The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Rudra’s Army Defeated which is chapter 18 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the eighteenth chapter of the Karttikamasa-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 18 - Rudra’s Army Defeated

Nārada said:

1. On hearing it, the whole body of Jalandhara became agitated with anger. Surrounded by a crore of Daityas, he quickly marched out (of his abode).

2. As he was going, Śukra and Rāhu came within the range of his vision in front.[1] His crown fell on the ground as he faltered in his steps due to the speed.

3. The sky was completely covered with hundreds of his aerial chariots filled with the army of Daityas. It shone as though covered with clouds during the rainy season.

4. On seeing his army, Devas with Śakra as their leader went to the Trident-bearing Lord without being noticed by anyone and informed him entreatingly.

The Devas said:

5. How is it that you are not aware of this calamity of the Devas, O Lord? Therefore, kill the son of the Ocean for the sake of protecting

Nārada said:

6. On hearing these words of the Devas, the Bull-emblemed Lord laughed. He called Mahāviṣṇu and spoke these words:

Īśvara said:

1. O Viṣṇu, how is it that Jalandhara was not killed by you in battle? Further you have gone over to his house after leaving off your own Vaikuṇṭha?

Viṣṇu said:

8. He is not killed in battle by me because he is born of a part of yours and because he is the brother of Śrī. You do kill this Dānava.

Īśvara said:

9. He is exceedingly refulgent. He cannot be killed by me through these (ordinary) weapons and missiles. Let a part of their splendour be given by the Devas for making my weapon. Let a part of your splendour too be given to me.

Nārada said:

10. Then the Devas including Viṣṇu gave their respective refulgences. On seeing them united together, Īśa released his own refulgence too.

11. With that (combined) splendour, Mahādeva created an excellent weapon, a discus named Sudarśana[2] which was extremely terrible with its clusters of flames.

12. With the remaining (splendour), Hari (?Hara) made the thunderbolt. By that time Jalandhara was seen on the grounds at the foot of Kailāsa.

13. He was surrounded by crores of elephants, horses, chariots and foot-soldiers. On seeing him, all the Devas slipped away unobserved in the manner they had come.

14. The Gaṇas (attendants of Śiva) got ready for the battle in a hurry. All of them with, Nandin, Gajānana and Kārttikeya as leaders made preparations for the battle at the behest of Śiva.

15. Proud of their ability to fight, the Gaṇas descended from Kailāsa. Then a fight ensued on the lower slopes of Kaiīāsa between the chieftains of Pramathas and Daityas.

16-18a. The battle was tumultuous with (the sound) of terrible weapons and missiles. The whole of the earth reverberated with the sounds of Bherī and Mṛdaṅga drums, multitudes of conchs, shrill and joyous shouts of heroes and the sounds produced by elephants, horses and chariots. The whole earth shook. The sky filled with javelins, iron clubs, arrows, pestles, spears, lances having sharp edges etc. shone as though with firebrands.

18b-21. With the chariots, elephants, horses and foot-soldiers struck down or killed, the earth shone as though scattered with pieces of the tops of mountains struck by thunderbolts.

The ground became impassable because of the suet, blood and flesh that formed a mass of muddy heap with the groups of Daityas struck down by Pramathas and Gaṇas killed by the Daityas.

Śukra resuscitated the groups of Daityas killed by Pramathas in the battle by the power of the Mṛtasañjīvinī Vidyā. This happened frequently. On seeing this all the Gaṇas became bewildered and frightened. They reported all the activities of Śukra to the Lord of the Devas.

22-23. Then an extremely terrible Kṛtyā (female Ogress) came out of the mouth of Rudra. Her calves were as huge as palm trees. Her mouth resembled a huge cave. With her breasts she crushed tall trees.

She came to the battleground and began to devour the great Asuras. She put Bhārgava (Śukra) within her vaginal passage and vanished in the sky.

24. On seeing that Bhārgava had been abducted, the Gaṇas became delighted. Their faces ceased to be faded and pallid. Proud of their ability to fight, they killed the army of Daityas.

25. The army of Daityas frightened by the Gaṇas broke lose like a cluster of grasses scattered and tossed about by stormy winds.

26. On seeing that their army was being crushed due to the fear of the Gaṇas, Niśuṃbha and Śuṃbha, the generals, and Kālanemi, the powerful one, became furious and rushed (into the battlefield).

27. Showering volleys of arrows like clouds showering heavy rain in the rainy season, those three (Daityas) of great strength thwarted the army of Gaṇas.

28. Then the volleys of arrows of the Daityas overcast the sky and enveloped the quarters like swarms of locusts and made the army of Gaṇas tremble.

29. The Gaṇas were split by hundreds of arrows. Blood began to gush out from their bodies and they resembled Kiṃśukas (Butea frondosa). They were not aware of anything.

30. The Gaṇas who had dropped down or who were being struck down, those who were split and cut—all these abandoned the battlefield and turned their backs.

31. On seeing their army shattered Nandin, Gajānana and Kārttikeya hurriedly attacked the Daityas furiously and restrained them.

Footnotes and references:


VV 2-3 indicate the ill omens predicting Jalandhara’s defeat.


This explains the extraordinary power of the discus Sudarśana. Originally it belonged to Śiva who used it against demon Jalandhara. He gave it to Viṣṇu later.

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