The Markandeya Purana

by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237

This page relates “the slaying of dhumralocana” which forms the 86th chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 86 is included the section known as “the devi-mahatmya”.

Canto LXXXVI - The Devī-Māhātmya: The slaying of Dhūmralocana

The slaying of Śumbha and Niśumbha’s general Dhūmralocana. Śumbha despatched his general Dhūmralocana and an army to capture the goddess and she destroyed them.—He then despatched Caṇḍa and Muṇḍa with another army.

The ṛṣi spoke:

The messenger, on hearing this speech from the goddess, was filled with indignation, and approaching related it fully to the Daitya king. The Asura monarch then, after hearing that report from his messenger, was wroth and commanded Dhūmralocana, a chieftain of the Daityas;—

“Ho! Dhūmralocana, haste thee together with thy army; fetch by force that shrew, who will be unnerved when dragged along by her hair. Or if any man besides stands up to offer her deliverance, let him be slain, be he an Immortal, a Yakṣa or a Gandharva forsooth.”

The ṛṣi spoke:

Thereupon at his command the Daitya Dhūmralocana went' forthwith quickly, accompanied by sixty thousand Asuras. On seeing the goddess stationed on the snowy mountain, he cried aloud to her there—“Come forward to the presence of Śumbha and Niśumbha; if thou wilt not, lady, approach my lord with affection now, I will here take thee by force, who wilt be unnerved since thou shalt be dragged along by thy hair!”

The goddess spoke:

Sent by the king of the Daityas, mighty thyself, and accompanied by an army, thou dost thus take me by force—then what can I do unto thee?

The ṛṣi spoke:

At this reply the Asura Dhūmralocana rushed towards her. Then Ambikā with a mere roar reduced him to ashes. And the great army of Asuras enraged poured on Ambikā a shower both of sharp arrows and of javelins and axes. The lion that carried[1] the goddess, shaking his mane in anger and uttering a most terrific roar, fell on the army of Asuras; he slaughtered some Asuras with a blow from his forepaw, and others with his mouth, and others, very great Asuras, by striking them with his hind foot.[2] The lion with his claws tore out the entrails of some, and struck their heads off with a cuff-like blow. And be severed arms and heads from others, and shaking his mane drank the blood that flowed from the entrails[3] of others. In a moment all that army was brought to destruction by the high-spirited lion, who bore the goddess and who was enraged exceedingly.

When he heard that that Asura Dhūmralocana was slain by the goddess, and all his army besides was destroyed by the goddess’ lion, Śumbha, the lord of the Daityas, fell into a rage and his lip quivered greatly, and he commanded the two mighty Asuras Caṇḍa and Muṇḍa,—“Ho, Caṇḍa! Ho, Muṇḍa! take with you a multitude of troops and go there; and going there bring her here speedily, dragging her by her hair or binding her; if ye have a doubt of that, then let her be slain outright in fight by all the Asuras brandishing all their weapons. When that shrew is slain and her lion striken down, seize her, Ambikā, bind her and bring her quickly!”

Footnotes and references:


Tu vāhanāḥ in the Bombay edition is better than sva-vāhanaḥ.


Caraṇena of the Bombay edition is better than cādhareṇa.


For kauṣṭhād read koṣṭhād.

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