The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the army of demons (asuras) which is chapter 40 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the fortieth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit 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.

Chapter 40 - The army of Demons (Asuras)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pulastya said:

1-2. Then the lord, created Brahmā, the best among those endowed with yoga, of a great lustre, the creator of all worlds and having faces in all directions, in that golden lotus, extending over many Yojanas, having all qualities of lustre and covered over with (i.e. having) earthly characteristics.

3. The great sages say that that excellent lotus formed in olden times, and of the nature of the earth, sprang from Nārāyaṇa.

4-6. What that lotus is, is said to be that goddess earth. They know that the principal pollen in the lotus are the divine mountains: Himavān, Nīla, Meru, Niṣadha, the mountain Kailāsa, the mountain Gandhamādana, and the auspicious Triśikhara (i.e. Trikūṭa) and the beautiful Mandara; also Udāra, Piñjara and Vindhya and the Astācala.

7. These mountains only are the shelters of the great-souled Gaṇas (i.e. Śiva’s attendants) and Siddhas having religious merit and they satisfy all desires.

8. In between them is said to lie Jambudvīpa. That is the position of Jambudvīpa where sacrificial rites are performed.

9-12. The water that flows from it, is like divine nectar. Everywhere hundreds of the lovely streams of that divine holy (water) are said (to flow); and those which were the filaments of that lotus, became the innumerable mountains on the earth; and those which were formerly the many petals of the lotus are said to be the Mleccha countries difficult of access and full of mountains; and O king, those that were the petals on the lower portion (of the lotus) became the abodes of gods, demons and serpents according to their share.

13. The distance between them is called Rasātala, where human beings committing great sins sink.

14. In the four directions are said to exist the four oceans. Thus on account of Nārāyaṇa the earth has come up from the lotus.

15-16. The coming into existence of this place called Puṣkara is also due to it. For this reason only, the ancient great adorable sages, who had mastered the Vedas, piled the tying posts by the (performance of) sacrifices. Thus the lord, having occupied everything, put the earth together.

17-18. He also constructed the mountains and the rivers. He who is the matchless creator of this universe, whose lustre is like that of the sun, who is Varuṇa of unlimited brightness, who is self-born and who is full of (i.e. occupies) the world, slowly created the sleeping Padmanidhi in the great ocean. A great demon named Madhu was an obstacle in the penance.

19-24a. With him sprang up another demon named Kaiṭabha. The two (demons) were together born from rajas (the quality of activity) and tamas (the quality of darkness or ignorance). The two very mighty (demons) agitated the entire world turned into one ocean. They put on divine red garments, and had white, bright, terrible fangs. They were exalted on account of the crest and crown. They were bright due to armlets and bracelets. Their eyes were dilated and red. Their chests were broad, and arms large. They, who appeared like moving mountains, were strong like mountains. They appeared like new clouds. Their faces were (bright) like the sun. They looked very fierce due to the very extensive armlets put round their arms. They were as it were violently agitating the ocean by the movements and plantings of their feet. They were shaking Viṣṇu, who was sleeping there like a lion.

24b-26a. They, having their faces (turned) in all sides, and moving there, then saw the best among the ascetics i.e. Brahmā, who was extremely bright, who was ordered by Nārāyaṇa, (Brahmā) who was creating all beings, all deities and the sages, his mind-born sons.

26b-27a. Then the two best and wicked demons, desiring to fight and very angry and with their eyes agitated with anger said to Brahmā:

27b-30a. “Who are you, who remain in this lotus, who have put on a white turban and have four arms and who, not caring for us through infatuation, stay here without any desire? O you lotus-born, come, come on and fight with us. In this ocean, you are unable to stand before us who are mighty lords. Who can be the one who has put you here? Who is your creator, who is your protector? By what name is he addressed?”

30b-3la. Brahma said: “He is called Viṣṇu, the lord, having unending power. Know me to be the creator born from him.”

