The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “boasting of taraka and fight between him and indra, vishnu, virabhadra” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 9 - Boasting of Tāraka and fight between him and Indra, Viṣṇu, Vīrabhadra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. O Guha, O lord of gods, O son of Śiva and Pārvatī, the fight between Viṣṇu and Tāraka is not proper. It is futile.

2. Tāraka the powerful cannot be killed by Viṣṇu. He has been granted such a boon by me. It is truth. I am telling you the truth.

3. O son of Pārvatī, none except you can be the slayer of this sinner. O great lord, my words shall be carried out by you.

4. O scorcher of enemies, please get ready to slay him. O son of Pārvatī you are born of Śiva for killing that demon.

5. O great hero, save the gods distressed in the battle. You are neither a boy nor a youth but the lord of all.

6. See Indra and Viṣṇu. They are agitated and distressed, So also the gods and the Gaṇas. Slay this great demon. Make the three worlds happy.

7. Formerly Indra and the guardians of the quarters had been conquered by him. Due to the power of his penance, the heroic Viṣṇu too has been threatened by him.

8. The entire universe of the three worlds has been defeated by this wicked Asura. Now, because of your presence, they have fought again.

9. Hence, O son of Śiva, this sinful being Tāraka shall be killed by you. Due to the boon granted by me he cannot be slain by any one else.”

Brahmā said:—

10. On hearing these words of mine, Kumāra, son of Śiva, was delighted and he laughed. “So be it”, said he.

11. Resolving to kill the Asura, the great lord, son of Śiva got down from the aerial chariot and stood on the ground.

12. Running on foot, seizing his lustrous spear blazing like a meteor, the powerful warrior Kumāra born of Śiva shone well.

13. On seeing the incomprehensible six-headed deity coming forward, fierce and unagitated, the Asura spoke to the gods derisively—“O this child indeed will slay the enemies!”

14. I will fight with him single-handed. I will kill the soldiers, the Gaṇas and the guardians of the quarters led by Viṣṇu.

15. Saying thus, the powerful Asura rushed at Kumāra to fight with him. Tāraka seized his wonderful spear and spoke to the gods.

Tāraka said:—

16. “How is it that you all kept Kumāra face to face with me? You gods are shameless especially Indra and Viṣṇu.

17. Formerly, both of them had acted in violation of the Vedic path. Listen. I shall describe the same.

18. Viṣṇu is deceptive, defective and indiscreet. It was by him that Bali[1] was formerly bound by taking recourse to deception with sinful intention.

19. The Asuras Madhu and Kaiṭabha[2] were beheaded by his roguishness. He forsook the Vedic path.

20. When the gods and Asuras sat for drinking the nectar it was he who violated the sanctity of the vows when he assumed the form of an enchantress.[3] Thus he slighted the Vedic path.

21. Taking birth as Rama he killed a woman (Tāḍakā). Bālī’s death was brought about by him with a vile trick. A brahmin descendant of Viśravas was killed by him.[4] Thus he violated the injunction of the Śruti.

22. Sinful that he was, he forsook his own innocent wife. There too, he violated the path of Śruti for achieving his selfish end.

23. In his sixth incarnation (as Paraśurāma) [5] he cut off the head of his own mother. This wicked man insulted his own preceptor’s son.[6]

24. Incarnating as Kṛṣṇa he defiled the wives of others and forced them to violate the traditional virtues of the family. He contracted his marriages without any reference to the Vedic path.

25. Again in his ninth incarnation[7] he slighted the Vedic path and contrary to its principles, preached and established the atheistic philosophy called Buddhism.

26. How can he be considered an excellent, virtuous man, how can he be victorious in battle who has committed sin without caring for Vedic cult?

27. Indra, his elder brother, is a greater sinner. He has committed many sins for his self-interest.

28. To gain his selfish end, by him Diti’s foetus was destroyed;[8] the modesty of Gautama’s wife was outraged,[9] Vṛtra, the son of a brahmin, was killed.[10]

29. He beheaded the brahmin Viśvarūpa,[11] the nephew of Bṛhaspati. Thus he transgressed the Vedic path.

30. Doing such sinful acts frequently Viṣṇu and Śiva are already deficient in splendour and their prowess is spent out.

31. You will never gain victory in the battle by relying on them. Why then did you foolishly come here to lose your lives?

32. These two, always seeking selfish ends, do not know what is virtue. O gods, without virtue every rite becomes futile.

