The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “shankhacuda fights with the full contingent of his army” 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 37 - Śaṅkhacūḍa fights with the full contingent of his army

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. Then the gods were defeated by the Dānavas. Their bodies were wounded by weapons and missiles. Terrified, they took to flight.

2. Returning to Śiva, the lord of the universe, they sought refuge in him. In agitated words they cried “O Lord of all, save, O save us.”

3. On seeing the defeat of the gods and others and on hearing their cries of fear, Śiva was greatly infuriated.

4. He glanced at the gods sympathetically and assured them of his protection. With his brilliance he enhanced the strength of his Gaṇas.

5. Commanded by śiva, the great hero Kārttikeya, son of Śiva fought fearlessly with the hosts of Dānavas in the battle.

6. Shouting angrily and roaring like a hero, the lord, the slayer of Tāraka killed a hundred Akṣauhiṇīs[1] in the battle.

7. Clipping off their heads, Kālī with eyes like a red lotus, drank off the blood and devoured the flesh rapidly.

8. She fought in diverse ways terrifying both the gods and the Dānavas. She drank the blood of the Dānavas all round.

9. Seizing ten million elephants and an equal number of men with a single hand she playfully thrust them into her mouth.

10. Many thousands of headless bodies danced in the battle field. There was a great tumult that terrified the cowards.

11. Again Kārttikeya became furiously angry and showered volleys of arrows. He struck crores of leaders of the Asuras within a trice.

12. The Dānavas wounded in their bodies by the numerous arrows of Kārttikeya fled in fright. Those who remained were killed.

13. Vṛṣaparvan, Vipracitti, Daṇḍa, and Vikampana fought with Kārttikeya by turns.

14. Mahāmāri also fought. She was never routed. All of them afflicted by Kārttikeya’s spear were wounded.

15. O sage, Mahāmārī and Skanda won the battle. Big wardrums were sounded in the heaven. Showers of flowers fell down.

16-17. On seeing the wonderfully terrible fight of Kārttikeya that caused wastage in the rank and file of the Dānavas like natural disasters, as well as the harassment and havoc wrought by Mahāmāri, Śaṅkhacūḍa became furious and himself got ready for the battle.

18-19. He got into his excellent aerial chariot that contained different weapons and missiles, that was set in diamond and that encouraged and emboldened the heroes. Śaṅkhacūḍa drew the string of the bow upto his ear and discharged volleys of arrows from his seat in the middle of the chariot. He was accompanied by many heroes.

20. His volley of arrows was terrifying. It could not be withstood. A terrible darkness spread in the battlefield.

21. The gods Nandīśvara and others fled. Only Kārttikeya stayed behind in the battle field.

22. The king of Dānavas showered mountains, serpents, pythons and trees so terrifyingly that it could not be withstood.

23. Oppressed by that shower Kārttikeya, the son of Śiva, looked like the sun enveloped by thick sheets of frost.

24. He exhibited many types of illusions in the manner indicated by Maya. O excellent sage, none of the gods or Gaṇas understood it.

25. At the same time, the powerful Śaṅkhacūḍa of great illusion split his bow with a divine arrow.

26. He split his divine chariot and the horses pulling it. With a divine missile he shattered the peacock too.

27. The Dānava hurled his spear as refulgent as the sun fatally on his chest whereat he fell unconscious by the force of the blow.

28. Regaining consciousness, Kārttikeya the destroyer of heroic enemies, mounted his vehicle of sturdy build, set with gems.

29. Remembering the feat of lord Śiva accompanied by Pārvatī, and taking up weapons and missiles, the sixfaced deity fought terrifically.

30. With his divine missiles, the son of Śiva split the serpents, mountains, trees and rocks, everything furiously.

31. He prevented a conflagration by the missile of cloud. He split the chariot and the bow of Śaṅkhacūḍa playfully.

32. He split his armour, coronet and the vehicles. He roared like a hero and shouted again and again.

33. He hurled his spear refulgent like the sun at the chest of the lord of Dānavas. At the blow he fell unconscious.

34. That powerful Asura got rid of the affliction in a Muhūrta and regained consciousness. With a leonine vigour he got up and roared.

35. He bit Kārttikeya of great strength with his spear. Not making that spear, a gift of Brahmā, futile, Kārttikeya fell on the ground.

36. Taking him on her lap Kālī brought him near Śiva. By his divine sport and perfect wisdom Śiva enlivened him.

37. Śiva gave him infinite strength. As a result of that the valorous Kārttikeya stood up and felt inclined to go to the battlefield.

38. In the meantime the heroic Vīrabhadra of great strength fought with the powerful Śaṅkhacūḍa in the battle.

39. Whatever arrows were discharged by the Dānava in the battle were split playfully by Vīrabhadra by means of his own arrows.

40. The lord of Dānavas discharged hundreds of divine missiles. The valorous Vīrabhadra split all of them by means of his arrows.

41. The valorous Śaṅkhacñḍa became infuriated and hit him on the grounds.

42. Regaining consciouness in a trice the leader of the Gaṇas, Vīrabhadra caught hold of his bow again.

43. In the meantime Kālī went to the battle ground again at the request of Kārttikeya to devour the Dānavas and to protect her own people.

44. Nandīśvara and other heroes, the gods, Gandharvas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and serpents followed her.

45. Drum-bearers and wine-carriers[2] accompanied them in hundreds. Heroic warriors on either side were active again.

Footnotes and references:


For Akṣauhiṇī see Note 261 P. 951.


The expression ‘Maphuvāhaka’ indicates that the custom of drinking wine among the fighting ranks in the battlefield prevailed even in ancient days.