Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The destruction of demons Shumbha and Nishumbha

The destruction of demons Shumbha and Nishumbha

by Mantra & shlokas on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 12:21pm

Section Three

The destruction of demons Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Chapter 5

Shumbha and Nishumbha

The Rishi said: Of yore Indra's (sovereignty) over the three worlds and his portions of the sacrifices were taken away by the asuras, Shumbha and Nishumbha, by force of their pride and strength. The two, themselves, took over likewise, the offices of the sun, the moon, Kubera, Yama, and Varuna.

They themselves exercised Vayu's authority and Agni's duty. Deprived of their lordships and sovereignties, the devas were defeated. Deprived of their functions and expelled by these two great asuras, all the devas thought of the invincible Devi. She had granted us the boon, "Whenever in calamities you think of me, that very moment I will put an end to all your worst calamities."

Resolving thus, the devas went to Himavat, lord of the mountains, and there extolled the Devi, who is the illusive power of Vishnu. The devas said: ‘Salutations to the Devi, to the Mahadevi. Salutations always to her who is ever auspicious. Salutation to her who is the primordial cause and the sustaining power. With attention, we have made obeisance to her. We bow to her who is welfare; we make salutations to her who is prosperity and success. Salutation to the consort of Shiva who is herself the good fortune as well as misfortune of kings. Salutations always to Durga who takes one across in difficulties, who is essence, who is the authority of everything; who is the knowledge of discrimination.’

O Prince, while the devas were thus engaged in praises and (other acts of adoration), Parvati came there to bathe in the waters of the Ganga. She, the lovely-browed, said to those devas, 'Who is praised by you here?' An auspicious goddess, sprung forth from her physical sheath, gave the reply: ‘This hymn is addressed to me by the assembled devas set at naught by the asura Shumbha and routed in battle by Nishumbha.’

Because that Ambika came out of Parvati's physical sheath (Kosa), she is glorified as Kaushiki in all the worlds. After she had issued forth, Parvati became dark and was called Kalika and stationed on mount Himalaya.

Then, Chanda, and Munda, two servants of Shumbha and Nishumbha, saw that Ambika (Kausiki) bearing a surpassingly charming form. They both told Shumbha: 'O King, a certain woman, most surpassingly beautiful, dwells there shedding lustre on mount Himalaya. Such supreme beauty was never seen by any one anywhere. Ascertain who that Goddess is and take possession of her, O Lord of the asuras! Nishumbha has every kind of gem produced in the sea. Fire also gave you two garments, which are purified by fire. Thus, O Lord of asuras, all gems have been brought by you. Why this beautiful lady-jewel is not seized by you?’

The Rishi said: On hearing these words of Chanda and Munda, Shumbha sent the great asura Sugriva as messenger to the Devi.
He said: Go and tell her thus in my words and do the thing in such a manner that she may quickly come to me in love. He went there where the Devi was staying in a very beautiful spot on the mountain and spoke to her in fine and sweet words.

The messenger said: O Devi, Shumbha, lord of asuras, is the supreme sovereign of three worlds. Sent by him as messenger, I have come here to your presence. Hearken to what has been said by him whose command is never resisted among the devas and who has vanquished all the foes of the asuras: (He says), "All the three worlds are mine and the devas are obedient to me. We look upon you, O Devi, as the jewel of womankind in the world. You who are such, come to me, since we are the enjoyers of the best objects. Take to me or to my younger brother Nishumbha of great prowess, O unsteady-eyed lady, for you are in truth a jewel.Wealth, great and beyond compare, you will get by marrying me. Think over this in your mind, and become my wife."'

The Rishi said: Thus told, Durga the adorable and auspicious, by whom this universe is supported, then became serene.

The Devi said: You have spoken truth; nothing false has been uttered by you in this matter. Shumbha is indeed the sovereign of the three worlds and likewise is also Nishumbha. But in this matter, how can that which has been promised be made false? Hear what promise I had made already out of foolishness. "He who conquers me in battle, removes my pride and is my match in strength in the world shall be my husband." So let Shumbha come here then, or Nishumbha the great asura. Vanquishing me here let him soon take my hand in marriage. Why delay?

The messenger said: O Devi, you are haughty. Talk not so before me. Which man in the three worlds will stand before Shumbha and Nishumbha? All the devas verily cannot stand face to face with even the other asuras in battle. Why mention you, O Devi, a single woman?

Indra and all other devas could not stand in battle against Shumbha and other demons, how will you, a woman, face them? On my word itself, you go to Shumbha and Nishumbha. Let it not be that you go to them with your dignity lost by being dragged by your hair.

The Devi said: Yes, it is; Shumbha is strong and so is Nishumbha exceedingly heroic! What can I do since there stands my ill-considered vow taken long ago? Go back, and tell the lord of asuras carefully all this that I have said; let him do whatever he considers proper.

Here ends the fifth chapter called 'Devi's conversation with the messenger' of the Devi-Mahatmya in Markandeya-Purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

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