Maha Devi destroys Mahishasura and his clan (Gratitude Hymns to Devi included)

The most ferocious and brutal Demon of the times, Mahishasura, harassed and subdued King Indra and all the Devas including Surya, Agni, Pavan, Yama, Varuna etc. and occupied the Throne of the Swarga. Mahishasura’s cruel acts created havoc among the helpless Munis and human beings and there was no end to the persecution that they were subjected to. The Trimurthis-Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara- got so angry that they their eyebrows released massive Fires of Fury which got combined as a huge ‘Agni Parvat’ (Fire Mountain), into which the individual Energies of all the Devas headed by

Indra got merged too. The Form of Maha Devi so materialised created a luminous face with combined Shaktis in a formidal feminine form: while Yama’s powers created her hair, Vishnu’s power provided both her arms, Chandra’s radiance gave sparkling jewels, Indra contributed the belly, Varuna’s powers created thighs, Prithvi the rear, Brahma contribruted the feet, Surya provided the fingers of the feet; Vasuganas contributed hand fingers; Kubera’s ‘Tejas’ created the nose, Prajapati’s energy provided the teeth, Pavaka created all her three eyes, both the ‘Sandhyas’ gave away ‘bhrukutis’ (mid-portion of eye brows) and Vayu supplied the Devi’s ears. Maha Deva then contributed his Shula from his own, Narayana gave away a Chakra born out of his Chakra, Varuna gave a Shankha, Hutashana / Agni his Shakti, Vayu the Dhanus with powerful arrows, Indra gave his Vajra and a bell from Iravata, Yama gave his ‘Kaladanda’, Varuna a ‘Pasha’, Daksha Prajapati his Akshaya Maala (Rosary), Brahma his Kamanadalu (water vessel), Surya supplied his rays into Maha Devi’s skin pores; Kaal gave away his ‘Khadga’ (sword); Samudra Deva contributed pure pearls, shining clothes, valuable chudamani,  precious ear-rings, and bangles; Moon gave away ‘Bhuja Kirtis’ (Shouder-Ornaments), neck laces, and finger rings; Vishwakarma donated ‘Astras’, ‘Kavacha’ (Body Secure); Himalaya provided the carrier Simha (Lion); and like wise all the various Devas gifted various items of their valuable possessions. When suddenly, there was a bewildering roar of a Lion’s resound, the ‘Trilokas’ shuddered and felt that it was the end of the Universe! Mahishasura and his followers got startled with unprecedented shivers and took time to realise that indeed that was not the end of the Universe, but the beginning of the historic battle. Maha Devi’s radiance got spread all over the directions when her thousand arms came into flashes of mercurial actions. The Senapati of Mahishasura’s army named Chakshusa began a fierce fight and an additional ‘Chaturangani Sena’ (Four-winged army force comprising soldiers, horses, elephants and chariots) of an Asura named Chamara joined the stream while another sixty thousand chariots and following army led by Udagra too joined the Force. A further Force of one crore chariots reinforced the existing army of Mahishasura, which was led by Maha Hanu. Another Asura called Asiloma led a five crore ratha sena, and yet another Rakshasa named Bakshal brought in sixty thousand chariots further reinforcements, thus making a highly formidable force; further forces joined the fray from other directions. On the other hand, Maha Devi’s ‘niswas’ and ‘ucchvas’ (exhaling and inhaling of breathing) created crores of her army and killed crores of enemy forces too. The hell-like of Mahishasura army was destroyed like flies in huge flames. In this melee, Chakshura’s charioteer died, his chariot was destroyed and as he tried to leap over Maha Devi, her Lion tore his body into pieces; Chamara became offensive as Chakshura died and sped up his elephant towards Devi along with his ‘Mayavi’ Shakties; Devi’s lion leapt in the air sky-high and with one pounce squeezed his elephant to death and Chamar’s body was hit with such a smash that there were no traces of his body parts. In the battle that ensued, Udagra was hit by Devi’s forceful throws of stones and boulders, while Uddhatasura was crushed by Devi’s mace hits. Next, the demon Bashkal was destroyed by her Bhindipala and Tamra and Andhak were shot by her arrows. By the blaze of her Three Eyes, Maha Devi burnt off three demons called Ugraveerya, Ugrastha and Maha Hanu. She cut into pieces the head of Bidalasura by the might of her sword. Durdar and Durmukh tried to send mantik arrows at her but the return arrows sent them away to Yamaloka. Devi Kaalarathri used Kaladanda and Kalasura was put to instant death. She sported her Khadga with a light touch and Ugradarshan flew away to a far off place never to return. Asiloma who led a five crore army of Charioteers fell like a sick bird on the battle ground with the fire that emerged from Devi’s angry eyebrows! The Devi Ganas and the Great Lion who went berserk as Mahishasura’s army made a depleted and demoralised retreat to save them.

