The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “andhaka 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.

Sanatkumāra said:—

l-2. The king of Daityas, skilled in interpreting what he hinted at, seized his mace and hastened along with his army to the entrance of the cavern. The terrible demon Gila who could not be overwhelmed even by the foremost among the gods, was placed ahead. After reaching the cavern of the lord Śiva, the Daitya attacked with his weapons as refulgent as thunderbolt. The others showered weapons on Vīraka and yet others on Pārvatī, the daughter of the mountain.

3-8. Some smashed the beautiful entrance, some destroyed the flowers, leaves, fruits and roots, the hearty water sheds and the garden paths. A few stirred up joyously the sunny peaks of the mountain. Then Śiva collected his army. The infuriated trident-bearing deity called them together, the terrible living beings, the gods with their armies including Viṣṇu and others. Immediately after being called, the gods came to Śiva and stood near him with palms joined in reverence. They came with chariots, elephants, horses, bulls, cows, camels, mules, excellent birds, lions, bhūtas, tigers, deer, boars, Sārasa birds, fishes, crocodiles, other living beings, scattered flies, serpents rending cremation grounds along with ghosts and spirits, divine chariots, lakes, rivers and mountains.

9. When the gods had taken adequate rest along with their vehicles, the trident-bearing lord Śiva sent them to the battle ground with the steady and chief resolve on victory.

10. They fought with the army of the lord of Daityas including Gila terribly and unrestrainedly as if the end of Yugas had come but they were all devoured in the battlefield angrily.

11. In a trice all of them including Brahmā, Indra, Viṣṇu, the sun and the moon were swallowed by Vighasa. When the armies were devoured, only Vīraka was left behind.

12. Leaving off the battle front Vīraka entered the cavern, bowed to Śiva. The eloquent but distressed Vīraka then acquainted the destroyer of Kāma with all the details.

13. O lord, your army has been devoured by the Daitya Vighasa. Viṣṇu, the preceptor and elder to the three worlds and the destroyer of Daityas, has been devoured. The moon and the sun, Brahmā and Indra, the bestowers of boons, have been devoured. All these, Yama, Varuṇa, Vāyu and Kubera have been devoured.

14. I, the humble one, alone am left behind. What is it that I have to do now? The lord of Daityas along with the Daityas is invincible and hence rejoiced.

15. Viṣṇu the lord who became invincible after tearing off Hiraṇyakaśipu the son of Kaśyapa with his claws, had the speed of wind and a terrifying demeanour. He opened his mouth wide and began to blow of the three worlds although the lord was subservient to the good.

16. When the matter stood thus, he was cursed by the seven sages,[1] the virtual lords of the worlds—“You will be crushed by the Daityas for a long time.”

17-18. Then they were requested by Viṣṇu through loving words conducive to his benefit—“O great sages, when will I get rid of this terrible curse?” Thereupon the infuriated sages said—“At the time of war you will be hit with fists and struck with terrible arrows. When swallowed by Vighasa with wide open mouth, you shall stabilise yourself in the Badarī forest[2] in the holy residence of Śiva, the cavern and shall then be freed from sins.” Thereafter in accordance with the curse of the sages he roams everyday in the battle ground, very hungry and swallows the Daityas and becomes delighted.

19-20. By using the science of reviving the dead to life and chanting verses of hymns, Śukra revives the Daityas killed by the gods, with full vigour and joy and cures them of their hundreds of wounds. It would rather be better to give upour (?) lives at the battle than yield. You, the witness of everything, have been chosen by us as the guide in the accomplishment of our task.

Sanatkumāra said:—

21. On hearing this from his excellent son, the lord of Pramathas, the lord of the three worlds meditated for a long time. He performed an incomparable miracle by chanting Sāman songs.306 He laughed assuming a body as resplendent as the sun and thereby dispelled the darkness.

22-24. When the light spread, the sage Vīraka fought again with the Daityas of deformed features. He who was created by the excellent sage after swallowing powdered rock and who had fought the battle and even conquered the Pura Asura previously was immediately swallowed by the Daitya together with Nandin who carried sharp arrows, spear and swords, who was the chief of warriors and hundreds of excellent sages, the great receptacle of lores, possessed of mental and physical restraint and great courage. On seeing this, lord Śiva got on to his bull and faced the Daitya Vighasa. Repeating the divine Mantra that compels the disgorging of what is swallowed, he stood there keeping the bow in readiness and the arrows as powerful as thunderbolts.

