Origin of Mahishasura and his battle with Devas

There were two mighty Demon brothers Karambha and Rambha, both desirous of begetting brave children and practised severe ‘Tapasya’. Karambha did his devotion inside deep waters and Indra having taken the form of a crocodile dragged the Danava’s feet and killed him. Rambha sat on the banks of River Indus and performed a rigorous Sacrifice to Lord Agni. Meanwhile, he found his elder brother dead in the depths of River Sindhu and desired to quit life but Fire-God appeared and prevented the suicide. The Fire-God also gave him the boon of securing a son who would shake up the entire world. Rambha found that in the vicinity there was a passionate She-Buffalo. The he- buffalo which was also there killed Rambha. The she-buffalo killed herself on the funeral fire and while doing so gave birth to a hefty and ferocius Buffalo-Demon Mahishasura. Rambha too emerged from the Fire as The Fire God recreated him in another form who was eventually noted as ‘Rakta Bija’or the Seed of Blood. As Mahishasura grew, he performed tough penance and pleased Lord Brahma who gave him the boons that no force on earth could kill him except by a woman whom the Danava made fun of, little realising that the exception might soon be a reality of his death. Puffed up by the boons secured, the Demon Mahishasura created havoc in the World by trying to dislodge Devas from Heaven, torturing Sages and Munis; slaughtering men, women and children, rejoicing in all kinds of sinful activities and finally attempting to dislodge Indra and Devas from the Heaven. He sent a messenger to Indra asking Him to surrender or get ready for a war. Indra got furious and warned the Demon. The latter convened a War Conference and alerted all the Danavas to get ready and assured them that he secured great boons from Brahma and that he was as good as immortal against any male power or animal power, excepting womanhood which was in any case helpless without male power! Indra too called for an urgent Conference of Devas including all the Planetary Heads like Varuna, Vayu, Agni, Surya, Saturn, Yama, Budha, Guru Brihaspati and so on to position themselves ready with their respective Vehicles and followers. So far, it was a battle between Indra and Mahisasura, during which the former Commander-in-Chief Chiksusa, General Vidala and Danava Tamra took up the offensive which Indra could control. But as Mahishasura himself entered the field and spread out his ‘Samavari Maya’ or the Illusion for all and thousands of Mahishasuras appeared on the battle field each acting as powerful as the other, Devas including Varuna, Yama, Kubera and Agni fled away. Indra in his fast-track mind prayed to Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra about Mahishasura’s Illusionary tactics. Brahma got His conveyance Hamsa or the Swan, Vishnu by Garuda, Kartika His peacock, and Rudra His bull.While Indra controlled Chaksura, Varuna by Asiloma, Yama by Trinetra, Kubera by Maha Hanu, Vishna fought Andhaka and Rudra restricted Mahishasura.

But when the battle went on for hundred years and each year Mahishasura became mightier, it became clear that the Demon would not be shattered unless a female ‘Shakti’ would have to be thought of for the purpose. It was also realised that instead of depending on the female power of one Devi, say Sachi Devi, Vani, Lakshmi or Parvathi individually, it would be ideal to unify the Powers of all and generate one Maha Nirguna Shakti who would destroy the Demons once and for all. The Composite Super Energy converging into a Unique Shakti thus emerged with all the Individual Shaktis of Trinity, Devas and their respective female powers embodying a mountain like Fire and dazzle which was not visualised even by Devas themselves let alone normal species. The Supreme Deity was endowed with the armoury and ‘Mantras’ of Gods together too.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org 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 raovdn@yahoo.co.in