Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 5 Chapter 18



Chapter XVIII

On the killing of the Dānava Mahiṣāsura

1-4. Mahiṣa said O Devī! Mandodarī had a sister Indumatī; unmarried and endowed with all auspicious signs. She grew up in time to a marriageable age.

The Svayamvara assembly (a marriage in which the girl chooses her husband from among a number of visitors assembled together) was then called for the marriage of the maiden Indumatī.

The Kings from various parts came there and the maiden Indumatī selected from among them a beautiful strong king, of noble lineage and endowed with all auspicious signs.

At that time, by the indescribable power of Destiny, Mandodarī seeing the deceitful, cunning, and hypocrite King of Madra, became passionate and desired to marry him.

5-17. That slender woman Mandodarī then addressed her father thus:

“O Father! Seeing the King of Madra in this assembly, I am desirous to marry him; so perform also my marriage ceremony now. ”

When the king heard this request from her own daughter privately, he became very glad and began with promptness, to make preparations for the marriage.

He invited the King of Madra to his own palace and gave him in marriage his own daughter Mandodarī, according to due rites and ceremonies with an abundance of dowry and wealth.

The King of Madra Chārudeṣṇa became very glad to marry the beautiful Mandodarī and went back with her to his own abode.

The King Chārudeṣṇa then enjoyed her for good many days; when one day a maid-servant found the king in sexual intercourse with another maid-servant in a lonely place and divulged this to Mandodarī; she finding the king in that state became angry and rebuked him with a slight smiling countenance.

Again, on another occasion, Mandodarī saw the king willingly engaged in amusements and sports with an ordinary beautiful woman and became very sorry and thought thus:

When I saw him in the Svayamvara, I could not recognise him as a cheat; I am deceived by this King; Oh! What a wrong act have I done through delusion. This King is a rogue and he is totally shameless and has no dislike for contemptible things; it is now too late to repent for him.

How can I have any affection for this husband; fie on my living now!

I forsake from this very day all the pleasures with my husband and all other worldly pleasures, and I take recourse now to contentment alone.

I have committed a very wrong act that I ought never to have done; therefore it causes intense pain to me now. If I now commit suicide, then that sin will never forsake me, and I must have to enjoy the consequences thereof.

And if I return to my father’s house, I will not be happy there, for my companions seeing me thus will, no doubt, ridicule me.

Therefore, it is now advisable for me to avoid all the sensuous pleasures, become dispassionate and remain here patiently and abide by the strange combinations of Time.

18-20. Mahiṣa said:

Thus that women lamented and remorse and began to remain there, very much sorrowful and distressed, renouncing thoroughly all the pleasures of the world.

O Auspicious One! I am the king, yet you are showing your dislike for me;

know, eventually, you, too, will be passionate and entertain afterwards an illiterate coward.

Keep my word even now, it will be of great benefit and it will serve as a medicinal diet to you as to all women.

In case you do not follow my advice, you will have to meet with extreme pain and misery, certainly.

21-25. Hearing the words of Mahiṣāsura, the Devī said:

O you fool! Go to the lower worlds or stand up for fight; I will send you and the other Dānavas unto death and then go away at my pleasure.

O Demon! I take up form to preserve the righteous, whenever they suffer pain in this earth.

O Lord of the Daityas! Formless, birthless I am; yet, at times, I take up form and be born to save the Devas.

Know this firmly. O wicked Mahiṣa! The Devas prayed to Me for your destruction. Therefore I will not rest until I kill you. I speak all these truly to you.

Therefore fight or go to Pātāla, the abode of the Asuras; I speak truly to you again that I will destroy you wholly.

26-51. Vyāsa said:

O King! Hearing thus the Devī’s words, the Dānava took up his bow and came to the battle, fully stretching the string of his bow up to his ears, and began to shoot sharpened arrows with great force at the Devī.

The Devī, too, hurled with anger, arrows tipped with iron and cut off the Āsura’s arrows to pieces.

The fight between them rose to such a terrible pitch that it caused terror to both the Devas and the Dānavas, trying hard to be victorious over each other.

In the midst of the terrible encounter, the demon Durdhara came up to fight and made the Devī angry and shot arrows, all terribly poisonous and sharpened on stones, at Her.

The Bhagavatī, then, got very angry and hit him hard with sharp arrows.

Durdhara, struck thus, fell down dead on the battlefield like a mountain top.

The demon Trinetra, well skilled in the uses of arrows and weapons, seeing him killed, came up to fight and shot at the Great Goddess with seven arrows.

Before these arrows came on Her, She cut them to pieces with Her sharp arrows and by Her trident killed Trinetra.

Trinetra thus killed, Andhaka quickly came in the battlefield and struck violently on the head of the lion with his iron club. The lion killed that powerful Andhaka by striking the demon with his nails and, out of anger, began to eat his flesh.

