Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes the deities on the kiricakraratha which is Chapter 20 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 20 - The Deities on the Kiricakraratha

Hayagrīva said:

I. “O intelligent one, listen to the deities stationed in the five steps of the prominent chariot Kiricakra (Boar-wheeled) [see notes on The chariot of Daṇḍanāthā]. Victory to those who listen to their names.

2-5. Daṇḍanāyikā (leader of the Army) was stationed on the first step named Bindu. She, the destroyer of the haughty and wicked thorns of worlds appeared to make Jayaśrī (glory of victory) dance there by means of different kinds of flames. She had torn and pierced the haughty Dānavas with the terrific blow of her snout. She appeared to be the night for the clear perception of the rays of her curved teeth resembling the crescent moon. Her creeper-like tender body was dark in complexion like the clusters of clouds in the rainy season. She was a permanent ornament to the leading chariot Kiricakra. She was the Potriṇī (Boar-formed Deity) who had made all the revolving worlds her adopted children.

6-8. Three deities viz.: Jṛmbhiṇī, Mohihī and Stambhinī had occupied the second step at the same centre of that chariot. It resembled a full-blown pomegranate flower. The deities who were competent to suppress Dānavas, held the pestle, plough and liquor pot studded with many precious stones and jewels by means of their sprout-like hands where bangles set with rubies dazzled brilliantly. These deities had very sharp and dreadful eyes. They wished to burn Daitya soldiers by means of the fiery flames (emanating from the eyes) without hesitation. They continued to serve the Boar-faced goddess (Sūkarānanā).

9-12a. Five deities beginning with Andhinī were stationed on the third step of the excellent leading chariot Kiricakra. They had fixed their base in the Devīyantra. They appeared to split the three worlds by means of their boisterous laughter. They appeared like the flames of fire which burns the universe at the end of the world and which had assumed the guise of woman. With their tongues lolling and licking the sides, they were desirous of lapping up the flowing blood of all the soldiers of Bhaṇḍāsura. They were dazzling in their brilliance. Thus they used to serve Daṇḍanāthā of terrific exploits, continuously.

12b-14. Six deities were stationed on the fourth step of the leading chariot Kiricakra. They were Brāhmī and others excepting the fifth one (i.e. Vārāhī) and the eighth one (i.e. Caṇḍikā or Mahālakṣmī). Their bodies appeared to discharge blazing flames from the Ṣaṭcakra (six mystical nerve plexuses in the body). They appeared ready to drink (i.e. to destroy) Dānavas by means of great many series of exploits. It was at the behest of Daṇḍanāthā that they resorted to that region.

15-19a. Seven deities called Dhātunāthās were stationed in their respective places beneath the same step. They were Yakṣiṇī, Śaṅkhinī, Lākinī, Hākinī, Śākinī, Ḍākinī and (another) Hākinī who had the united (and combined) forms of all of them. All these demonstrated the exploits of their mighty arms. They appeared ready to drink (i.e. destroy) all living beings and the Earth. They drank and consumed the seven Dhātus, essential ingredients, of the body (viz. the blood), skin, flesh, fat, bones, morrow and the semen of enemies. They had hideous faces. With their harsh leonine roars they filled ten quarters. They were called Dhātunāthās and they were the bestowers of eight Siddhis beginning with Aṇimā (minuteness).

19b-21a. They were experts in deluding, slaying, paralysing (stupefying), striking, swallowing, and exterminating the wicked Daityas. In regard to those who are habitually devout, they were competent to annihilate all adversities. They were called Dhātunāthās (since) they were present in all Dhātus (essential secretions of the body).

21b-22a. They were adventurous enough to drink within half a moment all the oceans that appeared to kiss the sky by the series of waves.

22b-24. They had cart-shaped teeth and terrible eyes, They were equally ready to swallow those who acted maliciously against their mistress, those who transgressed conventional rules and established practices, those who engaged themselves in mischief by injuring the followers of Vedic injunctions maliciously, those who were inimical to heroes and the wicked Daityas who spoiled and obstructed Yajñas. They used to serve continuously Daṇḍanāyikā in the form of Potriṇī.

