The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Mahisashura Defeated which is chapter 121 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 one hundred twenty-first chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 121 - Mahisāṣura Defeated

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-2. On hearing the words of the Devas, that great goddess said: “May the Devas give me a vehicle immediately.”

Thereupon, Gaurī gave her a hideous-faced lion as her vehicle. Then, riding on it she set off towards the Vindhya mountain.

3. She settled on one of its peaks. It was beautiful. It had excellent trees full of fruits and flowers. It appeared as though the peak was embellished with a pavilion of creepers.

4. Then the chaste lady observed severe vows and performed a penance. She controlled the group of her sense-organs and meditated upon Maheśvara.

5. As and when her penance grew steadily, O Brāhmaṇas, the beauty and refulgence of her body went on increasing.

6. In the meantime, the servants of the Lord of Daityas came there. On seeing a lady of wonderfully refulgent physical form engaged in the observance of Vratas, they went and reported it to their Lord, the wicked-souled Mahiṣa.

The spies said:

7. As we were roaming about on the surface of the earth we saw an extraordinary girl on the Vindhya mountain. She had twelve brilliant hands holding different kinds of weapons. She had covered her body with a hide.

8. No lady of (such) beautiful buttocks like hers having such an exquisite form has been seen by us before. She does not belong to the category of Devas, Gandharvas, Asuras, or Nāgas.

9. We do not know what she was performing the penance for. The lady of great reputation may be desirous of heaven, or she may be covetous of wealth or she may be desirous of a befitting husband, O Lord.

Sūta said:

10. On hearing their words, Mahiṣa, the Lord of Dānavas, was overwhelmed by Kāmadeva (god of Love) at the very moment he heard them.

11. Then, keeping them in front and accompanied by a great army he went to the place where the girl was present. He was very much swayed with eagerness.

12. It was as though for the sake of meeting sure death, a dull-witted jackal was approaching the beloved of a lion sleeping without any fear from any quarter quite complacently in a forest.

13. Merely at the very sight of that goddess the leader of Dānavas was struck with the arrows of Kāma instantaneously, O excellent Brāhmaṇas.

14. Then the demon who had become infatuated by her beauty and utterly deluded, kept the army at a distance and stood alone before her. He spoke to her sweetly:

15-19. “O lady of sweet smiles, this Vrata of yours is inconsistent with your youth. Hence, give this up and become the mistress of the three worlds.

I do not know whether you have heard about me. I am the Lord of Dānavas named Mahiṣa. It was by me that the thousand-eyed Lord Indra was defeated in a duel.

The entire area of the three worlds stays under my control now. Hence, O lady of excellent buttocks, become my extremely favourite wife..

I have already a thousand wives who are very splendid. All of them shall render menial service unto you now.

O lady of excellent lips, I shall hand over to you all my riches and shall behave like your very humble servant.”

Sūta said:

20. On hearing his words the great goddess rebuked him and spoke thus with her eyes red due to anger:

21-22. “Fie upon you, fie upon you, O demon of sinful activities! Your mind is assailed by lust. Why do you speak like this to me observing the vow of virginity?

I have been created by the excellent Devas for the purpose of killing you. I shall hence destroy you. Remember the ardent desire lurking in your heart.”

Mahiṣa said:

23. If it is so, O beautiful lady, it is but proper that a virgin should be sought after by all living beings.

24. O lady of excellent complexion, virtuous rites and penances are performed for the sake of heavenly pleasures, whereby people enjoy human as well as divine pleasures.

25. Therefore, O highly splendid one, surrender yourself to me through the Gāndharva form of marital alliance because it has been glorified as more important than other types of marriage alliance.

26. Even as he was saying thus the goddess became very furious and in an instant discharged an arrow aiming at his mouth.

27-30. In the manner of a serpent that enters an anthill the arrow pierced his mouth. On being hit with the arrows he cried aloud. Much blood flowed out of his mouth like the red chalk that flows from a mountain in liquid form. With anger overpowering him, he slowly receded and hurriedly resorted to the presence of his vast army. Completely under the control of Kāma he ordered thus to his soldiers: “May this wicked woman be captured. Although she may be shattered with blows see that the life does not leave her. If she does not fall dead due to the shower of arrows, she will certainly became my dear wife. There is no doubt about it.”

31. On being told thus by him the Dānavas, foolishly arrogant of their ability to fight, rushed at her discharging sharp arrows.

32-33. In the meantime the goddess observed that they had arrived with a firm determination to fight. Consequently they were threatening and taunting her again and again. Thereupon the goddess discharged sharp arrows and struck them instantly in all their vulnerable joints.

34. Hit by those sharp arrows some of those Daityas and Dānavas died and others were made to flee in different directions.

35. On observing that his army has been shattered by her in the battle the Daitya became furious and himself rushed at her.

36. Rumbling and roaring frequently like and autumnal cloud he hit her hundreds and thousands of times with his horns.

37. In the meantime the goddess laughed boisterously making the entire space of the three worlds filled therewith.

38. Thus, when she laughed, Pulindas, Śabaras, Mlecchas and other forest-dwellers issued forth from her mouth.

39. Śakas and Yavanas too came out thus in their hundreds of physical forms (bodies) covered with armour. They appeared like messengers of Yama.

40. They spoke: “O fair lady, for what purpose have we been created? Do tell us, O lady of excellent countenance, so that it can be carried out quickly.”

Devī said:

41. At our instance slay, as you please, these soldiers of this evil fellow. They are foolishly proud due to their inordinate strength. Slay them quickly.

42. On hearing her words, they danced and pranced holding their bows and swords. With great speed they rushed at the army of the Daityas.

43. Then a great and very terrible battle ensued between the two armies wherein the soldiers of the same side could not be distinguished from those of the others.

