THE FIFTH BOOK
On the description of the fighting of the goddesses
1-5. Vyâsa said :-- O King! The Devî, hearing thus, laughed and spoke the following reasonable words, in a voice deep as a rumbling cloud :-- O Dull brained one! Already I told to that messenger before in reply to you; why then do you boast in vain? If there be any such in the three worlds who can stand equal to Me in appearance, strength, and prosperity, I will marry him. Go to Sumbha and Nisumbha and inform them that thus I promised before; therefore let any of them conquer Me in battle and then marry Me according to the prescribed rules. You have come here to execute the order of Sumbha; so either stand up and fight or fly to Pâtâla with your King.
6-11. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Hearing the Devîs words, the Dânava was filled with anger and began to shoot dreadful arrows at once on the Lion. Ambikâ, then, ready-handed, seeing the multitude of arrows coming in the sky like serpents, cut them off in a moment to pieces by Her sharp arrows. The Devî, then, drawing Her bow, shot arrows sharpened on stone at the great Asura Raktabîja. Then that wicked Demon, thus shot at by the arrows, fell unconscious on the chariot. When he lay thus senseless, a great uproar arose amidst his army and the soldiers began to cry aloud saying, Alas! We all are killed. Then Sumbha, the king of the Asuras, hearing the sound of Boombâ (a danger cry by hands and mouth) ordered all the Dânavas to be ready for the battle.
12. Then Sumbha said :-- Let all Kâmbojas go to the battle with all their forces; let other powerful heroes, especially the Kâlakeyâs, too, who are very strong heroes, go up for the battle. (Note: Kâmboja, name of a people and their country. They inhabited the Hindoo Koosh mountain which separates the Giljit valley from Balkh and probably extended up to little Tibet and Lâdak. The Kâlakeyâs may be the Afridis.)
13-33. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus ordered, all the fourfold army of Sumbha, viz., cavalry, infantry, elephants and chariots went out, intoxicated for war, to the battle ground where the Devî existed. The Devî Chandikâ, seeing the Dânava forces coming near, made at once terrible sounds frequently. The Ambikâ Devî also made the sound with Her bowstring and blew Her conchshell. Kâlî, then, shouted aloud opening Her mouth widely. The powerful Lion, the Devîs Vâhana, hearing the terrible sounds, roared so loudly that the Dânavas were struck with strange terror. The powerful Dânavas, then, hearing that sound became
impatient with anger and shot arrows after arrows on the Devî. The wonderful horrible battle, then, ensued, causing horripilation and the Saktis of Brahmâ and the other Devas began to come to Chandikâ Devî. The Devîs, the wives of the several Devas, then went, to the battlefield in their respective forms with ornaments and Vâhanas as generally on such occasions. The Sakti (wife) of Brahmâ named Brahmâni, mounting on the back of Her Swan came there with a string of beads and Kamandalu (an wooden waterpot used by ascetics). The Vaisnavî with Her yellow robes came there mounted on Garuda (the sacred bird of Visnu, the carrier of Him) with conch, discus, club, and lotus in Her hands. The Devî Sankarî, the wife of Siva, the Auspicious One, arrived on the back of Her Bull. The emblem of half-moon was on Her forehead while in Her hands She held snake, bracelet, and trident (Trisûla) and the sign of fearlessness for Her devotees. The beautiful wife of Kârtika, Kaumâri Devî, looking like Kartika, came to fight there mounted on a peacock. The fairfaced Indrânî, decked with ornaments on Her several limbs, came there to fight, with thunder-bolt in Her hand, mounted on the elephant Airâvata. The Vârâhî Devî looking like a female boar, came also, seated on an elevated seat of departed souls (Preta). The Nârasimhî, resembling Nrisimha (the Man Lion Incarnation) came there. The wife of Yama, looking fearful like Yama arrived there on the battlefield smiling and with staff in Her hand and mounted on the back of a buffalo. Thus the wives of Kuvera, Varuna, and other Devas came there with proper forms, Vâhanas, ornaments, accompanied by their forces and all excited. Seeing them all, the Devî Ambikâ became glad; the Devas, too, became peaceful and expressed their great joy; the Dânavas were afraid at the sight of them. Sankara, auspicious to all the beings, came there to the battlefield, surrounded by these goddesses and thus said to Chandikâ :-- Slay quickly all these Asuras, Sumbha, Nisumbha and all other Dânavas to serve the cause of the Devas. Let all the goddesses destroy the Dânava race and thus free the world from dangers; they may, then, return to their own abodes. Let the Devas get their shares of sacrifices, let the Brâhmanas perform the sacrificial acts, and let all the creatures, moving or not moving, be happy. Let all calamities such as proceed from drought, excessive rain, rats, foreign invasion, locusts and birds, bats, etc., come to an end. Let the clouds bestow rains regularly and let the cultivation yield ample harvests. Note here that rats bring in plague.
