DEVI BHAGAVATHAM IX (9) Skandha Ch.22.

Chapter XXII

On the fight between the Devas and S’ankhachûda

1-75. S’rî Nârâyana spoke :– Then the King of the Dânavas, very powerful, bowed down to Mahâdeva and ascended on the chariot with his ministers. Mahâdeva gave orders to His army to be ready at once. So S’ankhachûda did. Terrible fight then ensued between Mahendra and Vrisaparvâ, Bhâskara and Viprachitti, Nis’âkara and Dambha, between Kâla and Kâles’vara, between Fire and Gokarna, Kuvera and Kâlakeya, between Vis’vakarmâ and Mâyâ, between Mrityu and Bhayamkar, between Yama and Samhâra, between Varuna and Vikamka, between Budha and Dhritapristha, between S’ani and Raktâksa, Jayanta and Ratnasâra, between the Vasus and Varchasas, between the two As’vin Kumâras and Dîptimân, between Nalakûbara and Dhûmra, between Dharma and Dhurandhara, between Mangala and Usâksa, Bhânu and S’ovâkara, between Kandarpa and Pîthara, between the eleven Âdityas and Godhâmukha, Chûrna and Khadgadhvaja, Kañchîmukha and Pinda, Dhûmra and Nandî, between Vis’va and Palâs’a, between the eleven Rudras and the eleven Bhayamkaras, between Ugrachandâ and the other Mahâmârîs and Nandîs’vara and the other Dânavas. 

