THE FIFTH BOOK
On the killing of Nisumbha
1-10. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus making a firm resolve that there would be either victory or death, the great warrior Nisumbha went to fight with the Devî, with great excitement and with all his forces. Sumbha, too the Lord of the Daityas, accompanied by his forces, went after Nisumbha; Sumbha knew full well the rules of warfare; therefore he remained a witness there. Indra and the other Devas and Yaksas, all stationed themselves in the celestial space, eager to see that fight, covered with clouds. Nisumbha came to the field, and, taking the strong bow made of horns, began to shoot arrows after arrows at the Divine Mother with the object of frightening Her. Seeing Nisumbha with his excellent bow, shooting arrows, Chandikâ began to laugh frequently. With a soft slow voice She spoke to Kâlikâ :-- O Kâlî! See their foolishness! They have come before me, courting death. They are so much deluded by My Mâyâ, that they yet expect victory when they have already witnessed the death of Raktabîja and many Dânavas. Hope is so very strong that it never quits a man. How wonderful is this that some of their armies are destroyed, some are wounded, some are rendered senseless, some made powerless, some have fled; seeing all these, yet, they have come to fight, as it were, fastened by the cord of hope of victory. O Kâlî! Today I will certainly slay Nisumbha and Sumbha. Their death is nigh; deluded by the Daivî Mâyâ, they have come to Me. Therefore, in the face of all the Devas, I will kill them today.
11-24. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus saying, and suddenly drawing Her bow, Chandî covered Nisumbha, in front, all over with a multitude of arrows. Nisumbha, too, cut off those arrows into pieces by his sharp arrows; thus the fight became more and more dreadful between them. At this time, the lion of Bhagavatî, came down upon the forces, quivering his manes, like a powerful elephant going down into a lake. By his nails and teeth, he tore asunder the bodies of the Dânavas that fell before him and devoured them, as if they were infatuated elephants. That lion thus crushing down the soldiers, Nisumbha came forward hurriedly, drawing his excellent bow. Hundreds of other generals of the Dânavas came up there to kill the Devî, biting their lips and with their eyes reddened with anger. In the meantime Sumbha killed Kâlikâ and came very hurriedly there with his forces to capture the Divine Mother. Coming to the battlefield Sumbha saw that the Divine Mother was
standing before him; though She was looking very beautiful, fit for love sentiment, yet She was filled also with the sentiment of fiery wrath. At that time the large eyes of Bhagavatî, the Beautiful in the three worlds, though naturally red, looked more red due to wrath. When Sumbha saw Her lovely features, the desire to marry Her and the hope of victory all vanished away from his mind; and he stood there with bow in his hand, firmly holding in his mind that he would die. Seeing the Dânava in that state, She smiled and began to say, so that all the Dânavas could hear. O Wretched Fools! If you all want to live, quit all your weapons here, go to the Pâtâla or to the middle of the ocean. Or be slain in the battle by My arrows and go to heavens and enjoy there without any fear all the enjoyments and sports there. Weakness and heroism, both cannot be expected at one and the same time and at the same individual; therefore I am ordering you to dispel your fears. Now go wherever you find your ease and happiness.
25-35. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Hearing these words of the Devî, that haughty Nisumbha ran forward, holding in his hand the sharpened axe and shield adorned with eight Chandras (embossed) and firstly struck with sword violently on the proud lion; then, whirling with great force that sword, hurled it upon the Divine Mother. The Devî, then, thwarted off the blow of the sword by Her club and struck at his arm by Parasu. The warrior Nisumbha, thus struck at his arm, patiently bore that hurt and struck at Chandikâ by his axe. The Devî then made such a terrible noise of bells that all the Daityas were struck with terror. Then She, desiring to kill Nisumbha, began to drink nectar frequently. O King! Thus the terrible fight went on between the Devas and Dânavas both trying to defeat the other party. Then began to dance in the battlefield, the cruel voracious dogs, jackals, vultures, herons, crows and other birds, very much gladdened. The battlefield was drenched with blood and the dead carcasses of innumerable Dânavas, elephants, and horses. Nisumbha, then, seeing the Dânavas dead on the field, became very angry and ran forward with his terrible club before the Devî. That proud Asura struck first at the head of the lion with that club and laughed again and again and struck the Devî with that same club. The Devî, too, got very angry seeing Nisumbha before Her and striking
at Her. She then spoke thus :--
36. O You Stupid! Wait till I sever your head from your body by this axe. Soon you will be sent unto death with your head severed off your body.
