The Shiva Purana (English translation)

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “victory of kumara and the death of bana and pralamba” 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.

Chapter 11 - The Victory of Kumāra and the death of Bāṇa and Pralamba

Brahmā said:—

1. O sage, in the meantime the mountain Krauñca, harassed by Bāṇa came there and sought refuge in Kumāra.

2. This Bāṇa had been fleeing from the previous battle, unable to bear the brilliance of the lord. He with the army of ten thousand persons, inflicted pain on Krauñca with the tip of his missiles.

3. The mountain Krauñca devoutly bowed at the lotuslike feet of Kumāra and eulogised him with reverence with words full of love.

Krauñca said:—

4. O Kumāra, O Skanda, O lord of gods, O slayer of the Asura Tāraka protect me who have sought refuge in you. I am harassed by the Asura Bāṇa.

5. O Mahāsena, O lord, O merciful one, routed and uprooted from the battle with you he came and harassed me.

6. Afflicted by him I have run from him and sought refuge in you. O lord of gods, born amongst the reeds, be merciful.

7. O lord, please slay the Asura Bāṇa. Make me happy. You are the slayer of Asuras and a special saviour of the gods. You are a self-ruler.

Brahmā said:—

8. Skanda who was thus eulogised by Krauñca became delighted. He, the saviour of the devotees, took up his matchless spear and remembered Śiva.

9. The son of Śiva hurled the spear aiming at Bāṇa. It gave loud report, blazing forth the quarters and the sky.

10. O sage, reducing the Asuras to ashes along with his army in a trice, the great spear returned to Kumāra.

11. The lord Kumāra told Krauñca, the chief of the mountains, “Go home fearlessly. That Asura has been slain along with his army.”

12. On hearing the words of the lord, the delighted lord of the mountains eulogised Kumāra the slayer of his enemy and went back to his abode.

13. O sage, with great pleasure and observing the rules Skanda installed three phallic emblems of Śiva that quell all sins.

14. The first is called Pratijñeśvara, the second Kapāleśvara and the last Kumāreśvara. The three are capable of conferring all the achievements.

15. Thereafter Kumāra, the lord of all, joyously installed the phallic image Stambheśvara,[1] near the column of victory.

16. Then Viṣṇu and other gods joyously installed the phallic emblem of Śiva, the lord of the gods.

17. The glory of the phallic emblems of Śiva was marvellous, conferring all cherished desires and salvation to the devotees.

18. Then the delighted Viṣṇu and the gods desired to go to the chief of mountains joyously putting Bṛhaspati ahead.

19. Then Kumuda[2] the son of Śeṣa who was harassed by the Asuras came and sought refuge in Kumāra.

20. Another follower of Tāraka—Pralamba who had fled from the previous battle wrought great havoc with full force.

21. Kumuda, the great son of Śeṣa the lord of serpents, sought refuge in Kumāra the son of Pārvatī and eulogised him.

Kumuda said:—

22. O excellent son of great lord, lord of the gods, O great chief, I am afflicted by Pralamba and am seeking refuge in you.

23. O Kumāra, O Skanda, O lord of the gods, O great lord, O slayer of Tāraka, save me harassed by the Asura Pralamba and seeking refuge in you.

24. You are the kinsman of the distressed, the ocean of mercy, favourably disposed to the devotees, the slayer of the wicked, worthy of refuge and the goal of the good.

25. Eulogised thus by Kumuda and requested to slay the demon Pralamba, the lord took up his spear after remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva.

26. The son of Pārvatī hurled the spear at Pralamba. It made a loud report. The quarters and the sky blazed.

27. Reducing that powerful Asura to ashes in a trice the spear carried out the job without strain and returned to Kumāra.

28. Then Kumāra told the Nāga child Kumuda—“Go home fearlessly. That Asura has been slain along with his army.”

29. On hearing the words of Guha, Kumuda, the son of the Nāga chief eulogised and bowed to Kumāra and went to Pātāla[3] in great delight.

30. Thus the story[4] of the victory of Kumāra, including the wonderful way in which Tāraka was slain, has been narrated by me, O noble sage.

31. It is the divine story that removes all sins. It bestows all desires on men. It is conducive to the increase of wealth, glory and longevity. It confers worldly pleasures and salvation on the good.

32. Those who recite this divine story of Kumāra and glorify him are infinitely fortunate and attain Śivaloka.

33. Those who listen to his glory with devotion and faith will attain divine salvation hereafter after enjoying great happiness here.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The four phallic images of Śiva named Pratijñeśvara. Kapāleśvara, Kumāreśvara and Stambheśvara were set up at Cambay, the scene of the battlefield, to commemorate the Victory of Guha over Tāraka, the Asura-chief.

2.

According to this account, Kumuda, the son of the serpent-chief Śesa, was troubled by the Asura Pralamba who was the ally of Tāraka. Kumuda slew Pralamba and relieved Kumuda of distress.

This Pralamba is distinct from the Asura of the same name whose destruction at the hands of Balarāma is recorded in the Mahābhārata.

3.

Pātāla is an island accessible through the sea-route. It is an abode of the Nāgas with Bhogavatī as the capital. (cf M M. K. Paṭala, XL P. 454) It is variously identified with Ceylon in the mid-ocean. G. P. 1. 69. 24), Indo-China and old Annam. See Avasthi, Studies in Sk. P. P. 113.

4.

As ŚP states, the victory of Kumāra over the Asura Tāraka is a factual happening (vṛttam), while V. S. Agrawal insists on the symbolic interpretation of the legend. According to him Tāraka is the Āsuric form in the individual which remains in contact with the matter and is soiled by it. This form is suppressed and sublimated by Kumāra who is the symbol of Śakti quickened by Śiva.