Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 22
THE NINTH BOOK
On the fight between the Devas and Śankhachūḍa
1-75. Śrī Nārāyaṇa spoke:
Then the King of the Dānavas, very powerful, bowed down to Mahādeva and ascended on the chariot with his ministers.
Mahādeva gave orders to His army to be ready at once. So Śankhachūḍa did.
Terrible fight then ensued between Mahendra and Vriṣaparvā, Bhāskara and Viprachitti, Niśākara and Dambha, between Kāla and Kāleśvara, between Fire and Gokarṇa,
Kubera and Kālakeya, between Viśvakarma and Māyā, between Mrityu and Bhayamkar, between Yama and Samhāra, between Varuṇa and Vikamka, between Budha and Dhritapriṣṭha,
between Śani and Raktākṣa, Jayanta and Ratnasāra, between the Vasus and Varchasas, between the two Āśvīn Kumāras and Dīptimān, between Nalakūbara and Dhūmra,
between Dharma and Dhurandhara, between Mangala and Uṣākṣa, Bhānu and Śovākara, between Kandarpa and Pīṭhara, between the eleven Ādityas and Godhāmukha, Chūrṇa and Khaḍgadhvaja,
Kañchīmukha and Piṇḍa, Dhūmra and Nandī, between Viśva and Palāśa, between the eleven Rudras and the eleven Bhayankaras, between Ugrachaṇḍā and the other Mahāmārīs and Nandīśvara and the other Dānavas.
The battlefield, then, assumed a grim aspect, as if the time of Dissolution had come.
Bhagavān Mahādeva sat under the Vaṭa (peepul) tree with Kārtikeya and Bhadrakālī. Śankhachūḍa, decked with his jewel ornaments, sat on the jewel throne, surrounded by Koṭis and Koṭis of Dānavas.
The Śankara’s army got defeated at the hands of the Dānavas. The Devas, with cuts and wounds on their bodies, fled from the battlefield, terrified.
Kārtikeya commanded: “Don't fear” to the Devas and excited them. Only Skanda resisted the Dānava forces. In one moment he slew one hundred Akṣauhiṇī Dānava forces.
The lotus eyed Kālī also engaged in killing the Asuras. She became very angry and no sooner did She slay the Asura forces, than She began to drink their blood.
She easily slew with Her one hand and at every time put into Her mouth ten lakhs, and hundred lakhs and Koṭis and Koṭis of elephants.
Thousands and thousands of headless bodies (Kavandhas) came to be witnessed in the field. The bodies of the Dānavas were all cut and wounded by the arrows of Kārtikeya.
They were all terrified and fled away. Only Vriṣaparvā, Viprachitti, Dambha, and Vikamkaṇah remained fighting with Skanda with a heroic valour.
Mahāmārī, too, did not show his back and he fought out vigorously. By and by they all became very much confused and distressed; but they did not turn their backs.
Seeing this terrible fight of Skanda, the Devas began to shower flowers. The killing of the Dānavas looked like at Prākriti Dissolution.
Śankhachūḍa, then, began to shoot arrows from his chariot. The shooting of arrows by the king seemed as if rains were being poured in by the clouds.
Everything became pitch dark. Fires only were seen emitting their golden tongues. The Devas, Nandīśvara and others, fled away, terrified. Only Kārtikeya remained in the battlefield.
Then Śankhachūḍa began to throw terribly showers and showers of mountains, snakes, stones, and trees. So much so, that Kārtikeya was covered by them as the Sun becomes obscured by fog.
The Demon King cut off the weighty quiver and the pedestal of Skanda and broke His chariot. By the divine weapons of the Dānava, the peacock (the vehicle) of Kārtikeya became exhausted.
Kārtikeya threw one Śaktī (weapon) on the breast of the Dānava; but before it fell, the Dānava cut off that, lustrous like the Sun and, in return, darted his Śakti.
By that stroke, Kārtikeya became stunned for a moment; but he immediately regained his consciousness. He then took up the quiver that Bhagavān Viṣṇu gave him before and many other weapons; and ascending on another chariot, built of jewels, began to fight out violently and valiantly.
Getting angry, he resisted all those showers of snakes, mountains and trees by his divine weapons. He resisted fire by his watery (Pāryannya) weapon.
Then He cut off easily Śankhachūḍa’s chariot, bow, armour, charioteer, and his bright crown and he threw on his breast one blazing Śaktī of white colour.
The Dānavendra fell unconscious; but, at the next moment, he regained his consciousness quickly, mounted on another chariot and took a fresh quiver.
The Dānava was the foremost in his magic powers. He, by his power of Māyā, made a shower of arrows so much so that Kārtikeya became completely covered by that multitude of arrows.
Then the Dānava took one invincible Śaktī, lustrous like one hundred Suns. It seemed that flames of fire were licking high as if the Dissolution Time had come aright.