44. Then all those Dānavas were shattered and annihilated by the soldiers originating from the goddess. Others were wounded and disabled by their blows.

45. On seeing his army broken up, the infuriated Mahiṣa spoke angrily to the goddess these harsh words:

46. “O sinful woman, you were not killed by me in the battle solely on the consideration that you are a woman. So, see how I can strike. Otherwise you will not understand the reality.”

47. After saying thus and reviling her frequently, he butted against her with special force with his horns.

48. On seeing the Dānava close by, the goddess rode on him from behind furiously.

49. Shattered at the hind quarters the Daitya was fully drenched with blood. He rose up into the sky and roared loudly.

50. In the meantime, a lion came out from her refulgence and seized the hind part (of his body) angrily with his curved fangs.

51. The Dānava became motionless as he was caught under the feet (of the lion). He could not even take a step ahead. He gave out terrific roars.

52. In the meantime, all the Devas, including Vāsava came there and stood in the sky. Joyously they spoke to the goddess:

53. “O goddess of Suras, cut off the head (of this demon) with this sharp-edged sword so that he cannot go elsewhere.”

54. On hearing their words, the goddess became very angry. She wielded the sword and hit his stout neck.

55. On being struck with the sword the neck of the Daitya though stout and tough split into two causing the delight of the heaven-dwellers.

56. It had the splendour of twelve suns. The mouth held within it the shield as well as the sword. (The demon) began to revile the great goddess who had lifted up her hand with the sword. He then made the sword resembling the morning sun strike her body.

57. Then (the goddess) caught hold of his hair and was about to strike him to destroy his body. Then the Dānava said:

The Danava said:

58. Be victorious, O goddess; be victorious, O omnipresent goddess of Suras, be victorious. Be victorious, O omnipresent goddess. Be victorious, O goddess, O favourite of all the people.

59. O bestower of desired things, be always victorious. Be victorious, O most beautiful lady in all the three worlds. Be victorious, O goddess endeavouring to protect all the three worlds. Be victorious, O goddess who have no fear from anywhere.

60. Be victorious, O goddess who cause delight. Be victorious, O destroyer of the Daityas. Be victorious, O lustrous one who destroy sufferings. Be victorious, O bestower of delusion on the non-devotees.

61. You are the creation. You are the excellent goddess. You are the goddess of fortune. You are Sarasvatī. You are Svāhā; you are Svadhā, Tuṣṭi (satisfaction), Puṣṭi (nourishment). You are Medhā (intellect). You are Dhṛti (fortitude). You are Kṣamā (forgiveness).

62. Hence accord favour unto me. Protect my life. Take pity on me as I have bowed down, as I am bereft of everything and extremely wretched too.

63. I am the powerful son of Hiraṇyākṣa. I have been cursed by Durvāsas and turned into a Mahiṣa (buffalo). But, O goddess, I have been liberated by you.

64. Hence the haughtiness due to being a Dānava has been got rid of today. I shall be your servant now, O goddess of Suras.

65. Be victorious, O goddess present in all, O destroyer of all wicked ones.

66. On hearing these piteous words of the Daitya, the goddess of Suras was overcome with compassion. She then addressed these words to the Suras who stood in the firmament:

67-68. “What shall I do, O Suras? I have been moved with pity for him. Hence I will not kill the Dānava who is prattling piteously. I will not kill an enemy in the battle even if he be the murderer of my father, should he turn his face (back), leave off swords and weapons and aver ‘I am yours.’”

The Devas said:

69. O goddess of Devas, if you do not kill this base Dānava, he will surely destroy all the three worlds consisting of the mobile and immobile beings.

70. In that case all our efforts regarding your creation would be in vain. So also will be all your painful efforts.

Devī said:

71. O immortal ones, I will neither kill this one nor will I leave him off. I will catch hold of his hair and hold him always.

The Devas said:

72. O highly esteemed one! Excellent! Excellent! The proper word (decision) has been uttered by you. O goddess of Devas, indeed this alone is the proper thing to do on this occasion.

73. Do be in the mortal world now resorting to this terrible form with the weapons lifted up in the hands and seated on the buffalo. You will receive here highest adoration.

74. One who propitiates you present here in this form (will attain) fruits rarely achieved even by the immortals.

75. You shall be well-known as Vindhyavāsinī in association with this Demon. Of what avail is speaking too much! Listen to the words in brief.

76. Our words will be the truth and beneficial unto all the worlds. O goddess, the strength of kings shall depend on you.

77-78. Especially when a time of war comes, the kings who are your devotees shall gain strength through you. There is no doubt about this.

If any man undertakes any compaign or enters into any undertaking after recollecting you, bowing down to you and offering you special worship, he will always achieve success in every activity. Even a coward will have success. All the more so in the case of an excellent warrior.

79-80. If any man worships you on the eighth or ninth lunar day in the bright half of the month of Āśvina with excellent devotional fervour, O most beautiful lady of Suras, he will never meet defeat, fear or ailment for a full year thereafter. He will never have premature or accidental death nor the harassment and torment due to thefts.

Sūta said:

81. After saying thus to the goddess, those delighted Devas went to their city Amarāvatī on being permitted by her.

82. After going there and having regained his realm after a long time, Pākaśāsana joyously protected the three worlds after the eradication of all thorns (obstacles).

83. All the worlds were blessed with happiness thereafter. Devas once again became regular partakers of their shares in Yajñas in all the three worlds.

84. Thereafter, that goddess became well-known in all the three worlds, in all the holy spots and Tīrthas in particular.

85. In the meantime, Suratha, a king of Ānarta, was born. She was installed by him in this holy spot with great devotion.

86. A person who devoutly visits her on the eighth lunar day in the bright half of Caitra shall undoubtedly be blessed for the period of a full year.

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