâma (regulate his breath); and then follows the Bhuta-S’uddhi, the purification of the old and the formation of the celestial body and Jîva-S’uddhi by which the Sâdhaka becomes the Devatâ-maya; he then proceeds to Mâtrikâ Nyâsa (i.e., setting mentally in their several places in the six Chakras and then externally by physical action the letters of the alphabet which form the different parts of the body of the Devatâ. He then places his hand on different parts of his body, uttering distinctly at the same time the appropriate Mâtrikâ for that part).

Bhuta-S’uddhi :– Dissolve earth into water, water into fire, fire into air, air into ether; ether into Ahamkâra, Ahamkâra into Mahat and Mahat into Prakriti, the final Cause. This process is called Bhuta-S’uddhi.

He is to mention then the time, date, tithi, and month of the year and make his Sankalpa; then he will have to assign to the different parts of his body the Mâtrikâ Mantrams duly as well as his own Mantram; next he is to meditate in his own body the seat of the different Devatâs and do the internal worship. He is to breathe life into the Deity outside to be worshipped as well as within himself to be meditated and worshipped; then he is to do the same with the articles for worship and purify them by sprinkling with water and Astra or Phat Mantram, thus removing all sources of obstacles that are likely to interfere with the act. Next, on an auspicious copper plate, he is to draw inside a six-angled (hexagonal) figure (two triangles crossing each other with their vertices one upward and the other below) with white sandal paste or with eight perfumed things and outside this figure, an octagonal figure of eight petals; outside this he is to draw the boundary lines that is called the Bhûpura. On each of the eight petals he is to write each letter of the nine-lettered Vîja (Seed) Mantram and the ninth letter in the central ovum. Next by the Mantram by which breath is infused or by the Vedic Mantram he will have to place the Yantra in the proper position and then worship the Âdhâra S’akti (the vital Force) in the central ovum and the holy seat with the Pîtha Mantrams. He will have to invoke the Devî, uttering the Seed Mantram over a golden plate or figure and carefully worship Her by offering seats and other articles duly as enunciated in the Yâmala Tântras, etc. Then he will have to perform the six-fold worship of the Ganas in the six angles and worship Indra, etc., and Vajra and others in the Bhûpura (the boundary) and thus finish the Poojâ of the Yantra. (For the Poojâ see the Prapancha Sâra.) Note :– Bhûpura is what is thought over outside front or in the beginning. Here the Gana Devatâs are first thought over and worshipped. Worship outside, worship inside and See the Deity in and out, everywhere and be free is the motto of the worship. In the absence of the Yantra, one will have to make a metalled image of Bhagavatî and worship Her with the greatest caution with the Mantras as expounded by S’iva in the Tantrams (of Jâmalâ and others). Note :– Yantra is that which restrains. This human body is the Yantra. And its imitation is placed outside in various shapes and figures. The Yantra is the mystical diagram used by the devotees for worship. Or one may use the Vaidik Mantrams in worshipping the Deity in accordance with the prescribed rules and with his mind controlled; then, merged in meditation, one is to mutter silently (perform the Japam of) the nine-lettered Mantram. (The Mantram is Krîm Daksine Kâlike Svâhâ). Japam (muttering or repeating silently the Mantram) is of two kinds :– Nitya (daily) and Pauras’charanik (repetition of the name of the deity accompanied with burnt offerings). In the Nitya Japam, Nitya Homas are performed and in the occasional Pauras’charanik Japam, one tenth of this is offerred; Abhiseka, too, is one-tenth of this Homa; Tarpanam is one-tenth of Abhiseka and the feeding of the Brâhmanas is one-tenth of what is done in the Tarpanam. O King! Thus completing the Japam one is to read daily the Chandî (do the Chandîpâtha) where the three glorious deeds of the Devî are narrated; next he will have to allow the Deity invoked to depart to Her own place. The Navarâtra Vrata (nine night vow) is next to be observed according to the proper rites and ceremonies. Hrîm Mahisa Mardinyai Svâhâ is the Mantra.