31b-32. Madhu and Kaiṭabha said: “O great sage, there is nothing superior to us in the world; the universe is covered by us with tamas and rajas. We are made of rajas and tamas and we outshine the sages.

33. We screen the (real) nature of piety, and destroy all living beings. In every yuga the world is connected with us, difficult to be overcome.

34-35a. We are artha, kāma, sacrifice, and all possessions. Know that we are (there) where there is happiness, where there is madness, where there is wealth and where there is fame. Know that we are whatever is desired by people”.

35b-38a. Brahmā said.: “Having seen that you together were formerly defeated by the two of us (viz. Sattva and myself), I have, having accomplished the virtuous Sattva, resorted to him, who, the highest one, possessing abstract meditation, is immutable, is Sattva also, who is the creator of rajas and tamas and from whom everything springs. That Vāsuḍeva (i.e. Viṣṇu) alone will destroy you.”

38b-40a. Then that Nārāyaṇa-Brahman, while sleeping only, extended his arms over many yojanas due to his divine power. The two (i.e. Madhu and Kaiṭabha), shining with their (mighty) arms, and moving there, were dragged by the two arms (of Viṣṇu) and dropped like fat birds.

40b-4la. Then they, having gone to the eternal Vāsudeva, Padmanābha, Hṛṣīkeśa, and having saluted him, said to him:

41b-43. “We know you to be the source of the universe and the only highest being; we know you to be our cause and that of intellect. Since we know you whose sight is unfailing, who are the Truth, and who are eternal, therefore, lord, we desire to see everything around you. O you victorious in battles, your sight is unfailing. O one victorious in battle, we bow to you”

44. The lord said; “O you best of demons, why do you speak to me? Do you want to die or to live?”

45. Madhu and Kaiṭabha said: “O god, we desire death there where no one (ever) died; O you of great penance, we also desire to be your sons.”

46. The lord said: “This will certainly happen in your case. I shall be born in Kaliyuga; you will also be born then; there is no doubt about it; I am telling you the truth.”

47. The highest god, the prop of the universe, the eternal being, the lord of gods, having granted them a boon crushed under his thighs the two (demons) born from rajas and tamas, and resembling collyrium.

48. Brahmā, of a great lustre, the best among those who know the Vedas, remaining in that lotus, and with his hands raised up, resorted to a severe penance.

49. Burning as it were with his lustre and brilliance and removing darkness, he, the pious soul, (shining) like the sun with rays spoke (to them).

50-52. Then taking some other form, the lord i.e. unchangeable Nārāyaṇa, the lord of abstract meditation, of great lustre and great fame, came there; and also Kapila, the intelligent one, the lord of Sāṃkhyas and best among brāhmaṇas (came there). They both respected great souls knowing the difference between the high and the low, and adored by great sages, said, after having come there, to Brahmā of unlimited lustre:

53-54. “O you extensive Brahmā, your world should be known as it abides.” Brahmā, the leader of all beings, and revered by the three worlds, having heard those excellent words of them, who had left, having informed him, fashioned these three worlds as the Vedic scriptures say.

55-56. He also produced from himself a son called Bhū. He (i.e. Bhū), Brahmā’s mind-born son, then came in front of him. (This) mind-born son, as soon as he was born, said to Brahmā: “What help should I give you? The revered one may please tell it.”

57. Brahmā said: “O you highly intelligent one, do that what this (sage named) Kapila and Brahma-Nārāyaṇa tell you.”

58. O king, thus addressed by Brahmā, he got up, joining his palms in obeisance, (and said:) “I desire to listen to (i.e. obey) you; what should I do?”

59. The lord said: “Remember that highest one, that is the eighteenfold, immutable Brahman which is the truth”.

60. Hearing these words he went to the northern direction. Going there, he reached Brahman through intellectual vision.

61. Then the lord Brahmā of a great heart, having mentally conceived, created another son called Bhuva.

62. Then he too said (these) words: “O grandsire, what should I do?” Ordered by the grandsire he stood by Brahmā.

63. He then experienced the taste of the Brāhmaṇic nectar. Having reached the highest position he came to their side (i.e. near them).

