Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

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

This page describes slaying of bhandasura which is Chapter 29 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 29 - Slaying of Bhaṇḍāsura

Agastya said:

1. O highly intelligent sage Hayagrīva, the strength of Mantriṇī has been described. The slaying of Viṣaṅga by Daṇḍanāthā in battle has been described.

2. I wish to hear about the exploits of Śrīdevī in the course of the battle. After seeing the mishap of his brother, what did Bhaṇḍa do, due to the grief thereof?

3. How far was he enthusiastic in fighting the battle? With whom did he fight? After his brothers and sons were killed who were his allies and followers?

Hayagrīva said:

4. Listen to this, O highly intelligent one. The narrative of Lalitā is destructive of all sins. It is holy and it yields qualities, (i.e. siddhis like) Aṇimā (minuteness) etc.

5. During the equinoctial periods as well as during the transits of the sun, on holy occasions and during the five Parvan[1] days, it bestows Siddhis and glory. It destroys all sins.

6. On hearing that there in the battle his brothers had been killed, Bhaṇḍa was overwhelmed with great grief. He began to lament loudly.

7. With his hairs dishevelled and scattered, he fell on the ground in a swoon. He did not get any consolation. He became emaciated due to the sorrow for his brother.

8. Again and again he went on lamenting. On being pacified repeatedly by Kutilākṣa, he got rid of his sorrow and became very furious.

9-11. His forehead appeared ruthlessly dreadful because the brows were vibrating. His eyes became red like glowing coal. He sighed and breathed like a hissing black serpent. He began to hold his sword again and again in his hand and shook it (threateningly). Suddenly he said to Kuṭilākṣa the chief of the entire army. Out of anger, he began to produce Huṃkāra sound. Like the cloud at the time of dissolution, he began to roar.

12-13. “My brothers and sons were killed in battle by that wicked woman with the help of Māyā, I shall put out the great fire of sorrow, for my brothers and sons with the liquid blood coming out of the throat of that wanton woman.

14-18. Go, O Kuṭilākṣa, get the army ready”.

After saying this he wore on his chest a huge and thick coat of mail capable of withstanding the impact of vajra. On his back he tied two quivers. He whirled the bow when the excessive twanging sound of the string was as hard as the deep breath. Furious like the fire at the destruction of the world, he rushed out of his city.

There were altogether forty excellent generals including Tālajaṅgha and others posted at the eastern gate who were four in number, who had held all kinds of weapons, who wore coats of mail and who were haughty; the thirty-five generals ṃcluded Kuṭilākṣa who was the lord of all armies and who was very furious and. lastly Bhaṇḍa himself.

19-20. Their weapons flashed. Their hairs shone brightly. With brilliant coats of mail, they marched out. There were two thousand Akṣauhiṇīs with eighty-five forming the latter half (Rearguard). This army followed Bhaṇḍa in order to suppress the enemy sportingly and collectively when Bhaṇḍāsura went out fully accompanied by his army, only women remained behind in the city of Śūnyaka.

21. The lord of Daityas who was a great chariot-fighter and haughty in war, mounted his excellent chariot called Ābhila to which a thousand lions were yoked.

22. He hastened with great lustre like the fire of world-destruction whose flames blazed. The name of his sword was Ghātaka. It had the same shape as the Candrahāsa sword.

23. When the armies moved here and there, dust columns were raised. Being unable to bear their burden, it appeared as though the earth went to the heaven.

24. Some of them who could not be contained on the earth moved ahead along the path of the sky. Some mighty warriors moved on riding on the shoulders of some.

25. Neither in the cordinal points nor on the sphere of the earth nor in the sky could they be contained. They moved on with very great difficulty as though they were addicted by the close contact of one another.

26. Since the pressure was very great, many of the soldiers were crushed and ground into powder by the wheels of chariots. Some were trampled beneath the feet of elephants as they fell on the ground.

27. A loud roar resembling the rumbling sound of the cloud was given out by him who was moving on along with all the soldiers.

28. The universe became torn asunder by that excessively harsh leonine roar coming out of the mouth of Bhaṇḍa, the Daitya.

