Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes vishukra and vishanga slain which is Chapter 28 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 28 - Viśukra and Viṣaṅga slain

Hayagrīva said.:

1. On hearing that his brother, the great Daitya, had been vanquished in the battle, and that his army was slaughtered, Bhaṇḍa, the Daitya, became extremely distressed with great anxiety.

2. Bhaṇḍa, the Daitya, sent both of his brothers together to the battle along with all the soldiers.

3. The two Daityas, Viṣaṅga and Viśukra became excessively angry and directed by Bhaṇḍa, the Daitya, they strained themselves to the utmost.

4. An army that shook the three worlds followed Viśukra, the crown prince of great strength, accompanied by h is younger brother.

5. The crown prince surrounded by four hundred Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers increased in great vigour.

6-8. Ten haughty nephews beginning with Ulūkajit, born of Dhūminī, the sister of Bhaṇḍa, swaggered on account of their valour. They had been trained in the use of weapons by Bhaṇḍa, their great uncle. As generals, they started on making ten directions reverberate on account of loud twanging sounds of their bows. These nephews increased the pleasure of both the maternal uncles (on account of these activities).

9. They had their several vehicles which they got in full of pride. They kept their weighty bows ready drawn and followed Viśukra.

10. Viśukra reached the battle-field riding on his elephant. He was fully rendered splendid with the umbrella and chowries that constituted the symbol of glory of the status of being the Grown Prince.

11. Thereupon, surrounded by the army making an uproarious tumultuous sounds, Viśukra roared terrifically like a lion.

12. Śaktis were excited within their hearts on account of their agitation. Proudly and excitedly, they went out of enclosure of fiery rampart-wall in rows.

13. By their physical splendour, they appeared to make the sky full of lightning streaks. The circle of firmament was rendered enveloped with red lotuses, as they lifted up their faces eager to carry on battle.

14-18a. Then the younger brothers of Bhaṇḍa, very, ferocious in fighting, had come (to the battle-field). Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāyikā came to fight, seated in their excellent chariots Kiricakra as well as Jñeyacakra (Geyacakra) the crest-jewel of all chariots. They came there simultaneously with the circular (royal umbrella held aloft and being fanned by chowries. Their great victory was being sung by. the dancing celestial damsels. They set out to carry on war. At the bidding of Lalitā, an army of a hundred Akṣauhiṇīs had been placed by both of them for the purpose of protecting the glorious Cakraratharāja. Excepting this army, the entire-remaining divisions of the army set out eagerly for the battle.

18b-20a. Seated in her chariot, Daṇḍanāthā went ahead. With only a single finger of one hand, she was whirling her weapons of ploughshare and with the other hand she was brandishing the pestle frequently. Her lotus-like face resembling the snout of a boar, shone with the sparkling digit of the moon as its crest-jewel. In the battle, she was (genuinely) proud of her exploits. She was striking the enemy from the front.

20b-25. (Mantriṇī) seated in the chariot Geyacakra followed her. Highly proud as she was, she filled the universe with the sound of her bow. Her tresses were braided and the moon shone like a tender blossom placed within it. Three eyes (‘The third eye’ in N.) shone (in her forehead) with the lustre of a sacred mark of saffron. Her hands resembling lotus were made more beautiful with bangles studded with jewels. She was whirling an arrow drawn from the quiver. Dancing celestial sages were excited with great delight. They felicitated her with nectarine words of blessings like “Be victorious. Be exalted”. By means of the (creaking) sounds produced by friction of the rims of wheels of the leading chariot Geyacakra, she tore up (as it were) the surface of the Earth along with the hearts of Daityas.

By means of musical compositions that surpassed every thing else in the world and that enchanted the minds of the entire universe, many celestial ladies sang her glory,

26. Eight thousand Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers, haughty of their ability to wage war, led by her, resembled the limitless ocean at the close of a Kalpa.

27. Among the multitudes of troops of her Śaktis, some had the refulgence of gold, some resembled the pomegranate flowers and some had the lustre of clouds.

28. Others were saffron-complexioned. A few were pink-coloured like the Pāṭalā (Trumpet) flowers; some had robes (shining) like the crystal mountain and some were pleasingly tender and beautiful though dark in colour.

29-3la. Others had the lustre of diamonds; some others were comparable to emeralds. Some displayed their bodily lustre wielding different kinds of weapons including the five arrows (of cupid) opposed to one another and mingled with hundred-edged thunderbolts.

Thus innumerable Śaktis moved on.

31b-33. O Pot-born sage, warlike preparations and equipments of Mantriṇī were similar to those of Daṇḍanāthā.