64. When he too had gone, the detached lord created the third (son) skilled in the path to salvation, and named Suva (Svar).

65. He too resorting to piety, followed their path only. Thus the three sons of the great-souled Śambhu, went to (Kapila and Brahma-Nārāyaṇa).

66. Nārāyaṇa and Kapila, the chief of ascetics, taking the (three) sons went to an exalted place.

67. At the time they left, Brahmā, resorting to the highest place, performed a more severe penance.

68. Then Brahmā, who was practising penance, could not do so all alone. So he created an auspicious wife from half the part of his body.

69. (Then) the grandsire created sons resembling himself. They all were the lords of beings and from them the worlds came out.

70. The great-souled one, first created, by means of penance, a son by name Dharma, the lord of the universe, who had everywhere accumulated religious merit.

71. (He created) Dakṣa, Marīci, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasiṣṭha, Gautama, Bhṛgu and the sage Aṅgiras.

72. These great sages should be known to be very wonderful on account of their own deeds, and the families of the sages have thirteen virtues as their basis.

73-74a. O king, these twelve daughters are the offspring of Dakṣa: Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kālā, Anāyu, Siṃhikā, Khasā, Prācī, Krodhā, Surasā, Vinatā and Kadru[1].

74b-75a. (Dakṣa gave) (other) twenty-seven bright (daughters i.e.) Stars to Candra (i.e. the Moon). Kaśyapa was created as his son from (i.e. by) Marīci with (i.e. as a result of) penance.

75b-76. Dakṣa agreed (to give) those twelve daughters to him. Similarly the sage gave all the auspicious Stars (i.e. the twenty-seven daughters) like Rohiṇī etc. to Soma (i.e. the Moon), O you descendant O Kuru.

77-78. Formerly Brahmā created Lakṣmī, Sarasvatī, Sandhyā, Viśveśā and Mahāyaśā. O king, well-being to you; these five superior ones were given to Dharma, the best among gods, by Brahmā, who had observed religious rites.

79. That wife, who was half the form of Brahmā, and who took any form at her will, suddenly turned into Surabhi, and stood by Brahmā.

80. O best one, then Brahmā, adored by the world, realising the purpose of the creation of the world, copulated with her for (the good of) the cows.

81. He produced eleven strong, mighty sons, called Dharma, resembling the tawny cloud at the time of twilight, and of a bright lustre.

82. Crying and running they went to the grandsire. They were known as Rudra on account of their crying and running.

83-84. Nirhṛti and Sandhya, and the third one called Ayonija, also Mṛgavyādha, Kapardin, Mahāviśveśvara, Ahirbudhnya, revered Kapālin and Piṅgala, Senānī and Mahātejas, are said to be the eleven Rudras.[2]

85, Cows and deities were born of her, O best king, and also goat and swan.

86-89a. Herbs also sprang from that excellent Surabhi. From Dharma[3] Lakṣmī (obtained a son viz.) Kāma; Sādhyā gave birth to Sādhyas: Bhava, Prabhava, Kṛśāśva, Suvaha, Aruṇa and Varuṇa, Viśvāmitra, Caladhruva, Haviṣmān and Tanūja, Vidhāna, Abhimata also, Vatsara and Bhūti who killed all demons, and Suparvan, and Bṛhatkānti, saluted by the world.

89b-92. The goddess, approached by Indra gave birth to the gods: The first one was god Dhara; the second one was unchangeable Dhruva; the third was Viśvāvasu; the fourth was lord Soma; then Anurūpamāya (was the sixth); after him the seventh was Vāyu; and the eighth was Nirhṛti. This was Dharma’s progeny Born from Surabhi. It is also said that Viśvedevas were born on Viśvā from Dharma.