25-26. On the other side of the same step in a divine temple were stationed two deities well-known as Krodhinī and Stambhinī. They fanned with two Cāmaras (Chowries) as the bangles round their tender creeper-like hands moved to and fro. They were excessively proud after drinking liquor and the blood of soldiers in the army of demons. They had perpetual laughter in their faces and their eyes rolled about, continuously.

27-30. Two excellent weapons, ploughshare and pestle, assuming the form of deities, took up their residence on either side of the leading chariot Kiricakra.

They held the bodies of their own weapons at the place of their own crown. They were remembered by the Devas as the destroyers of everyone antagonistic to the universe. It was with these two weapons that Lalitā Daṇḍanāyikā would cut off and kill Dānava named Viṣaṅga, in the battle.

31-33. There was an exceedingly terrible lion well-known as Caṇḍoccaṇḍa at the same step in front of Daṇḍanāthā. The sky echoed with his roaring sound and the cardinal points were deafened by the sounds produced by it while gnashing its teeth. It had four hands and three eyes. It held trident, sword and nooses sewn and tied. Its body was brilliant. By seeing alone (and observing everything), it served Goddess Potriṇī continuously.

34-36. Eight deities beginning with Vārtālī were stationed on the sixth step of the leading chariot Kiricakra. They were renowned in the eight quarters. Their voices were as loud as the sound produced when eight mountains clashed with one another or fell over one another. Eight serpents served the purpose of their shining ornaments. Their strength and splendour was never ruined or eliminated. They had sacrificed crores of Dānavas in the fire of the prowess of their mighty arms. They used to serve Daṇḍanāthā Lalitā day and night.

37-38. Their names are also well known. O Pot-born sage, Listen:

Vārtālī, Vārāhī, Vārāhamukhī, Andhinī, Rodhinī, Jṛmḥhiṇī, Mohinī and Stambhinī. They were competent in agitating, paralysing and exterminating enemies.

39. The royal vehicle of Daṇḍanāthā, a buffalo of dusky white colour, was always stationed on the left side of those deities on the same step.

40-43. Its two horns were half a Krośa apart (1 Krośa = 3 kilometres) and its body was a Krośa long. Its body was covered with many hairs hard and sharp-edged like swords. It was dreadful with its formidable tail resembling the baton of the god of death. It had the lustre of the dark mountain of collyrium or blue antimony. It was furious, lofty and hideous. All the parts of that (buffalo) were stout and excellent like the massive mountain of antimony. Its deep and hot breath issuing forth and spreading everywhere stirred up the oceans. It seemed to laugh derisively at the buffalo of Kāla (God of death) by means of its crackling and rattling grunt. The cloud Puṣkarāvarta was scattered about by its hoofs.

44-47. On the same step but beneath were stationed Indra and others—the eight guardian deities of cardinal points. They had fixed their abodes in different ways at different places. They had come there to inform Lalitā about the fulfilment of tasks. There were Indra, the sixty-four crores of celestial damsels, Siddhas, Agni, Fire god, Sādhyas, other Viśvedevas, Viśvakarmā. Maya, mothers of exalted state and strength, Rudras, the attendants and dreadful Piśācas. The leaders of Rākṣasas and many Rākṣasas used to wail there.

48-53a. Mitras, Gandharvas, who were always experts in singing and whose well-known leaders were Viśvāvasu and others; other Bhūtagaṇas (groups of goblins), Vāruṇa, Vasus, Vidyādharas, Kinnaras, Māruteśvara (wind-god), Citraratha, chariot-makers, artisans, Tumburu, Nārada, Yakṣa, Soma, Yakṣeśvara (Kubera), lord Govinda the consort of Kamalā, along with Devas, Īśāna who is terrible due to his trident and who is the devourer of the universe, Brahmā, Aśvinīputras who were efficient in the science of Medicine, lord Dhanvantari and other Gaṇanāyakas (leaders of Gaṇas) who had gratified bees by means of ichor exuding from their excellent temples (were stationed there).

