by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Victory of Durga which is chapter 72 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 seventy-second chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
2. O Pot-born Sage, I shall tell the names of those great Śaktis born of the limbs of Umā. Listen to them factually:
13-14. Vārtālī, Jaṃbhalī, Klinnā, Aśvārūḍhā, Sureśvarī, Jvālāmukhī and others. They numbered nine crores. All of them were extremely powerful. Sportingly the armies of the mighty Dānavas were shrunk by them like the worlds shrunk by the flames of the fire at the time of the ultimate annihilation.
15-16. In the meantime, Durga, the mighty leader of the Daityas, made a shower of hailstones with the velocity of gusts of winds from behind the clouds. Thereupon, the esteemed goddess checked the shower of hailstones by discharging Śoṣaṇa (‘drying up’) missiles.
17-18. Just as a lustful young woman remains unsuccessful even after getting a eunuch, so also the shower of the hailstones by the Daitya was ineffective in regard to the goddess. Thereupon, with the anger due to the sprain in his arms, the king of demons uprooted a peak of mountain and hurled it from the sky above.
19. On noticing the huge mountain peak rushing towards her, she split it into millions of bits by striking it with the thunderbolt.
20. Frequently shaking his head embellished with the earrings, the demon took the form of an elephant and rushed at the goddess.
21-22. On seeing the elephant coming forward huge in size like a mountain, the goddess bound him with a noose and quickly cut his trunk off with a sword. On the trunk having been cut off by the goddess, the elephant excessively trumpeted. Rendered ineffective in his action, he assumed a buffalo’s form.
23-26. Kicking with his hoofs, he made the immovable earth tremble. That powerful animal hurled many boulders and rocks with his horns. Struck down by his exhalation, huge trees fell down on the ground. The seven vast expanses of water lashed against the shores and overflowed them. The pavilion of the three worlds was shaken by that powerful demon in the form of a great buffalo as though by the violent gusts of wind at the close of the Yugas. The entire Cosmic Egg became bewildered by the sudden, terrible fight. On seeing it, the goddess became furious and struck him with her trident.
27-28. Flurried on being struck by the trident, he fell down and rose up again. Abandoning the form of the buffalo he became (a Daitya) with a thousand arms. Invincible (to others) that Durga shone excessively in the battlefield, holding thousands of weapons and resembled Kāla, the destroyer.
29-36. Then that highly powerful Daitya king seized the goddess (though) an expert in the battle and carried her quickly along the sky. Thereupon, he hurled the mother of the universe far off from the sky. In an instant the highly impetuous Daitya covered her with masses of arrows.
The goddess within the circle of arrows high up in the sky above, shone like a streak of lightning encircled by masses of great clouds.
Dispersing the multitude of arrows perfectly by means of her own arrows, she pierced the leader of Daityas by means of a great arrow.
Pierced in the heart by the goddess with that great arrow, he became highly agitated and fell on the ground with eyes rolling about and created a river (of blood) by means of great torrents of his blood. When that Durga of highly impregnable exploits fell down, the divine war drums were beaten. All the worlds became delighted. The sun and the moon along with fire regained their original splendour. Making a shower of flowers, the Devas came there along with the great sages. They eulogized the great goddess respectfully with great hymns.
The Devas said:
[The Prayer of the Devas:]
37. Obeisance to you, O goddess, the nursing mother of the universe, the source of origin of the three worlds (like the Araṇi producing fire), O great Śaktì of Maheśvara, O destroyer of Daityas, like an axe felling trees.
39. Obeisance to you, O goddess with the swan for vehicle, O creatress of all.created things. O ground of origin of all worlds without beginning, O goddess in the form of the Four-faced Lord.
41. You are the light of the Moon; you are the Śakti of the Sun; you are the Śakti of all the gods; you are the supreme goddess.
43. You are in the form of the mind; you are in the form of all Indriyas (sense-organs). You are in the form of the five Tanmātras (subtle elements); O Aṃbikā, you are in the form of all (gross) elements.
44. You are in the form (of the qualities like) sound etc. You are one who blesses all the organs of action; you are the creator of the Cosmic Egg, O goddess. You are identical with the Cosmos.
45. O great goddess, you are the supreme goddess; you are greater than the greatest; you are in the form of the supreme soul, greater than everything beyond.
46. O Īśānī, you are in the embodiment of everything; you are the formless one; you are present everywhere. O great Māyā, you are the power of Consciousness (Cicchakti). O immortal one, you are Svāhā; and also Svadhā.
48. You are in the form of the four aims of life; you are the outcome of the benefit of the four aims of life; this entire universe is (born) from you; O storehouse of the universe, everything is in you.
49. Whatever is visible and invisible, whatever is gross and subtle you are in the form of Śakti therein. There is nothing anywhere without you.
50. O mother, the great leader of Asuras, Durga, who had employed the entire host of armies of the Daityas against the genuine Devas (Brahmā and others), has been killed by you. O refuge of those who bow down, we have been protected. Who else is there whom we shall seek as refuge?
