The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “kali fights” 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.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. Going to the battle ground, the goddess Kālī roared like a lion. On hearing that the Dānavas fainted.

2. She laughed boisterously again and again boding ill to the Asuras. She drank the distilled grapewine and danced on the battle ground.

3. The manifestations of Durgā viz—Ugradaṃṣṭrā (one with fierce fangs) Ugradaṇḍā (one with fierce baton) and Kotavī (the naked) danced on the battle ground and drank wine.

4. There was great tumult on the side of the Gaṇas and the gods. All the gods and the Gaṇas roared and rejoiced.

5. On seeing Kālī, Śaṅkhacūḍa hastened to the battle ground. The Dānavas were frightened but the king Śaṅkhacūḍa assured them of protection.

6. Kālī hurled fire as fierce as the flame of dissolution which the king put out sportively by means of Vaiṣṇava missiles.

7. Immediately the goddess hurled the Nārāyaṇa missile at him. The missile developed its power on seeing the Dānava Śaṅkhacūḍa.

8. On realising it as fierce as the flame of fire of dissolution, the Dānava Śaṅkhacūḍa fell flat on the ground and bowed again and again.

9. On seeing the Dānava humbled the missile turned away. Then the goddess hurled the Brahmā missile with due invocation through the mantra.[1]

10. On seeing the missile blazing he bowed and fell on the ground. The leader of the Dānavas thus prevented the Brahmā missile from attacking him.

11. Then the infuriated leader of the Dānavas drew the bow violently and discharged divine missiles at the goddess with due invocation through the mantras.

12. Opening the mouth very wide she swallowed the missiles and roared with a boisterous laugh. The Dānavas were terrified.

13. He then hurled a Śakti, a hundred Yojanas long at Kālī. By means of divine missiles she broke it into a hundred pieces.

14. He hurled the Vaiṣṇava missile on Kālī. She blocked it with the Māheśvara missile.

15. Thus the mutual combat went on for a long time. All the gods and Dānavas stood as mere onlookers.

16. Then the infuriated goddess Kālī, as fierce as the god of death on the battleground, took up angrily the Pāśupata arrow sanctified by mantras.

17. In order to prevent it from being hurled, an unembodied celestial voice said—“0 goddess, do not hurl this missile angrily at Śaṇkhacūḍa.”

18. “O Caṇḍikā, death of this Dānava will not take place even through the never failing Pāsupata missile. Think of some other means for slaying this warrior Śaṅkhacūḍa.”

19. On hearing this, Bhadrakālī did not hurl the missile. Sportively she devoured ten million Dānavas as if in hunger.

20. The terrible goddess rushed at Śaṅkhacūḍa to devour him. The Dānava prevented her by means of the divine missile of Rudra.

21. Then the infuriated leader of the Dānavas hurled a sword, as fierce as the summer sun, with sharp and terrific edge.

22. On seeing the blazing sword approaching, Kālī furiously opened her mouth and swallowed it even as Śaṅkhacūḍa stood watching.

23. The lord of Dānavas hurled many divine missiles but before they reached her she broke them into hundreds of pieces.

24. Again the great goddess rushed at him in order to devour him. But that glorious Dānava, leader of all Siddhas vanished from sight.

25. Thus unable to see him, Kālī who rushed with great velocity crushed his chariot and killed the charioteer with her fist.

26. Then Śaṅkhacūḍa, an expert in using deception returned quickly and forcefully hurled the wheel blazing like the flame of fire of dissolution, at Bhadrakāli.

27. The goddess sportively caught hold of the wheel with her left hand and immediately swallowed it.

28. The goddess then hit him with her fist forcefully and angrily. The king of Dānavas whirled round and fainted for a short while.

29. Immediately the Dānava regained consciousness and got up valorously. He did not fight her with his arms by the thought that she was a woman like his mother.

30. The goddess seized the Dānava, whirled him again and again and tossed him up with great anger and velocity.

31. The valorous Śaṅkhacūḍa fell down after being tossed up very high. He got up and bowed down to Bhadrakālī.

32. Highly delighted thereafter, he got into a beautiful aerial chariot of exquisite workmanship set with gems and did not lose the balance of his mind in the battlefield.

33. Hungrily Kālī drank the blood of the Dānavas. In the meantime an unembodied celestial voice said:

34. O goddess, a hundred thousand haughty leading Dānavas have been left out in the battle still roaring. Devour them quickly.

35. Do not think of slaying the king of Dānavas. O goddess, Śaṅkhacūḍa cannot be killed by you. It is certain.

36-37. On hearing these words from the firmament, Bhadrakālī drank the blood and devoured the flesh of many Dānavas and went near Śiva. She then narrated to him the events of the war in the proper order.

Footnotes and references:


The reference to the missiles of unfailing effect discharged with the magic formulae indicates the heights that military science had attained in that age.

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