13-31. In the bright fortnight of the month of Âsvin or Chaitra, is to be observed the fasting of the Navarâtra by those who desire for their own welfare. Homas are to be offered, many in number, and Mantrams are to be recited, the same as in one’s own Mantram, good Pâyasam with sugar, ghee, and honey mixed is to be offered in this ceremony. Goat meat, or holy leaves of the Bel tree, or red Karavîr flowers or til (sesamum seed) mixed with honey can be used instead in the Homa ceremony. The special days for the worship of the Devî are the eighth, ninth, or fourteenth day (tithi) of the half month. The feeding of the Brâhmins must be done on each occasion. O King! Thus the poor become wealthy, the diseased get cured, and the persons that have no issue get obedient and well qualified sons. The King, expelled from his kingdom, gets back by the grace of Mahâ Mâyâ, dominion over the whole earth and becomes able to destroy all those enemies of his, by whom he was before vanquished, when he worships the Devî. The persons, desirous of learning, get undoubtedly the learning honourable and auspicious, provided he worships the Devî with his senses restrained. Persons of all castes, Brâhmins, Ksatriyas, Vais’yas or S’ûdras can become masters of all pleasures and happiness provided they worship with devotion the Devî, the Preserver of the World (the Jagaddhâtrî). A man or woman whoever performs the Navarâtra vow always full of devotion, gets all the desired fruits. Whoever celebrates the holy Navarâtra ceremony in the bright fortnight of the month of Âs’vin with his heart full of the thought of the Devî, gets all his desired fruits. O King! Now I am describing the rites and ceremonies; here a square raised platform or altar is to be made according to the prescribed rules; a water-jar is then to be placed on it with the Vedic mantrams and due rites and ceremonies. One will have to make a beautiful Yantra according to the previously laid rules and the water-jar is to be placed on it; then spread the beautiful Yava grains all around the jar. An awning or pandal is to be erected over the altar and the place of worship, and the site is to be decorated with flowers. Lights and Dhûpas, incense and perfumes are then to be used in the hall of the Chandikâ Devî. O King! The Devî is to be worshipped thrice; morning, midday and evening; no miserliness is to be shown in spending wealth for this purpose. Light, dhûp, good presents of rice and other edibles, flowers, and fruits of various kinds are to be offered in this worship of the Devî; the chanting of the hymns of the Vedas, songs, and music with the various instruments are to be done and a grand festivity is to be made. Moreover, note this carefully that virgins are to be worshipped duly with sandal, ornaments, clothings, various edibles, sweet scented oil, and beautiful garlands. (This worship of the virgins is one of the essentials.) Thus completing the worship of the Devî, Homa is to be done duly with Mantrams and other necessary articles on the eighth or the ninth tithi. Lastly the Brâhmins are to be fed duly; then the worshipper is to take his first meal after fasting (i.e., make pâranam) on the tenth day; then presents and various articles are to be offered to the Brâhmin, according to one’s might and with devotion.

32-44. O King! Any man, or any chaste married woman or a chaste widow whoever performs thus the Navarâtra Vrata gets in this world all the desired fruits and enjoys all sorts of enjoyments and gets unbounded happiness and after death goes to the highest place. And if, owing to some cause or other, he has to take his birth again in this world, he would be born in an excellent family and would become endowed with good conduct and qualifications and get the unflinching devotion towards the Ambikâ Devî. O King! I have thus described to you the rules of the Navarâtra ceremony; this vow is the best of all; highest and greatest pleasures and happinesses are obtained in worshipping thus the auspicious Mahâ Mâyâ. O King! Better worship Chandikâ duly according to the prescribed rules; then you would be able, by Her grace, to conquer all your enemies and you will regain your excellent dominion, unshaken by any, and you will get again the highest pleasure and happiness when you will be reunited with your wife and sons in your own palace; there is no doubt in this. O Vais’ya! You, too, better worship the same Mahâ Mayâ, the Goddess of the Universe, worshipping Whom leads to the fructification of all desires. You will then be able to regain all your worldly pleasures in your own home and be respected by your relatives and acquaintances and finally, after your death, you will go to the holy abode of the Devî. There is no doubt in this. Those that do not worship the Devî, go to Naraka or hell; moreover they suffer much from various diseases in this world. Those that do not worship the Devî are always defeated by their enemies, are void of wife and sons, become stupid and suffer pains from their unsatisfied desires. And those that worship the Preservrix of this world with the Bel leaves, Karavîra flowers, S’atapatra and Champaka flowers, that blessed man, devoted to the Devî, gets filled with all sorts of enjoyments. O King! What more can I say than this, that those who have worshipped the Devî Bhavânî with the Mantrams approved by the Nigama S’âstras, those very persons get honour in this world and are filled with all sorts of power and wealth. Verily, they stand foremost in the rank of best men, becoming the only repositories of all the best qualities in this world.