Now, Mahishasura led a fresh reserve of army, assuming his original form of a Mahisha or a buffalo, made several offensive gestures by way of forcefully pulling up his powerful horns high, by taking speedy circlings, by throwing up his mighty tail and by thumping his hooves making sounds like earth-quakes. The Asura jumped forward towards the Lion who created havoc and killed many of his warriors, whereby Maha Devi became livid with rage but Mahisha too got enraged and dug deep into the Earth and threw mountains by braying with frightful reverberation. The Asura’s breathing was so heavy that mountains shivered and sand storms got into motion with high velocity. Chandi Devi desired to kill Mahishasura in one go, but Maha Devi restrained Chandi and threw a powerful rope around the buffallo neck; She then assumed the form of a roaring lion, then as a huge elephant, and like a mammoth ‘Veera Purusha’. Meanwhile Chandika Devi consumed a huge cup of wine, got drunk with a resounding laugh with blood red eyes and said like a drunkard; ‘Oh miserable Stupid!  Keep on with your roar as long as my wine is swallowed; your last moments have now started ticking and you should soon leave this World as your ignominous life would get terminated.’ By so saying, Chandi jumped up and strangled Mahishasura’s mighty neck and sliced it open; soon Rishi ganas performed ‘Veda Parayana’, Gandharvas sang sonorous hymns of praise for Devi Chandi who was but a shadow of Maha Devi, Apsaras danced to their glory and Devas headed by Indra went into deep raptures in great jubilation with unreserved gratitude to Parama Maha Devi. In one high voice, all the Devas glorified Maha Devi as follows: ‘We greet with reverence that Ambika Devi, whose capability is spread all over the moving and non-moving objects of the universe, whose Supreme Energy enables all the Deva Murthis to be on their own; whose Origin or Qualities defy description by Brahma, Vishnu or Mahendra, let alone illustrious Maharshis; and whose unparalelled kindness and consideration is ever-fulfilling and never failing to humanity. We salute Devi Chandika who would ever neglect nor ignore those who have unqualified faith and commitment in that Punya Swarupa (Embodiment of Propitiousness) and also never spare those who persist in evil deeds and never have the psyche of remorse nor any sense of guilt.

Ya Shreeh Swayam Sukrutinaam Bhavaneshwa Lakshmih
Paapaatmanaam Krutadiyaam hrudayeshu buddhhih,
Shraddhaa sataam kulajanaprabhavasya lajjaataam
twa natah sma paripaalaya Devi Viswam/

(We greet Her who is present in the form of Wealth in the houses of the Virtuous; who disappears in the form of poverty in the residences of the vily and the vicious; who is present with those who are well read and of clean conscience as also of practitioners of Shraddha or diligence, Buddhi or Composure and Lazza  or Modesty.) How are we competent to describe your Achinthya Rupa? Devas further exclaimed:

Hethuh Samasta jagataam Trigunaapi Devair
na Jnaayase Hariharaadibhi rapyapara,
Sarvaashraya akhilamidam Jagadamsha bhutam
avyakrutaa hi paramaa prakrutistwama adya

(Hey Devi, You are the Adya Prakruti devoid of ‘Vikaras’ of Satva, Raja and Tamo gunatmika and thus the Cause of the Universe; Even Vishnu and Maha Deva who are subject to ‘Raga Dveshas’ would not be able to realise Your ‘Tatva’; You are the nucleus of all the Materialistic Manifestations).

Yasya Samastasurathah Samudeeranena
Truptim Prayaanti Sakaleshu makheshu Devi,
Swaahaasi vai Pitruganasya cha trupti
hethuruchaaryase twam eva janaihi swadhacha

(Devi, in all the ‘Yagnas’, taking your mere name would satisfy all the Devas, since the two Expressions of Swaha and Swadha signify your own Swarupas or Forms.)