Many things in Daṇḍinī were of the same nature as in the great queen, such as ornaments, dress etc., the characteristics of prowess and influence, possession of good qualities, according of protection to those who seek refuge, ability to kill Daityas, worthy of being worshipped by all and other powers. One thing specially to be mentioned in the case of Daṇḍinī was the signet ring of order held in her hand as a symbol of ministership granted by the great queen.

34. When the armies of Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā moved on. thus, the earth reached a breaking point due to their burden and it heaved like a swing.

35. Thereupon, a chaotic and uproarious battle ensued. It caused horripilation. The waters of the seven oceans turned into a slushy moss by the dust particles that rose up.

36. The cavalry fought with those on horse-back. Those riding in the chariots fought with those stationed in chariots. The elephant-riders fought with those who rode on elephants. The infantry fought with swords.

37. In the course of the battle Daṇḍanāthā fought with Viṣaṅga. Drawing her jewel-studded bow, Śyāmā fought with Viśukra.

38. Aśvārūḍhā (Deity seated on a horse) powerfully fought with Ulūkajit. With a great desire for fighting, Sampadīśā came into clash with the Demon Puruṣeṇa.

39. The deity Nakulī challenged and came into a clash with Kuntiṣeṇa.

40. Unmattabhairavī fought with Malada. Laghuśyāmā fought with Kuśūra.

41. Svapneśī waged war with the leading Daitya named Maṅgala. Vāgvādinī clashed with Draghaṇa in the battle.

42. Caṇḍakālī fought with the wicked Kolāṭa. The hundred Akṣauhiṇīs of deities fought with the Akṣauhiṇīs of the Daityas. Highly furious both the armies fought a great battle mutually.

43-44. As the fight went on, Viśukra, the wicked Dānava, observed the army of Śaktis increasing in power and his own army decreasing in power. Overwhelmed with great indignation, he drew his heavy bow and discharged Tṛṣāstra[1] (the missile of thirst) over the army of Śaktis.

45. The whole army was afflicted by that (missile) as brilliant as the flames of a forest-fire.

On the third day of the battle, when only a Yāma (about three hours) had passed since sun-rise, Śaktis became afflicted and over-powered by the Tṛṣāstra (missile of thirst) discharged by Viśukra.

46-47. An acute fever of thirst raged amidst Śaktis. It stirred up and agitated the sense organs. It made the root of the palate parched. It rendered the ear cavities rough and arid. It caused feebleness and fatigue all over the body. It caused their bodies fall flat on the ground with the weapons dropping off one by one.

48. The army of Śaktis was excessively afflicted by a thirst that made them inactive in the battles and destroyed their enthusiasm. On seeing this, Mantriṇī and Potriṇī became extremely anxious.

49-52. Seated in her chariot (Mantriṇī said to Daṇḍanāthā who was also seated in her chariot and who was suspicious and afraid of great calamity. She wanted her to find a remedy for the same. She said “Dear friend Potriṇī, this missile of thirst of the wicked fellow weakens and impairs our army. Alas! the adverse activity of fate! The battle has been abandoned by the troops of Śaktis, the roots of whose palates have been parched up, whose refulgence has been dispelled and whose weapons have been dropped down. None of them is fighting nor even holding the weapon. Dear friend, they are incapable of even speaking since the (roots of their) palates have been dried up. What will Maheśvarī say on hearing about this miserable plight of ours. Injurious disservice has been done by the Daityas. Let the remedy be thought of.

53. Among the sixteen thousand Akṣauhiṇīs, dear Potriṇī, there is not even a single Śakti who is not afflicted by thirst.

54. On seeing this opportunity when the army has cast off its weapons, the Dānavas, ever eager to strike at weak and vulnerable points, are alas! striking and killing by means of arrows.

55-56. In this matter some means of activising them in. war must be devised by you and me. There is an ocean of cold water in one of the steps of your chariot. Command him to dispel the thirst of all Śaktis. The thirst of these cannot be quenched by means of small quantities of water or other beverages.

57. That Madirāsindhu (ocean of liquor) alone will satisfy the troops of Śaktis. Command that noble-souled one who is capable of encouraging them to fight, who can dispel their entire thirst and who can enhance their great strength.”

58. When this was advised, Daṇḍanāthā was delighted by the suggestion of a good means. The deity called Surasindhu (ocean of liquor) commanded him thus on the battle field.

