DEVI BHAGAVATHAM IX (9) Skandha Ch.21.

Chapter XXI

On the meeting of Mahâdeva and S’ankhachûda for an encounter in conflict

1-33. S’rî Nârâyana spoke :– Then the Dânava, the devotee of S’rî Krisna, got up from his flower strewn bed, meditating on S’rî Krisna, early in the morning time, at the Brahmâ Muhûrta. Quitting his night dress, he took his bath in pure water and put on a fresh washed clothing. He then put the bright Tilak mark on his forehead and, performing the daily necessary worship, he worshipped his Ista devatâ (The Deity doing good to him). He then saw the auspicious things such as curd, ghee, honey, fried rice, etc., and distributed as usual, to the Brâhmanas the best jewels, pearls, clothing and gold. Then for his marching to turn out auspicious, he gave at the feet of his Guru Deva priceless gems, jewels, pearls, diamonds, etc., and finally he gave to the poor Brâhmins with great gladness, elephants, horses, wealth, thousands of stores, two lakhs of cities and one hundred kotis of villages. He then gave over to his son, the charge of his kingdom and of his wife, and all the dominions, wealth, property, all the servants and maid servants, all the stores and conveyances. He dressed himself for the war and took up bows and arrows and arrow cases. By the command of the King, the armies began to gather. Three lakhs of horses, one lakh elephants, one ayuta chariots, three Kotis of bowmen, three Kotis armoured soldiers and three Kotis of trident holders got themselves ready. Then the King counted his forces and appointed one Commander-in-Chief, (Mahâratha), skilled in arts of warfare, over the whole army. Thus the generals were apppointed over the three lakh Aksauhinî forces and their provisions were collected by three hundred Aksauhinî men. He, then, thinking of S’rî Hari, started for war, accompanied by his vast army.


 (Note :– One Aksauhinî consists of a large army consisting of 21,870 chariots, as many elephants, 65,610 horses, and 109,350 foot). He then mounted on a chariot built of excellent jewels and, headed by his Guru and all his other elders, went to S’ankara. O Nârada! Bhagavân Mahâdeva was at that time, staying on the banks of Puspabhadra. That place was Sidhâs’rama (the hermitage where the yogic successes had been obtained and can easily be acquired in future for the Siddhas as well a Siddha Ksettra.) It was the place where the Muni Kapila practised Tapasyâ, in the holy land of Bhârata. It was bounded on the east by the western ocean, on the west by the Malaya mountain, on the south, by the S’rî S’aila mountain and on the north by the Gandha Mâdana Mountain. It was five yojanas wide and one hundred times as long. This auspicious river in Bhârata yields great religious merits and is always full of clear, sparkling running water. She is the favourite wife of the Salt Ocean and She is very blessed. Issuing from S’arâvatî Himâlayâs, She drops into the ocean. Keeping the river Gomatî (Goomti) by her left; She falls into the west ocean. S’ankhachûda, arriving there, saw Mahâdeva under a Peepul tree near its root with a smiling countenance, like one Koti Suns seated in a yogic posture. His colour was white like a pure crystal; as if the Fire of Brahmâ was emitting from every pore of His body (burning with Brahmâ-Teja); He was wearing the tiger skin and, holding the trident and axe. He dispels the fear of death of His Bhaktas; His face is quite calm. He, the Lord of Gaurî, is the Giver of the fruits of Tapasyâ and of all sons of wealth and prosperity. The smiling face of Âs’utosa (one who is pleased quickly) is always thinking of the welfare of the Bhaktas; He is the Lord of the Universe, the Seed of the universe, the All-form (all-pervading), and the Progenitor of the universe. He is omnipresent, All pervading, the Best in this universe, the Destroyer of this universe, the Cause of all causes, and the Saviour from the hells. He is the Awakener and Bestower of Knowledge, the Seed of all knowledges, and He Himself is of the nature of Knowledge and Bliss. Seeing that Eternal Purusa, the King of the Dânavas at once descended from his chariot and bowed down with devotion to Him and to Bhadra Kâlî on His left and and to Kârtikeya on his front. The other attendants did the same. S’ankara, Bhadra Kâlî and Skanda all blessed him. Nandis’vara and others got up from their seats on seeing the Dânava King and began to talk with each other on that subject. The King addressed S’iva and sat by Him. Bhagavân Mahâdeva, the Tranquil Self, then, spoke to him, thus :– O King! Brahmâ, the knower of Dharma and the Creator of the world, is the Father of Dharrna, The religious Marîchi, a devotee of Visnu, is the son of Brahmâ. The religious Prajâpati Kas’yapa is also the Brahmâ’s son. Daksa gladly gave over to Kas’yapa in marriage, his thirteen daughters. Danu, fortunate and chaste, is also one of them.

34-64. Danu had forty sons, all spirited and known as Dânavas. The powerful Viprachitti was the prominent amongst them. Viprachitti’s son was Dambha, self controlled and very much devoted to Visnu. So much so that for one lakh years he recited the Visnu mantra at Puskara. His Guru (spiritual teacher) was S’ukrâchârya; and, by his advice, he recited the mantra of S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self. He got you as his son, devoted to Krisna. In your former birth, you were the chief attendant Gopa (cow-herd) of Krisna. You were very religious. Now, by Râdhikâ’s curse, you are born in Bhârata, as the Lord of the Dânavas, powerful, heroic, valorous, and chivalrous. All the things from Brahmâ down to a blade of grass, the Vaisnavas regard as very trifling; even if they get Sâlokya, Sârsti, Sâyujya and Sâmîpya of Hari, they do not care a straw for that. Without serving Hari, they do not accept those things, even if those are thrust on them. Even Brahmâhood and immortality, the Vaisnavas count for nothing. They want to serve Hari (Sevâ-bhâva). Indrahood, Manuhood, they do not care. You, too, are a real Krisna Bhakta. So what do you care for those things that belong to the Devas, that are something like false to you. Give back to the Devas their kingdoms thus and please Me. Let the Devas remain in their own places and let you enjoy your kingdom happily. No need now for further quarrels. Think that you all belong to the same Kas’yapa’s family. The sins that are incurred, for example, the murder of a Brâhmin, etc., are not even one-sixteenth of the sins incurred by hostilities amongst the relatives. If, O King! You think that by giving away to the Devas their possessions, your property will be diminished, then think that no one’s days pass ever in one and the same condition. Whenever Prakriti is dissolved, Brahmâ also vanishes. Again He appears by the Will of God. This occurs always. True, that knowledge is increased by true Tapasyâ; but memory fails then. This is certain. He who is the creator of this world, does his work of creation gradually by the help of his Knowledge-power (Jñâna-S’akti). In the Satya Yuga, Dharma reigns in full; in the Tretâ Yuga, one quarter is diminished; again in the Dvâpara only one-half remains. And in the Kâlî Yuga, only one quarter remains. Thus Dharma gets increase and decrease. At the end of the Kâlî, the Dharma will be seen very feeble as the phase of the Moon is seen very thin on the Dark Moon night. See, again, the Sun is very powerful in summer; not so in winter. At midday the Sun is very hot; it does not remain so in the morning and evening. The Sun rises at one time; then he is considered as young at another time he becomes very powerful and at another time he goes down. Again in times of distress (i.e., during the cloudy days) the Sun gets entirely obscured. When the Moon is devoured by Râhu (in the Lunar Eclipse), the Moon quivers. Again when the Moon becomes liberated (i.e., when the eclipse passes away) She becomes bright again. In the Full-Moon night She becomes full but She does not remain so always. In the Dark fortnight She wanes every day. In the bright fortnight She waxes every day. In the bright fortnight, the Moon becomes healthy and prosperous and in the dark fortnight, the Moon becomes thinner and thinner as if attacked with consumption. In the time of eclipse She becomes pale and in the cloudy weather, She is obscured. Thus the Moon also becomes powerful at one time and weak and pale at another time. Vali now resides in Pâtâla, having lost all his fortunes; but, at some other time, he will become Devendra (the Lord of the Devas). This earth becomes at one time covered with grains and the resting-place of all beings; and, at another time, She becomes immersed under water. This universe appears at one time and disappears at another. Everything, moving or nonmoving, sometimes appears and again, at another time, disappears. Only Brahmâ, the Highest Self, remains the same. By His grace, I have got the name Mrityunjaya (the Conqueror of Death). I, too, am witnessing many Prakritik dissolutions, I witnessed repeatedly many dissolutions and will in future, witness many dissolutions. The Paramâtman becomes of the nature of Prakriti. Again it is He that is the Purusa (male principle). He is the Self; He is the individual soul (Jîva). He thus assumes various forms. And, again, Lo! He is beyond all forms! He who always repeats His Name and sings His Glory, can conquer, at some occasion, death. He is not to come under the sway of this birth, death, disease, old age and fear. He has made Brahmâ the Creator, Visnu the Preserver and Me the Destroyer. By His Will, we are possessed of those influences and powers. O King! Having deputed Kâla, Agni and Rudra, to do the destruction work, I Myself repeat only His name and sing His glory, day and night, incessantly. My name is, on that account, Mrityunjaya. By His Knowledge Power, I am fearless. Death flies away fast from Me as serpents fly away at the sight of Garûda, the Vinatâ;s son. O Nârada! Thus saying, S’ambhu, the Lord of all, the Progenitor of all, remained silent. Hearing the above words of S’ambhu, the King thanked Mahâdeva again and again and spoke in sweet humble words.

65-74. S’ankhachûda said :– The words spoken by Thee are quite true. Still I am speaking a few words. Kindly hear. Thou hast spoken just now that very great sins are incurred by kindred hostilities. How is it, then, that He robbed Vali of his whole possessions and sent him down into Pâtâla? Gadâdhara Visnu could not recover Vali’s glory. But I have done that. Why did the Devas kill Hiranyâksa and Hiranyâkas’ipu, S’umbha and the other Dânavas? In by gone days, we laboured hard when the nectar was obtained out of the churning of the ocean; but the best fruit was reaped by the Devas only. However, all these point that this universe is but the mere sporting ground of Paramâtman, Who has become of the nature of Prakriti (the polarities of the one and the same current to produce electric effects). Whomsoever He grants glory and fortune, he only gets that. The quarrel of the Devas and the Dânavas is eternal. Victory and defeat come to both the parties alternately. So it is not proper for Thee to come here in this hostility. For Thou art the God, of the nature of the Highest Self. Before Thee, we both are equal. So it is a matter of shame, no doubt, for Thee to stand up against us in favour of the gods. The glory and fame that will result to Thee, if Thou art victorious, will not be so much as it will be if we get the victory. On the contrary the inglory and infamy that will result to Thee if Thou dost get dire defeat will be inconceivably much more than what would come to us if we are defeated. (For we are low and Thou art Great.)

75-79. Mahâdeva laughed very much when he heard the Dânava’s words and replied :– O King! You are descended from the Brâhmin family. So what shame shall I incur if I get defeat in this fighting against you. In former days, the fight took place between Madhu and Kaitabha; again between Hiranya Kas’ipu and Hiranyâksa and S’rî Hari. I also fought with the Asura Tripurâ. Again the serious fight took place also between S’umbha and the other Daityas and the Highest Prakriti Devî, the Ruler of all, and the Progenitrix of all and the Destructrix of all. And, then, you were the Pârisada attendant of S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self. Note :– S’rî Krisna is the Eternal Purusa beyond the Gunas. He creates Prakriti. All the creation is effected by Him. He is the Master of all the S’aktis. These S’aktis come from Him and go into Him. S’rî Krisna plays with these S’aktis, these lines of Forces, very powerful and terrible, indeed, that go to create, preserve and destroy the whole universe. These Lines of Forces have their three properties :– (1) Origin; (2) direction and (3) magnitude. And finally they come back to their origin. This makes one Kalpa, one Life, one Moment, one in the Full One. The Gunas come out of these S’aktis, these Lines of Forces. S’rî Krisna is the Great Reservoir, the Great Centre of Forces, Powerful, Lovely and Terrible. All the events as described here, appear in the intermediate stages when the Fourth Dimension passes into the Third Dimension, etc. The Fourth Dimension does not at once turn out into the Third Dimension but it takes place by degrees. This explains our dreams, visions, etc., which, if seen when the mind is pure, turn out to be true.

80-82. So the Daityas, that were killed before, cannot be compared with you. Then why shall I feel shame in fighting against you? I am sent here by S’rî Hari for saving the Devas. So either give back to the Devas their possessions, or fight with Me. No need in speaking thus quite useless talks. O Nârada! Thus speaking, Bhagavân S’ankara remained silent. S’ankhachûda got up at once with his ministers.
Here ends the Twentty first  Chapter of the Ninth Book on the On the meeting of Mahâdeva and S’ankhachûda for an encounter in conflict in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

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