29. The oceans became dried up. The moon and the sun fled. The stars fell down from the sky. The earth began to heave to and fro.

30. The elephants of the cardinal points became frightened. The heaven-dwellers swooned. -The camp of the Śaktis became excited on account of a sudden, and unexpected fear.

31. In the middle of the battle, Śaktis held their vital breaths with very great difficulty. They took up once again their weapons that had been dropped down with fear before.

32-33. The circular enclosure of fiery rampart that had been calmed down before rose up in flames once again. On account of the leonine roar of the leaḍṃg Daitya, the twanging sounds of the bows of army generals and the shrieks and sounds of warriors, universe became filled up with sound. Goddess Lalitā decidedly inferred that the Daitya Bhaṇḍa had stirred out and so she undertook to fight herself.

34. Considering that the great fight with the Daitya Bhaṇḍa, of vicious conduct, was not possible for the other Śaktis she herself took up the task.

35-38. Her gloriously splendid great chariot named Cakra-rājaratha moved ahead. The four Vedas were its four great wheels.[2] The four Puruṣārthas (the four aims in life i.e. Dharma (virtue), Artha (wealth), Kāma (love), and Mokṣa (liberation from saṃsāra) were its great horses. Bliss was the flag fitted to it. It had nine steps. The deities stationed on the nine steps kept their heavy bows ready drawn. They had more than a Parārdha (1 followed by 17 zeroes) of attendants. The chariot was defended from all directions by these who were stationed on all steps. It was ten Yojanas in height and the side of the base was four Yojanas. Thus the leading chariot Cakrarāja of the great queen shone remarkably as it moved on.

39-41. When it (cakra-rāja-ratha) moved ahead, the other chariots with Śyāmā and Daṇḍanāthā also moved on. The chariot Geyacakra went ahead and Kiricakra was in the rear. The vehicles of the other Śāktis were Parārdhas in number. They were man-lions, camels, donkeys, pythons, deer, birds, horses, elephants, Bheruṇḍas, Śarabhas, tigers, Vātamṛgas (swift antelopes) etc. and other animals also became her vehicles.

42. Śaktis who repeatedly endeavoured to kill Bhaṇḍa and his Asura followers were of multiformed nature. Although the opening of the circular fiery rampart extended to a Yojana in length, it was not sufficient for the outward march of the army.

43. Desirous of an easy exit for all the armies, the Nityā deity named Jvālāmālinikā enlarged the opening further.

44. Then the gloriously splendid mother of the worlds, the great queen of excessive valour and exploits, went out of the fiery city through the excellent opening.

45. The divine Dundubhis (wardrums) sounded. Showers of flowers fell down. The great royal umbrella set with pearls was seen shining brilliantly in the firmament.

46. Pleasingly clear omens indicating the glory of victory occurred in the army of Lalitā. Portentous ill-omens occurred in the army of enemies.

47-48. Thereupon, the battle between the two armies started. As the volleys of arrows spread everywhere, a dense darkness settled above them. As herds of elephants were being killed the drops of blood flowing from, them carried away the (severed) heads by which the white umbrellas of the Daityas were concealed.

49. Neither the quarters nor the sky, neither the mountains nor the earth, nothing was seen. Only the dust column was seen increasing in size.

50-54. As the two armies fought with eath other a river of blood flowed.[3] The dancing headless bodies appeared like the plants and trees on the banks, on either side. Thousands of tresses of the Daityas appeared like the tender shoots of Śaivāla (Moss). The circular white umbrellas shone like the white lotuses. The series of feet of elephants cut by the wheels of chariots or by discuses (of the heroes) appeared iike tortoises. The necks and cheeks of the great Daityas killed by Śaktis appeared like the rocky slabs. When the chowries fell down with their handles cut oíf, they appeared like the foam (in that river of blood). Broken swords of keen edges appeared like the dense thickets of creepers on the banks. The river of blood appeared to be sparkling with pearl caskets on account of the series of eyes of the Daitya heroes. Hundreds of vehicles of Daityas appeared like hundreds of fishes and crocodiles. Thus river of blood flowed.

55. On the fourth day of the battle, beginning in the morning and extending to two Praharas (six hours) the terrible battle between the two armies ensued causing fear even to the god of Death.

