Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the appearance of demon bhanda which is Chapter 11 of the Lalitopakhyana (or Lalita-Mahatmya), an important scripture within Shaktism embedded as the final part in the Brahmanda-Purana. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between sage Agastya and Hayagriva, which is incarnation of Vishnu and also includes the Lalita Sahasranama.

Chapter 11 - The appearance of demon Bhaṇḍa

Agastya said:—

1. “How was Bhaṇḍāsura born? How did Tripurāmbikā originate? How did she smash him in battle? Mention everything in detail?”

Hayagrīva said:

2-5. After leaving Dākṣāyaṇī and destroying her father’s Yajña, Śiva became engrossed in the Self, the essence of bliss and knowledge, and observed his own spirit by means of his Self. He entered the region on the border of the Himavān on the banks of Gaṅgā, where he was attended upon by the sages. He became characterised by the quality of being indifferent to the mutually opposed pairs (Dvandvas). That lady of resolute determination propitiated Śaṅkara for a long time. After abandoning her body (i.e. as Dākṣāyaṇī), she took rebirth as the daughter of Himālaya.

6. The lord eupid of mountains heard from Nārada that his daughter had been Rudrāṇī. Hence, he placed her near Śiva for the sake of serving him.

7. In the meantime, the Devas were harassed by Tāraka.[1] On being advised by god Brahmā, they called cupid (the god of Love) and said thus:

8. “At the beginning of the period of creation, lord Brahmā began procreating all subjects; But he never had pleasure or satisfaction in his mind. He performed penance for a long time mentally, verbally and physically.

9. Thereupon, the delighted Lord Viṣṇu the bestower of boons unto all embodied beings appeared there accompanied by Lakṣmī. He asked Brahmā to choose any boon as he liked.

Brahmā said:

10. “O lord, if you are pleased, let it be that I shall be able to create this entire universe consisting of mobile and immobile beings, without any strain. Let me be able to create, everything through your grace”.

11. On being implored thus by Brahmā, the lord glanced at Mahālakṣmī. Indeed, it was at that time that you manifested yourself, assuming a form that could enchant the universe.

12. For serving you as weapons, the flower-arrows and the sugarcane bow were given to you. The delighted Hari granted you invincibility and the state of being always a Victor.

13. This (Brahmā) creates living beings through the cause i.e. one’s own Karman (past action), you shall be the witness through your own folk (aides). May you thus enjoy pleasure.

14. O Cupid, Brahmā to whom boons have been granted, places the burden on you and realizes mental satisfaction and remains care-free even today.

15-17. Your strength and vigour will never be ineffective, your valorous exploit can never be futile. Though gentle and tender, your flowery weapons can never be in vain.

There is a Dānava named Tāraka to whom Brahmā had granted boons. He harasses all the worlds. Particularly he torments us. He has no cause to fear except from Śiva’s son.

18. Excepting you no one else can even say anything on this great task. This task can be achieved by you by means of your own hands, and not through anyone else.

19. Accompanied by Gaurī, and surrounded by the sages, Śiva is now staying in the beautiful region of Himācala. He is engrossed in the supreme Being.

20. Urge him on to Gaurī. His son will then be born. Save us, O mighty one, by performing this task that can be easily accomplished.”

21. On being entreated by the Devas thus, and being repeatedly eulogised, the Cupid proceeded towards the ridge of the Himavān for the sake of his own destruction (as it happened later on).

22. The lord of Love with his weapon of flowery arrows raised, saw Īśāna seated there with his eyes closed and engrossed in propitiating something.

23. In the meantime the daughter of the Himavān, equipped with wonderful personality came there with a desire to serve and propitiate Śiva.

24. The excessively powerful lord of Love, Smara saw there, Girijā (Pārvatī) engaged in serving god Śambhu after approaching him with sweet scents, flowers and other materials of offerings.

25. Invisible to all living beings, he stood firmly not very far from him (Śiva). With his excellent flowery arrows he pierced Mahcśvara.

26. On being hit by those arrows Śiva became one whose consciousness was completely permeated by the god of love. Forgetting all his duties, he glanced at Gaurī, who was standing by him.

27. Regaining his fortitude and mental steadiness, he began to think what it was (that had upset him.) Then he saw in front of him the cupid, the lord of love, with flowers for his weapon standing in readiness to attack.

28. On seeing him, the trident-bearing lord Śiva who was competent to burn the three worlds, opened his third eye and burned the shark-bannered lord Cupid.

29. On being slighted thus by Śiva, daughter of the mountain became dejected. Thereafter, with the permission of her parents, she went to the forest for performing penance.

30. On seeing the ashes of the Cupid, Citrakarmā, the lord of Gaṇas, made a man of wonderful form by means of those ashes.

31. Rudra saw in front of him that person of wonderful form. Instantaneously he came to life as though Kāma had become embodied once again. He was excessively powerful and highly refulgent with the lustre equal to that of the midday sun.

32. Citrakarmā embraced him joyously with his arms and said, “O son, eulogise Mahādeva. Indeed he is the bestower of achievement of all objects.”

33. After saying this, that person of immeasurable intellect taught him the Mantra Śatarudriya. The boy bowed to Rudra one hundred times repeating the Śatarudriya.

34. Then the delighted lord Mahādeva with Bull as his banner, asked him to choose any boon he liked. The boy then chose the boon.

35. “Half of the power of my antagonist will be united with my strength. Let my arrows make his important missiles and weapons futile.”

36. After promising him “Be it so” and pondering over something, the lord granted him the power to rule the kingdom for sixty thousand years.

37. On observing this conduct the creator said “Bhaṇḍ, bhaṇḍ”[2] Therefore, he is being called Bhaṇḍa in worlds.

38. After granting this boon to him and bestowing on him missiles and weapons, the lord vanished there itself surrounded by all groups of sages (?)

Footnotes and references:


An Asura chief. (PE, p. 786) on the basis of some Purāṇas states that he got a boon from Śiva ‘that none other than a son born to Śiva should be able to kill him’. Our text here (VV. 16-17) attributes the granting of the boon to god Brahmā. Siva was a widower then and he must be persuaded to marry to beget a son for killing Tārakāsura. Hence, the deputation of Cupid the god of Love resulting in Kāma’s being burnt as narrated in the subsequent story.


bhaṇḍ—‘to be fortunate’. Probably ‘bhaṇḍītī’ was a blessing.

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