Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Slaying of Mahishasura

Chapter 3

The Slaying of Mahishasura

Seeing the great asura swollen with rage and advancing towards her, Chandika displayed her wrath in order to slay him.

She flung her noose over him and bound the great asura. Thus bound in the great battle, he quitted his buffalo form. Then suddenly he became a lion. While Ambika cut off the head (of his lion form), he took the appearance of a man with sword in hand. Immediately then the Devi with her arrows chopped off the man together with his sword and shield. Then he became a big elephant. (The elephant) tugged at her great lion with his trunk and roared loudly, but as he was dragging, the Devi cut off his trunk with her sword. The great asura then resumed his buffalo shape and shook the three worlds with their movable and immovable objects.

And she with showers of arrows pulverized (those mountains) hurled at her, and spoke to him in flurried words, the colour of her face accentuated with the intoxication of the divine drink. The Devi said: 'Roar, roar, O fool, for a moment while I drink this wine. When you will be slain by me, the devas will soon roar in this very place.'

The Rishi said: Having exclaimed thus, she jumped and landed herself on that great asura, pressed him on the neck with her foot and struck him with her spear and thereupon, caught him under her foot. Mahishasura half issued forth (in his real form) from his own (buffalo) mouth, being completely overcome by the valour of the Devi. Fighting thus with his half-revealed form, the great asura was overpowered by the Devi who struck off his head with her great sword. Then, crying in consternation, the whole asura army perished; and all the hosts of deva were in exultation. With the great sages of heaven, the devas praised the Devi. The Gandharva chiefs sang and the bevies of apsaras danced. Here ends the third chapter called 'The Slaying of Mahishasura' of Devi-Mahatmya in Markandeya Purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

Chapter 4

The Devi Stuti

The Rishi said: When that most valiant but evil-natured Mahishasura and the army of that foe of the devas were destroyed by the Devi, Indra and the hosts of devas uttered their words of praise, their necks and shoulders reverently bent, and bodies rendered beautiful with horripilation and exultation.

‘To that Ambika who is worthy of worship by all devas and sages and pervades this world by her power and who is the embodiment of the entire powers of all the hosts of devas, we bow in devotion. May she grant us auspicious things!

'May Chandika, whose incomparable greatness and power Bhagavan Vishnu, Brahma and Hara are unable to describe, bestow her mind on protecting the entire world and on destroying the fear of evil.

'O Devi, we bow before you, who are yourself good fortune in the dwellings of the virtuous, and ill-fortune in those of the vicious, intelligence in the hearts of the learned, faith in the hearts of the good, and modesty in the hearts of the high-born. May you protect the universe!

'You who are always bounteous, with whom you are well pleased, those (fortunate ones) are indeed the object of esteem in the country, theirs are riches, theirs are glories, and their acts of righteousness perish not; they are indeed blessed and possessed of devoted children, servants and wives.

'By your grace, O Devi, the blessed individual does daily all righteous deeds with utmost care and thereby attains to heaven. Are you not, therefore O Devi, the bestower of reward in all the three worlds?

'When called to mind in a difficult pass, you remove fear from every person. When called to mind by those in happiness, you bestow a mind still further pious. Which goddess but you, O dispeller of poverty, pain and fear, has an ever sympathetic heart for helping everyone?’
Thus the supporter of the worlds was praised by the devas, worshipped with celestial flowers that blossomed in Nandana and with perfumes and unguents; and with devotion all of them offered her - heavenly incense. Benignly serene in countenance she spoke to all obeisant devas.

The Devi said: 'Choose all of you, O devas, whatever you desire of me. (Gratified immensely with these hymns, I grant it with great pleasure)' The devas said: 'Since our enemy, this Mahishasura, has been slain by Bhagavati (i.e you) everything has been accomplished, and nothing remains to be done. And if a boon is to be granted to us by you, O Maheshvari, whenever we think of you again, destroy our direct calamities. O Mother of spotless countenance, and whatever mortal (human) shall praise you with these hymns, may you, who have become gracious towards us, also be gracious for him and increase his wealth, and other fortunes together with riches, prosperity and life, and good wife, O Ambika!'

The Rishi said: O King, being thus propitiated by the devas for the sake of the world and for their own sake, Bhadrakali said, 'Be it so' and vanished from their sight. Thus have I narrated, O King, how the Devi who desires the good of all the three worlds made her appearance of yore out of the bodies of the devas.

And again how, as a benefactress of the devas, she appeared in the form of Gauri for the slaying of wicked asuras as well as Shumbha and Nishumbha, and for the protection of worlds, listen as I relate it. I shall tell it to you as it happened. Here ends the fourth chapter called ‘The Devi Stuti ‘ of the Devi-Mahatmya in Markandeya-Purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

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