56-58. Thereafter a terrible battle ensued between Śrīlalitādevī and Bhaṇḍa. It caused a great deal of uproarious tumult in the different quarters due to the excitement of the discharge of missiles and counter missiles. It was extremely terrific on account of Huṃkāra-s (hissing sounds of defiance) of the soldiers and the twanging sounds of bow-strings as well as due to dreadful arrows which were taken out from quivers, discharged from excellent bows and which were capable of taking away lives.

On account of her dexterity the movements of her lotus-like hands while discharging the arrows were not at all perceived in detail. Listen, O Pot-born sage, listen, I shall describe everything that happened in the battle.

59. When one arrow was fitted to the bow and discharged it became ten when leaving the bow, hundred while moving through space, thousand while falling amidst the army of Daityas and when they came into contact with the bodies of Daityas they developed into crores.

60-61. By means of great arrows the great queen caused very dense darkness, pierced heaven and earth and pierced into the vital parts of the terrible Daityas.

With his eyes turned red on account of anger, Dānava Bhaṇḍa showered volleys of arrows on goddess Lalitā.

62. He discharged a great missile named Andhatāmisraka (the great darkness) [see notes on Astras used by Bhaṇḍa and Lalitā]. Māheśvarī dispelled it by the arrow named Mahātaraṇi (the great sun).

63. Bhaṇḍa the great hero discharged the missile Pākhaṇḍāstra (Heresy) in the course of battle. For dispelling it, the mother of the universe discharged the missile of Gāyatrī.

64. Bḥaṇḍa discharged the missile Andhāstra (Blindness) that was destructive of the vision of Śaktis. The mother subdued it by means of the great missile Cakṣuṣ-mattā (Endowment with eyes.)

65. In the course of great battle, Bhaṇḍa discharged the missile named Śaktināśa (Destruction of Śaktis. (The goodess) dispelled its pride by the missile of Viśvāvasu.

66. Bhaṇḍa, the extremely infuriated Dānava discharged the missile Antakāstra (with Antaka the god of death as the presiding deity). The goddess destroyed its power by tḥe missile of Mahāmṛtyuñjaya (with lord Śiva the conqueror of the god of death as the presiding lord)

67. Bhaṇḍa discharged the missile named Sarvāstrasmṛtināśa. (Destruction of the memory of all missiles). Cakreśī destroyed its power by means of the missile Dhāraṇā (Retention in memory).

68. Bhaṇḍa discharged the missile of Bhaya (fear) that made all Śaktis afraid. Jagadambikā (the mother of the worlds) discharged the missile of Indra that bestowed freedom from fear.

69. The Dānava discharged the missile of Mahārogas (great diseases) among the armies of Śaktis. Thereupon pulmonary consumption and thousands of other diseases began to ravage.

70. In order to achieve their eradication and prevention, Lalitā, the great goddess, discharged the great missile of the great Mantra of the three names (of Lord Viṣṇu).

71. Acyuta, Ananta and Govinda rose up from the missile. By their Huṃkāra alone they burned those diseases and gave (relief and) delight, (to the Śaktis).

72. They bowed down to Maheśānī. They were employed (by her) to suppress sickness of her devotees in all the three worlds. They went to their own region.

73. Bhaṇḍa, the Dānava, discharged the missile Āyurnāśana (Destructive of longevity). The queen discharged the missile in the form of Kālasaṅkarṣaṇī (Death controlling).

74-79. Bhaṇḍa, the Dānava, discharged the dreadfully powerful missile of Mahāsurāstra. Thereupon, thousands of (Asuras) very powerful with huge bodies rose up from the missile; such as:—Madhu, Kaiṭabha, Mahiṣa, Dhūmralocana, the Asuras beginning with Caṇḍa, Muṇḍa, Cikṣura, Cāmara, Raktabīja, Śumbha, Niśumbha, the Kālakeyas of great strength, others too such Asuras named Dhūmra etc. rose from the missile with their hard and powerful weapons, all those excellent Dānavas smashed and crushed the army of Śaktis. They shrieked and howled dreadfully.

