the sixth day of Navaratri

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 8:49 AM


CHAPTER 9 - The Slaying of Nisumbha

The king (Suratha) said:

1-2. 'Wonderful is this that you, adorable sir, have related to me about the greatness of the Devi's act in slaying Raktabija.

3. 'I wish to hear further what the very irate Sumbha and Nisumbha did after Raktabija was killed.'

The Rishi said:

4-5. After Raktabija was slain and other asuras were killed in the fight, the asura Sumbha and Nisumbha gave way to unbounded wrath.

6. Enraged on seeing his great army slaughtered, Nisumbha then rushed forward with the chief forces of the asuras.

7. In front of him behind him and on both sides of him, great asuras, enraged and biting their lips, advanced to slay the Devi.

8. Sumbha also, mighty in valour, went forward, surrounded, with his own troops to slay Chandika in this rage, after fighting with the Matrs.

9. Then commenced severe combat between the Devi on one side and on the other, Sumbha and Nisumbha who, like two thunder-clouds, rained a most tempestuous shower of arrows on her.

10. Chandika with numerous arrows quickly split the arrows shot by the two asuras and smote the two lords of asuras on their limbs with her mass of weapons.

11. Nisumbha, grasping a sharp sword and a shining shield, struck the lion, the great carrier of the Devi on the head.

12. When her carrier was struck, the Devi quickly cut Nisumbha's superb sword with a sharp-edged arrow and also his shield on which eight moons were figured.

13. When his shield was slit and his sword too broken, the asura hurled his spear; and that missile also, as it advanced towards her, was split into two by her discus.

14. Then the danava Nisumbha, swelling with wrath, seized a dart; and that also, as it came, the Devi powdered with a blow of her fist.

15. Then brandishing his club, he flung it against Chandika; cleft by the trident of the Devi, it also turned to ashes.

16. Then the Devi assailed the heroic danava advancing with battle-axe in hand, and laid him low on the ground.

17. When his brother Nisumbha of terrific prowess fell to the ground, (Sumbha) got infuriated in the extreme, and strode forward to slay Ambika.

18. Standing in his chariot and grasping excellent weapons in his long and incomparable eight arms, he shone by pervading the entire sky.

19. Seeing him approaching, the Devi blew her conch, and made a twang of her bow-string, which was unbearable in the extreme.

20. And (the Devi) filled all directions with the ringing of her bell, which destroys the strength of all the daitya hosts.

21. The lion filled the heaven, the earth and the ten quarters of the sky with loud roars, which made the elephants give up their violent rut.

22. Then Kali, springing upwards in the sky, (came down) and struck the earth with both her hands; by its noise all the previous sounds were drowned.

23. Sivaduti made a loud ominous peal of laughter, the asuras were frightened by those sounds, and Sumbha flew into an utmost rage.

24. As Ambika said, 'O evil-natured one, stop, stop', the devas stationed in the sky cheered her with the words, 'Be victorious'.

25. The spear, flaming most terribly and shining like a mass of fire, which Sumbha approaching hurled was, as it was coming along, put out by a great firebrand (from the Devi).

26. The interspace between the three worlds was pervaded by Sumbha's lion-like roar, but the dreadful thunder-clap ( of the Devi) smothered that, O King.

27. The Devi split the arrows shot by Sumbha, and Sumbha also split the arrows discharged by her, (each with her and his) sharp arrows in hundreds and thousands.

28. Then Chandika became angry and smote him with a trident. Wounded therewith, he fainted and fell to the ground.

29. Then Nisumbha, regaining consciousness seized his bow and struck with arrows the Devi and Kali and the lion.

30. And the danuja-lord, the son of Diti, putting forth a myriad arms, covered Chandika with myriad discuses.

31. Then Bhagavati Durga, the destroyer of difficulties and afflictions, became angry and split those discuses and those arrows with her own arrows.

32. Thereupon Nisumbha, surrounded by the daitya host, swiftly seizing his club, rushed at Chandika to sly her.

33. As he was just rushing at her, Chandika colve his club with her sharp-edged sword; and her took hold of a dart.

34. As Nisumbha, the afflictor of the devas, was advancing with the dart in hand, Chandika pierced him in the heart with a swiftly hurled dart.

35. From his (Nisumbha's) heart that was pierced by the dart, issued forth another person of great strength and valour, exclaiming (at the Devi) 'Stop.'

