The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the narrative of bhargava parashurama (c) which is Chapter 39 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 39 - The narrative of Bhārgava Paraśurāma (c)

Vasiṣṭha said:

l-4a. “When the king of Matsya-land fell, the king Kārttavīrya who had great strength and who was an expert in war despatched many other leading kings to fight.

Bṛhadbala, Somadatta, Vidarbha, the lord of Mithilā, the ruler of Niṣadha, and the king of Magadha came to the battlefield, O king, in order to fight with the leading scion of the family of Bhṛgu. At the behest of the king of Haihaya, all of them who were experts in different kinds of warfare and who took pride in their heroism began to shower volleys of arrows.

4b-6a. With the Pināka bow in his hand resembling the flame of a blazing fire, the scion of the family of Bhṛgu discharged the excellent arrow Nāgapāśa (noose of the Serpents) after invoking the Mantra thereof.

With the missile charged with Garuḍa Mantra, Somadatta of great strength cut off that missile hurled by the leading member of the family of Bhṛgu, during the battle.

6b-8. Then the infuriated Rāma of great fortune, the slayer of enemies killed Somadatta by means of trident granted by Rudra.

With his mace he killed Bṛhadbala, with his fist he killed Vidarbha, the lord of Mithilā with his iron club, the ruler of Niṣadha with his javelin and the king of Magadha by kicking him with his foot. He killed the soldiers by means of volleys of missiles.

9. After killing the entire army in the battle, the son of Jamadagni, of great strength, rushed at Kārttavīrya like the fire at the time of final annihilation.

10-13. On seeing him coming to fight, other kings of great heroism who were aware of what should be done and what should not be done, hid Haihaya behind their back and fought with Rāma, demonstrating thereby their friendship. There were hundreds of kings such as those of the states of Kānyakubja. Surāṣṭra and Avanti. They created a network of arrows all round Rāma. When he was covered with the network of their arrows during the battle, Rāma was not at all visible, O leading king.

Then Akṛtavraṇa remembered the details of Rāma’s life as recounted by the stag.

14-15. The sage (Akṛtavraṇa) entreated Hari for the welfare of the lending member of the family of Bhṛgu.

In the meantime, Rāma who was a great expert in miraculous missiles and weapons destroyed the net work of arrows by means of the arrow with the wind god for its deity, as he knew the Mantras thereof. He stood up ready for renewed battle like the sun coming out of the mist.

16. Rāma, the powerful warrior, fought with them continuously for three days. By means of his exploit, it was easy for him to cut down twelve Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers in no time.

17. As if they had been a grove of plantain trees, Rāma with his most excellent weapon, the axe, chopped off the groups of kings and their great armies.

18. On seeing the army exterminated by the noble-souled Rāma, Sucandra of great valour, born of the solar race, came to the battlefield.

19-23a. He was accompanied by a hundred thousand princes and seven Akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers. Many of those great heroic warriors were roaring like thunderous clouds and shaking the earth, O king. They fought with Bhārgava.

The valorous leading member of the family of Bhṛgu, O king, destroyed in a trice the weapons and the great miraculous-missiles discharged by them.

Taking up his divine axe, comparable to the god of death, Yama the destroyer, and wielding it up against the entire army, the delighter of the family of Bhṛgu mopped it up.

Just as a farmer in the field wholly reaps the rice and cuts off all the grassy weeds with his sickle, so also was done by Rāma.

23b-27. On seeing that army of a hundred thousand princes slain by Rāma, king Sucandra fought in the battlefield, O king.

Both of them were great experts in the use of different kinds of weapons and miraculous missiles and both were excessively agitated.

The leading sage and the leading king, both of them great warriors, fought with each other.

Sucandra, a man of great achievement in the art of warfare, cut off all those weapons and miraculous missiles which Rāma hurled against him.

Rāma was infuriated thereby in the course of the battle. He understood that king Sucandra was fully conversant with everything to be done to attack aggressively or to withstand or to retaliate an attack, he performed Ācamana rite with water and fitted (to his bow the arrow (charged with) the Nārāyaṇa missile that could never be checked.

28. On seeing that missile which had the lustre of a hundred suns hurled by the intelligent Rāma, Sucandra got down from his chariot and bowed to it.

29. That missile evolved by Nārāyaṇa and worthy of being worshipped by all other missiles, left him undisturbed as he bowed down thus, and went to the presence of Nārāyaṇa.

30. On seeing that great missile ineffective and the king quite hale and hearty, Rāma, the slayer of enemies in battle, became surprised.

31. Then, out of anger, Rāma hurled the javelin, the iron rod, the iron mace and a spear with sharp edge, the club and the axe at the head of the king.

32-34. Sucandra caught hold of all of them sportingly. When Rāma hurled Śivaśūla (Śiva’s trident) at the king, that trident was turned into a garland of flowers round the neck of the king.