93-94. Dakṣa of mighty arms, Puṣkara and Tama, then Cākṣuṣa, Citra, also Bhadra and Mahoraga, Viśvāntakavasu, Bāla Nikumbha of great fame, Rudra and Atisiddhaujā with lustre superior to the son (were born).

95-98. The mother of the gods gave birth to the sons, viz. the gods. Marutvatī gave birth to the sons, viz. the Marutvats: Agni, Cakṣu, Ravi, Jyoti. Sāvitrī gave birth to the god Mitra, Śaravṛṣṭi and the great Sukarṣa, also to Virāja and Rāja, Viśvāya and Sumati, to Aśvaga, Citraraśmi and also king Niṣadha; again (she gave birth to) Ātmavidhi, Cāritra, Pādamātraga, Bṛhanta, Bṛhadrūpa and Vasanābhiga.

99-100. Marutvatī gave birth to the progeny, viz. the host of Maruts ending with Jyeṣṭha. From Kaśyapa Aditi gave birth to the twelve Ādityas: Indra, Viṣṇu, Bhaga, Tvaṣṭṛ, Varuṇa, Aṃśa, Aryaman, Ravi, Pūṣan, Mitra—the giver of boons, Dhātā and Parjanya.[4]

101-102. These are the twelve Ādityas superior among gods. Two excellent sons of Āditya were born on Sarasvatī. They were best in (the performance of) penance, in virtues and were very much liked in heaven. Danu gave birth to Dānavas and Diti to Daityas.

103. Kālā gave birth to the demons and goblins, viz. the Kālakeyas. The very powerful diseases (Vyādhis) were the sons of Anāyuṣā.[5]

104. Siṃhikā was the mother of planets, and Muni[6] was the mother of Gandharvas. O descendant of Bharata, the other viz. Prācī was the mother of the auspicious celestial damsels.

105. Krodhā gave birth to all spirits and also Piśacā gave birth to the groups of Yakṣas and to demons, O King.

106. Saurabhī gave birth to the quadrupeds and these cows. The ancient supreme being, the lord Viṣṇu, Hari generated Māyā (his supernatural power).

107-108a. I have described him, as praised by the great sages, in due order. The man, who would listen to this best Purāṇa or would read it on the days of Parvan (i.e. the eighth and fourteenth day of each month, and the days of the full and the new moon), obtaining (this) world (i.e. being happy here) enjoys heavenly fruits in the other world.

108b-109a. He who propitiates Kṛṣṇa in four ways with eyes (i.e. by seeing him), with mind (i.e. by thinking about him), with words (i.e. muttering his names), or by deeds (done for him), is favoured by Kṛṣṇa.

109b-110a. A king (who has lost his kingdom) gets (back) his kingdom; and a poor person obtains excellent wealth. One with a short (span) of life gets a (long life); one who desires a son obtains progeny.

110b-111a. Those who desire (to perform) sacrifices, get their desires (fulfilled), and have various (kinds of) penance. Whatever desire one entertains would have it fulfilled from (i.e. by) the lord of the world.

111b-113a. O you best among men, no evil would come to him, who, giving-up everything (else) would recite this account of Hari’s manifestation of Puṣkara. This manifestation of the great-souled one called Pauṣkaraka, is described in Vyāsa’s sacred text.

113b-114. Listen, from me (i.e. as I shall describe it) to Viṣṇu’s being Viṣṇu and Hari in the Kṛtayuga; and his being Vaikuṇṭha (i.e. Viṣṇu) among gods and his being Kṛṣṇa among the human beings. The course of the actions of that god is hard to be understood.

115-116. O king, now listen to the accurate (account of) past and future. This revered, unmanifest lord, with his characteristics being manifest, is Nārāyaṇa, of an unending soul and is devoid of origin and destruction. This one being Nārāyaṇa was the ancient Hari.

117. He (was) Brahmā, Vāyu, Soma, Dharma, Śakra, Bṛhaspati. O you descendant of Kuru, the unborn one also becomes the son of Aditi.

