by Swami Vijñanananda | 1921 | 545,801 words | ISBN-10: 8121505917 | ISBN-13: 9788121505918
The English translation of the Devi Bhagavata Purana. This Sanskrit work describes the Devi (Divine), the Goddess, as the foundation of the world and as identical with Brahman, the Supreme Being. The Devi Bhagavata Purana is one of the most important works in Shaktism, a branch of Hinduism focusing on the veneration of the divine feminine, along w...
1-7. Vyāsa said :-- O Janamejaya! When Dhūmralocana ceased speaking, the Devī Kālikā 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 Devī, out of wrath, will kill you, Śumbha, and Niśumbha and other commanders by Her arrows and will then return to Her abode. Where is that stupid Śumbha? And where is this Devī, the Great Enchantress of the Universe!
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 Śumbha and Niśumbha and tell truly to them :-- “Fight or go instantly to Pātāla.”
8-10. Vyāsa said :-- O Fortunate One! The Demon Dhūmralocana, hearing thus the Kālikā’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 Kālī! 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, Kālikā 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. Vyāsa said :-- O King! Hearing the Devī’s words, Dhūmralocana caught hold of his very strong bow and began to shoot arrows after arrows at Kālikā. Indra and the other Devas came out to see the fight on their best cars in the celestial space and shouted “Victory to the Devī” and thus eulogised Her. Then a deadly fight ensued between them with arrows, axes, clubs, Śaktis, and Muṣalas and various other weapons. Kālikā 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 Bhārata! Then Dhūmralocana becoming angry mounted on another chariot and began to shoot deadly arrows at Kālikā. Kālikā Devī, too, out off those arrows into pieces before they reached Her and shot arrows after arrows on the Dānava 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. Dhūmralocana, seeing himself displaced from his chariot, took up with anger his very strong Parigha weapon and came near to the chariot of the Devī.
Then the Dānava, terrific like death, began to abuse the Devī and said :-- “O Ugly tawny-eyed Kālī! 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 Ambikā Devī burnt him to ashes simply by Her loud shout (of defiance). Seeing Dhūmralocana 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 Devī. O King! The battle ground then assumed a dreadful appearance; at some places the slain Dānavas; 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 Piśācas of the class Baṭabaraphas 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 Ambikā Devī then quitting the field, went to a distant place and blew Her conchshell so furiously and terribly that Śumbha heard that terrific noise, while he was sitting in his own residence. At the next moment, he saw that the Dānava 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, Śumbha and Niśumbha asked them :-- “Where is Dhūmralocana? 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! Dhūmralocana has been slain by Kālikā; 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 Dānavas and has enhanced the joy of the Devas and is being resounded in the celestial space, is that done by the Ambikā Devī. (Note: In the Mārkaṇdeya Purāṇa, Ambikā killed Dhūmra.)
34-45. O Lord! When the Devī broke the chariot of Dhūmralocana by the multitude of Her arrows and killed the horses and at last slew Dhūmralocana 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 Devī, 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 Lokapālas 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 Dānavas 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. Vyāsa said :-- O King! Śumbha, the tormentor of others, hearing their words asked his younger brother in private :-- “O Brother! This Kālikā has slain today Dhūmralocana with his forces; the few retreated and came over to me. Now the Ambikā Devī, 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 Ambikā, 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 Śumbha’s words, Niśumbha 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, Śumbha said, “You better wait; let Caṇḍa and Muṇḍa 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 Caṇḍa and Muṇḍa will be freely able to slay Her.”
Thus saying his younger brother, the King Śumbha addressed Caṇḍa Muṇḍa, who were waiting before him, thus :-- O Caṇḍa! O Muṇḍa! Take your forces and go quickly to kill that shameless Lady, puffed up with pride. O Pair of Warriors! Kill that tawny-eyed Kālikā in the battle and bring that Ambikā Devī here quickly. Do this Great Service. And if that haughty Ambikā be unwilling to come here, though taken as a captive, then kill that Durgā, the ornament of the battle, too, by sharp arrows.