He saw in front of him Bhadrakālī, the mother of the universe, wearing a garland of skulls. She was hideous. Her face was terrific. She was seated on a lion. The three-eyed goddess was holding an excellent trident.

35a. On seeing the goddess, Rāma cast off his weapons and missiles. Bowing down to the goddess, he eulogised thus—

Rāma said:

35b-36. Prayer: “Obeisance to you the beloved of śaṅkara, to the mother of the universe, to the goddess with different kinds of ornaments, to the goddess moving about on lion, to the one who always endeavours to protect those who retort to her, to the daughter born of Dakṣa, to the goddess born of the Himavān, to the goddess who occupies half of the body of Maheśvara.

37. Bow to Kālī, to the goddess who holds a digit of the Moon—i.e. the crescent moon—the lord of the digits, to the beloved of the devotees, to the sovereign of all the worlds. To the goddess invoked by the name ‘Tārā[1] (the redeemer), to the goddess eagerly attached to Śiva, to the goddess whose sandals are worshipped by the leaders of Gaṇas.

38. To one who is greater than the greatest, to the bestower of boons on Parameṣṭhin (i.e. god Brahmā), to the goddess who is thinking about the ways of annihilating the three types of Tāpas (distresses), to the goddess who has hurled the three Puras for the welfare of the universe, to the goddess named Tripurā and (who has assumed the form of) Bālā etc.

39. Obeisance to the bestower of grace and charm of good learning, to the mother of the universe; to the goddess who has killed all enemies, to the goddess having the face of a stork, to the bestower of vast happiness, to the goddess who killed different types of Asuras and Dānavas.

40. Hail to the goddess whose creeper-like hands are embellished (by the gestures of) granting boons and freedoms from fear; to the goddess who is bowed down by all the gods (i.e. Devas); to the goddess who has yellow robes, who goes as fast as the wind, who bestows splendid things and who is eulogised by Śiva.

41. Bow to the goddess who goes about on a lion (lit. the enemy of an elephant), who imbibes the juice of the fresh sugarcane, who has shining brillance in her limbs resembling the blue mountain, whose steps are quick, who has the name Lalitā, who is the suzerain of the Devas and who is an ocean of mercy.

42. Obeisance to the goddess who has tremulous eyes, who is devoid of destruction, whose lotus-like feet are beautified by means of red-lac juice, whose name is Rāma, who is deeply enamoured of Rati (sensuous pleasures), who dispels all ailments and who has created everything.

43. Obeisance to you who bestow kingdoms, who is eager to meet her lover, who has lustre of jewels and whose robes are fascinating. Obeisance, obeisance to you in front, obeisance to you at the sides, beneath and above. Obeisance to you from all sides.

44. Repeated obeisance to you everywhere and at all times. Bows to you whose body is identified with everything, O goddess of the Devas, be pleased O Bhadrakālī, keep my vow taken formerly (see that it is realised).

45a. You alone are the mother, you alone are the father of the three worlds. Obeisance, obeisance to you.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

45b 46a. “On being eulogised thus, goddess Bhadrakālī of great might and courage spoke to Bhārgava. She was extremely delighted, she considered granting boons as a festive occasion”

Bhadrakālī said;

46b-47a. “Dear Rāma, O highly fortunate one, I am pleased with you now. Choose from me any boon that has been cherished in your heart.”

Rāma said:

47b-49a. “O mother endearingly attached to your devotees, if any boon is to be given to me by you, let me conquer Sucandra, in battle, Sucandra the object of your favour. O Goddess, with a delighted mind carry out what has been said by me, in any manner whatsoever. Obeisance to you, O mother of the Universe.”

Bhadrakālī said:

49b-50a. “Despatch the leading king Sucandra to my abode, by means of the miraculous missile having the fire-god for its deity. This is highly pleasing to me. Let him be my attendant.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

50b-52a. “On hearing this statement, the leading scion of the family of Bhṭgu began his endeavour to do something pleasing to the goddess. He restrained his breath and performed the Ācamana rite. Then he fixed the arrow to the bow with Sucandra in view. O king, that missile, discharged by Rāma for slaying the king, burned his physical body quickly and led him to the world of the supreme deity.

52b-53. Bhadrakālī, the primordial maker of the Universe was prostrated by Rāma. She then vanished. The son of Jamadagni remained there in the battlefield eagerly awaiting the slaying of the king.”

Footnotes and references:


This Buddhist Goddess was accepted and assimilated in Brahmanic pantheon as goddess Durgā by Tantra-writers. Thus we have Brahmanical Tantra works like Tārā-Tantra (Gauḍa Granthmālā No 1, 1913), Tārārahasya of Brahmānanda (pub. Jibananda 1896).

The identification of Tripurā, Bālā, Lalitā etc. with Durgā in the next verses shows the influence of Tantras.

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