118. This eternal one, the younger brother of Indra, is known as Viṣṇu. Pleasing to him was the cause of Aditi’s getting a son.

119. In the Kalpa (i.e. Brahmā’s day) he created gods, Brahmā, and Prajāpatis (i.e. the mind-born sons) for killing gods’ enemies, viz. Daityas, Dānavas and demons.

120. He also created excellent mental families of Brahmā. From these magnanimous ones the eternal and supreme Brahman came up.

121. I have told you this deed of Viṣṇu who (himself) is a wonder. Know from me the deed being narrated (since) it deserves to be told in the worlds.

122-123. O Bhiṣma, in the present Kṛtayuga, after Vṛtra was killed, there took place the well-known war called Tārakā- maya, in which the terrible Dānavas, all difficult to be conquered in a battle, killed all gods and Asuras and Yakṣas, Uragas and Rākṣasas.

124. They being killed, and with their weapons cut off in the battle, turned back and mentally approached their protector, the god, lord Viṣṇu.

125-126. In the meanwhile, the clouds with brilliance (i.e. like) extinguished charcoal, covered the sky (as) with the solar and lunar eclipses. They were accompanied by multitudes of fierce (flashes of) lightning. They were making terrible sounds. They were obstructed by the speed of one another. The seven (kinds of) winds blew.

127. The clouds had the water heated due to their thunder strokes along with thunderbolt and winds. The sky was as it were being burnt by portents with terrible sounds.

128. Thousands of meteors fell; also those moving in the sky fell down. Heavenly cars fell down and jumped up.

129. That fear which would be there at the time of the end of the four yugas (spread everywhere). Forms became invisible due to the portents.

130. As a result (of this) everything became screened, and nothing was recognised. Even the ten quarters surrounded by the flood of darkness, did not shine.

131. (Goddess) Kāli, covered with black clouds entered (i.e. appeared there) in an embodied form. The sky did not shine (as usual) with the sun being predominant (but) was covered with fearful darkness.

132. (Then) that lord Hari of a dark body, having rent, with his arms, that stream of clouds with darkness, manifested his divine body.

133. He resembled a cloud and collyrium, the hair on which was like a cloud, which was like a black mountain in respect of lustre and form.

134. He had on a bright yellow garment. The ornaments were of gold purified in fire. He was like a column of smoke and darkness, (and) like the fire rising at the time of the destruction of the world.

135. The shoulders were round and doubly plump, the hair on the head was covered with a crown. He shone more due to the weapons resembling gold.

136. He was bright like the rays of the moon and the sun, lofty like a mountain-peak, with one hand blissful due to (holding) the Nandaka sword. His chest shone with the Kaustubha[7] gem.

137. He was exalted on account of the power causing various results. He held a conch, discus and mace. He resembled an extensive mountain. He was of a forgiving nature. He had a curl ofhair on the chest and the Śārṅga bow in the hand.

138. He gave generous fruits to gods, was charming and dear to the divine women, pleased the minds of all people, and attracted the minds of all beings.

139. He had a large branch in the form of divine power, was rich in knowledge, ego and pride and was the germination of the gross elements.

140. He was overcast with copious leaves, and had flowers of planets and stars; was the great stem of the world of Daityas, and was manifested in the mortal world.

141. He had the (huge) shape and sound of an ocean; he had resorted to the earth; he was covered with bonds of the lords of serpents, and was full of birds and creatures.

142. He was endowed with natural fragrance of virtue; was a great tree for all the worlds; had the water of the joy of the unmanifest and had the foam of the manifest ego.

143. He had the great stream of the rays in the form of the gross elements, had the bubbles in the form of planets and stars; was pervaded by the aeroplanes; was full of the roaring of clouds.

144. He was crowded with groups of creatures and fish; was united with groups of mountains, and conches; had the eddy of the sensual objects based on the three properties (viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas); was swallowing the (big fish called) timi in the form of the worlds.

145. He had the thickets in the form of heroes; had the moss emitted by the serpents, was the great shelter of the twelve Suns; was the city of the eleven Rudras.

146. He was endowed with the mountains in the form of the eight Vasus; was a great ocean having the three worlds as its water; had the water having tawny ripples of the twilight; was adorned with wind that had filled it.

147. He had hosts of Daityas and Yakṣas; was full of the (fish called) jhaṣa in the form of the groups of demons; had the mighty power of the grandsire; was thronged with the gems of celestial women.

148. He was full of the rivers in the form of wealth, fame, charm and Lakṣmī; was violent due to the dissolution having great showers caused by destiny.

149. They saw the great ocean in the form of Nārāyaṇa having company of the good as its great extremity—Nārāyaṇa, who was the god of gods, who was a granter of boons, who was affectionate to his devotees.

150-153. (They saw him as one) who showed favour; who brought about tranquility and who was auspicious; who shone with pearls attached to the chariot to which bay horses were yoked; seated in a chariot in the form of the divine world, (a chariot) to which bay horses were attached and which was adorned with the banner of Garuḍa, to which were fixed the wheels of the moon and the sun, had boundless reins, which was difficult to be seen (i.e. of an unbearable sight), which had Meru as its pole, which had the variegated flowers of stars (attached to it), which was pleasing due to planets and stars, which granted fearlessness in (times of) fear, which (remained) in the sky, which was invincible to gods and demons.

154. All those gods led by Indra and with palms joined in obeisance, and (uttering) cries of victory sought the refuge of him who was a protector.

155. That Viṣṇu, the god of gods, having heard their words, decided to destroy the demons in a great war.

156. Viṣṇu having resorted to (i.e. taken up) an excellent body and standing in the sky, said these words, containing a promise, to all the gods:

157. “Be calm, well-being to you; do not be afraid, O host of gods. All the demons are conquered by me; accept the three worlds.”

158. Then the gods, pleased with the words of Viṣṇu, faithful to his promise, became very much delighted as if after having drunk excellent nectar.

159. Then withdrawing darkness, the clouds disappeared. Auspicious breezes blew. The ten quarters became bright.

160. The luminaries, almost pure, went round the moon. The planets did not fight. The rivers also were (having) clear (water).

161. The paths, and the three worlds, heaven and others, were free from dust. The rivers flew properly. In the same way the ocean did not agitate.

162. The internal organs of men were auspicious (i.e. functioned well). The great sages, free from grief, recited the Vedas loudly.

163-164a. Auspicious oblation was made in sacrifices. Fire roasted (the oblation) fully. People, set upon practising piety, were pleased at heart after having heard the words about killing the enemies—of Viṣṇu faithful to his promise.

164b-165a. Then the Daityas and Dānavas having learnt about the (imminent) fear from the mouth of Viṣṇu, exerted hard for the fight and victory (in it).

165b-171. Maya, desirous of fighting, mounted like the Sun on the Meru mountain, upon his imperishable, golden, divine chariot, which had its interior of the length of three nalvas1 (i.e. twelve hundred cubits), which had four wheels, which was very big, in which great weapons were well-arranged, which made the sound of the multitudes of bells, which was adorned with the hide of a tiger, which was charming with a mass of reins, which was adorned with golden lattices, which was crowded with groups of wolves, which was decorated with flocks of birds, which was bright with divine weapons and missiles, which was resounding like (thundering) clouds, which had a good (i.e. a strong) axle, which was the best among excellent chariots, the middle part of which was good (i.e. strong), which resembled the sky, which was full (i.e. well-equipped) with maces and iron-bars, which was as it were the ocean embodied, which had on it golden armlets, which was beautiful like the orb of the[8] moon, which had banners and flag like the Mandara mountain with the Sun, the body of which was like the expanse of an elephant, which, at places, was bright like filaments of flowers, which had a thousand stars (studded to it), which was resounding like clouds with big showers, which was bright, and harmed the enemies’ chariots.

172-177a. Tara also mounted upon an excellent chariot, the breadth of which was two miles, and which was like that (i.e. two miles) in length also, which resembled a rocky pole, which was like a heap of dark collyrium, to the pole of which a heap of black iron and gems was tied, which was full of (i.e. equipped with) iron bars, as well as with mallets that could be thrown, and with large darts and fetters, and with portions (i.e. pieces) of bamboos, which was decorated with fearful iron clubs with hatchets attached below, which was raised (i.e. lofty) like the Mandara for the sake of (the destuction of) enemies and to which a thousand asses were yoked.

177b-178a. And Virocana, who was angry and who had a mace in his hand, remained at the head of the army like a mountain with a radiant peak.

178b-179a. The powerful demon Hayagrīva went round the arrayed army, having a thousand horses, of the demons.

179b-18la. Vipracitti’s son Śveta, having white bracelets as his ornaments, the destroyer of the enemy’s army, stretching far his bow of the length of a thousand cubits, drove his chariot; and he stood at the head of the army like a mountain with a sprout.

181b-182a. Khara scattering (i.e. shedding) from his eyes water (i.e. tears)due to anger, with his teeth, lips and eyes throbbing, desired to fight.

182b-183a. Demon Tvaṣṭṛ having occupied a chariot to which eighteen horses were yoked, stood ready for battle facing the divine army.

183b-184a. Bali’s most distinguished son, Ariṣṭa, having invincible weapons, and causing the mountains to tremble, stood ready for the battle.

184b-185a. Kiśora, prompted by great joy like a young boy, remained in the midst of the demons as the Sun remains in the midst of planets.

185b-186a. Lamba, resembling a fresh cloud, and decorated with a long garment, remaining in the demons’ army, appeared like the Sun with fog.

186b-187a. After him Vasundharābha, laughing, and having missiles in the form of teeth, lips and eyes, stood among the demons like a cruel great planet.

187b-188. Others were seated upon horses; still others on intoxicated lordly elephants; others were seated on lions and tigers; others on bulls and bears, some were seated upon asses and camels and some were using clouds as their vehicles.

189. Other demons, fearful and of deformed faces, were foot-soldiers. Desiring to fight, the one-legged ones and those with small legs, danced.

190. Many snapped their fingers, and others made a noise. Roaring like arrogant tigers the best demons thundered.

191. They, having rocks and hammers in their hands threatened the gods with their fore-arms like iron-beams and with maces and fearful iron beams.

192-193a. They sported with the weapons used as missiles[9], with mallets having a hundred edges, with rock-like swords, with iron beams and raised weapons.

193b. The sky was covered everywhere with multitudes of clouds.

194. Thus the army of the demons, furious with spirit and madness, stood before the gods like a host of clouds that had come up (in the sky).

195. And that army shone with thousands of demons pressed closely to one another, resembling wind, fire, mountain, clouds and water. That army elated because of being full with multitudes of troops, appeared to be mad with the desire to fight.

196. O you descendant of Kuru, you have listened to the expanse of the army of the demons. Now listen to the expanse of the army of the gods led by Viṣṇu.

Footnotes and references:


The names of Dakṣa’s daughters given here arc different from those given in Chapter 6.


The names of the Rudras given here differ from those given in Chapter 6.


The names of other wives of Dharma, mentioned in Chapter 6, are not repeated here.


The names of the Ādityas mentioned here differ from those given in Chapter 6.


Anāyuṣā—This is daughter no. 5; see 73 above.


Muni—The name is not given in the list mentioned in v. 73 above; but it occurs in Chapter 6.


Kaustubha is the name of the celebrated gem obtained with thirteen other jewels at the churning of the ocean and worn by Viṣṇu on his chest.


Nalva—A measure of distance equal to 400 hastas or cubits.


Śataghni—A kind of weapon used as a missile supposed by some to be a sort of rocket, but described by others as a huge stone studded with iron spikes and four tālas in height.

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