Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 5 Chapter 14
THE FIFTH BOOK
On the killing of Tāmra and Chikṣura
1-4. Vyāsa said:
Hearing the death news of Durmukha, Mahiṣāsura became blind with anger and began to utter repeatedly to the Dānavas:
“O! What is this? What is this? Alas! That delicate woman has slain in battle the two heroes Durmukha and Vāskala!
Lo! Now look at the wonderful workings of the Daiva (Fate). It is the acts virtuous, or otherwise that make men dependent; and the powerful Time awards pleasure or pain accordingly.
The two powerful Demons are killed; what are we to do hereafter? You all judge and say what is reasonable at this critical juncture.”
5-23. Vyāsa said:
When the powerful Mahiṣa said thus, his general Chikṣura, the great warrior spoke as follows:
“O King! Why are you so anxious as to take away the life of a delicate woman? I will kill Her;”
thus saying he departed for battle, mounted on his chariot and accompanied by his own army.
The powerful Tāmra accompanied him as his attendant; the sky and all the quarters became filled with the clamour of their vast army.
The auspicious Devī Bhagavatī saw them before Her and She made an extraordinary wonderful sound with Her conch shell, with Her bow string and with Her great bell.
The Asuras heard that and trembled and fled, speaking amongst each other: “What is this?”
The Chikṣurākṣa seeing them turning their backs, told them very angrily:
“O Dānavas! What fear has now overcome you? I will slay today this vain woman in the battle with arrows; so you should quit your fear and remain steady in battle.”
Thus saying, the Dānava Chieftain Chikṣura came fearlessly before the Devī with bows and arrows in his hands and, accompanied by his army, angrily spoke thus:
“O Thou of large and broad eyes! Why are you roaring to terrify the weak persons! O the Soft limbed One! I have heard all about your deeds but I am not a bit afraid of You.
O One of beautiful eyes! It is a matter of disgrace, rather sin, to kill a woman; knowing this my heart wants to pass over this act (does not like to do it, if my purpose be served without it).
O Beautiful One! The women fight with their side glances and amorous gestures; but I have never heard a woman like you coming to fight with arms and weapons.
Even the delicate flowers, Mālatī, etc., cause pain on the bodies of beautiful women like you; so it is not advisable to fight against you with flowers even; what to speak of sharpened arrows!
Fie on those who spend their lives according to the Kṣattriya Dharma! Oh! Who can praise that Dharma which allows this dear body of ours to be pierced by sharpened arrows? This dear body is nourished by sweet food, by being smeared with oil, and by smelling the scents of beautiful flowers. Ought, then, one to destroy it by arrows from an enemy? Men get their bodies pierced by arrows and then become rich. Now is it possible for the riches to give pleasure afterwards when they caused such pains in the beginning? Even if this be so, fie on those riches!
O Beautiful One! It seems you are not intelligent; why have you desired to fight instead of to enjoy sexual pleasures.
O beautiful! What merits have you found in the battle that you have chosen this. Where you see the action of the axes and spears, striking each other with clubs, and hurling of sharpened arrows and weapons and where, when death comes, jackals come and feed upon the dead bodies, what merits have you been able to trace out in these things! It is only those cunning poets that praise these; they say that those who die in battle go to heaven!
O Beautiful! Those sayings are, no doubt, mere flatteries.
Therefore, O Excellent One! Go away anywhere else you like; or accept this king Mahiṣa, the tormentor of the Devas, as your husband.”
24-30. Vyāsa said:
O King! The Dānava Chikṣura speaking thus, the Divine Mother addressed him thus:
O Stupid! Why are you speaking false words, having no significance, like a literary man giving out mere words only?
You do not know anything of politics, ethics, metaphysics; you serve the illiterate and stupid; therefore, you are also a first class illiterate; you do not know what are the royal duties; then what are you speaking before me?
I will kill that Mahiṣāsura in battle make the soil muddy with his blood, thus establish firmly My pillar of Fame and then go happily to My abode.
Surely will I slay that vain vicious demon, the tormentor of the Devas. Better fight steadily.
O Stupid! Better go to Pātāla with all the Dānavas, if you and Mahiṣa desire to live any longer. And if you like to go unto death, then be ready and fight without any delay; I will slay you all, this is My firm resolve.
31-39. Vyāsa said:
O King! Hearing the Devī’s words, the Dānava, proud of his own strength, began to hurl instantly on Her showers of arrows, as if another shower of rain burst upon Her.
The Devī cut off those arrows into pieces by Her sharp arrows and shot at him dreadful arrows like poisonous snakes.
Then their fight became astounding to the public; the Divine Mother, then, struck him with Her club so much that he fell down from his chariot.
That vicious demon, thus struck by the club, remained senseless near to his chariot for two mūhurtas, fixed like a mountain.
Tāmra, the tormentor of the foes, seeing him thus, could not remain steady and came forward to fight with Chandikā.
The Devī seeing him laughed and said:
“O Dānava! Come, Come, I will instantly send you unto death. Or, what is the use of your coming? You are so weak that you can be called lifeless.
What is that stupid Mahiṣa doing now? Is he thinking out the way to save his life? You all are too weak; no use in killing you, all my labours will go in vain, if that wicked Mahiṣa, the enemy of the gods, be not slain.
Therefore, do you go to your home and send here your king Mahiṣa. I am staying here in that form in which that wicked one likes very much to see Me.”
40-56. Hearing Her words, Tāmra became very angry and drawing his bow up to his ear, began to hurl arrows after arrows on Chandikā Devī.
The Bhagavatī, too, had her eyes reddened with anger and drawing Her bow began to shoot arrows quickly at the demon, wishing to kill, as early as possible, the enemy of the gods.
In the meanwhile, Chikṣura regained his senses, and taking up again his bow in an instant, came before the Devī.
Then Chikṣura and Tāmra, the two valiant warriors, began to fight dreadfully with the Devī.
Mahā Māyā then, became very angry and began to hurl arrows after arrows so incessantly that all the armours of all the Dānavas became pierced and were cut down to pieces.
The Asuras, thus pierced by arrows, became infuriated with anger and hurled angrily a network of arrows upon the Devī.
The Dānavas thus struck with sharp arrows and filled with cuts and wounds looked like the red Kimśuka flowers in the spring.
The fight then grew so severe between Tāmra and Bhagavatī that the seers, the Devas, were all struck with wonder.
Tāmra struck on the head of the lion with his dreadful hard Muṣala (club), made of iron, and laughed and shouted aloud.
Seeing him thus vociferating, the Devī became angry and cut off his head by her sharp axes in no time. The head being thus severed from the body, Tāmra, though headless, for a moment turned round his Muṣala and then fell down on the ground.
The powerful Chikṣura, seeing Tarma thus falling down, instantly took up his axe and ran after Chandikā.
Seeing Chikṣura with axe in his hand, the Bhagavatī quickly shot at him five arrows.
With one arrow, his axe was cut down, with the second arrow his hands were cut and with the remaining ones his head was severed from his body.
Thus when the two cruel warriors were slain, their soldiers soon fled away in terror in all directions.
The Devas were exceedingly glad at their downfall and showered gladly flowers from the sky and uttered shouts of Victory to the Devī.
The Riṣis, Gandharvas, the Vetālas, the Siddhas and Chāraṇas were all very glad and began to utter repeated:
“O Goddess! Victory, victory be Yours.”
Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter of the Fifth Skandha on the killing of Tāmra and Chikṣura in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam, of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.