The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the slaying of bala and namuci which is chapter 67 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 sixty-seventh 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.

Chapter 67 - The Slaying of Bala and Namuci

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:

1. Hearing this (i.e. these words), the very mighty Hiraṇyākṣa, the lord of the demons, with his eyes very red with anger, directed the demons (thus):

2. “With a desire to kill the gods I shall myself go to fight (with them, so that) they will not come and will not fight; let them not come this way.”

3. Hearing these words, the rest of the chiefs of the hosts of demons, all very skilled in using lances and nooses, went to fight (with the gods).

4. They were hundred times more than the former army. Desiring to fight they frequently rose to the sky.

5-6a. Then the Rudras[1] with the Sādhyas, all the Vasus, Skanda, and the lord of the Gaṇas (i.e. Gaṇeśa), led by Viṣṇu and Indra—all these, being delighted and eager to fight, went to fight.

6b-7. In the meanwhile, the war that took place between the gods and the demons which was full of (i.e. in which) various weapons and missiles (were used) like a grove with frost, was such the like of which did not take place before, was not heard of, and was fearful to all the worlds.

8-9. The war appeared to screen the earth, heaven, (other) shelters like the sky (etc.). The (rival warriors) struck each other with the (missiles called) śakti, pestles, lances, with volleys of arrows, with fearful strokes of swords, and with discs and hatchets in the sky and on the ground.

10-11. With other various kinds of weapons also they struck each other. There was a destruction of a terrible nature on the earth and in the sky due to weapons, arrows, bleeding and (also done by) herons, crows and foxes. As the clouds shower pestle-like streams, in the same way gods and demons showered blood oozing (from their wounds).

12-15. Some fell, some swooned, some tumbled, some laughed, some gave out piteous cries, and some repeatedly roared like lions. The arms of some were cut off; the legs of (some) others were cut off; others with their sides, abdomens cut off lay in hundreds on the ground. Crores of thousands of elephants, horses and demons fell variously on the ground in the stream of blood. So there was an ocean of blood on the ground.

16. From there inauspicious rivers (i.e. streams of blood) flew there. They had grass and wood, missiles like śaktis and heaps of wood in them.

17. There were mallets, pestles, lances, crocodiles, flags, fish, tortoises with (only) skin (left).

18. They were (i.e. their flow was) checked by arrows etc., and by many great camels. They were having the moss in the form of hair and chowries.

19-21. There was (formed) a great ocean of blood due to many other beings falling therein. At that time the entire earth with mountains, forests and thickets was having the stream of blood, was very terrible, and caused fear to all people. Due to the fall of (the missile called) śakti caused by Kārtikeya, the demons went to Yama’s abode. Suppressed by the great axe, by fire, by arrows with fire-flames and by Varuṇa’s noose they (i.e. the demons) plunged into Yama’s abode.

22-26. The demons, who were struck down by the sons, grandsons, and ministers (of Kartikeya etc.) with the showers of arrows and śaktis, (the demons who were struck down) by the planets, winds, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and by the intelligent Kubera with his mace, and with the multitudes of clouds, thunderbolts and snow discharged by the moon, dropped down on the ground due to the terrible poisons of the snakes. They (i.e. the demons) knocked down in thousands of crores by other gods, all fell lifeless to the ground. Casting their bodies some went to heaven and some to Yama’s abode. Some due to the working of their merit or sin went to the nether world.

27. In the meanwhile, the great sages recited the Vedas; (they said:) “May it be well with the brāhmaṇas, cows, women and ascetics.”

28-29a. When, now, all the other beings are fighting, the rest of the demons, troubled by gods, resorted to mountains; the cowards, afraid of fighting, went into all the directions.

29b-3la. When the army of the demons was broken (i.e. defeated), a very mighty (demon) named Bala, restrained and troubled the gods with arrows. Many gods, who were proud of their power, being tormented by his arrows fell down on the ground, and some were defeated in the battle.

31 b-32a. Seeing his great, fierce act, frightening the worlds, sages praised it (while) the remaining gods were crying.

32b-33. Then the angry Indra, the subduer of enemies, possessing great lustre, struck his (i.e. Bala’s) army and him, the best among the powerful, with volleys of arrows. He, the angry and powerful one, hastily struck Indra in the same way in the battle.

34-36. The two, very mighty ones (i.e. Bala and Indra), with their bodies moistened with blood spreading forth, (appeared) like the blossomed Kiṃśuka trees in the spring. The best demon (i.e. Bala) pierced (the body of) Indra (i.e. threw at him) by thousands of discs, lances and pestles in the battle. Moving to and fro the mighty king of gods easily cut off those lances and pestles.

37. Then that demon of great lustre quickly struck, with (the missile called) śakti, Indra, who was mounted upon an elephant, between his breasts.

38. Struck with it, Indra trembled on the elephant. Regaining consciousness, Indra, in a moment, pierced the mighty demon.

39. With an arrow he cut off the hands and the bow of him (i.e. of Bala) who was seated in a chariot. The killer of soldiers cut off his hand, shield and flag with an arrow.

40-41. With four sharp arrows he pierced his four horses. That moment only he cut off the charioteer’s head with one arrow. He, with his arrow cut off, his chariot destroyed and with his horses and charioteer killed, fell unconscious on the ground, and died in a short time.

42. Then the angry, great demon, Namuci, who destroyed the pride of the gods, took a mace and suddenly struck (Indra’s) great elephant.

43. The great thrilling sound (of the fall of the mace) certainly resembled the sound produced by the fall of the thunderbolt on the peak of the Meru mountain.

44. The elephant, tormented by the stroke and being alarmed, with his body moistened with blood, and afflicted by agony, went away with his face turned away.

45. Many (demons) in hundreds and thousands rushed at Indra. He cut them off with crescent-shaped arrows and arrows with sharp horse-shoe-shaped heads.

46. The best gods were troubled by the illusory creatures

of (i.e. created by) him. Some fell on the ground; some lay on the chariot.

47. Seeing his great deed, Viṣṇu then cut off with his discus those arrows that had turned into creatures and that had stuck to the bodies (of the gods).

48. Then Viṣṇu struck him down on the ground with three-arrows. The demon who had fallen on the ground became unconscious, and again tumbled.

49. He took up a terrible hammer and was ready to strike Indra. Then Indra killed the great demon with his thunderbolt.

50-51. With his chest wounded the very mighty (demon) fell on the ground. The gods, the Siddhas and the great sages (said:) ‘Well (done), well (done)’, and with many showers of flowers honoured Indra at that time. Then all the hosts of demons, being frightened, fled away. The Gandharvas sang songs, the groups of celestial nymphs danced.

Footnotes and references:


Rudra—Name of a group of gods, eleven in number, supposed to be inferior manifestations of Śiva or Śaṅkara, who is said to be the head of that group.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: