Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes manifestation of lalita which is Chapter 12 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 12 - Manifestation of Lalitā

Hayagrīva said:

1. Since he (Bhaṇḍa) was born of the fire of anger of Rudra, the mighty Bhaṇḍa became a Dānava of dreadful nature.

2. Then Śukra, the extremely refulgent preceptor of the Daityas, came to him. Hundreds of very powerful Daityas too came to him.

3. Urged by the son of Bhṛgu (i.e. Śukra), Bhaṇḍa called Maya, the original architect and engineer and artisan of the race of Daityas, and spoke these meaningful words:—

4. “It was at Śoṇitapura[1] that all leading Daityas stayed before and ruled the three worlds. Go there and re-build the city.”

5. On hearing those words, the architect went to that great city and by means of his imaginative mind and power of vision, rebuilt the city to make it resemble the city of the Devas.

6. He (Bhaṇḍa) was crowned by Śukra and the mighty Daityas. Due to that great glory, he shone with great refulgence.

7. Bhaṇḍa wore on his head the crown that shone like the rising sun and that was placed (on his head) by the son of Bhṛgu. Formerly, it had been given to Hiraṇya-Kaśipu by Brahmā. It was lively and indestructible. It had been worn by many Daitya rulers.

8. Two lively Camaras (i.e. chowries) were used by him as his insignia. They resembled the moon. They had been made by Brahmā. Neither sickness nor miseries could assail one by resorting to them.

9. He (Śukra) presented him an umbrella formerly made by Brahmā himself. People seated in its shade were never affected by even crores of missiles.

10. (The preceptor) gave him a bow named Vijaya and a conch called ‘the killer of enemies’. He gave him other very valuable ornaments too.

11. He presented him an everlasting throne dazzling like the sun. Seated on the throne and bedecked in all ornaments he became magnificently brilliant like a gem that had been whetted.

12. He had eight mighty Daityas (as his assistants), viz.: Indraśatru, Amitraghna, Vidyunmāli, Vibhīṣaṇa, Ugrakarmā, Ugradhanvā, Vijaya and Śruti-Pāraga.

13. He had four beautiful wives, viz.: Sumohinī, Kumudinī, Citrāṅgī and Sundarī.

14. All the Devas including Vāsava (Indra) who understood the (exigencies of the) time served him. He had thousands of chariots, horses, elephants and foot-soldiers.

15. Noble ones with huge bodies, they were very proud of their victory. All the Dānavas followed the directives of the son of Bhṛgu (i.e. Śukra).

16. They worshipped god Mahādeva abiding by the injunctions (cult?) of Śiva, The Dānavas possessed sons, grand

sons and ample wealth. Yajñas were being performed all round in every household.

17. Ṛg., Yajus and Sāman Mantras were frequently chanted in all the houses of Daityas. Mīmāṃsā, Nyāya and other systems of philosophy too were studied in every house.

18. The Devas accepted Havya offerings in the Yajñas of the Daityas too as in the case of important hermitages of sages and Brāhmaṇas.

19. Even as Bhaṇḍa carried on all these activities with great pride in his victory, sixty thousand years elapsed like half of a moment.

20-21. On seeing the Daitya increasing in power of penance and physical strength and Indra deteriorating in prowess, the consort of Kamalā (i.e. Viṣṇu) all on a sudden created a Māyā that enchanted the worlds. Janārdana, the lord of the Devas, told that Māyā:

22. “Fascinating and deluding all living beings by your own power do roam about as you please. No one will find you out.

23. Go hence immediately and enchant Bhaṇḍa, the leader of Daityas. Ere long, you will enjoy all worldly pleasures.”

24. After receiving this boon, Māyā bowed to Janārdana and requested for a few of the chief celestial damsels for assistance.

25. On being requested by her, the lord sent some celestial damsels. Accompanied by those ladies, chief of whom was Viśvācī, that fawn-eyed lady (i.e. Māyā) went to the excellent shore of Mānasa[2] lake where brilliant trees grew up.

