The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Balatibaladaityaghni (Bala-Atibala-daitya-ghni) which is chapter 119 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 nineteenth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 119 - Greatness of Balātibaladaityaghnī (Bala-Atibala-daitya-ghnī)

Īśvara said:

1. Then, O great goddess, a devotee should go to the shrine of the highly resplendent Mahādevī well-known all over the earth by the name Balātibaladaityaghnī.

2. The goddess has neither beginning nor death. She is stationed in the holy spot with a crore of Bhūtas as her attendants. She is the destroyer of all Daityas.

The Devī said:

3. O Lord, why has she been mentioned as Balātibaladaityaghnī? How were the Daityas named Bala and Atibala struck down (by her)?

4. O Maheśvara, where does that goddess reside? Of what power is she? Mention in detail the entire greatness of that goddess.

Īśvara said:

5. Listen, O goddess, I shall describe the sin-destroying story by listening to which devoutly a man is rid of all sins.

6. There was a powerful demon named Raktāsura. He was son of Mahiṣa. With a huge body and powerful arms, he was another Hiraṇyākṣa.

7-8. He had two sons named Bala and Atibala. They defeated all the Suras with Devendra and Agni as their leaders. In the entire region of the three worlds, they established their suzerainty without fear and apprehension. Thirty-three warriors were glorified as the leaders of their army.

9. Ferocious by nature, they were great warriors leading a thousand Akṣauhiṇīs. They had huge bodies and stout shoulders like lions. Those mighty ones were wicked by nature.

10-13. The following Daityas of very huge bodies were the officials in their army: Dhūmrākṣa, Bhīmadaṃṣṭra, Kālavaśya, Mahāhanu, Brahmaghna, Yajñakopa, Strīghna, Pāpaniketana, Vidyunmālin, Bandhūka, Śaṅkukarṇa, Vibhāvasu, Devāntaka, Vikarman, Durbhikṣa, Krūra, Hayagrīva, Aśvakarṇa, Ketumān, Vṛṣabha, Dvija, Śarabha, Śalabha, Vyāghra, Nikuṃbha, Maṇika, Baka, Śūrpaka, Vikṣara, Mālin, Kāla, Daṇḍaka and Kerala.

14. The earth extending to fifty crores of Yojanas in area was thus occupied by them. On coming to know of this, the Devas were distressed in mind due to fear.

15. They went to the Himālaya forest along with all the celestial sages. Remaining pure in mind, they eulogized the goddess with this prayer:

The Devas said:

16. O imperishable one, be victorious! O infinite one, be victorious! O unmanifest one free from ailments, be victorious! O goddess of great Māyā, be victorious! O goddess, saluted to by Devas and sages, be victorious!

17. Be victorious, O ruler of the universe! O Gaṅgā, be victorious! O bestower of all Siddhis, be victorious! O Brahmāṇī. O Kaumārī, O Nārāyaṇī, O Īśvarī, be victorious!

18. Be victorious, O Brahmāṇī, O Cāmuṇḍā! Be victorious, O Indrāṇī, O Maheśvarī! Be victorious, O mother Mahālakṣmī, O omnipresent Pārvatī!

19. Be victorious, O refulgent goddess, O creator of the universe! Be victorious, O Airāvatī, O Bhāratī! Be victorious, O infinite one! Be victorious, Q Jayā, the victorious one, be victorious, O goddess Jalāvilā (Confusing to the confounded ones?)!

20. Be victorious, O Īśānī, O Śivā, O Śarvā! Be victorious always, O goddess adored with victory! Be victorious, O bestower of salvation; be victorious, O omniscient one; be victorious, O bestower of piety, wealth and desire!

21. O Gāyatrī, be victorious! O Kalyāṇī (bestower of welfare), be victorious! Be victorious, O Sahyā (the endurable one), O Vibhāvarī (the most excellent one due to brilliance)! Be victorious, O Durgā, O Mahākālī, O Śivadūtī (one with Śiva as messenger); be victorious, O invincible one!

22. Be victorious, O Caṇḍā (fierce one); be victorious, O Mahāmuṇḍa! Be victorious, O Nandā, the beloved of Śiva; be victorious, O Kṣemaṃkarī (One who causes welfare), O Śivā, be victorious, O Kalyāṇī, O Revatī!

