Maha Devi destroys Mahishasura

So far Mahishasura was despatching his warriors to fight Maha Devi but when his most trusted Asiloma and Vidalaksa had also got smashed, he got into his chariot and faced the Devi in a handsome human form to impress Her with his smartness. The all- knowing Devi smiled and said that his human form did not make any impact on Her. The Demon harped again on the same topic of union between them. She said that the only union possible could be of a sincere devotee and Almighty as She was a Parashakti and Prakrithi wedded to Maha Purusha who was also the Maha Purusha Himself! She was requested by all the Devas and the Trinity to protect them and wipe out the demons including him. Still persistent, the foolish Mahishasura gave the example of Mandodari, the daughter of King Chandrasena of Simhala, who took a vow of celibacy but when her younger sister was arranged a ‘Svayamvara’ (bride’s choice of wedding) from a group of select suitors, Mandodari was tempted to select a husband although he proved to be a cheat later; Mahisha assured that he would never be like him. Maha Devi got highly infuriated with such narrations and said that he was not only stupid but also a coward and perverse and that he should decide at once either to fight or withdraw to ‘Patala’, lest he would not avail of the chance of fight but would unilaterally decide to destroy him. Meanwhile, two other followers of Mahisha viz. Durdhara and Trinetra had duels separately and got exterminated. Mahishasura changed his forms first like a lion and later on as an elephant and finally in his Sarabha form. The entire Universe and the Pancha Bhutas (The Five Elements) were dislocated from their axis as the duel was in progress. The Danava tied up his tail to mountains and whirled them against Maha Devi, who was enjoying cups of Grape juice meanwhile. The Demon kept on transforming his body forms in such quick succession that one could hardly realise what was happening and each time there was a change, he was striking from various angles with different kinds of arms like arrows, swords, Trisulas (Tridents), clubs, and maces. Charged then with red eyes looking like torrential balls of fire, Devi Bhagavati finally lost Her cool and commanded Her Chakra (discus) which broke Mahisha’s body split into two, each part jumping one over another and the Greatest menace on Earth had thus been terminated; there were hysteric shriekings and reverberations of earsplitting sounds of high volume drummings spread across the entire Universe to the utmost relief and ecstasy of all Devas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Apsaras and world wide congregations of Sages all rejoicing with celebrations.

As normalcy prevailed somewhat, the Devas and Trinity assembled in a Grand Felicitation Function with Maha Devi presiding. The magnificent congregation described the features, miracles and recent happenings. Maha Devi replied that both Danavas and Devas were of the same creation of Hers and that there was nothing like a distinct categorisation of Danavas and Devas, except that the proportion of the Three Gunas-Satvik, Rajas and Tamasic-varied from person to person and even different situations facing each person. The Eight Vices-Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya- existed in the same person as the mind and heart at variance with each other; it would thus be a common enemy to both divinity and humanity in varying degrees; interaction of these common enemies needed to be minimised and that was the Tatva Gyan all about. Added to these features were the ‘Tapatraya’ or the three kinds of problems inherent in human life (‘Adibhautika’ or external pains like physical infirmities, pains from animals and co-humans; ‘Adhyatmika’ or internal diseases; and ‘Adhidaivika’or natural occurences like cold, heat, rain, thunders, earthquakes etc.) over which fate determined the circumstances over which there could be little control anyway. But where there would be scope for self- control, which was of utmost importance to balance the ‘Gunas’ properly. She Herself noted the individual accounts of Prarabhdha, Sanchitha, Vartamana and Bhavisya of all the beings – be it Brahma or a piece of grass. Nobody could escape the good and bad dimension or magnitude of each action. Thus life would be assessed in the strict accordance of the Rules already laid. Having said these words, Maha Bhagavati disappeared.


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