25. Then the sage Vīraka came out of the mouth of Vighasa accompanied by Viṣṇu and his army. The lotus born Brahmā, Indra—the enemy of Bala, the moon and the sun were also disgorged. Thus disgorged the delighted army fought a great battle again.

26. Thus the army of the Daityas was conquered. But Śukra revived the Daityas slain in the battle by the virtue of his science. The preceptor of Dānavas was then bound like an animal and brought by the Gaṇas before lord Śiva, the destroyer of Tripuras, who swallowed him.

27-28. When Śukra was no more, the entire residence

306. A particular kind of Sacred verse intended to be sung is called Sāmaveda.

of the Dānavas was shattered and destroyed. Everything was suppressed by the gods. When the battle ground was strewn with plenty of Bhūtas who eagerly devoured mouthfuls of the corpses of the Daityas, with headless trunks dancing holding sharp arrows and spears in their hands, with intoxicated Vetālas, with birds of firm claws and beaks and with wolves their jaws filled with dead bodies, the founder of the family Hiraṇyakaśipu fought the battle for a long time and was defeated by Viṣṇu, Śiva and Indra.

29. When the exhausted army entered the nether worlds, nooks and corners in hills and seas, Andhaka the foremost of the Daityas who in his height of fury had harassed the gods and who could split the universe was divested of his haughtiness by Viṣṇu by terrible blows from his mace.

30. Since he had secured boons he did not leave the battle ground although his body had been afflicted much by the lord of the gods by terrible blows and hits. Then by means of weapons and missiles, trees, mountains and waters he defeated the gods. Then he challenged the lord of Pramathas roaring loudly.

31. Fighting steadily by means of various weapons that fell on the battle ground, they were exhausted. Then the Asura inflicted pain on Pārvatī and Śiva by means of uprooted trees, serpents, thunderbolts and other weapons and by indulging in deceptive practices.

32. In order to conquer Śiva, the Daitya of as great strength and intelligence as the destroyer of Tripuras, created another juggler, a cheat. The Daitya whose madness had helplessly been aggravated by hundreds of boons, could not be killed by the gods, though his body had been shattered by plenty of weapons and missiles.

33. Many Andhakas originating from the exudations of his body, with hideous faces resembling his, pervaded the surface of the earth. He was terribly pierced with the Trident by Śiva, the enemy of the Tripuras, the lord of Bhūtas whose body blazed like fire at the end of a Kalpa.

34. When fresh army cropped up from the army slain by Śiva from the hot drops of blood and cut pieces of flesh from the wounds of those killed, Viṣṇu called away the

lord of Pramathas and intelligently assumed a fierce form of a hideous woman employing his Yogic knowledge.

35. It had a very terrible and hard aspect characterised by several arms. Angrily the lord Viṣṇu projected from the wings of the army and stood ahead of the Gaṇas.

36. The goddess stood high in the battle field covering up the entire ground by her pair of feet. She was eulogised by the gods. Induced by the lord, the hungry female form devoured the army, drank the hot blood of the Daityas and made the battle ground marshy.

37. Then, only the chief of the Daityas was left. Still he fought on with Śiva, heating terribly with his palms, knees, legs, nails, face, arms and head. Although his blood had been sucked dry he remembered the traditional heroism of his race.[3]

38. Afterwards he was quietened by the lord of Pramathas. His heart was pierced. He was staked to the trident. He was held aloft in the sky like a long pole. Half of his body, the lower one, was dried up by the rays of the sun. The other half was drenched by clouds attended with gusts of wind and heavy downpour. His body was subjected to all sorts of torture.

39. Shattered and scattered like flakes of snow in the rays of the sun, his limbs were torn asunder. Yet the foremost of the Daityas did not die. He eulogised Śiva. The delighted Śiva, ocean of great mercy, joyously gave him the position of the chieftain of his Gaṇas.

40. The lords of the worlds worshipped the lord of Pramathas, at the end of war, with different hymns pleasing and significant. Viṣṇu, Brahmā and others too eulogised him with stooping shoulders. They were delighted and happy and shouted cries of victory.

41. Śiva spent the time rejoicingly in the mountain cavern in their company. Honouring the great and excellent mountains by the bestowal of gifts he dismissed a few of his Aṃśas (parts). Regaining the delighted daughter of the lord of mountains and the sinless son from the terrible jaw of Vighasa, he sported.

Footnotes and references:


See Note 164 P. 163.


See Note 242 P. 927.


The Asuras followed the traditions of the warrior class which they inherited from their ancestry. Thus they belonged to the Kṣātra division of the fourfold Aryan society.