23. Be victorious, O Umā, O Siddhi-Māṅgalyā (perfect achievement and auspicious one)! Obeisance to you, O Harasiddhā; be victorious, O Aparṇā; be victorious, O Anandā, O destroyer of the demon Mahiṣa!

24. Be victorious, O Medhā (intelligence), O Viśālākṣī (one with wide eyes), be victorious O Anaṅgā, O Sarasvatī, be victorious, O receptable of all good qualities! Be Victorious, O Āvartā, O destroyer of Asuras.

25. Be victorious, O goddess of perfect achievement by mere will. Be victorious, O sole beautiful lady of the three worlds! Be victorious, O destroyer of Śuṃbha and Niśuṃbha! Be victorious, O Padmā, O Adrisaṃbhavā (born of the Mountain)!

26. O Kauśikī, be victorious! O Kaumārī! Be victorious, O Vāruṇī, O bestower of desires! Obeisance, obeisance to you, O Śarvāṇī; O Aṃbikā, be victorious, again and again!

27. Save us, save us, O goddess, save us who have sought refuge in you, O Śaraṇyā (One worthy of being a refuge)!

28. On being eulogized thus, O lady of excellent countenance, by all the Devas, the goddess manifested her own form that had illuminated the quarters.

29. After making obeisance to her, those Suras spoke to the goddess who dispelled their fear: “Kill the highly powerful Daityas named Bala and Atibala as well as their vast army. Save us from this great danger.”

30. On hearing their words and after granting them freedom from fear, she assumed a wonderful form with three eyes and the Moon on the head.

31. The great goddess held different kinds of weapons and missiles and was riding a lion. She could be compared to a streak of a refulgent lightning. She had twenty arms and an excellent countenance.

32. Then Aṃbikā (the mother) roared loudly with repeated boisterous laughs.

33. On account of her terrible sound, the entire earth girdled by rivers and oceans quaked. The echoes filled the entire firmament.

34. Her breasts were protruding like mountains. She was like a beautiful woman. Like a woman she appeared to be distressed due to fear. The Asuras too with the four divisions of their army came there.

35. The Rākṣasas, Dānavas and Daityas who were dwelling in the nether worlds, who were well-known for their valour and resembled Kāla, Antaka and Yama (god of death) reached the place.

36. Crores of leading Daityas came there. Thereupon there started a great battle between the goddess and the Asuras.

37-39. The battle that enveloped the entire Cosmic Egg became the cause of sudden annihilation thereof. The goddess sportingly annihilated thousands of the Daityas. O goddess of Suras, thirty-three thousands of Akṣauhiṇīs (of foot soldiers) twenty-one thousand attendants and seven thousand eight hundred fast moving chariots were destroyed. The goddess thereby brought tremendous annihilation without the least agitation.

40. The entire battlefield was strewn with the bodies of the horses and elephants and the highly powerful Daityas killed by the goddess.

41. In the arena of the war, where headless bodies writhed and danced about recklessly, where the suet issuing from the bones caused a large slush, the energetic Niśācaras (Night-stalkers; ghosts etc.) wandered about.

42. In some places jackals, vultures and crows flew and fluttered and jumped about. The Niśācaras drank blood profusely and arrogantly ingratiated themselves. After propitiating their Pitṛs, they adored the sages too.

43. Many of them ruthlessly ate up elephants and men as well as the horses. They crossed the oceans of blood by means of chariots serving the function of rafts.

44. While the war was thus taking a more serious turn, with the groups of the Asuras agitating all round, the Mother Divine made her brilliant appearance there holding and wielding her bow, arrows, sword and trident.

45. She suppressed the arrogance of the huge tuskers; she thrashed the assemblage of the horses; she destroyed the armies of the demons and surveyed all round.

46[1]. On seeing the lady of exalted mind riding a great Pretaka (spirit, ghost) joined with eight lions, shining brightly and having refulgent splendour like a mountain, like a swan and resembling a bull, the Daitya warriors became furious. They rushed thereat roaring like rumbling clouds.

47. When they were killed, they shouted “Hā! Hā!” Some of the Asuras entered the sea. A few Dānavas went over the mountains.