Śaktis, crushed and crumbled by the Daityas, cried aloud “Hā, Hā” (Alas), and sought refuge in Lalitā immediately saying “protect us”. Thereupon, Devī became furious. In her fury, she burst into a boisterous laughter of challenge.

80. Thereupon arose a glorious deity named Durgā. She had a cosmic form evolved by the refulgence of all Devas.

81-84. She wielded and wore the following weapons and ornaments viz. the trident given by Śūlin (Lord Śiva), the discus given by Cakrin (Lord Viṣṇu), the conch given by Varuṇa, Śakti (Javelin) given by the Firegod, the bow and the pair of inexhaustible quivers given by Maruts in the course of the great war, the thunderbolt given by Indra, a goblet given by Dhanada (Kubera), the great staff Kāladaṇḍa, the noose given by Pāśadhara (Varuṇa), a waterpot given by Brahmā, a bell given by Airāvata, the sword and the shield given by Mṛtyu, the necklace given by the ocean and the ornaments given by Viśvakarman.

85-86. With her gloriously splendid limbs having ray as brilliant and sparkling as a row of thousand-rayed suns she made all weapons gleam and glitter.

She appeared splendid with other equipments and accoutrements given by others. Thus riding on her vehicle lion, Nārāyaṇī (goddess Durgā) carried on war.

87-88. Dānavas such as Mahiṣa and others were struck down by her. She carried on war in the same way as formerly as explained in Caṇḍikāsaptaśatī[4], dispelling the haughtiness of Mahiṣa and others. After completing that difficult task she bowed down before Lalitā.

89. The wicked Dānava discharged the missile Mūkāstra (that of dumbness) among the armies of Śaktis. The mother of the universe discharged the missile named Mahāvāgvādinī (the great and eloquent one).

90.[see notes on Astras used by Bhaṇḍa and Lalitā] In the course of battle the haughty and ferocious Dānava Bḥaṇḍa (discharged missiles and) created base Asuras who stole away the Vedas, the fund of lores.

91-92. Those (Asuras) were turned away by the great queen, by the nail of thumb of her right hand.

Bḥaṇḍa, the extremely ḥeroic Daitya, discharged Arṇavāstra (missile of ocean) in the course of the battle. Thereat the army of Śaktis sank down in a flood of uncontrollable waters. Then the primordial tortoise extending to a Yojana in length was born from the nail of the index finger of the right hand of Śrī-Lalitādevī.

93. The Śaktis who were supported by him by means of that huge skull-like shell of large area became delighted. They discarded their fear of the Sāgara (sea) missile.

Then by discharging the Nārāyaṇa, Pāśupata and Mahākāmeśvara missiles, the great goddess killed all the soldiers of Bhaṇḍa, his 40 Generals, and finally the Asura Bhaṇḍa himself.

94. The lord then quaffed the entire quantity of water in. the ocean.

Then the wicked Dānava discharged the great missile of Hiraṇyākṣa.

95-96. From it thousands of Hiraṇyākṣas were born with clubs as their weapons. On being hurt and killed by them, the armies of the Śaktis became agitated due to great fright in the course of war. They became scattered here and there. Thereupon, a huge white Boar rose up from the nail of the middle finger of the right hand of Śrī Lalitā. It was like the Kailāsa mountain.

97. Crores and crores of those Hiraṇyākṣas were utterly annihilated when they were smashed and crushed as well as torn asunder by that snouted Boar as hard as adamant.

98-100. Thereupon, Bhaṇḍa knitted his eyebrows due to great anger. Hiraṇyas (Hiraṇyakaśipus) crores in number were born from his eyebrows. They were as brilliant as the blazing sun. Their weapons too were refulgent and brilliant. They smashed and crushed the army of Śaktis as well as Prahlāda who was as it were the greatest Bliss of the Śaktis. It was he who became a boy. He was afflicted by Hiraṇya and so sought refuge in Lalitā. The queen became merciful towards him.

