Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes seven generals beginning with balahaka killed which is Chapter 24 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 24 - Seven generals beginning with Balāhaka killed

Hayagrīva continued:

1. “When they were killed, the lord of Śūnyaka became blind with fury. Heaving a deep sigh, he spoke thus to Kuṭilākṣa with his mind agitated on account of his eagerness for war”.

2-3. “O gentle commander-in-chief; Sorrow has befallen us. Karaṅka and other generals who had been displaying the exploits of their arms and dispelling the pride of Devas through the magical power of Sarpiṇī, have been struck down by the magical power of that sinful deity.

4. We have seven generals beginning with Balāhaka. Send them to the battle-field as they have formidable power of arms.

5-7. Along with them despatch thirty Akṣauhiṇīs. They are devoted to the application of Māyā. They will smash and shatter the army of Lalitā. O, they will bring victory to us. They will surely come back to me. They are born of Kīkasā. The seven brothers, chief of whom is Balāhaka, possess vehement valour and power of exploits. They are always victorious. Certainly they will attain victory in the battle-field”.

8-11. On being told thus by the demon Bhaṇḍa, Kuṭilākṣa summoned the seven efficient and proud generals, the chief of whom was Balāhaka. They were Balāhaka, Sūcīmukha, Phālamukha, Vikarṇa, Vikaṭānana, Karālākṣa and Karaṭaka. All these seven were vigorous and mighty. After bowing down to Bhaṇḍāsura, these seven brothers, the sons of Kīkasā, went out of the city. They were extremely enthusiastic about the war. They were assisted and protected by one another.

12. The chiefs and the soldiers in the army consisting of thirty Akṣauhiṇīs followed them then, scraping the region of clouds through the numerous banners and flags,

13. The army was war-like and terrible. Stamping with their feet they (the soldiers) pressed down the earth. Through the columns of dust particles, they drank up every drop of ocean.

14. Through the sounds (beatings) of the different war-drums such as Bherī, Niḥsāṇas, Tampoṭṭas, Paṇavas and Ānakas, they rendered the entire universe full of qualities of the Ether (viz. sound) at every step.

15. Taking the army consisting of thirty Akṣauhiṇīs, the extremely proud sons of Kīkasā started as though to enter Viśva (the lord, i.e. to their death).

16. They were furious and hence they became red (in their face). Their armours were brightly illuminated by the suns’ disc. Their weapons and ornaments glittered. Their hairs were tied up above heads. Thus the generals moved ahead.

17-18. Formerly, these haughty demons had been despatched to suppress the seven worlds by the great demon Bhaṇḍa desirous of conquering the entire universe.

Having observed their great strength through that subjugation of the seven worlds, they were now sent by that wicked natured Daitya desirous of conquering the army of Lalitā.

19. They hastened to the battle ground waving weapons in their hands. With great fury they rushed towards the army of Śaktis.

20. With their loud shouts and shrieks they made the ten directions echo loudly. The proud Daityas (then) went to the place where the army of goddess was present.

21. The army of goddess Lalitā too was standing in readiness. It was dreadful on account of weapons. The soldiers turned towards the enemies displaying their ruthlessness by knitting their eyebrows.

22-23. Thousands of Śaktis joined the forces of Lalitā. Some had nooses, some iron clubs, others discuses, maces, sharp-edged javelins etc. Others had bows. These fierce Śaktis appeared to drink the ocean of Daityas.

24-25. The Dānavas threatened and taunted Śaktis thus and fought with them—“Come on, come on, O wicked sinful base woman! By adopting Māyā tricks, you delude only stupid fellows. We shall send you all today to the abode of the god of Death, by means of our highly terrific arrows resembling hissing serpents.”

26-27. A certain Śakti cut the neck of a leading Daitya by hitting with a sharp edged-spear. The blood gushing out from his neck flowed upwards. Numerous vultures hovered over it in a circle and perched upon it! The lustre of the umbrella of the god of death was enhanced by them.

28. A certain demon discharged a javelin in the course of the battle. A certain Śakti cut off his javelin with an arrow. The same arrow killed him too.

29. A certain Śakti riding on an elephant trained her elephant in the art of butting against mounds, on the broad chest of a wicked Daitya.

30. A certain Śakti suddenly struck in its forehead the elephant on which a soldier of the enemy was seated. She struck it with a sword and gave it the pleasure of heaven (i.e. killed it.)

31. With a discus hurled by means of her hand, a certain Śakti broke the bow of a certain Asura into two and thereby made two replicas of her eye-brows.

32. (Defective text) Another Śakti exterminated the enemies with sharp arrows and granted pleasure to her dagger in her own Romāli (A line of hair on the abdomen above the navel (i.e. the dagger was given rest).

33. With a blow of her mace, certain Śakti smashed the chariot wheel of her enemy and granted pleasure to her buttocks with it (i.e. scratched it with it).

34. With her fierce sword a certain Śakti cut off the pole of the chariot of a lordly Dānava and enhanced the pleasure of the earth.