53b-55. Ananta, Vāsuki, Takṣa, Karkoṭa, Padma, Mahāpadma, Śaṅkhapāla, Gulika, Subala—these leading serpents surrounded by crores of other serpents were stationed there. In this manner, many deities were stationed there on active duty. They had fixed their mansions all round beginning with the eastern quarter etc.

56-60. There itself on the wheel were stationed three deities: Jṛmbhiṇī, Stambhinī and Mohinī. They were the presiding deities of Northwest and resorting to that quarter they stationed themselves in the form of a wheel.

In the extremity of the same step of the resplendent chariot Kiricakra, Kṣetrapāla shone continuously serving Kiṭīśvarī. He held a skull and a mace. He had a huge body with the hair standing upright. He had dark complexion and features like the dust and moss at the bottom of Pātāla. He appeared to rend through the sphere of the cosmic egg by means of his boisterous laughter as though by means of a thunderbolt. By means of sound from his Ḍamaru (a kind of drum), he split the hollow space between heaven and earth. He held in his hand a Phaṇipāśa (A serpent in the form of noose) which had three hissing hoods.

61. Very near him was stationed the goddess’s vehicle, a lion. It was seated on this, that she began her activity when desirous of slaying Bhaṇḍāsura.

62-65. The characteristics of the lion, the Vehicle of the goddess of Devas, have been described before.

Beneath the same step (were stationed a thousand deities). They had lustre similar to that of Daṇḍanāthā. They were adorned with all sorts of ornaments and weapons similar to those of Daṇḍinī. They were dark in complexion. They were Boar-faced. They kept their tresses embellished with the crest by means of the digit (i.e. crescent) of the Moon. They whirled the ploughshare and the pestle with their hands frequently. They filled skulls by means of overflowing currents of blood of those who plotted against Lalitā, who wrought mischief against Śyāmā and who maliciously treated the Mistress. They wore the intestines of those who hurt and assailed their devotees.

66-68. They used to wear on their breasts garlands by a number of shaven skulls of those who protested against their own religious cults or conventional community. There was a continuous flow of blood from those heads. The deities who served Kīṭīśvarī are said to be a thousand. The names of all those deities will be mentioned in the chapter (?) on the thousand names of Daṇḍinī, O Pot-born saint. Note now again here.

69-72a. Then, near those boar-faced deities was stationed the vehicle of Daṇḍinī, a black antelope. It was as a conventional custom (that the antelope stood there). The (space between) the horns was a quarter of a Krośa, the length of its face was a quarter of that. The length of legs was a Krośa. It always used to keep its tail upright. Its belly had a white lustrous patch. By means of a loud grunting sound, it laughed derisively at the exploits of the deer that was the vehicle of wind-god. This excellent vehicle was stationed in a part of the same step.

72b-74. The ocean of liquor, assuming the form of a deity, was stationed there on the same step of the leading chariot Kiricakra. It held in its hand a lump of meat, red like a ruby mountain. Its eyes rolled. It wore a garland of golden lotuses. It was embraced by Madaśakti (Deity presiding over the power of intoxication) that held a red lotus.

75-77. (Later on) whenever Daitya Bhaṇḍa became active in the battle, Śaktis had perspired profusely and became thirsty, on those occasions. Surāsindhu (Ocean of Liquor) would scatter himself in various places and dispel the fatigue of deities in the course of war. That miracle will undoubtedly take place, O sage, then when the battle (is being described). You will hear it being recounted by me joyously.

78. It is remembered that beneath the same step in all the eight quarters and above as well as below, ten (male deities) beginning with Hetuka had fixed their residences.

79. They were the excellent and great Bhairavas well-known for their profound exploits. By the enkindled splendour of their weapons, they surpassed even the sun by day.