Mahiṣāsura became greatly astonished at the death of these Asuras and began to shoot pointed arrows, sharpened on stone, at Her.

The Devī Ambikā cut his arrows into two before they came on Her and struck the Demon on his breast by Her club.

That vile Mahiṣāsura, the tormentor of the Devas, fell in a swoon under the stoke of the club but patiently bore it and, at the next moment, came again and struck the lion on his head by his club.

The lion, too, by his nails rent that great Asura to pieces.

Mahiṣāsura, then, quitting the man-form took up the lion-form and by his claws cut the Devī’s lion and wounded him very much by his nails.

On Mahiṣāsura taking up this lion-form, the Devī became very angry and began to shoot arrows after arrows at him all very terrible, sharp and like poisonous snakes.

Then the Asura quitting the lion form assumed the appearance of a male elephant, oozing out juice from his temples and began to hurl the mountain tops by his trunk.

Seeing the mountain peaks thus hurled on Her, She cut them off to pieces by Her sharp arrows and began to laugh.

The Devī’s lion on the other hand, sprang on the head of the elephant Mahiṣa and by his claws rent him to pieces.

To kill the Devī’s lion, then, Mahiṣa quitted his elephant-form and assumed the appearance of a Sarabha, more powerful and terrible than lion.

The Devī seeing that Sarabha became angry and struck on the head of that Sarabha with Her axe; the Sarabha, too, attacked the Devī.

Their fight became horrible; Mahiṣāsura, then, assumed the appearance of a buffalo and struck the Bhagavatī by his horns. That horrible Asura, of hideous appearance, swinging his tail, began to attack the thin bodied Devī.

That violent Asura caught hold of the mountain peaks by his tail and, whirling them round and round, hurled them on the Devī.

That vicious soul, then, maddened with his strength, laughed incessantly and addressed thus:

“O Devī! Be steady in the battlefield. I will send you today unto death, and your youth and beauty too. You are an illiterate fellow as you have come maddened to fight with me. Really you are deluded in your pretensions that you are very strong; this idea of yours is absolutely false. I will kill you first and the hypocrite Devas after who want to vanquish me by standing behind a woman in their front. ”

52-53. The Devī said:

“O Villain! Do not boast; keep yourself firm in the fight. Today I will kill you and make the Devas discard their fear.

O Wretch! You are a Sinner; you torment the Devas and terrify the Munis. Let me have my drink of sweet decoction of grapes. And then I will slay you undoubtedly.”

54-70. Vyāsa said:

O King! Saying thus, the Devī, wrathful and eager to kill Mahiṣāsura, took up the golden cup filled with wine and drank again and again.

When the Devī finished Her drink of the sweet grape juice, She pursued him with trident in Her hands, to the great joy of gladdening all the Devas.

The Devas began to rain showers of flowers on the Devī and praised Her and shouted victories to Her with Dundubhi (a Divine drum): Jai, Jīva; victory, live.

The Riṣis, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Piśāchas, Uragas, and Kinnaras witnessed the battle from the celestial space and became very much delighted.

On the other hand, Mahiṣāsura, the hypocrite Pundit, began to assume various magic forms and struck the Devī repeatedly.

The Devī Chandikā, then, infuriated and with eyes reddened, pierced violently the breast of that vicious Mahiṣa with Her sharp trident.

The Demon, then, struck by this trident, fell senseless on the ground; but got up in the next moment and kicked the Devī forcibly.

That Great Asura, thus kicking the Devī, laughed repeatedly and bellowed so loudly that the Devas were all terrified with that noise.

Then the Devī held aloft the brilliant discus of good axle and of thousand spokes and loudly spoke to the Asura in front:

O Stupid! Look! This Chakra will sever your throat today; wait a moment, I am sending you instantly unto death.

Saying this, the Divine Mother hurled the Chakra. Instantly that weapon severed the Dānava’s head from his body. The hot streams of blood gushed out from his neck as the violent streams of water get out from mountains, coloured red with red sandstones.

The headless body of that Asura moved, to and fro, for a moment and then dropped on the ground.

The loud acclamations of “Victory” were sounded to the great joy of the Devas.

The very powerful lion began to devour the soldiers that were flying away, as if he was very hungry.

O King! The wicked Mahiṣāsura thus slain, the Demons that remained alive were terrified and fled away, very much frightened, to Pātāla.

The Devas, Riṣis, human beings and the other saints on this earth were all extremely glad at the death of this wicked Demon.

The Bhagavatī Chandikā quitted the battlefield and waited in a holy place. Then the Devas came there with a desire to praise and chant hymns to the Devī, the Bestower of their happiness.

Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of the Dānava Mahiṣāsura in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.