35. The army of Śaktis infiltrated into the army of Daityas and the army of Daityas infiltrated into the army of Śaktis.

36. The close intermingling of Śaktis and the demons was like that of water and milk. During the time of fighting it confused both of them.

37. When the trunks and the tusks of the mad elephants of the Daityas were cut off by the swords of Śaktis they appeared like huge boars.

38-41. Thus a fight ensued which was dreadful even to the heroes. Cowards could not even remember about it within themselves. It was terrific even to terrible men. It was impassable due to the (incessant) exchange of weapons.

Balāhaka mounted on a huge vulture named Saṃhāragupta. Formerly it had risen out of fire. Its beak and other limbs were as sharp as a thunderbolt. Its staff-like shanks could be compared to the baton of Kāla (god of Death). It was of fierce valour and exploit. It was of grey colour like smoke. The movement of its wings was very dreadful. After riding on this vulture, the haughty Daitya fought in various ways. When it stretched its wings they extended to half a Krośa. It stood thus shrieking and howling with terrible sounds. Opening its beak that appeared like a fire-pit, it devoured soldiers in the army.

42. Samhāragupta the huge vulture of cruel eyes bore Balāhaka who kept the bow well drawn in the course of the battle.

43. Seated on the back of vulture with his body moving up and down, Balāhaka appeared like the Balāhaka cloud (at the time of dissolution) clinging to a Kūṭa mountain with wings.

44. The leading Daitya, Sūcīmukha mounted on his vehicle crow. The root of its wings was as sharp (hard) as needle. Riding on this he fought a hard battle.

45-47. It was elated and intoxicated. With its long beak, it resembled the peak of a mountain. It was very dreadful with its staff-like shanks having the size of the staff of the god of de ath. It was on a par with the cloud Puṣkarāvartaka. Its complexion was similar to the colour of mud. Its wings extended upto a Krośa. This crow of harsh cry mounted by Sūcīmukha smashed the great troop of Śaktis by pecking at them with its beak.

48. Then (the next general) Phālamukha took up a ploughshare as his weapon. Riding on a heron resembling a mountain, he shone brilliantly in the battle.

49. The leading Daitya named Vikarṇa, the extremely mighty general, rode on his vehicle the Bheruṇḍa bird and fought a fierce battle.

50. A fierce cock of extremely dreadful nature bore (the general) named Vikaṭānana who had a lustrous sharp-edged spear for his weapon in the battle.

51. Surveying the army of Śaktis from the front with blazing eyes, and roaring loudly, the cock moved about making the hairs on its neck stand on their ends.

52. The sixth general named Karālākṣa was the weightiest and the most conspicuous. His loud cry was as harsh as the sound of thunderbolt. He moved ahead with a ghost for his vehicle.

He was intrepid due to his mastery of black magic practised in cremating grounds.

53-54. It was by repeating those Mantras that the ghost was formerly subdued by him and brought under his control. In the battle-field the ghost carried him on his back when goblins pervaded him.

The ghost had long arms. He kept his head bent down and the feet were kept wide apart. Assuming the form of a vehicle, the ghost bore Karālākṣa.

55-57. Another commander was Karaṭaka by name. He was the crest jewel of the army of Daityas. He pounded and smashed the army of Śaktis with a Vetāla (vampire) for his vehicle. The vampire had cruel ruthless eyes with a body a Yojana tall. This vampire was subdued by him and brought under his control by means of Mantras in the cremation ground. Directed by Daitya the vampire pounded and smashed the army of Śaktis.

Sitting on the shoulders of that excellent vampire, the Dānava fought with Śaktis in various ways.

58. Thus, these seven evil-souled haughty Dānavas, comparable to the seven oceans, harassed and tormented the soldiers of Śaktis there.

59. Formerly, these seven Daityas had propitiated the sun-god by means of penance. Boon had been granted to them by the sun-god who had been pleased with their penance.

60-61. “O sons of Kīkasā, O fortunate ones, I am delighted now by your penance. Welfare unto you all. Choose your boon”.

When the sun-god said thus, the sons of Kīkasā who had become emaciated due to penance, earnestly requested for an intractable boon like this.

62-65. “O Tapana (sun-god), you must be present in the cavities of our eyes during fights. With your intense heat and refulgence you must burn our antagonists. O lord, whenever you are present within our eyes, let everything that becomes the object of our vision be motionless. Viewed by our eyes, invigorated by your presence, the soldiers of our antagonists will become incapable of wielding their weapons. When the weapons are made motionless and blocked, O lord, by our vision alone, our immobilized enemies can be killed with great facility.”

66. This was the boon that they acquired formerly from the sun-god. With this boon granted to them, the sons of Kīkasā moved about in that battle-field with great haughtiness.

67. Looked at by them when eyes had been penetrated and occupied by the sun-god, the innumerable weapons of Śaktis became immobilized and they found their zeal (in war) futile.

68. When the missiles and weapons were blocked and immobilized by those seven sons of Kīkasā, of great inherent strength, Śaktis could not exert themselves.

69. Even when they exerted themselves they were overcome much by the immobilization of their weapons. So Śaktis heaved a deep sigh and sat quiet.