48. Some of them had tonsured their heads and they stayed within forests as rogues. Some of them adopted the Vrata of the Nirgranthas (nude sages or Digambara Jainas) and preached sermons on the pious activities of merciful nature.

49. Some of them became afraid of (the goddess) for their lives. They resorted to the life of heretics. They were fools engaged in arguments and disputations about basic or original causes. They had no cleanliness and they did not crave for anything.

50. They are indeed seen even today in the world of Kṣapaṇakas (Buddhist monks). Others are Bhindakas excluded from the scriptures of Śaiva cult.

51. Some of the Kaulavratas (persons practising the left-hand Śākta cult) are seen in this world by all the people. They are most addicted to Surā (liquor), Strī (women) and Māṃsa (meat). They follow the path of unfair activities. They are Liṅgins (Liṅga worshippers).

52. Many of them were sinful Naiskṛtikas (rogues, having no virtuous activities) too much addicted to tongue (gluttonous) and organs of generation (given to debauchery). Thus all connected with Bala and Atibala were killed by the goddess.

53. Then Aṃbikā (Mother Divine) came to Prabhāsa and settled there. The sin-destroying goddess was accompanied by sixty-four Yoginīs. In Prabhāsa she was well-known all over the world as Balātibalanāśinī.

The Devī said:

54. O Lord of Suras, do tell me the sin-destroying names of the Yoginīs mentioned by you as numbering sixty-four.

Īśvara said:

55. Listen, O goddess, I shall describe to you the great glory of the Yoginīs. It gives protection to everyone. It is divine and remover of great fear.

56-62. The first is Mahālakṣmī. Then come Nandā. Kṣemaṃkarī, Śivadūtī, Mahābhadrā, Bhrāmarī, Candramaṇḍalā, Revatī, Harasiddhi, Durgā, Viṣamalocanā, Sahajā, Kulajā, Kubjā, Māyāvī, Śāṃbhavī, Kriyā, Ādyā, Sarvagatā, Śuddhā, Bhāvagamyā, Manotigā, Vidyā, Avidyā, Mahāmāyā, Suṣumnā, Sarvamaṅgalā, Oṃkārātmā, Mahādevī, Vedarthā, Jananī, Śivā, Purāṇānvīkṣikī, Dīkṣā, Cāmuṇḍā, Śaṅkarapriyā, Brāhmī, Śāntikarī, Gaurī, Brahmaṇyā, Brāhmaṇapriyā, Bhadrā, Bhagavatī, Kṛṣṇā, Grahanakṣatramālinī, Tripurā, Tvaritā, Nityā, Saṃkhyā, Kuṇḍalinī, Dhruvā, Kalyāṇī, Śobhanā, Nityā, Niṣkalā, Paramā, Kalā, Yoginī, Yogasadbhāvā, Yogagamyā, Guhāśayā, Kātyāyanī, Umā, Śarvā and Aparṇā the glorified one.

63-69. O great goddess, thus I have enumerated to you all the sixty-four (Yoginīs).

Śarvāṇī will protect from all dangers like her own son, a devotee who devoutly eulogizes Caṇḍikā by means of this Stotra of divine features.

On the eighth, ninth and fourteenth lunar days, the devotees should observe fasts or take only a single meal, that too unsolicited. They should observe all restrictions and continue thus for one year or six months. They shall become Siddhas and Tattvacārins (observers of great principles).

For increase in welfare a devotee should worship the goddess by celebrating great festival during Aṣṭakā days, Manvādis (first day of Manvantaras) and in the bright half of Aśvayuk month.

A devotee of Durgā should hold the golden sandals of the goddess for the suppression of blunders and obstacles. He should also hold a dagger.

Those with Asura (Demoniac) tendencies who worship Aṃbikā by means of meat of beasts and liquor shall become Daityas enjoying prosperity and Lordship.

Those who adopt Sāttvika type of devotion attain Devatva (godhood).

70. Thus succinctly the sin-destroying greatness of goddess Balātibalanāśinī residing in the holy spot of Prabhāsa has been explained to you, O fair lady. It augments fame and facilitates the acquisition of all objectives.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Seems to be a piece in prose and not a verse.

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