The battlefield, then, assumed a grim aspect, as if the time of Dissolution had come. Bhagavân Mahâdeva sat under the Vata (peepul) tree with Kârtikeya and Bhadrakâlî. S’ankhachûda, decked with his jewel ornaments, sat on the jewel throne, surrounded by kotis and kotis of Dânavas. The S’ankara’s army got defeated at the hands of the Dânavas. The Devas, with cuts and wounds on their bodies, fled from the battlefield, terrified. Kârtikeya gave words “Don’t fear” to the Devas and excited them. Only Skanda resisted the Dânava forces. In one moment he slew one hundred Aksauhinî Dânava forces. The lotus eyed Kâlî also engaged in killing the Asuras. She became very angry and no sooner did She slay the Asura forces, than She began to drink their blood. She easily slew with Her one hand and at every time put into Her mouth ten lakhs, and hundred lakhs and Kotis and Kotis of elephants. Thousands and thousands of headless bodies (Kavandhas) came to be witnessed in the field. The bodies of the Dânavas were all cut and wounded by the arrows of Kârtikeya. They were all terrified and fled away. Only Vrisaparvâ, Viprachitti, Dambha, and Vikamkanah remained fighting with Skanda with an heroic valour. Mahâmârî, too, did not shew his back and he fought out vigorously. By and by they all became very much confused and distressed; but they did not turn their backs. Seeing this terrible fight of Skanda, the Devas began to shower flowers. The killing of the Dânavas looked like a Prakritik Dissolution. S’ankhachûda, then, began to shoot arrows from his chariot. the shooting of arrows by the king seemed as if rains were being poured in by the clouds. Everything became pitch dark. Fires only were seen emitting their golden tongues. The Devas, Nandîs’vara and others, fled away, terrified. Only Kârtikeya remained in the battlefield. Then S’ankhachûda began to throw terribly showers and showers of mountains, snakes, stones, and trees. So much so, that Kârtikeya was covered by them as the Sun becomes obscured by fog. The Demon King cut off the weighty quiver and the pedestal of Skanda and broke His chariot. By the divine weapons of the Dânava, the peacock (the vehicle) of Kârtikeya became exhausted. Kârtikeya threw one S’akti (weapon) on the breast of the Dânava; but before it fell, the Dânava cut off that, lustrous like the Sun and, in return, darted his S’akti. By that stroke, Kârtikeya became stunned for a moment; but he immediately regained his consciousness. He then took up the quiver that Bhagavân Visnu gave him before and many other weapons; and ascending on another chariot, built of jewels, began to fight out violently and valiantly. Getting angry, he resisted all those showers of snakes, mountains and trees by his divine weapons. He resisted fire by his watery (Pâryannya) weapon. Then He cut off easily S’ankhachûda’s chariot, bow, armour, charioteer, and his bright crown and he threw on his breast one blazing S’akti of white colour. The Dânavendra fell unconscious; but, at the next moment, he regained his consciousness quickly, mounted on another chariot and took a fresh quiver. The Dânava was the foremost in his magic powers. He, by his power of Mâyâ, made a shower of arrows so much so that Kârtikeya became completely covered by that multitude of arrows. Then the Dânava took one invincible S’akti, lustrous like one hundred Suns. It seemed that flames of fire were licking high as if the Dissolution Time had come aright. Inflamed by anger, the Dânava threw that S’akti on Kârtikeya. It seemed, then, that a burning mass of fire fell on him. The powerful Kârtikeya became senseless. Bhadrakâlî immediately took Him on Her lap and carried him before S’iva. S’iva easily restored him to his life by his knowledge-power and gave him the indomitable strength. He then got up in full vigour. Bhadrakâlî went to the field to see the Kârtikeya’s forces. Nandîs’vara and other heroes, the Devas, Gandharbas, Yaksas, Râksasas and Kinnaras followed Her. Hundreds of war drums were sounded and hundreds of persons carried Madhu (wine). Going to the battle-ground, She gave a war-cry. The Dânava forces got fainted by that cry. Bhadrakâlî shouted aloud inauspicious peals after peals of laughter. Then She drank Madhu and danced in the battlefield. Ugra Damstrâ, Ugrachandâ, Kotavî, the Yoginîs, Dâkinîs, and the Devas all drank Madhu (wine). Seeing Kâlî in the battlefield, S’ankhachûda came up again and imparted the spirit of Fearlessness to the Daityas, trembling with fear. Bhadrakâlî projected, then, the Fire weapon, flaming like the Great Dissolution Fire; but the king quickly put out that by the Watery weapon. Kâlî then projected the very violent and wonderful Varunâstra. The Dânava cut off that easily with Gandharbâstra. Kâlî then threw the flame-like Mahes’varâstra. The king made it futile by the Vaisnavâstra. Then the Devî purifying the Nârâyanâstra with the mantra, threw it on the king. At this the king instantly alighted from his chariot and bowed down to it. The Nârâyanâstra rose high up like the Dissolution Fire. S’ankhachûda fell prostrate on the ground with devotion. The Devî threw, then, the Brahmâstra, purifying it with Mantra. But it was rendered futile by the Dânava’s Brahmâstra. The Devî again shot the divine weapons purifying them with mantras; but they also were nullified by the divine weapons of the Dânava. Then Bhadrakâlî threw one S’akti extending to one Yojana. The Daitya cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devî, then, being very much enraged, became ready to throw Pâs’upata Âstra, when the Incorporeal Voice was heard from the Heavens, prohibiting Her, and saying, “O Devî! The high-souled Dânava would not be killed by the Pâs’upata weapon. For Brahmâ granted him this boon that until the Visnu’s Kavacha will remain on his neck and until his wife’s chastity be not violated, old age and death will not be able to touch him.” Hearing this Celestial Voice, the Devî at once desisted. But She, out of hunger, devoured hundreds and lakhs of Dânavas. The terrible Devî Kâlî, then, went with great speed to devour S’ankhachûda but the Dânava resisted Her by his sharp divine weapons. The Devî then threw on him a powerful axe, lustrous like a summer Sun; but the Dânava cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devî seeing this, became very angry and proceeded to devour him; but the Dânava King, the Lord of all Siddhis, expanded his body. At this, Kâlî became violently angry and assuming a terrific appearance, went quickly and with the blow of one fist, broke his chariot and dropped down the charioteer. Then she hurled on the Asura one S’ûla weapon, blazing like a Pralaya Fire. S’ankhachûda easily held that by his left hand. The Devî became angry and struck the Dânava with Her fist; the Daitya’s head reeled, and, rolling, he fell unconscious for a moment. Next moment regaining his consciousness he got up. But he did not fight hand to hand with the Devî. Rather he bowed down to Her. The weapons that the Devî threw afterwards were partly cut down by the Dânava and partly taken up by him and absorbed in him and thus rendered futile. Then Bhadrakâlî caught bold of the Dânava and whirling him round and round threw him aloft. Then the powerful S’ankhachûda fell down on the ground from high with great force; he immediately got up and bowed down to Her. He then gladly ascended on his beautiful chariot, built of excellent jewels. He did not feel any fatigue with the war and went on fighting. Then the Devî Bhadrakâlî, feeling hungry began to drink the blood of the Dânavas and ate the fat and flesh. She came before Mahâdeva and described to Him the whole history of the warfare from beginning to end. Hearing the killing of the Dânavas, Mahâdeva began to laugh. She went on saying, “The Dânavas that get out of my mouth while I was chewing them, are the only ones that are living. This number will be about one lakh. And when I took up the Pâs’upata weapon to kill the Dânava, the Incorporeal Celestial Voice spoke :– He is invulnerable by you. But the very powerful Dânava did no more fling any weapon on Me. He simply cut to pieces those that I threw on him.”

Here ends the Twenty-Second Chapter in the Ninth Book on the fight between the Devas and S’ankhachûda in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa. 
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