70. Thereupon, finding a suitable opportunity, the Daityas who were directed by their masters, rose up with different kinds of weapons and smashed the army of Śaktis.

71. Those Śaktis who were deprived of their activity and who were prevented from using their weapons became perplexed and agitated on account of their arrows that could pierce even adamantine coats of mail.

72. The Śaktis whose bodies had been wounded and pierced by the numerous weapons of Daityas in the battle field appeared like the creepers of Kaṅkola with plenty of good sprouts.

73. All those Śaktis whose weapons were immobilized by them shrieked and wailed. Crying piteously, they resorted to goddess Lalitā.

74. Then, at the bidding of the goddess, the deity Tiraskaraṇikā (Magical veil), the body-guard of Daṇḍanāthā rose up in the arena of the battle.

75. That Mahāmāyā (great deity of magical powers) got into an aerial chariot named Tamolipta with doors all round and assured Śaktis about freedom from fear.

76-77. The deity was dark-complexioned like Tamāla tree. She wore a dark-coloured bodice (or armour). She was seated in the aerial chariot Tamolipta of dark colour, yoked with dark-coloured horses. She took up a twanging bow named Vāsantī Mohana. After roaring like a lion, she showered arrows furious like serpents.

78. The Daityas were unable to bear the arrows that had the form and features of black serpents, that resembled iron clubs at their lower ends and that charged with the missile Mohana.

79. The wicked ones, the chief of whom was Balāhaka, were being smashed and pounded by the arrows of Mahāmāyā here and there. They then became extremely furious.

80. Thereafter, at the bidding of Daṇḍanāthā, the deity, Mother Tiraskaraṇī discharged the great missile named Andha (Blinding one) amidst the group of enemies.

81. Those seven Daityas beginning with Balāhaka, who had been haughty on account of boon granted by the sun-god were wounded by the missile Anḍha and their eyes were covered as if with piece of cloth.

82. Their eyes were afflicted by the blinding arrows that were discharged from the bow Mahāmohana of the goddess Tiraskaraṇikā.

83. All those seven became blinded. They did not look at anything. In the absence of that vision, the immobilization of weapons came to an end.

84. Once again those (Śaktis) raised weapons in their hands roaring like lions. With a desire to kill Daityas, they made preparations for the battle.

85. They kept the deity Tiraskaraṇikā of great might in front of them. Due to the use of that good (effective) means, they became extremely delighted and fought.

86. “O Mother Tiraskarṇikā of exalted fortune well done, well done. You have appropriately screened off these wickeḍ-souled enemies.

87. You are the great medicinal herb for screening (blinding) the eyes of the wicked. This troop of Daityas has been blinded by you.

88. O deity, this task of the Devas has been perfectly carried out by you since you have brought a disaster among these Daityas who cannot be conquered by us.

89. Therefore, on hearing that it was by you alone that these seven great Asuras of wicked conduct have been killed, Lalitā will derive great satisfaction.

90. If this is done the deity Daṇḍinī will become pleased. Mantriṇī too of exalted fortune will surely get the greatest pleasure.

91. Hence, you alone, do kill these seven Daityas in the arena of battle. Raising up our weapons we shall destroy the entire army of these Daityas”.

92. On being told thus and encouraged by those Śaktis on account of their zeal for war (that deity Tiraskaraṇikā) proceeded towards the army of Balāhaka by means of the vehicle Tamolipta.

93. On seeing her advancing, those seven base Asuras immediately remembered the boon granted by the sun god.

94. Although the splendour of the sun entered their eyes, that destructive power within the eyes was overcome when the eyes had been covered by the prowess of Tiraskaraṇikā.

95. The great Asura Balāhaka had formerly been blind due to his pride on being granted the boon as well as on account of his power of weapons. He was blind due to anger also. Now he literally became blind on account of the missile (of the deity). Therefore, the deity Antardhidevatā (i.e. Tiraskaraṇikā) dragged him by his hairs and cut him off by means of her sword.

96. After cutting off, with an arrow, the head of his vehicle vulture, the deity Tiraskaraṇikā proceeded towards Sūcīmukha.

97. After cutting off his hard head with a blow of her sharp-edged spear, she gradually killed the other five Daityas too.

98. The deity Antardhidevatā made a garland with the seven severed heads of the Daityas by joining one another by means of their own tresses. Wearing that garland round her neck she roared loudly.

99. In the height of their fury, Śaktis killed their army wholly and made many rivers of their blood flow.

100. What was done by mother Mahāmāyā was the greatest miracle there, due to the glorious act of covering up the eyes of generals beginning with Balāhaka.

101. A few who survived the killing became utterly confused and frightened. In their extreme agony, they sought shelter in the lord of Śūnyaka who himself was crying.

102. Those Daityas who survived began to praise Daṇḍinī and Mahāmāyā again and again. They were pleased because they were able to receive the graceful blessing glance from her.

103. The Śaktis who were there shook their heads in approbation saying “Well done, well done.” At every step they praised the deity Tiraskaraṇikā.

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