by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246
This page describes bhandasura’s sons slain which is Chapter 26 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.
1. “Even the mighty Kuṭilākṣa who was accompanied by an army of ten Akṣauhiṇīs was utterly defeated in the battle by the sharp arrows of Daṇḍanāthā and he fled from the field. The army consisting of ten Akṣauhiṇīs was destroyed by her at night.
2. On hearing this news Bhaṇḍa became bewildered.
On hearing about the fraudulent battle of the wicked demons during the night, Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā became dejected.
3. “Alas a great calamity had befallen the goddess through Daityas. Shallow-minded that we were we had gone very far ahead.
4. Proper defence of prominent chariot Mahācakra had not been provided for through soldiers. Availing of this opportunity, damage has been effected by the wicked demons during the night.
5-6. We must reflect on this point—“What happened there? Was the battle fought by our lady? Did the other Śaktis fight with the great Asuras? What should be done now? What does the great goddess think?”
7. On being agitated by these doubts and fears, Daṇḍanāthā and others proceeded towards Lalitā, keeping Mantriṇī in front of them.
8. When the night dawned, all those honoured generals of the troops of Śaktis came and stood around the leading chariot.
9. Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāyikā got down from their vehicles, placed the army beneath and they themselves ascended the chariot (of the goddess).
10-11. By means of hurried paces, they climbed up those nine steps. They were (duly honoured) and informed by Śaktis stationed on the different steps. Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāyikā approached the great queen. With the eight limbs touching the ground (i.e. by prostrating before the goddess), they submitted to the goddess thus:—
12. “O Ambikā, we heard that a great calamity took place. Harm has been caused by the wicked Daityas by a fraudulent battle.
13. That vicious fellow of evil conduct is afraid of an open battle. He desires to achieve victory by deceitful means.
14. Fortunately, the arrows etc. of the vicious demons have not touched the person of our lady. Hence he is alive.
15. O great queen, it is by seeking the sole support of your majesty’s feet that all of us live and achieve what we desire.
16. Hence, it is our duty to defend the person of Your Majesty. The prominent Daityas are experts in the use of Māyā. In this connection let the deliberations and consultations be held.
17. The base Dānavas beginning with Bhaṇḍa should be defeated during the period of their misery. (Henceforth) they shall not be able to cany on fraudulent war nor shall they penetrate this army.
19-22. Let a rampart of blazing fire be made for defence. For suppressing the haughtiness of the enemy, let the intervening space of our camp site be made a hundred Yojanas in length. The gate of the rampart wall of fire should be in the south because Śūnyaka the city of the enemies is situated in the southern region. Many attendants should be employed at the entrance. They should be armed and be ready to stop those who go in or come out. Only those who are always active, who are ready to forego sleep and who are never idle should be engaged.
23-24. In case it is arranged in this manner, the fraudulent attack designed to be carried out by our enemies, the wicked (demons), will be impossible. They cannot make a major surprise attack during untimely hours such as dusks, mid-nights etc., If not, the evil-minded Daityas who adopt many Māyā-tactics will strike the entire great army like robbers who plunder everything before our eyes”.
25. After hearing these words of Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā, Lalitā spoke thus, shedding pearls, as it were, by means of the white sparkles of the teeth.
26. “This counsel of your is the result of a very good deliberation and a fine intelligence. This is the path of shrewd and wise people. This is the ancient and eternal policy.
27. It is only after making proper arrangement for the defence of one’s own army by adopting strong measures that the offensive against the enemy’s forces should be undertaken by the leading persons who wish to attain victory.”
28. After saying thus to Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā that goddess Lalitā called the Nityā deity Jvālāmālini and spoke hus.
29. “O dear one, you have the form of fire. Your features are fiery flames. Let the defence of this great army be provided for by you.
30. After encircling the ground to the extent of a hundred Yojanas assume the form of a fiery flame thirty Yojanas in height.
31. Leaving an opening of a Yojana retain your blazing body elsewhere. Having adopted the nature of a fiery flame protect the entire army”.
