by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246
This page describes astras used by bhanda and lalita 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.
[Note: this page is extracted from a footnote at chapter 29]
As stated elsewhere this battle symbolizes the struggle between good and evil forces. The missiles also signify evil forces used by Bhaṇḍa and good forces countered by Lalitā. I give below the list of so-called Astras discharged by Bhaṇḍa and destroyed by Lalitā with a counter (good) force.
Astras used by Bhaṇḍa and Lalitā
|1. Andha-Tāmisraka (great darkness)||Mahātaraṇi (the great sun)|
|2. Pākhaṇḍa (Heresy)||Gāyatrī|
|3. Andhāstra (Blindness)||Cakṣuṣmattā (Possession of eye-sight)|
|4. Śaktināśa (Destruction of Śaktis)||Viśvāvasu|
|5. Antaka (god of Death)||Mahā-Mṛtyuñjaya (Lord Śiva, conquerer of death)|
|6. Sarvāstra-smṛtināśa (Destruction of memory of Astras)||Dhāraṇā (Retention of memory)|
|7. Bhaya (Fear)||Indrāstra|
|8. Mahārogas (great diseases)||Vaiṣṇava (created Acyuta, Ananta and Govinda—burnt disease by Huṃkāra|
|9. Āyur-nāśana (Destructive of Longevity)||Kāla-saṃkarṣin (Death-controller)|
|10. Mahāsurāstra (creating great Asuras) like Madhu, Kaiṭabha etc.||Durgā (Demon-killing goddess) with her original weapons.|
|11. Mūkāstra (causing dumbness)||Mahāvāgvādinī (The highly eloquent one)|
From V. 90 onwards Bhaṇḍa used an Astra for counteracting which God Viṣṇu had to incarnate. Here the Nine Avatāras of Viṣṇu as we know them today are given and not the ones in the body of the Bd. P. (such as Dattātreya etc).
One more point about the Avatāras of Viṣṇu is that they arise from the nails of the fingers of Lalītā indicating the greatness of Lalitā as compared with Viṣṇu.
|Bhaṇḍa (uses the opponent for whom Viṣṇu incarnated)||Lalitā (Incarnation of Viṣṇu)|
|1. Veda-stealing demon||The fish-incarnation is implied out of the nail of right hand thumb.|
|2. Arṇavāstra||Tortoise-incarnation supported Śaktis on its back|
|3. Hiraṇyākṣa||Divine Boar (Varāha) He killed Hiraṇyākṣa|
|4. Hiraṇyakaśipu||Man-Lion (Tore to pieces Hiraṇyakaśipu)|
|5. Balīndra (Bali)||Vāmana|
|7. Paulastya (Rāvaṇa)||Kodaṇḍa Rāma, son of Daśaratha|
|8. Rājāsura (A great number of demons were born as kings)||Caturvyūha (Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha)|
|9. Kali missile (Buddha is not mentioned here)||Kalki|
|10. Mahā-Moha (great delusion)||Śāmbhava|