33. These two impudent fellows are presumptuous enough to place a child in front of me. Why? I will kill the child too. They too will have it.

34. But let the child leave from here and save his life.” After saying this, hinting at Indra and Viṣṇu he turned to Vīrabhadra and said.

35. “Formerly in the sacrifice of Dakṣa, many brahmins had been killed by you, O sinless one, I shall show you the fruit thereof.”

Brahmā said:—

36. Saying this and dispossessing himself of his own merit by that act of censure, Tāraka the foremost among war-mongers seized his wonderful spear.

37. Indra who was going ahead of Kumāra hit the demon Tāraka forcibly with his thunderbolt as he was approaching the boy.

38. Tāraka was shattered and split by that blow of the thunderbolt, his power being sapped up already by the act of censure. He fell on the ground.

39. Though he fell down, he got up immediately and furiously hit Indra who was seated on an elephant, with his spear and felled him to the ground.

40. When Indra fell down there was a great hue and cry. On seeing it a great pain entered the army of the gods.

41. Know from me the vile action that Tāraka has committed against virtue which is sure to bring about his own ruin.

42. He stamped on Indra with his foot after he fell down and seized his thunderbolt with which he hit him with great force.

43. Seeing Indra thus insulted, the powerful lord Viṣṇu lifted his discus and hit Tāraka.

44. Hit by the discus he fell on the ground. Getting up again, the lord of the Asuras hit Viṣṇu with his spear.

45. On being hit by the spear Viṣṇu fell on the ground. There was a great uproar. The gods lamented much.

46-47. Within a moment Viṣṇu got up but by that time Vīrabhadra came near the demon and dexterously raised his trident. The powerful Vīrabhadra hit him with all his force.

48. Hit by the trident he fell on the ground. Though he fell down, Tāraka of mighty splendour got up again.

49. The great hero, the leader of the entire host of Asuras hit Vīrabhadra in his chest with his great spear.

50. Vīrabhadra, hit by the spear furiously in his chest, fell unconscious on the ground.

51. The gods, the Gaṇas, Gandharvas, Serpents and Rākṣasas lamented frequently with cries of “Alas” “Alas.”

52. Within a moment, the powerful Vīrabhadra, the slayer of enemies, got up lifting his trident aloft, that had the lustre of lightning and was blazing forth.

53. The trident had a halo around, like that of the sun, the moon and the fire. It illuminated the quarters by means of its brilliance; caused terror even in the hearts of the brave. It had a deadly splendour and blazed well.

54. When the powerful Vīrabhadra was about to hit the Asura with his trident, he was prevented by Kumāra.

Footnotes and references:


Bali, the son of Virocana, was an Asura-chief. He was deceived by Viṣṇu in the form of a dwarfish Brahmin. The latter asked Bali to grant him three steps of ground and Bali consenting, the dwarf stepped and covered heaven and earth in two strides. However he desisted from taking the third step and left the nether region for Bali’s sake.


Madhu and Kaitabha were the two demons sprung from the ear of Visṇu while he was asleep at the end of a Kalpa. They were about to kill Brahmā but were treacherously killed by Viṣṇu and thrown into the sea.


In the guise of an enchantress, Viṣṇu deprived Asuras of their right of drinking nectar produced from churning the ocean.


This refers to the slaying of the woman Tāḍakā and the monkey chief Bāli as well as the Brāhmaṇa King Rāvaṇa by Rāma, the son of Daśaratha, the seventh incarnation ofViṣṇu.


Viṣṇu in his sixth incarnation as Paraśurāma is said to have cut off the head of his mother Reṇukā who had incensed her husband by entertaining impure thoughts.


The event may refer to Paraśurāma who severed a tusk of Gaṇeśa, the son of his preceptor.


Gotama Buddha, the ninth incarnation of Viṣṇu, had revolted against Vedic doctrine’s and preached heretic and revolutionary thoughts of his own.


It refers to the episode of Indra, the elder brother of Viṣṇu who entered into the womb of Diti. the wife of Kaśyapa and cut the unborn child into forty-nine pieces with his thunderbolt.


Indra seduced Ahalyā, the wife of Gautama and had to suffer for his adultery.


Indra incurred the sin of slaying Vṛtra, an Asura Brāhmaṇa.


Indra cut off the three heads of Viśvarūpa, the son of Tvaṣṭṛ.

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