51. O goddess, only they whom you look with favour can be prosperous in the world with wealth and grain; only they can be blessed with sons, wives, grandsons and excellent friends; only their fame can spread all over the universe and make it bright as if with rays of the moon.
52. O consort of the enemy of Tripura, not even the least of trouble can befall the people in whose mind there is devotion unto you. Where can there be distress to the men who bow down unto you? Where is rebirth in the world to those who resort to your name throughout their lives?
53. It is surprising, O Bhavānī, that the Daitya Durga fell within the range of your vision in the course of the battle and was subjected to the control of the god of Death, though your vision is the storehouse of nectar. It is clearly well-known. Even a wicked one does not attain wretchedness (or return to the earth by being born again) if he falls within the range of your vision.
54. The Daityas who had attained the state of the locusts in the fire of your weapons, pierce through the (disc of the) Sun and attain heaven. This is because good persons do not have evil-intentions towards even wicked ones. Loving them like good persons, they direct them to their own pathways.
55. O Mṛḍānī, always protect us in the East (since) we have always bowed to you. O Bhavānī, protect us in the South at every step from adversity. O wife of Tripura-Tāpana (‘destroyer of the three Puras’), protect us in the West. O Maheśī, do protect your devotees in the North.
56-57. O Brahmāṇī, always protect (us) whose heads are bent down to you. O Vaiṣṇavī, protect the families (of devotees) from beneath. May Mṛtyuñjayā, Trinayanā, Tripurā and Triśakti, protect in the quarters of Rudra, Fire (South-East) Nirṛti (South-West) and the Wind-god (North-West). O goddess devoid of impurities, may your trident protect our hairs; may the goddess Śaśikalābhṛt (wearing the crescent moon on her head) protect our forehead; may Umā protect the eyebrows; may the bride of the Three-eyed Lord protect our eyes; may the daughter of the Mountain protect our nose; may Jayā protect the upper lip; and may Vijayā protect the region of lower lip.
58. May Śrutiravā protect the pair of our ears; may Śrī protect the row of teeth; may Caṇḍī protect the pair of our cheeks; may Vāṇī protect our tongue; may Jayamaṅgalā always protect the chin; and may Kātyāyanī protect the entire facial region.
59. We make obeisance (to you). May Nīlakaṇṭhī protect our neck here; may Bhūdāraśakti (Vārāhī) always protect the nape of the neck; may Kaurmī protect the region of our shoulders always; may Aindrī (Indra’s Śakti) protect the upper arm and may Padmā protect the hand.
60. May Kamalajā protect the fingers of the hands; may Virajā protect the nails; may the destroyer of darkness stationed in the solar disc protect the armpit; may Sthalacarī protect the chest; may Dharitrī protect the heart; may the slayer of night-stalking demons protect both sides.
61. May Jagadīśvarī always protect the cavity of the stomach; may Nabhogati protect our navel; may Ajā protect the back; may Vikaṭā protect the waist; may Paramā protect the buttocks; may Guhāraṇi (‘Mother of Guha’) protect the private parts; and may Apāyahantrī (’Destroyer of danger’) protect the anus.
62. May Vipulā protect the pair of thighs; may Lalitā protect the knees; may Javā protect the calves; may Kaṭhoratarā protect the pair of ankles here; may Rasātalacarā protect the feet; may Ugrā protect the region of the toes; may Cāndrī protect the nails; and may Talavāsinī protect the soles of the feet.
63. May Lakṣmī protect our house; may Kṣemakarī always protect our fields; may Priyakarī protect our sons; may Sanātanī protect our longevity.
64. May Mahādevī protect the fame; may Dhanurdhārī protect our virtue; may Kuladevī protect the family; may Sadgatipradā always protect the goal of the good.
65. May Śarvānī protect from all sides in the battlefield, in the royal palace, at the gaming table, at the hostilities, when there is danger from the enemy, in the house, in the forest, in water etc.
67-71. Thereafter the delighted mother of the universe spoke to those excellent Suras:
May all the Suras take up their administrative task in their respective positions of authority as before.
I have become pleased with this prayer and eulogy perfectly based on reality. I shall grant you another boon. Oh! Listen ye all excellent Suras. If any man of pure habit eulogized me devoutly by means of this prayer, I shall destroy his adversity at every step.
If a man wears the coat of mail of this prayer, he has no fear anywhere as if he is within the Vajrapañjara (Adamantine Cage).
From today my name will become famous as Durgā because I have caused the downfall of Durgā, the Daitya, which was very difficult to accomplish.
72. Those who seek refuge in me, Durgā, will have no wretchedness anywhere. This eulogy of Durgā is named Vajrapañjara and is highly meritorious.
73-75. Making an armour with this, one can cease to be afraid of even Yama. Ghosts, goblins, vampires, evil Planets, groups of Śākinīs and Ḍākinīs wicked spirits like Jhoṭiṅgas, demons, cruel poisonons serpents, fires, thieves, Vetālas, fevers arising from gaseousness or biliousness etc.—all these flee on hearing this splendid prayer.