80-83. At the end of Kalpa, at the behest of Daṇḍinī they destroyed the entire universe. They were of fearful nature. Gnashing their teeth and biting the lips with them (in anger), they used to pierce and scatter the clouds with the tips of their tridents.

They were Hetuka, Tripurāri, the third one Agnibhairava, Yamajihva, Ekapāda, Kāla, Karālaka, Bhīmarūpa, Hāṭakeśa as well as the one with the name Acala. These ten well-known (Bhairavas) stayed at the extremities of the chariot Kiricakra along with ten crores of soldiers.

84. Thus the deities of (the chariot) Kiricakra of Daṇḍanāthā beginning with Jṛmbhiṇī and ending with Acalendra have been enumerated. They sanctify the three worlds.

85. There in the battle, many Dānavas would be killed by the groups of deities stationed there. Showers of blood would be drunk by them.

86. Thus Kiricakra the excellent chariot of Daṇḍanetrī, with diverse protective devices through the groups of deities stationed on the steps, moved ahead.

87. Wherever the chariot Cakrarāja went the excellent chariot Geya also went; wherever the chariot Geya (proceeded) the excellent chariot Kiricakra also accompanied it.

88. In the midst of thousands of the armies of Śakti, these three splendid chariots that appeared like the three worlds set in motion, proceeded on and on,

89. It appeared as though (the mountains) Meru, Mandara and Vindhya had joined together as one unit.

There was a loud tumultuous sound in the groups of armies of Śaktis. The entire earth shook on being rent (as it were) by the creaking sound of their wheels.

90-94a.[1] There were six charioteers in the leading chariot of Lalitā, named Cakrarāja (and other chariots). They were glorified as experts in holding the bridle and keeping the staff (whip) raised. The first is Irādevī, then Tripura-bhairavī, another is Saṃhāra-bhairava, the next is Raktayoginīvallabha, the fifth is Sārasa, the next (sixth) is Cāmuṇḍā. These deities are remembered as charioteers. The charioteer of the leading chariot Geyacakra was Hasantikā. Stambhinī is remembered as the charioteer of the prominent chariot Kiricakra.

94b-95. The excellent chariot of Lalitā had a height of ten Yojanas. The excellent chariot Gītacakra had a height of seven Yojanas.

96. A great umbrella studded with pearls and having an extent of ten Yojanas was present only in the chariot of Laliteśānī and nowhere else (not in the other chariots).

97. This alone has been glorified as indicative of the imperial power of Śakti. Ordinary umbrellas were provided in the other two chariots.

98-99a. Then that imperial deity Lalitā, the great goddess of all Śaktis, the sovereign Deity who had ascended the ruler-ship of a great empire advanced against demon Bhaṇḍa with, a desire to accomplish his death.

99b-100. At that time the cardinal points reverberated with the sounds; the earth quaked and all the living beings became excited and agitated at the departure of Laliteśā. The divine drums (Dundubhis) sounded and showers of flowers fell on everyone.

101-106. The celestial musicians viz. the Gandharvas beginning with Viśvāvasu, Tumburu and Nārada and Sarasvatī herself began to recite auspicious verses of victory along with excellent songs. Their faces beamed with delight. Hairs standing on their ends over their bodies served as ornaments. They repeatedly eulogised Laliteśvarī adding “Be victorious, be victorious”.

Delighted, proud and elated, they began to dance at every step. The seven sages beginning with Vasiṣṭha repeated hymns and verses from Ṛk, Yajur, Sāman and Atharva Vedas, increasing their good wishes for her victory and glory in the same manner as when the sacrificial fires of great purity are made to blaze forth by means of Havis offerings. Excellent persons added their benedictions of great power. Being eulogised by them and shining in her excellent chariot, Lalitā set off along with the soldiers in order to conquer the Asura Bhaṇḍa.

Footnotes and references:


The lines are jumbled up in print. I follow the text N which is consistent.

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