32. After saying this to the Nityā deity Jvālāmālinikā, Lalitā the goddess attempted to proceed to the northern region of the Mahendra.
33. That Nityā deity who had the eternal features of blazing fiery flames and who presided over the Caturdaśī (fourteenth) Lunar day said “So be it” and bowed down to her.
34. As directed by her alone before, the region of ground having the Mahendra mountain to its north (see verse 18) was encircled (by the Nityā deity who) blazed in the form of a fiery enclosure.
35-36. (The Nityā deity) had the features of a garland of fiery flames or the Ketakī flowers forming a circle in the sky.
By entering the enormously spacious enclosure, the army of Daṇḍanāthā, the army of Mantrināthā and the large army of other great Śaktis also became liberated from fatigue and shone well.
37-40. Daṇḍinī placed the leading chariot Rājacakraratha in the middle. She placed her own chariot on the left side. On the right side she placed the chariot of Śyāmalā. On the back she placed Sampadīśī and in the front Hayāsanā. After placing (different persons) all round Cakrarājaratha, she stationed at the entrance the deity named Stambhinī who appeared fierce with a blazing staff for her weapon and who was accompanied by twenty Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers. This deity of Daṇḍanāthā is well known as Vighnadevī also.
After arranging for the complete defence of the camp, when the sun had risen well up in the sky, the deity Potriṇī resorted to war once again.
41. Thereupon, making a great deal of tumultuous shout and uproar, the great army of Śaktis set out from the fiery enclosure through the opening.
42. On hearing that the interior of the camp of Lalitā had been well guarded thus, Bhaṇḍa, the ferocious Dānava, felt the fever of great indignation all over again.
43-45. He had consultation once again with Kuṭilākṣa and others, with Viṣaṅga and Viśukra as well as with his own sons. In order to carry on the battle in one extensive onslaught, that fierce Dānava Bhaṇḍa called his sons Caturbāhu and others who resembled the four oceans and who were efficient in all activities connected with war. Blazing with fierce fury, he sent them to the battle front.
46. His sons thirty in number, were mighty, with huge bodies. I shall mention their names, O Pot-born sage, listen.
4-7-50. They were Caturbāhu, Cakorākṣa, the third one Catuśśiras, Vajraghoṣa, Ūrdhvakeśa, Mahākāya (Mahāmāya in III. iv. 21. 13), Mahāhanu, Makhaśatru, Makhaskandī, Siṃhaghoṣa, Sirālaka, Laḍuna, Paṭṭasena, Purājit, Pūrvamāraka, Svargaśatru, Svargabala, Durgākhya (i.e. one named Durga), Svargakaṇṭaka, Atimāya, Bṛhanmāya and the powerful Upamāya.
These were the haughty evil-minded sons of Daitya, Bhaṇḍa. They had vigorous physical bodies and heroism on a par with their father.
51. After coming they devoutly saluted the feet of Bhaṇḍa. Glancing at them with delighted eyes, that Dānava the destroyer of his own family, spoke these words gravely.
52. “O! my sons, who can be equal to you on the Earth? It is with your help alone that the universe was formerly conquered by me.
54. You know (how to wield) all kinds of missiles and weapons. But, even when you all are wakeful and alert, this-deprivation has befallen our family.
55. A certain way-ward and naughty woman, who employs Māyā tactics and who is foolishly proud about (her capacity for) fighting and is accompanied by many women on a par with herself, is harassing us.
56. Therefore, you should certainly bring her under your control in the course of battle. She should be captured alive by you who are equipped with blazing weapons.
57. There is impropriety in sending you all against one woman despite the fact that you are blind with immeasurable fury. Still this is how fate works.
58. Please endure this one thing contrary to your heroism and glory”.
After saying thus, Bhaṇḍa, the leading Daitya, despatched them to the battlefield. In order to assist them he sent two hundred Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers too.
59. Being the Tilakas (the sacred mark on the forehead) on the face of (the lady in the form of) the army consisting of two hundred Akṣauhiṇīs, they (the sons of Bhaṇḍa) went out from their abode with arms in their hands and their brows well-knitted in anger and frown.