34-40. Vyâsa said :-- O King! When Sankara, the Lord of the gods and Auspicious to all, said thus, a wonderful female ensued out of the body of Chandikâ, very furious, horrible, with hundreds of jackals surrounding and yelling; then that Sakti, of dreadful appearance, said
to the five-faced Siva, smiling :-- O Deva of the Devas! Go quickly to the lord of the Daityas; do the duty of a messenger for us, O Destroyer of lust! O Sankara! Tell that haughty lustful Sumbha and Nisumbha leave the Heavens and go to Pâtâla. Let the Devas reign in the Heavens; Indra go to his own beautiful throne; let all the Devas go to their appropriate places in Heaven and receive their sacrificial offerings duly. And if the Demons desire to live, let them go quickly to the city of Pâtâla where other Dânavas are dwelling. Else, if they like to die, let them go quickly to the battlefield and let their flesh be eaten up by Her jackals.
41. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Hearing Her words, Sûlapâni went quickly to Sumbha, the lord of the Dânavas, seated in the assembly, and said thus :--
42-44. O King! I am Hara, the Destroyer of the Asura Tripurâ; now I have come to you for your good as a messenger of Ambikâ Devî. Quit the Heavens and Earth and go quickly to Pâtâla where reside the powerful Bali and Prahlâda, or if you like to court Death, come to fight; I will slay you all in a moment. O King! The Great Queen Ambikâ Devî has sent me with these instructions for your welfare and information.
45-63. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus conveying the nectarlike, beneficial words of the Devî to the chief Daityas, Siva, the Holder of the trident, returned to his own place. The Sakti that sent Sambhu as a messenger to the Dânavas is known in three worlds as Siva Dûtî. The Daityas, thus hearing the rigorous words of the Devî, put on their coats of armour and taking their bows and arrows quickly went out to fight. They came with great force to the battlefield, stretched their bows to their ears and shot piercing arrows, sharpened on stone and tipped with iron, at the Chandikâ Devî. The Kâlikâ Devî, too began to strike some with the trident, some with Sakti weapon, and some with clubs and rent them asunder and devoured them all, and began to roam in the field. Brahmâni began to pour water from Her Kamandalu on the powerful Dânavas in the battlefield and thus destroyed them. Mahesvarî, mounting on Her Bull gave violent blows by Her trident and thus lay them dead on the ground. Vaisnavî, with the blow of Her club, took away the lives of many Daityas and striking them with Her Discus out off the heads of several others. Indrânî hurled Her thunderbolt on the chief Dânavas, already struck by the feet of the elephant and lay them dead on the field. Nârasimhî tore the strongest Dânavas with the sharp nails and, devouring them, walked to and fro and made dreadful sounds. Siva Dûtî began to laugh hoarsely and laid the Dânavas flat on the field, when they were at once devoured by Kâlikâ and Chandikâ. Kaumâri, seated on a peacock, by drawing the bowstring to
Her ears hurled arrows sharpened on stone on the enemies and killed them to serve the cause of the gods. Vâruni tied down the Dânavas by Her Pâsa weapons in a face to face fighting; thus they lay down senseless on the ground. O King! Thus the Mâtrikâs, the goddesses, crushed the forces. Then the other powerful soldiers fled away terrified. The Boombâ danger cry rose then loudly; on the other hand, the Devas began to shower flowers on the Devîs. Hearing the distressful agonies of the Asuras and the shouts of victory of the Devas, Raktabîja, the chief of the Dânavas became very angry. Seeing specially the Dânavas flying away and the Devas shouting, that powerful Demon came hurriedly to the battlefield with anger. Then with eyes reddened with anger, and with various weapons came before the Devî, Raktabîja mounting on a chariot, and making sounds unusual with his bowstring.
Here ends the Twenty-eighth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the description of the fighting of the goddesses in Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.