Durga Saptashati Chapter 8

 

Durga Saptashati

Ashthamodhyaya

CHAPTER 8

The Slaying of Raktabija 

The Rishi said:

1-3. After the daitya Chanda was slain and Munda was laid low, and many of the battalions were destroyed, the lord of the asuras, powerful Sumbha, with mid overcome by anger, commanded then the mobilization of all the daitya hosts:

4. ‘Now let the eighty-six asuras – upraising their weapons – with all their forces, and the eighty-four Kambus, surrounded by their own forces, go out.

5. ‘Let the fifty asura families of Kotiviryas and the hundred families of Dhaumras go forth at my command.

6. ‘Let the asurasa Kalakas, Daurhrdas, the Mauryas and the Kalakeyas hasten at my command and march forth ready for battle.’

7. After issuing these orders, Sumbha, the lord of the asuras and a ferocious ruler, went forth, attended by many thousands of big forces.

8. Seeing that most terrible army coming, Chandika filled into space between the earth and the sky with the twang of her bow-string.

9. Thereon her lion made an exceedingly loud roar, O King, and Ambika magnified those roars with the clanging of the bell.

10. Kali, expanding her mouth wide and filling the quarters with the sound (hum ) overwhelmed the noises of her bow-string, lion and bell by her terrific roars.

11. On hearing that roar the enraged asura battalions surrounded the lion, the Devi (Chandika) and Kali on all the four sides.

12-13. At this moment, O King, in order to annihilate the enemies of devas and for the well-being of the supreme devas, there issued forth, endowed with exceeding vigour and strength, Shaktis from the bodies of Brahma, Shiva, Guha, Vishnu and Indra, and with the form of those devas went to Chandika.

14. Whatever was the form of each deva, whatever his ornaments and vehicle, in that very form his Shakti advanced to fight with the asuras.

15. In a heavenly chariot drawn by swans advanced Brahma’s Shakti carrying a rosary and Kamandalu. She is called Brahmani.

16. Maheshvari arrived, seated on a bull, holding a fine trident, wearing bracelets of great snakes and adorned with a digit of the moon.

17. Ambika Kaumari, in the form of Guha, holding a spear in hand riding on a fine peacock, advanced to attack the asuras.

18. Likewise the Shakti of Vishnu came, seated upon Garuda, holding conch, club, bow and sword in hand.

19. The Shakti of Hari, who assumed the incomparable form of a sacrificial boar, she also advanced there in a boar-like form.

20. Narasmihi arrived there, assuming a body like that of a Narasmiha, bringing down the constellations by the toss of her mane.

21. Likewise the thousand-eyed Aindri, holding a thunderbolt in hand and riding on the lord of elephants arrive just like Sakra (Indra).

22. Then Shiva, surrounded by those shaktis of the devas, said to Chandika, ‘Let the asuras be killed forthwith by you for my gratification.’

23. Thereupon from the body of Devi issued forth the Shakti of Chandika, most terrific, exceedingly fierce and yelling like a hundred jackals.

24. And that invincible (Shakti) told Shiva, of dark coloured matted locks, ‘Go, my lord, as ambassador to the presence of Sumbha and Nisumbha.

25. ‘Tell the two haughty asuras, Sumbha and Nisumbha, and the other asuras assembled there for battle.

26. “Let Indra obtain the three worlds and let the devas enjoy the sacrificial oblations. You go to the nether world, if you wish to live.

27. “But if through pride of strength you are anxious for battle, come on then. Let my jackals be satiated with your flesh.”‘

28. Because that Devi appointed “Shiva” himself as ambassador thenceforth she became renowned in this world as Shiva-duti.

29. Those great asuras, on their part, hearing the words of the Devi communicated by Shiva, were filled with indignation and went where Katyayani stood.

30. Then in the very beginning, the enraged foes of the devas poured in front on the Devi showers of arrows, javelins and spears.

31. And lightly, with the huge arrows shot from her full-drawn bow, she clove those arrows, spears, darts and axes hurled by them.