101-104. Then in order to protect Prahlāda who was in the form of Bliss of Śaktis, the great goddess shook the tip of the ring finger of her right hand. From it arose Janārdana with the face of a lion and the body of a man beneath the neck. He shook the thick cluster of manes. His three eyes shone. Claws were his weapons. He had the forms of Kāla and Rudra. He made shouts of dreadful boisterous laughs. He had thousand staff-like hands. He was ready to obey the commands of Lalitā. Within a moment, by means of his claws as hard as thunderbolt, he tore up all the Hiraṇyakaśipus who originated from the eyebrows of Bhaṇḍa.

105. Bhaṇḍa, the great Asura, then discharged against the goddess Lalitā the extremely dreadful missile Balīndra that was destructive of all deities.

106. For destroying the pride of that missile, hundreds of Vāmanas came out from the highly powerful tip of the small finger of the right hand of the great queen.

107-108. They increased in size every moment. They were very mighty with nooses in their hands. They were born of the tip of small finger of the right hand of the wife of Kāmeśa. (i.e. Lalitā). They were highly enthusiastic and they had huge bodies. They tied with nooses all the Balīndras born of that missile. Thus they destroyed that missile too.

109. In the course of battle, Bhaṇḍa, the Daitya, discharged Haihaya missile. From that were born thousands and crores of Arjunas with thousand hands.

110-111. Arising from the nail of the thumb of the left hand of Śrī Lalitā and blazing with anger, Rāma of Bhṛgu family made the roaring sound of a lion. He tore up these fellows by the sharp edge of his axe. Within a moment he destroyed these Arjunas numbering thousands.

112-113. Thereupon, the infuriated Daitya Bhaṇḍa made a hissing huṃkāra sound out of anger. From that Huṃkāra rose (Rāvaṇa) with his sword Candrahāsa. He was surrounded by Rākṣasa-armies numbering a thousand Akṣauhiṇīs. Taking his younger brother Kumbhakarṇa and his son Meghanāda with him, he smashed the army of Śaktis to a large extent.

114-116. Thereupon, from the nail of the index finger of the left hand of Śrī Lalitā was born Kodaṇḍarāma accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa. Matted hair constituted his crown. On his back he had tied up his quiver by means of creepers. He was dark in complexion like the blue lotus. He repeatedly made the twanging sound from his bow.

By means of divine missiles, he destroyed the Rākṣasa army in a moment. He crushed Paulastya (i.e. Rāvaṇa) and his brother Kumbhakarṇa. Lakṣmaṇa killed Maghanāda the great hero.

117-118. Dānava Bhaṇḍa, then discharged the extremely terrible missile of Dvivida. From it were born many monkeys with reddish-brown eyes. On account of anger their faces became extremely copper-coloured. Every one of them was on a par with Hanumān. They destroyed the army of Śāktis. They produced harsh and cruel Kreṃkāras (shrill sounds).

119-120. Then from the nail of the middle finger of the left hand of Śrī Lalitā issued forth Tālāṅka with eyes red like mid-day, his middle eye red due to anger. He had tied a blue garment on his body. He was as pure as the Kailāsa mountain. He destroyed all those monkeys born of Dvivida missile.

121-125. The mighty demon discharged the great missile named Rājāsura. From that missile many demoniac kings came out such as Śiśupāla, Dantavaktra, Śālva, the king of Kāśi Pauṇḍraka Vāsudeva, Rukmī, Ḍimbhaka, Haṃsaka, Śaṃbara, Pralamba, Asura, Bāṇa Kaṃsa, the wrestler Cāṇūra, Muṣṭika, Utpalaśekhara, Ariṣṭa, Dhenuka Keśī, Kāliya, the twin-Arjunas (Terminalia Arjuna) Pūtanā, Śakaṭa (cart), Tṛṇāvarta and other Asuras, the great hero named Naraka, the Asura Murā who had the form of Viṣṇu etc. Many of them rose up along with these armies with weapons in their arms.

126-129. In order to destroy all of them the eternal lord (Viṣṇu) originated from the ring finger of the lotus-like left hand of Śrīdevī. He made a Caturvyūha (group of four deities). They became four distinct Beings viz.: Vāsudeva, Saṃkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. All of them had weapons lifted up. They destroyed all those great Asuras who were in the guise of kings of evil conduct. They had been functioning like a burden on the Earth.