Inflamed by anger, the Dānava threw that Śaktī on Kārtikeya. It seemed, then, that a burning mass of fire fell on him. The powerful Kārtikeya became senseless.
Bhadrakālī immediately took Him on Her lap and carried him before Śiva. Śiva easily restored him to his life by his knowledge-power and gave him the indomitable strength. He then got up in full vigour.
Bhadrakālī went to the field to see the Kārtikeya’s forces. Nandīśvara and other heroes, the Devas, Gandharvas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and Kinnaras followed Her.
Hundreds of war drums were sounded and hundreds of persons carried Madhu (wine). Going to the battle-ground, She gave a war-cry. The Dānava forces got fainted by that cry.
Bhadrakālī shouted aloud inauspicious peals after peals of laughter. Then She drank Madhu and danced in the battlefield. Ugra Damṣṭrā, Ugrachaṇḍā, Koṭavī, the Yoginis, Dakinis, and the Devas all drank Madhu (wine).
Seeing Kālī in the battlefield, Śankhachūḍa came up again and imparted the spirit of Fearlessness to the Daityas, trembling with fear.
Bhadrakālī projected, then, the Fire weapon, flaming like the Great Dissolution Fire; but the king quickly repelled that by the Watery weapon.
Kālī then projected the very violent and wonderful Varuṇāstra. The Dānava cut off that easily with Gandharvāstra. Kālī then threw the flame-like Maheśvarāstra. The king made it futile by the Vaiṣṇavāstra.
Then the Devī purifying the Nārāyaṇāstra with the mantra threw it on the king. At this the king instantly alighted from his chariot and bowed down to it.
The Nārāyaṇāstra rose high up like the Dissolution Fire. Śankhachūḍa fell prostrate on the ground with devotion. The Devī threw, then, the Brahmāstra, purifying it with Mantra. But it was rendered futile by the Dānava’s Brahmāstra.
The Devī again shot the divine weapons purifying them with mantras; but they also were nullified by the divine weapons of the Dānava.
Then Bhadrakālī threw one Śaktī extending to one Yojana. The Daitya cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devī, then, being very much enraged, became ready to throw Pāśupata Astra, when the Incorporeal Voice was heard from the Heavens, prohibiting Her, and saying:
“O Devī! The high-souled Dānava would not be killed by the Pāśupata weapon. For Brahmā granted him this boon that until the Viṣṇu’s Kavācha will remain on his neck and until his wife’s chastity be not violated, old age and death will not be able to touch him.”
Hearing this Celestial Voice, the Devī at once desisted. But She, out of hunger, devoured hundreds and lakhs of Dānavas.
The terrible Devī Kālī, then, went with great speed to devour Śankhachūḍa but the Dānava resisted Her by his sharp divine weapons. The Devī then threw on him a powerful axe, lustrous like a summer Sun; but the Dānava cut it to pieces by his divine weapon.
The Devī seeing this, became very angry and proceeded to devour him; but the Dānava King, the Lord of all Siddhis, expanded his body.
At this, Kālī became violently angry and assuming a terrific appearance, went quickly and with the blow of one fist, broke his chariot and dropped down the charioteer.
Then she hurled on the Asura one Śūla weapon, blazing like a Pralaya Fire. Śankhachūḍa easily held that by his left hand. The Devī became angry and struck the Dānava with Her fist; the Daitya’s head reeled, and, rolling, he fell unconscious for a moment.
Next moment regaining his consciousness he got up. But he did not fight hand to hand with the Devī. Rather he bowed down to Her. The weapons that the Devī threw afterwards were partly cut down by the Dānava and partly taken up by him and absorbed in him and thus rendered futile.
Then Bhadrakālī caught bold of the Dānava and whirling him round and round threw him aloft. Then the powerful Śankhachūḍa fell down on the ground from high with great force; he immediately got up and bowed down to Her.
He then gladly ascended on his beautiful chariot, built of excellent jewels. He did not feel any fatigue with the war and went on fighting.
Then the Devī Bhadrakālī, feeling hungry began to drink the blood of the Dānavas and ate the fat and flesh. She came before Mahādeva and described to Him the whole history of the warfare from beginning to end.
Hearing the killing of the Dānavas, Mahādeva began to laugh.
She went on saying:
“The Dānavas that get out of my mouth while I was chewing them are the only ones that are living. This number will be about one lakh.
And when I took up the Pāśupata weapon to kill the Dānava, the Incorporeal Celestial Voice spoke He is invulnerable by you. But the very powerful Dānava did no more fling any weapon on Me. He simply cut to pieces those that I threw on him.”
Here ends the Twenty-Second Chapter in the Ninth Book on the fight between the Devas and Śankhachūḍa in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.