59-63. The golden-coloured ocean of liquor was languid with intoxication and with reddened eyes. He was adorned with garlands. He saluted Daṇḍanāthā and stood ready to carry out her behests. He divided himself into various units of various colours. Some were of pale red hue like the youthful (i.e. midday) sun. Some were dark-coloured like Tāpiccha (Indian cinnamon), Some were white in colour. The king of oceans split into many units by the wind, showered crores- of sweet currents (of liquor) as thick as trunks of elephants. The ocean fell in the midst of the army of Śaktis, being poured down by the Balāhaka clouds at the close of a Kalpa, beginning with Puṣkarāvartaka.

64. The ocean of liquor showered those (beverages), by the mere fragrance of which even the dead man might rise up perfectly well and the weak ones would become very strong.

65. Quaffing those series of liquor torrents surpassing Parārdha (1 followed by 17 zeroes) in number, by means of their mouths distressed by thirst, Śaktis rose up.

66-67. By means of volleys of thousands of arrows deterously discharged, Kadambavanavāsinī (Resident of Kadamba Forest), the deity of wonderfully miraculous performances built a great rampart wall all round the army (of Śaktis) lest the shower of liquor should fall amidst Daityas.

68-70. By this action all Devas became surprised. In the midst of the battle Śaktis drank plenty of liquor of various kinds capable of increasing strength and enthusiasm. They drank it as they pleased selecting the liquor of particular taste they liked. On the third day of the battle, till the end of the second Prahara (i.e. till midday) (or, for a period of two Praharas i.e. for six hours) the ocean of liquor showered torrents of liquor continuously.[2]

71-76. The oceans of liquors showered torrents of liquors of various kinds[3], such as Gauḍī (spirit distilled from molasses), Paiṣṭī (spirit distilled from meal), Mādhvī (liquor made from honey), the excellent Kādambarī (spirit distilled from Kadamba flowers (Nauclea cadamba), Haintālī (spirit from the palm of the variety, Hintāla, Elate paludosa), Lāṅgaleya (spirit from the palm of the variety Lāṅgala (Mithonia superba) many varieties of palm-made spirits, divine liquors made from the Kalpa tree. Liquors coming from various countries, liquors with good taste, fragrance, liquors with pleasant odour, liquors rendered sweet smelling by means of Bakula flowers (Mimusops elengi), liquors sparkling with foams and bubbles, liquors made pleasing by means of Bakula flowers (Mimusops elengi), liquors sparkling with foams and bubbles, liquors with a pleasing sound when the foams rise, liquors with all types of tastes such as Kaṭuka (pungent), Kaṣāya (astringent), Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter), Īṣadāmla (slightly sour), Kaṭvāmla (pungent and sour), Madhurāmla (sweet and sour), liquors with diverse colours, liquors of slimy nature, Chedinīs (? those that pierce and tear); liquors dispelling the pain of wounds of weapons, liquors that bring about union in a broken bone, cool liquors that dispel vertigo and giddiness while fighting. Liquors light and lukewarm and different varieties of liquors that dispel distress and bestow victory. The Madirārṇava (ocean of liquor) showered different kinds of liquors in torrents.

77. Each one of the Yoginīs (i.e. Śaktis) joyously drank the torrent of liquor as big as the trunk of Airāvata elephant uninterruptedly for the period of one full Yāma (3 hours).

78. Śaktis went on drinking liquor joyously with their eyes closed. Their faces were supine and moving to and fro with lolling tongues.

79. After propitiating them by means of torrents of liquors of various kinds in this manner, the ocean of liquor assumed a divine form and came there.

80. He approached Daṇḍanāthā and after bowing to her spoke these words in a pleasant and majestic tone.

81. “Look, O great queen, O deity, the leader of Daṇḍamaṇḍalā (Multitudes of troops), the army of Śaktis that had been stupefied before had been revived and gladdened by me.

82. Some of them are dancing and singing with their girdles and waistbands tinkling sweetly. Some of them are clapping their hands in front of those who dance.

83. Some are laughing (boisterously) with their beautiful breasts shaking and bouncing. A few of them lean on one another’s bodies with the laziness and slackness due to delight.

84. Some begin to swagger as girdles and garments begin to slip down from their hips. Some have got up ready for fighting but without any weapon. They simply shake and shiver”.

85. On seeing Śaktis thus pointed out by the ocean of liquor, Daṇḍinī was extremely satisfied and she said to him.

86. “I am gratified, O ocean of liquor. A good help and assistance has been rendered by you. This is a work on behalf of the Devas. It has been achieved without any hindrance.

87. Due to my favour henceforth, in the age of Dvāpara you will be extremely worthy of being used by Yājñikas (priests who perform sacrifices) in their sacrifices like the drinking of soma.[4]

88-89. All the deities will drink you after you have been sanctified by means of Mantras in the course of sacrifice. After drinking you, purified by the Mantras, let the people attain Siddhi (spiritual achievement), Ṛddhi (prosperity), strength, heavenly bliss and salvation. All these great people will drink you—viz.: Maheśvarī, Mahādeva, Baladeva, Bhārgava, Dattātreya, Vidhi and Viṣṇu.