36. Then the Devi, laughing aloud, severed the head of him, who issued forth, with her sword. Thereupon he fell to the ground.

37. The lion then devoured those asuras whose necks he had crushed with his fierce teeth, and Kali and Sivaduti devoured others.

38. Some great asuras perished, being pierced through by the spear if Kaumari. Others were repulsed by (sprinkling of ) the water purified by the incantation of Brahmani.

39. Others fell, pierced by a trident wielded by Mahesvari; some were powdered on the ground by the blows from the snout of Varahi.

40. Some danavas were cut to pieces by the discus of Vaisnavi, and others again by the thunderbolt discharged from the palm of Aindri.

41. Some asuras perished (themselves), some fled from the great battle, and others were devoured by Kali, Sivaduti and the lion.

Here ends the ninth chapter called 'the Slaying of Nisumbha' of Devi mahatmya in Markandeya-purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.


CHAPTER 10 - The Slaying of Sumbha

The Rishi said:

1-3. Seeing his brother Nisumbha slain, who was dear to him as his life, and his army being slaughter, Sumbha angrily said. 'O Durga who are puffed up with pride of strength, don't show your pride (here). Though you are exceedingly haughty, you, resorting to the strength of others, fight.'

The Devi said:

4-5. 'I am all alone in the world here. Who else is there besides me? See, O vile one, these Goddesses, who are but my own powers, entering into my own self!'

6. Then all those, Brahmani and the rest, were absorbed in the body of the Devi. Ambika alone then remained.

The Devi said:

7-8. ' The numerous forms which I projected by my power here - those have been withdrawn by me, and (now) I stand alone. Be steadfast in combat.'

The Rishi said:

9-10. Then began a dreadful battle between them both, the Devi and Sumbha, while all the devas and asuras looked on.

11. With showers of arrows, with sharp weapons and frightful missiles, both engaged again in a combat that frightened all the worlds.

12. Then the lord of daityas broke the divine missiles, which Ambika discharged in hundreds, with (weapons) that repulsed them.

13. With fierce shout of hum and the like, the Paramesvari playfully broke the excellent missiles that he discharged.

14. Then the asura covered the Devi with hundreds of arrows, and the Devi in wrath split his bow with her arrows.

15. And when the bow was split the lord of the daityas took up his spear. With a discus, the Devi split that (spear) also in this hand.

16. Next the supreme monarch of the daityas, taking his sword bright like the sun and shining shield bearing the images of a hundred moons, rushed at the Devi at that moment.

17. Just as he was rushing forward, Chandika split his sword with sharp arrows shot from her bow, as also his shield as bright as the solar rays.

18. With his steeds slain, with his bow broken, without a charioteer, the daitya then grasped his terrible mace, being ready to kill Ambika.

19. With sharp arrows, she split the mace of Sumbha, who was rushing at her. Even then, raising his fist, he rushed swiftly at her.

20. The daitya-king brought his fist down on the heart of the Devi, and the Devi also with her palm smote him on his chest.

21. The daitya-king, wounded by the blow of her palm fell on the earth, but immediately he rose up again.

22. Seizing the Devi, he sprang up and mounted on high into the sky. There also Chandika, without any support, fought with him.

23. Then the daitya (Sumbha) and Chandika fought, a never before, with each other in the sky in a close contact, which wrought surprise to the Siddhas and sages.

24. Ambika then, after carrying on a close fight for a very long time with him, lifted him up, whirled him around and flung him down on the earth.

25. Flung thus, the evil-natured (Sumbha) reaching the earth and raising his fist, hastily rushed forward desiring to kill Chandika.

26. Seeing that lord of all the daitya-folk approaching, the Devi, piercing him on the chest with a dart, threw him down on the earth.

27. Pierced by the pointed dart of the Devi he fell lifeless on the ground, shaking the entire earth with its seas, islands and mountains.

28. When that evil-natured (asura) was slain, the universe became happy and regained perfect peace, and the sky grew clear.

29. Flaming portent-clouds that were in evidence before became tranquil, and the rivers kept within their courses when (Sumbha) was stricken down there.

30. When he had been slain, the minds of all the bands of devas became overjoyed, and the Gandharvas sang sweetly.

31-32. Others sounded (their instruments), and the bands of nymphs danced; likewise favourable winds blew; the sun became very brilliant; the sacred fires blazed peacefully and tranquil became the strange sounds that had risen in different quarters.

Here ends the tenth chapter called 'The Slaying of Sumbha' of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

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