130. When they were destroyed, Asura Bhaṇḍa became highly furious. He discharged the dreadful Kali missile that caused violation and transgression of virtue.

131-132. Thereupon, from the Kali missile were born kings Āndhras and Puṇḍras, Kirātas, Śabaras, Hūṇas and Yavanas who had sinful activities. They were the transgressors of Vedic injunctions. They were inimical to virtuous activities. They killed living beings. They upset the disciplines of four castes and stages of life and brought about mixture of castes. They had dirty limbs. They smashed and tortured the armies of Lalitā and Śaktis again and again.

133. Thereupon, Janārdana named Kalki was born of the nail of small finger of sparkling lotus-like left hand of Śrī Lalitā.

134-136. He was riding on a horse. His glory was bright and brilliant. He made an Aṭṭahāsa (boisterous laugh of challenging) by his sound resembling the blow of thunderbolt, the Kirātas swooned and died, Śaktis were delighted. The leaders of ten Avatāras (Incarnations) completed this difficult task, bowed down to Lalitā and stood by with palms joined in reverence. They had been engaged by mother Lalitā to defend virtue and piety in every Kalpa through the births of Fish etc. They then started for Vaikuṇṭha.

137. When all the miraculous missiles were thus destroyed, the evil-minded (Asuras) discharged the missile of Mahāmoha (great delusion and fainting). The Śaktis. swooned on account of that.

138. By discharging the Śāmbhava missile (that of Lord Śiva) the mother split up the Mahāmoha missile. As the great battle took place thus with the continuous flow of missiles and counter missiles the sun, the lord of rays was about to reach the western mountain (the mountain of setting).

139. Then by means of Nārāyaṇa missile the goddess Lalitāmbikā reduced all Akṣauhiṇīs to ashes, in the course of the battle.

140. Then by the Pāśupata missile which had the lustre of the enkindled fire of Destruction of the world the great queen smashed and crushed forty generals.

141-142. The only one left out was the great Asura Bhaṇḍa. All the kinsmen of the wicked fellow had already beed killed. He blazed with fury. He was a great demon of much inherent strength and fierce valour. He had caused a great havoc in the entire universe.

The mother Lalitā, the great goddess killed him by means of Mahākāmeśara missile that had the splendour of a thousand suns.

143-144. His city Śūnyaka was over-run by the flames of that missile. Suddenly it was completely burned down along with women and children, cowpens, riches and granaries. Only the bare ground remained. Due to destruction of Bhaṇḍa the three worlds danced with delight.

145. After carrying out this task of the Devas, Kāmeśvarī whose conduct was never blame-worthy, who was the ornamental glory of the chariot Śrīcakrarājaratha, who was the mother of the three worlds, who was equipped with all shining assets and who was endowed with the glory of victory, shone brilliantly.

146. All her soldiers had been subjected to fatigue on account of their work in the battle-field (viz. fighting). They had been burned by the fire of powerful arrows of Bhaṇḍa, the Asura. When the sun set, Śrī Devatā whose prowess was well-renowned brought them to her camp.

147. O leading ascetic, if anyone reads even once (the narrative) of the slaying of Bhaṇḍa, the Dānava, carried out thus by Lalitāmbā, all his sorrows will be destroyed. He will be master of all eight Siddhis. Both worldly enjoyment and salvation are within his reach.

148. Those men who read this narrative on holy days will attain flourishing excellent fortune. This narrative of Lalitā’s valour is destructive of all sins. It is sacred and conducive to the attainment of all Siddhis.

Footnotes and references:


viz.: the 8th and 14th Tithi per fortnight. The Full moon and the new moon days. And the sun’s passage from one rāśī (sign of zodiac) to another.


As observed in Note 1 on Ch. 19, the chariot of Lalitā symbolizes Vedic religion; the Vedas, Puruṣārthas etc. are parts of her chariot.


It is a good picture of the battlefield—occurring in details in the War-Parvans of the Mbh. and repeated elsewhere in this text also.


The work is popularly known as Saptaśatī. It is, however, not mentioned before in this Purāṇa though the author states: “as formerly explained”.

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