76-77. This hymn named Vajrapañjara is laudatory of Durgā. One who is protected by this hymn is free from the fear of even the thunderbolt.
If anyone repeats this eight times and drinks the water consecrated therewith, he will never have pain in the stomach.
78-80. Consecrated with this hymn, one will never have any affliction in the womb. Children will experience great peace and tranquillity by drinking the water consecrated with this hymn. All the Śaktis along with me will be present where there is the presence of this hymn. At my behest, they will accord protection to all my devotees.
After granting boons thus to the Devas, the goddess vanished.
81-84. All those heaven-dwellers joyously went to their respective abodes.
It was thus, O great sage, that the goddess got the name Durgā. Listen how she should be worshipped (and resorted to) at Kāśī, I shall tell you.
Durgā, the destroyer of wretchedness, should always be adored at Kāśī on the eighth and the fourteenth lunar day and especially on Tuesdays.
During the autumnal nine-day festivities, she should be adored everyday. She will then destroy collections of obstacles and grant wisdom and knowledge. Due to the presents of great adoration and the food offerings of sweet cooked rice Durgā in Kāśī shall be the bestower of cherished things. She will grant spiritual powers. There is no doubt in this.
85-89. During the autumnal Navarātra every year, pilgrimage and festivals should be performed unto her by the devotees along with the members of their families, seeking auspiciousness.
If anyone of evil intellect fails to perform the annual pilgrimage and religious festival of Durgā at Kāśī, there shall be thousands of obstacles at every step of his.
A man who takes his holy bath in Durgākuṇḍa and duly worships Durgā, the destroyer of all insurmountable distresses, shall get rid of the sins of nine births.
That Goddess Durgā protects Kāśī all-round in the company of the Śaktis. They, the chief of whom is Kālarātri, should be assiduously worshipped by men.
Similarly, there are nine other Śaktis who protect this holy spot from thousands of oppressive torments. They are the following deities (protectors) of the quarters in due order.
90-91. They are Śatanetrā, Sahasrāsyā, Ayutabhujā, Aśvārūḍhā, Gajāsyā, Tvaritā, Śavavāhīnī, Viśvā and Saubhāgya-Gaurī. They have been posted in the eight directions beginning with East and (the last one) in the middle. These deities protecting the holy spot should be assiduously worshipped.
92. Similarly, there are eight Bhairavas established in the eight quarters, who always protect Kāśī, the abode of the goddess and glory of salvation.
94. There are sixty-four Vetālas of extremely terrible forms. All of them have garlands of skulls and headless trunks. They have scissors and skulls in their hands.
95. They are nude with dishevelled hairs. They are inebriated with blood as their wine.
96. All of them could assume many different forms. They have different kinds of weapons and missiles in their hands. They have crores and crores of servants surrounding them with the same characteristics and features as they themselves (have).
97-100. Some of these sixty-four are the following: Vidyujjihva, Lalajjihva, Krūrāsya, Krūralocana, Ugra, Vikaṭadaṃṣṭra, Vakrāsya, Vakranāsika, Jaṃbhaka, Jṛṃbhaṇamukha, Jvālānetra, Vṛkodara, Gartanetra, Mahānetra, Tucchanetra, Antramaṇḍana, Jvalatkeśa, Kaṃbuśiras, Kharvagrīva, Mahāhanu, Mahānāsa, Laṃbakarṇa, Karṇaprāvaraṇa, Anasa and so on. O sage, these and others protect the holy spot always. They are fond of the blood of the people of evil actions and conduct. They terrify the people of wicked actions and habit.
101-102. O Pot-born Sage, the Śaktis I mentioned beginning with Trailokyavijayā and ending with Jvālāmukhī protect Kāśī all-round in the four quarters with their weapons raised aloft. For quelling all great obstacles they should be assiduously worshipped.
103. Bhairavas, the chief of whom is Ruru, are the dispellers of great fear. They should always be adored in Kāśī. They are the causes of all riches.
104. Vetālas beginning with Vidyujjihva are fierce in their forms. On being worshipped here, they will remove even excessively fierce masses of obstacles.
105. Similarly, the group of Bhūtas here of diverse and terrible forms numbering a hundred crores, O sage, protects the city with the weapons lifted up.
106. All these deities who protect the holy spot of the glory of salvation at every step, should be worshipped in Kāśī by those who desire Salvation.
107. On listening to this meritorious chapter named Durgajaya and containing the names of the various Śaktis a man will surmount all difficulties quickly.
108. On hearing the names of Bhairavas and Vetālas enumerated and cited here, the man does not become dispirited due to obstacles.
109. Those Bhūtas, even when not visited directly will assiduously protect the reader of this narrative along with those who listen to it.
110. Hence this narrative that removes great obstacles should be listened to attentively by men devoted to Kāśī.
111-112. If this is copied and worshipped and kept in the house the deities will destroy thousands of the obstacles befalling that owner of the house. This narrative resembling the adamantine cage should be listened to with great respect by one who has any love for Kāśī.