Here ends the Thirty-fourth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the methods of the worship of the Devî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXV

On the receiving of the boons by the King Suratha and the Vais’ya Samâdhi
1-12. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the Risi’s words, the king Suratha and Vais’ya, who were very distressed in their minds, became very much comforted and bowed down to the Muni with great humility and modesty. Their eyes expressed their gladness and their hearts were filled with loving devotion. Both of them, then, clever in speaking and of calm and quiet temper, began to address him with their folded hands. O Bhagavân! We were passing our days in a very humble and distressed spot; we are today purified by your good words, just as the country was rendered pure by Bhagîratha when he brought down the river Ganges here. The saints, adorned with purely good qualities, are incessantly engaged in doing good to others and how the people can be made happy. O Intelligent One! Surely we have come to this auspicious Âs’rama owing to our past good deeds (in previous births) and all our miseries are therefore brought to their ends today. There are good many persons that roam in this world for their selfish ends; very few there exist like you who are always ready to do good to others. O Muni! True that I am very much distressed but this Vais’ya is more distressed than me. Both of us, very much afflicted by the miseries of the world, have come gladly to your Âs’rama and are relieved of our bodily sufferings by your sight; and now, hearing your words, we are relieved also of our mental pain and sufferings. O Brâhmana! We are very much blessed and our objects have been gained by your nectar-like words; O Thou, the Ocean of mercy! You have purified us, out of your unbounded mercy. We are quite tired of this world; knowing this, do you lead us beyond this world by holding our hands and by initiating us with Mantrams. O Best of Munis! We will first of all practise a very hard Tapasyâ (asceticism) and worship Bhagavatî, the Awarder of happiness; then, seeing Her, we will go to our respective abodes. Now we expect the nine-lettered Mantram of the Devî from your mouth and practising the Navarâtra varam we will fast and meditate on the Mantram.

[Note :– The nine-lettered Mantram is “Om Mahisamardinyai Svâhâ.” Instead of Om, any of the following may be used :– Hrîm, Klîm, Aim, Strîm, or Hûm mentioned in Sâradâ Tilaka, Nârâyanî Tantra, or in Vis’vasâra Tantra (see page 125 of Tantra Sâra ).

13-30. Vyâsa said :– O King! When the king and Vais’ya prayed thus to the Muni Sumedha, the best of the Munis, gave them the auspicious Mantram with its seed (Vîja) and as well what is to be meditated (Dhyân). On getting the Mantram (with Risi, Chhanda, seed S’akti, and Devatâ) duly, they welcomed the Muni and with his permission went to the holy bank of a river. Both of them were of delicate frames and both of them were fully determined; they went to a very solitary place and selected their place and took their seats there. There they spent one month in repeating silently the Mantram and in chanting the three glorious deeds of Chandî. In this short period of one month, they became very much attached to the lotus-feet of Bhavânî and their minds were also much pacified. They attended to no other business; only they used to go to the Muni once a day and bowing down before him they returned to their own seats of Kus’a grass and gave themselves up to the meditation of the Devî and always repeated silently their Mantrams. O King! One year thus passed away; they then abstained from taking fruits and subsisted on the leaves of trees. Thus engaged in meditation and asceticism they passed away another year sustaining themselves with dry leaves only. O King! When the two years thus passed, they got in their dreams the beautiful vision of the Goddess Bhagavatî. They were very much delighted to see in their dreams the Ambikâ Devî in red robes and decorated with various ornaments. They practised tapasyâ in the third year with water as their only food. Thus when they found that, after practising the tapas for three years, they could not see face to face the Devî they became very anxious to see the Devî and thought thus :– “When we have not been so fortunate as to see the Devî, Who art the Bestower of peace and happiness to the human beings, we will then leave our bodies, in deep distress and sorrow!” Thus thinking, the King prepared a beautiful triangular Kunda (pit), firm and of one hand measure. Lighting a fire in that pit, the King began to cut off slices of flesh from his own body and offered them as oblations to the fire. The Vais’ya, too, then did the same. O King! Both of them were very much excited and began to offer their blood as oblation to the Devî. The Devî Bhagavatî, then, seeing them thus grieved, and that their hearts were over flown with devotion towards Her, appeared direct before them and said thus :–

31-32. O King! You are my favourite devotees; I am pleased with your Tapasyâ; now ask whatever you desire; I will grant you that boon. Then She spoke to the Vais’ya :– “O Highly Fortunate One! I am pleased; ask without any delay any boon; I will grant that just now.”

33-52. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing thus the words of the Devî, the king Suratha was very much delighted and said thus :– “O Devî! Grant me this boon that I be able today to conquer my enemies with my own power and that I may regain my kingdom.” The Devî then spoke to him thus :– “O King! Go to your own abode; your enemies are now enfeebled and will certainly be defeated.

(Note :– The Devî has now withdrawn Her own power from the enemies with which they were filled before. This is the result of the real sacrifice to the Devî.)

O Fortunate One! Your ministers will all come and prostrate themselves before your feet and will be obedient to you; you can now go back to your city and govern your subjects happily. O King! Thus reign for Ajuta years (10,000 years) over your widely extended dominion; then, when you quit your body, you will again be born from Sûrya, and be known widely as Sâvarni Manu.” Vyâsa said :– O King! The pure-natured Vais’ya said with folded hands :– “O Devî! I have nothing to do with house, sons, nor wealth. O Mother! The house, wealth and sons, all these are so many sources of bondage to this world and are very transitory like dreams. Therefore give me knowledge so that my ties to this world be cut asunder. Persons who are devoid of knowledge, those fools are merged in this ocean of world. The wise never prefer this Samsâra; therefore they can cross this world. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hearing this, the Mahâmâyâ said to the Vais’ya, that stood in front of Her thus :– “O Vais’ya! No doubt you will acquire knowledge.” Thus granting boons to them, the Devî then and there disappeared. After the Devî had disappeared, the King bowed down to the Muni, mounted on his horse and expressed a desire to go back to his kingdom. Just at that time all his ministers and subjects came humbly before him, bowed down to him and standing before him with folded hands, said :– “O King! Your enemies all had acted very sinfully; hence they were all slain in battle; you be pleased now to remain in your city, free from any enemy and govern your subjects.” The King, hearing thus, bowed down to the Muni and with his permission, started towards his kingdom, surrounded by his ministers. On regaining his own kingdom, wife, relatives and kinsmen he began to enjoy the sea-girt earth. On the other hand, the Vais’ya became illumined with the Spiritual Knowledge and all his connections and attachments being completely severed, became free from all bondages. He became liberated in his lifetime and travelled always from one place of pilgrimage to another and passed away his time in singing the glorious deeds of the Devî. O King! Thus I have described to you the most wonderful character of the Devî, what fruits were obtained by the King and the Vais’ya on their worshipping Her, how the Daityas were killed by Her and about Her auspicious appearances on this earth. Oh! Such is the glory of the Devî, leading to fearlessness amongst Her devotees. The mortal who hears constantly this excellent pure narrative of the Devî Bhagavatî, gets truly all the best and wonderful pleasures of this world. No doubt anybody who hears this wonderful incident, will obtain knowledge, liberation, fame, happiness and purity. The essence of all religions lies in this narration; therefore it leads, above all, to Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksa (religion, wealth, desire and liberation). It grants all desires to human beings.

53-54. Sûta said :– O Risis! The Maharsi Vyâsa, the son of Satyavatî, versed in all the departments of knowledge, asked by the King Janamejaya, narrated to him this divine Samhitâ. The character of Chandikâ, the killing of the Daitya S’umbha, were thus narrated by the merciful Muni Veda Vyâsa. O Munis! I, too, have described to you the main points of this Purâna. Here ends the Fifth Book.

Here ends the Thirty-fifth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the receiving of the boons by the King Suratha and the Vais’ya Samâdhi in the Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

The Fifth Book Completed.

Published on April 6, 2010 at 2:47 am  Comments Off on The Fifth Skandha  
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