60. At the departure of the sons of Bhaṇḍa the earth quaked. There were many evil portentous phenomena. The universe became excessively frightened.
61. As the princes went along the streets in their vehicles, the elderly women of the city showered those princes of great strength with fried grains.
62. The bards and the panegyrists eulogised the princes. The ladies of the city performed the rite of ceremonious waving of lights as a mark of good wishes at every door.
63. When they set off, the earth appeared as though it was being split; it seemed as though the sky was being dragged and it looked as though the sea was being churned up and revolving.
64. Taking with them an army consisting of two hundred Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers, the sons of Bhaṇḍa set out from the city with faces rendered cruel on account of eyebrows raised in anger.
65-67. They boastingly said to one another—“In the course of the battle we shall devour the armies of Śaktis in a moment. With sharp arrows we shall reduce their weapons to powder. With our vehement violence and velocity, we shall suppress the enclosure of fiery rampart wall. We shall quickly arrest and capture that vainly proud and foolish Lalitā”. They swaggered thus to one another by loudly proclaiming heroic boasts. The sons of Bhaṇḍa thus approached the enclosure of fiery rampart.
68. Blinded by youthfulness and arrogance, with their power of vision all but restrained and with eyebrows lifted up crookedly, they made loud noise like the roar of a lion.
69. It seemed as if the whole cosmic egg was being split by it, because it had great impetuosity and the velocity of the terrible thundering of clouds at the time of world-dissolution.
70. The outcome of this loud sound that had not been experienced before excited and stirred up the ears and the minds of Śaktis.
71. After coming they made a great uproar through their soldiers and discharged different weapons that increased the splendour of aerial chariots.
72. On hearing that the sons of Daitya Bhaṇḍa the chief of whom was Caturbāhu had come for the purpose of fighting, Bālā (the daughter of Lalitā) showed interest in it.
73-77a. She was the daughter of Lalitā Devi. She always stayed near the goddess. She was worthy of being worshipped by all Śaktis. She was an adept in martial feats and exploits. Her form and features were like those of Lalitā. She was always like a nine year old girl yet she was a great mine of all lores. Her body was like the rising sun. Her creeper-like slender body was in complexion. She was perpetually present near the foot-rest of the great queen. She was at it were the vital breath of the goddess moving externally. She was her fourth eye. She became furious and thought thus: “I shall immediately kill those sons of Bhaṇḍa who have come here”. After making up her mind thus, Bālāmbā submitted to the great queen.
77b-80. “Mother, the sons of Bhaṇḍa, the great Daitya, have come to fight. I wish to fight with them. I am interested in this because I am a young girl. My arms throb with an itching sensation for war. This is my playful activity. It should not be curbed by your orders of prohibition. Indeed I am a girl loving toys and playful pastimes. By this play of fighting for a moment, I shall become delighted mentally.”
On being requested thus the goddess replied to Kumārikā.
81-83. “Dear child, your limbs are very tender and soft. You are only nine years old. This is your first step and performance. Your training in warfare is fresh and recent. You are my only daughter. Without you, my breathing activity does not go on even for a moment. You are my very vital breath. Do not go in for the great war. We have Daṇḍinī, Mantriṇī and crores of other Śaktis for fighting. Dear child, why do you commit this blunder?”
84-85. Although prevented thus by Śrī Lalitādevī, the girl was overcome by adolescent curiosity. She requested once again for permission to fight. On observing her stead-fast decision, Śrīlalitā, the mother, granted her permission after closely clasping her in her arms.
86. She took off one of her armours and gave it to her. From her weapons she gave her the requisite weapons and seat her off.
87. Kumārikā (the virgin goddess) got into the covered palanquin that had been extracted by the great queen from the staff of her bow and to which hundreds of swans were yoked for drawing.
88. When she (the girl) was set out for the battle, the deities stationed on all the steps bowed down to her with palms joined in reverence and held their swords erect.