26. It was there that the leader of the Daityas was sporting about in the company of his women. There, at the root of a Campaka tree, the fawn-eyed woman took up her residence and began to sing in sweet notes.

27. Then the leader of the Daityas came there surrounded by his mighty ministers. He heard the note of the lute and saw the excellent lady.

28. On seeing that lady beautiful in every limb like another streak of lightning, he fell into the deep abysm named Cupid of an illusory nature.

29. His ministers too became deeply affected by Kama (lord of Love) in their hearts.

30. On being requested continuously by the leader of Daityas and those (ministers also), the Māyā lady as well as her assistant damsels instantly promised them adequate pleasure.

31. On attaining those ladies, the chief of whom was Mohinī, they derived the greatest pleasure because (ordinarily) they could not be obtained even by Aśvamedha and other great Yajñas.

32. They forgot the Vedas and lord Umāpati (Śiva) too. They forsook Yajñas and other auspicious rites.

33. Their priest too was struck down by contemptuous disregard. Thus ten thousand years passed by as though it were a mere Muhūrta (48 minutes).

34. When the Daityas were thus deluded, O Brāhmaṇa, the Devas including Vāsava, became liberated from torment. They derived great pleasure.

35. Once, sage Nārada came there and saw Devendra seated in his throne and surrounded by all Devas.

36. After bowing down to that noble sage sinning brillliantly like fire, the lord of Devas stood up in reverence with palms joined together and spoke these words:

37. “O holy lord, conversant with all sacred rites, the most excellent one among, those.who know the Para and Apara (the greatest thing and the lesser ones), you visit only such places as you wish to bless.

38. The cause of your arrival is the (future) of the splendid fortune in store for us. Listening to your nectar-like words very pleasant to the ears, O lord of sages, I shall cross all miseries and become blessed.”

Nārada said:

39. Bhaṇḍa the leader of the Daityas has become enchanted by Viṣṇu’s Māyā. If liberated from her, he is likely to burn all the three worlds like another fire.

40. He is superior to you in regard to refulgence and power of magical delusion. It is necessary that the refulgence of this super-strong Daitya should be removed.

41. Without propitiating goddess Parā śakti, O Vāsava, it is impossible to achieve it by means of other types of austerities even in hundreds of crores of Kalpas.

42. Prior to the rise of the enemy, O ignorant one, propitiate the Deity. On being propitiated the goddess will bring about your welfare.”

43. On being urged and enlightened thus by him, Śakra, the lord of the groups of Devas, duly honoured the sage.

Accompanied by all the Devas, he made due preparations for penance and went to the slopes of the Himavān.

44. Along with all the gods, he performed the great worship of Parāśakti on the bank of Bhāgīrathī that was brilliant with flowers in everyone of the seasons. Even since then, that place bestowing all sorts of accomplishments came to be known by the name Indraprastha.[3]

45-46. In accordance with the procedure advised by the son of Brahmā, they performed the excellent and great worship of the goddess. They were engaged in Japa (repetition of the holy names and mantras) and meditation. They were steadfast in the severe penance without turning their mind or attention to anything else. Thus ten thousand years and ten days passed by.

47. On seeing the Asuras deluded, the highly intelligent priest, the son of Bhṛgu, approached Bhaṇḍāsura and spoke thus.

48. “It is relying on you alone, O leading king, that the excellent Dānavas always sport and roam about as they please in three worlds without any fear.

49-50. Han always kills everyone belonging to your tribe. It was by him that this Māyā was created whereby you too have been deluded. On seeing you enchanted and fascinated Indra, who is always eager to seek loopholes and vulnerable points, is performing a great penance to defeat you all.

51. If the mother of the Universe is pleased the victory shall be his alone. Abandon this lady created by Māyā. Go to the Himālaya mountain accompanied by your ministers and create hindrances in the penance of your enemies.”

52. On being told thus by his preceptor, the demon Bhaṇḍa left his excellent couch. Inviting the elderly ministers, he told them everything as it had happened.