90-93. On being worshipped in the course of Yāga, you will bestow all kinds of Siddhis.”

After gratifying the ocean of liquor by granting boons thus Daṇḍinī urged Mantriṇī for fighting once again and asked her to hasten it.

Again the fight between Śaktis and Dānavas was resumed. The loud and boisterous laughter of joy pierced the eight cardinal points and mountains. Intoxicated due to the fresh wine and with their eyes rendered red, Śaktis fell upon the troops of Daityas in a body and sportively.

94. Śaktis had the refulgence of beaming pride. Two things connected with them shone on account of two other things—the eyes sparkled on account of redness due to inebriation and the weapons due to the blood of Daityas.

95. The war between Śaktis and demons was so tumultuous that it was as if the god of death himself began to annihilate the subjects undaunted.

96-97. Due to inebriation, Śaktis were stumbling in their steps. Their eyes had become reddened. They were uttering heroic words though the syllables faltered now and then. They were proud of their ability to wage war. All their limbs and eyes became delighted with hairs standing on their ends like the buds in the Kadamba plant (Nauclea candamba) that appear simultaneously. These Śaktis annihilated the armies of the crown Prince.

98. Daṇḍinī shattered a hundred Akṣauhiṇīs; Mantriṇī annihilated a hundred and fifty Akṣauhiṇīs.

99. Aśvārūḍhā and others with their eyes red due to inebriation (collectively) led a hundred and fifty Akṣauhiṇīs to the mansion of god of Death.

100. In the course of the battle, the deity Turagārohiṇī smashed and shattered Ulūkajit with the excessively sharp goad and made him a guest in the other world (i.e. killed him).

101. Sampatkarī and others, generals of the divisions of the army of Śaktis, checked and restrained others the chief of whom was Puruṣeṇa (?) and ultimately tore them up.

102. When the sun set, the entire army had been killed. Thereupon, Śyāmalā became excessively angry and fought with Viśukra.

103. By discharging missiles and counter missiles Mantriṇí displayed a great deal of war-like activity dreadful even to the heaven-dwellers and continued the war.

104-106a. One by one she cut off and split the keen and sharp weapons of Viśukra of great prowess. She cut his flagstaff, charioteer, bowstring, the staff of the bow etc. by means of arrows. With the miraculous missile named Brahmaśiras that had the brilliance and splendour of the sparkling fire she shattered Viśukra. He fell down with his body ground to powder.

106b-I07. Daṇḍanāthā who was extremely proud of her ability fought with Viṣaṅga, the great Daitya. She hit him with a dreadful iron club. That wicked Dānava raised with his hand a mace resembling the staff of Kāla and fought an extremely dreadful battle.

108-110. Engaged in fighting with maces, they shattered each other’s limbs. Their dreadful and boisterous laughter reverberated (in the battle-field). They went round and round (everywhere). They displayed different kinds of strategic movements. They heaved from side to side. They encircled each other quickly. By striking each other by means of batons and rods, they stupefied each other frequently. Both of them were equally proud and keenly observed the weak and vulnerable points in attacking each other. Their garments were stirred up when the great iron club and the tip of the rod came into a clash. Thus both of them equally unassailable fought with one another.

111. She fought with him till mid-night. Daṇḍanāyikā who became very furious began to strike at Viṣaṅga.

112. She dragged her enemy with the ploughshare that pierced and went deep into his head. Potriṇī struck a hard blow with her iron club.

113. On account of the blow from the iron club, the great Asura had to abandon his vital airs. With his body shattered into a hundred pieces he fell on the ground.

114. After completing the great task thus, Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāyikā spent the remaining part of the night there itself in the direction of the camp.

Footnotes and references:


The author’s ingenuity in converting vices, virtues, physical and mental handicaps into Astras “missiles” appears now and then. It reached its climax in Bhaṇḍāsura’s fight with Lalitā, Infra ch. 29. Here this Astra is capable of making the whole army thirsty. Its effect is described in VV.45-53.


The battle seems to have come to a standstill for sometime while Śaktis were drinking wine. The period is recorded in V. 70 and 77 and effects of drinking in VV. 82-84, 96-97.


Varieties of wine in ancient India.


Soma-juice is equated with wine and the use of Soma in sacrifices is attributed to the wine-ocean’s provision of wine to Śaktis in this battle vide VV. 87-89.

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