37-64. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus saying the Chandikâ Devî instantly cut off the head of Nisumbha by Her axe with great caution.
The head thus severed from the body by the blow of the Devî, the headless Demon began to roam there with great force with club in his hand. The Devas then got very much frightened; The Devî, then, cut off the hands and feet of that headless Demon with sharpened arrows. That vicious wretch fell down lifeless, on the ground like a mountain. The powerful Daitya Nisumbha being thus killed, a great uproar arose amidst his panic stricken forces. The soldiers, covered all over their bodies with blood, left all their weapons in the field, began to make Boombâ sound (a piteous cry with mouth and hands as sign of danger) and fled away to the King Sumbha. He, the tormentor of the foes, then asked them coming :-- Where is Nisumbha now? Why have you fled away from the field? Thus hearing the Kings words, they bowed down and said :-- O King! Your brother Nisumbha is lying dead on the battlefield. O King! The Devî killed all the Dânava warriors that attended your brother; only we are left and have come here to give you the information. O King! Nisumbha has been killed by the weapons of the Devî. So we think you ought not to go to the battle. Know this as certain that the Lady, the Highest Cause of this Universe has come here to destroy the Dânavas, the object being to serve the cause of the Gods. This Lady is not an ordinary woman; She is the Supreme Force; Her doings are inconceivable; what more can be said than the fact that the Devas never can know Her! This Devî can assume various forms; She is the origin of Mâyâ; She is very clever; She is adorned with various ornaments and is holding various weapons in Her hands. Her doings are incomprehensible; She is like a Second Night of Dissolution (at the end of the world); She is Perfect, endowed with all auspicious signs, capable to go beyond the insurmountable. This wonderful Devî is serving the cause of the gods and the Devas from the sky are singing hymns to Her. O King! It is now your paramount duty to fly away and save your life; if you live, you may have the chance for gaining the victory when time will turn out favourable; there is no doubt in this. It is Time that makes a strong man weak; and it is that very Time that makes that weak man strong again and stimulates him for victory. Time makes a generous donor a beggar and it is Time that makes the same beggar again a generous donor. Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahesa, Indra and other Devas are all under the sway of this Time; so Time is the Sovereign of all. Therefore, O King! Wait for this Time. Now Time is favourable to the Gods and inimical to you. Therefore Time is destroying now the Daityas. But the course of Time is not the same throughout. O King! The actions of Time are various no doubt. Time creates men and Time destroys them. The time of
creation is different from the time of destruction, this is evident to you before your eyes. See! When Time was favourable to you, you subject Indra and all other Devas and made them pay taxes to you; and now Time is unfavourable to you; so an ordinary weak woman is killing the powerful Dânavas; Time, therefore, is doing favourable things and also unfavourable things. The host of Devas or the woman Kâlî is not the cause thereof. O King! The present Time is not favourable to you and the Daityas; knowing this, do as you like. See! Indra, Visnu, Varuna, Yama and other prominent Devas all fled before in battle, quitting the weapons. So, knowing this world as subject to the control of Time, you can now fly away and go quickly to the Pâtâla. For if you live, you will get in future all the pleasures; and if you be killed, your enemies will all be very glad and roam everywhere fearlessly, singing propitious songs.
Here ends the Thirtieth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Nisumbha in Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.