89. Being saluted by them, she got down from the excellent chariot Cakrarājaratha and entered the army stationed at the bottom.
90. On seeing the girl red-faced in fury coming on, Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā were frightened. They said these words:
91-93. “Why, O princess, have you actively engaged yourself in battle? Why are you suddenly despatched to the war front by the great queen herself? When the soldiers are present and ready, this is not proper. Since you, O girl, are the personified life of Śrīdevī, recede from your enthusiastic participation in war. We are making obeisance to you”.
Though earnestly requested by them, she moved on steadfast in her decision.
94. Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāyikā were immensely surprised. They went along with her on either side in order to guard her.
95. Followed by both of them along with plenty of soldiers, Kumārikā went out through the opening in the fiery enclosure.
96. Seated in her covered palanquin, she accepted and acknowledged the series of palms joined in reverence by way of obeisance of the armies of Śaktis along with their leaders.
97-98. That virgin, the suppressor of enemies, rushed at the wicked sons of Bhaṇḍa. She had no private and local army. The entire army of Lalitā became her own army. Then commenced the war where haughtiness and feats of exploits were displayed.
99-100. The Virgin showered volleys of arrows on the leading Daityas. The fight that the daughter of the great queen fought with the sons of Asura Bhaṇḍa was a thing covetable to both Suras and Asuras. On seeing that nine year old girl discharging volleys of arrows seated within the palanquin, Daitya princes became surprised very much.
101. The female attendants moving up and down every moment informed the great queen about the magnificent fight carried on by the girl.
102. Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā remained there as silent onlookers but they never left her in the course of the battle.
103. Though the virgin had only one single physical form she appeared differently to each one of those sons of Daitya like a series of reflections of the sun.
104-107. Her face was red with anger like the red lotus. With fire-crested arrows she hit and pierced the vulnerable and vital parts of their bodies. Along with the different kinds of shouts of “Well done” of the heaven-dwellers who stood watching in the firmament, Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā too gave expression to their surprise. Being praised thus by these, the active and agile virgin went on fighting. By discharging miraculous missiles and counter missiles, she hit and injured all of them and exhibited her strength during the second day of the battle.
108. By discharging the Nārāyaṇa missile, the daughter of the great queen reduced the army consisting of two hundred Akṣauhiṇīs to ashes within a. trice.
109. By the destruction of the Akṣauhiṇīs within a short while, they became furious. Drawing their big bows fully, they rushed in a body with ease.
110. Thereupon, a tumultuous and chaotic sound rose from the midst of Śaktis and the heaven-ḍwellers. That virgin then discharged thirty arrows simultaneously.
111. The heads of all thirty sons of Bhaṇḍa were struck down by the thirty arrows with crescent-shaped tips, discharged by her with great dexterity.
112. When the sons of Bhaṇḍa attained the abode of the god of death thus, those celestials standing in the sky were surprised very much. They showered flowers.
113. That daughter of the great queen who had killed the armies of Asuras was very joyfully embraced by Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā.
114. With shouts of‘well done’ proclaiming her victory and increasing in their brilliance, due to her feats of exploits, the dancing Śaktis made uproarious sounds exciting the three worlds.
115-117. The leading generals of Śaktis with Daṇḍanāthā at the head of them all, went up in order to report that wonderful performance to the great queen.
On hearing about the praises of the excellent work of the arms of her daughter, submitted by them, goddess Lalitāmbikā derived great pleasure.
The entire troop of Śaktis became excessively surprised at her exploits never observed before among Devas.
Footnotes and references:
Eight names are omitted here (22.214.171.124) they are Andhaka, Sindhuṇetra, Kūpaka, Kūpilocana, Guhākṣa, Gaṇḍagalla (Gaṇḍavella), Caṇḍadharma, Yamāntaka.
This means it was after about nine or ten years after Lalitā’s marriage that she undertook the campaign against Bhaṇḍāsura. A sort of poetic balance is effected by matching the daughter of Lalitā against the sons of Bhaṇḍāsura in the battle.