The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words

This page describes Fight between Devas and Asuras which is chapter 34 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 thirty-fourth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 34 - Fight between Devas and Asuras

The sages said:

1-2. O Sūtaja, about that sage (Agastya) you have said: “For the sake of Suras the ocean, the storehouse of waters, was drunk by you (Agastya) formerly[1].” O highly intelligent one, describe in detail how the storehouse of waters was drunk up by that sage formerly.

Sūta said:

3. Formerly the foremost among Dānavas, famous by the name Kāleya, became the cause of the loss of vigour and enthusiasm of all the Devas.

4. On seeing the entire range of the three worlds trembled by their enormous powers, Lord Maheśvara was thus told by Viṣṇu the powerful one:

5. “O Īśāna, this entire range of the three worlds is tormented by Kālikeyas of great power. Hence, O Lord, we have to go to the earth now itself and carry on a great fight with them.”

6. Thereupon Rudra, Viṣṇu and the Thousand-eyed One (Indra) armed themselves with sharp weapons and accompanied by Suras all of them arrived on the earth.

7. On coming to know that all the Devas had assembled together, all those Dānavas angrily came face to face with them quickly for fighting them off.

8. Then ensued a great fight between the Devas and the Dānavas, wherein the entire range of the three worlds trembled with fear and agitation.

9. Then, arrogant with his might a Dānava named Kālaprabha saw before him Śakra with the Vajra lifted up in his hand. He then laughed and said these words in a voice majestic like the report of thunder:

10. “It is after the passage of a long time that the Lord of heaven has fortunately come within our vision. O Thousandeyed One, release your Vajra. Let me witness your manliness.”

11..Thereupon, the enraged Śatakratu hurled the Vajra at him. The demon sportingly caught hold of it with his left hand.

12. Then aiming at Śakra he threw a huge club entirely made of iron. It was very terrific and appeared like another tongue of Yama.

13. On being struck by it, the Thousand-eyed One became unconscious. Drenched in a pool of blood he somehow remained on the chariot with the help of the flagstaff.

14. Mātali saw the Slayer of Bala (Indra) unconscious. Remembering the conventional duty of a charioteer he turned the chariot eastward (away from the battlefield).

15. Then, as the chariot of Śakra was turned away in the course of the battle, all the Devas became excessively frightened and they fled in all directions.

16. Ādityas, Vasus, Rudras, Viśvedevas, and the group of Maruts shamelessly (fled away). They were hit on their backs with sharp arrows and were shattered.

17. On seeing the army shattered by the Dānavas the Slayer of Madhu (i.e, Viṣṇu) immediately mounted Garuḍa and rushed against Kālaprabha.

18. Then all the Dānavas surrounded him roaring aloud repeatedly. They covered him with sharp arrows.

19. Enveloped by them all round, Viṣṇu shone like another red (bloody) mountain with the boldly experiencing horripilation.

20. He then split the volleys of arrows by means of arrows fitted with feathers of heron, discharged from his Śārṅga bow and killed the Daityas.

21. Being annihilated by Murāri (Viṣṇu) all those groups of Daityas resembled deer oppressed by lions. They did not find any saviour.

22. In the meantime a Daitya remembered as Kālakhañja furiously rushed at Vāsudeva.

23. Striking Vāsudeva with five arrows very sharp and hard as rocks, he furiously hit Garuḍa with ten flat-jointed arrows.

24. Thereafter Mādhava discharged the discus Sudarśana for slaying that Daitya. It was encircled by a series of sparks of fire.

25. On seeing that discus that issued from Vāsudeva’s hand coming towards him, the Daitya opened his mouth wide to swallow it and stood facing it.

26. The great Daitya did swallow it and said “Wait! Wait!” Then he discharged arrows aiming at Vāsudeva.

27. Being struck by the Daitya who had swallowed the (Sudarśana) discus, Vāsudeva along with Garuḍa experienced acute pain.

28-29. In the meantime the enraged Lord, the Slayer of Tripuras, saw Hari in the plight and Śakra with averted face. He then hit the son of Danu with his trident, he killed the others by means of the arrows discharged from his Pināka bow.

30. Lord Śaṃbhu slew Kālaprabha, Prakāla, Kālāsya, Kālavigraha and other leaders.

31. Then all those hideous Dānavas, despite their importance, became bereft of enthusiasm in the conquest of their enemies. They began to flee.

32. Then Śakra and Viṣṇu regained consciousness and took up again their weapons. They congratulated Mahādeva and stood ready for the battle on the field.

33. In the meantime all the Devas including Vāsava observed that the sons of Danu were smashed. They then began to exterminate them with hundreds of arrows and other weapons.

34-35. Most of the powerful Dānavas had been killed or were being killed with sharp arrows by the Devas proud of their victory. They, therefore, entered the ocean which the Devas could not reach even mentally. Thus the Daityas became leaderless and miserable. All their limbs had been mutilated.

Footnotes and references:


This legend viz. drinking up the Sea completely by Agastya is found Mbh, Vana 105.3-6.

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