53-55. On hearing it and after critically examining it, Śrutavarmā said to the king: “Kingdom was granted to you by Śiva for a period of sixty thousand years. More period than that, O heroic one, has passed by. It is impossible to redeem the period granted by Śiva. It is impossible to find another remedy for this without worshipping him (Śiva). Whether it is misery or happiness, the result has to be experienced at the proper time”.

56-57. Then the demon named Bhīmakarmā said, “The enemy should not be neglected. If obstacles are put in the holy rites of the enemy by us in accordance with our power, the victory will be yours. The Vidyā (magical art) that takes away half the strength of the enemy in the battle has been granted to you, O great king, by Śiva himself. Hence, the victory will be your own, forever”.

58. Bhaṇḍa the leader of the Dānavas agreed to his suggestion. Starting along with the armies he went to the valley of the Himavān.

59. On seeing Dānavas eager to create obstacles in the penance of god, the mother of the universe made a huge lustrous rampart wall in front of them that could not be crossed.

60. On seeing it, the leading Dānava was surprised and thought thus—“What is this?” The infuriated Dānava then shattered it with a very powerful missile.

61. Again it appeared in front of him, one that could not be crossed by any of the Dānavas. The bold demon then shattered it by means of the Vāyavya (having the wind as the presiding deity) missile and then roared.

62. Again and again it was reduced to ashes and again and again it rose up. The leader of the Daityas became despondent on seeing this and went back to his city.

63. On seeing the Mother of the Universe and noticing the lustrous rampart, the Devas trembled with fear abandoning all their holy rites.

64. Thereupon, Śakra said to them—“It was the leader of the Daityas who had come here. It is impossible to defeat him even if all of us join together.

65-66. Even if we flee, there is no place of refuge for us anywhere. Hence, we shall make a sacrificial pit one Yojana in breadth. Let it be splendid and dug perfectly well. We shall prepare the sacrificial fire in accordance with the injunction of a Mahāyāga. O Suras, we shall then worship the greatest Śakti by means of Mahāmāṃsa (great flesh i.e. human flesh).

67. We shall become Brahman or we will be able to enjoy heaven.” On being told thus, the Devas with Indra as their leader duly performed Homa by chopping off the flesh, to the chanting of Mantras.

68-69. When all the flesh of the victim had been dropped into the holy fire including feet and hands and when Devas were desirous of offering the entire body, an excellent huge mass of brilliant lustre appeared in front of them.

70-73. From its middle rose up a radiant circular halo of the shape of a wheel. The Devas including Vāsava saw Mahādevī in its middle. She had the lustre of the rising sun. She was the enlivener of the entire universe. She was the embodiment of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. She was the very limit of the essence of beauty. She appeared to be the ocean of the juice of Bliss. She resembled the Japā (China rose) flower. She wore robes of the colour of flowers of pomegranate. She was adorned by all kinds of ornaments. She was the very abode of the sole sentiment of Love. With the waves of gracious mercy wafting along the tips, her glance-was (as cool as) the moonlight. In her hands the noose, goad, sugarcane-bow with five arrows were shining.

74. On seeing the great goddess all Devas, including Vāsava (Indra) became delighted in their minds and they bowed down again and again to the goddess, the immanent soul of everything.

75. On being glanced at by her, all of them instantly became liberated from ailments. Their limbs became tougher and stronger with the deficiencies remedied. They became mighty with adamantine bodies. They eulogised the great goddess Ambikā, the bestower of all objects.

Footnotes and references:


Although Assamese claim Tejpur as ancient Śoṇitapura, the claim of Śoṇitapura on the bank of Kedār-Gaṅgā or Mandākinī about six. miles from Uṣāmaṭh in Kumaun appears more acceptable—De, p. 189.


The Purāṇa-writer had little idea that there are no trees near Mānasa lake. It is a poetic vision of the lake.


This is not the site of old Delhi. The location of this Indraprastha is untraced.

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