Ya muktiheturavichinthya mahaavrataa twam
abhayasyasey suniyatendriaya tatwa saaraih,
Mokshaardibhirmuni bharista samasta doshai
vidhvaamsi saa Bhagavati Paramaa Devi

(Hey Devi, the Subject matter of  ‘Upaasana’ or concentrated meditation of Munis targetted to you is stated to be the Moksha Vidya, which is Yourself as that is devoid of sins and impurities of any kind).

Shabdaatmika suvimalargyajushaam nidhaana
mudreetatha ramya pada paathavataam cha samnaam,
Devi trayee Bhagavati bhava bhaavanaaya
vaartaasi sarva jagataam paramaarti hantreem/
Medhasi Devi viditakhila shastra saraa
Durgasi Durga bhava saagaranaurasangah,
Sreehi Kaitabhaarithrudayaika krutaadhivasaa
Gauri thvameva Shashi mouli kruta prathishtha

(Devi! You are the ‘Shabdamaya Tri Veda Swarupi’ or the Complete Form of Three Vedas with intonation; the nucleus-like Pranava Swarup of Ruk, Yajur and Sama Vedas; the embodiment of Opulence, the Life Providing Security and the destroyer of all difficulties and physical ailments. Devi! You are the Buddhi Swarupa because You are the unique Ship which alone could pass through the Ocean of ‘Samsara’ and Devi Lakshmi, the heart-throb of Vishnu- the destroyer of Madhu Kaitabha demons-as well as Devi Gauri firmly installed on the left thigh of Bhagavan Sashisekhara!)

Devi Prasada parama Bhagavati Bhavaaya
Sadyo vinaayashayasi kopavati kuleeni,
Vignatameta –dauardhunaiva yadastametadreentam
Balam savipulam Mahishasurasya /
tvam sammataa janapadeshu dhanaani teshaam
Yashaamsi na cha seedati bandhuvargah,

Dhanyaasta eva nibhrutatmajabhrutya daaraa
eshaam sadaabhyudayadaa bhavati prasanna /

(Devi! Kindly be free from anger as You must bestow on us peace, prosperity and propitiousness; if You are irritated due to Mahishasura and army which you had already destroyed, Your normal composure gets disturbed and hence should please regain and soon recover Your complete ‘Kalaas’ (features); when You are cooled and inspirational, then only our worship gets maximum advantages, since only in those Regions where Pujas are performed sincerely that the persons concerned become wealthy, famous, and contented with good progeny, family and servants. It is with Your kindness that human beings preform Dharmic acts, leave behind the fears of death and disease and reach the goals of attaining ‘Swarga’ thus providing the benefits of the Three Lokas).

Trailokyametadakhilam ripunaashanena
traatham twaya samaramardani thepi hatwa,
neetaa divam ripuganaa bhayamapya paastm
asmaakamunmada suraari bhavam Namasthey/
Shulena Paahi no Devi Paahi khadgena chaambike,
Ghantaaswanena nah Paahi chaapajyaanih swanenacha/
Praachyam raksha prateetyancha Chandike raksha Dakshiney/
Bhraamanenaathma shulasya urraraayam tatheswari /
Soumyani yaani Ruupaani Trailokye vicharitanti they,
yaani chaathyanta ghoraani thy rakshaasmantatha bhuvam/
khadga shula gadaadeeni yaani chaastraani thembikey
karapallava sangeenithairasmaanthraksha sarvatah/

(Devi, You have killed all the enemies, saved the Tree Lokas, bestowed Swarga to them all and demolished our fears and saved us; do protect us with your Shula, Khadga, Ghanta, Dhanush and its ‘tankaara’ or sound; Chandika! Eswari! Do protect us by circling our East, West, South and North directions; You have as many frightening Forms as benign Forms which move about all over the Three Worlds; do save us with all Your varied Forms and always guard us with Your arms and armoury). Highly pleased by the above commendations of Devatas, Maha Devi gave an opportunity to them to ask for boons and they said politely that after the killing of Mahishasura, they had no further requests to make, excepting that She should kindly respond as and when exigencies might arise in future and She said: ‘Thadhaastu’! (Be it so!)

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]