32. Then, in front of him (Sumbha), stalked Kali, piercing the enemies to pieces with her spear and crushing them with her skull-topped staff.

33. And Brahmani, wherever she moved, made the enemies bereft of valour and prowess by sprinkling on them the water from her Kamandalu.

34. The very wrathful Maheshvari slew the daityas with her trident, and Vaisnavi, with her discus and Kaumari, with her javelin.

35. Torn to pieces by the thunderbolt which come down upon them, hurled by Aindri, daityas and danavas fell on the earth in hundreds, streams of blood flowing out of them.

36. Shattered by the boar-formed goddess (Varahi)with blows of her snout, wounded in their chests by the point of her tusk and torn by her discus, (the asuras) fell down.

37. Narasmihi, filling all the quarters and the sky with her roars, roamed about in the battle, devouring other great asuras torn by her claws.

38. Demoralised by the violent laughter of Shivaduti, the asuras fell down on the earth; she then devoured them who had fallen down.

39. Seeing the enraged band of Matrs crushing the great asuras thus by various means, the troops of the enemies of devas took to their heels.

40. Seeing the asuras harassed by the band of Matrs and fleeing, the great asura Raktabija strode forward to fight in wrath.

41. Whenever from his body there fell to the ground a drop of blood, at that moment rose up from the earth asura of his stature.

42. The great asura fought with Indra’s shakti with club in his hand; then Aindri also struck Ranktabija with her thunderbolt.

43. Blood flowed quickly and profusely from him who was wounded by the thunderbolt. From the blood rose up (fresh)combatants of his form and valour.

44. As many drops of blood fell from his body, so may persons came into being, with his courage, strength and valour.

45. And those persons also sprung up from his blood fought there with the Matrs in a more dreadful manner hurling the very formidable weapons.

46. And again when his head was wounded by the fall of her thunder-bolt, his blood flowed and therefrom were born persons in thousands.

47. Vaisnavi struck him with her discus in the battle, Aindri beat that lord of asuras with her club.

48. The world was pervaded by thousands of great asuras who were of his stature and who rose up from the blood that flowed from him when cloven by the discus of Vaisnavi.

49. Kaumari struck the great asura Raktabija with her spear, Varahi with her sword, and Mahesvari with her trident.

50. And Raktabija, that great asura also, filled with wrath, struck everyone of the Matrs severally with his club.

51. From the stream of blood which fell on the earth from him when he received multiple wounds by the spears, darts and other weapons, hundreds of asuras came into being.

52. And those asuras that were born from the blood of Raktabija pervaded the whole world; the devas got intensely alarmed at this.

53-54. Seeing the devas dejected, Chandika laughed and said to Kali, ‘O Chamunda, open out your mouth wide; with this mouth quickly take in the drops of blood generated by the blow of my weapon and (also) the great asuras born of the drops of blood of Raktabija.

55. ‘Roam about in the battle-field, devouring the great asuras that spring from him. So shall this daitya, with his blood emptied, perish.

56. ‘As you go on devouring these, other fierce (asuras) will not be born.’ Having enjoined her thus, the Devi next smote him (Raktabija) with her dart.

57. Then Kali drank Raktabija’s blood with her mouth. Then and there he struck Chandika with his club.

58-60. The blow of his club caused her not even the slightest pain. And from his stricken body wherever blood flowed copiously, there Chamunda swallowed it with her mouth. The Chamunda devoured those great asuras who sprang up from the flow of blood in her mouth, and drank his (Raktabija’s ) blood.

61. The Devi (Kausiki) smote Raktabija with her dart, thunderbolt, arrows, swords, and spears, when Chamunda went on drinking his book.

62. Stricken with a multitude of weapons and bloodless, the great asura (Raktabija) fell on the ground, O King.

63. Thereupon the devas attained great joy, O King. The band of Matrs who sprang from them dance, being intoxicated with blood. Here ends the eighth chapter called ‘The Slaying of Raktabija’ of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.


Vedic Scriptures