SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 10 CHAPTER 12

THE TENTH BOOK

Chapter XII

On the tale of Sāvarṇi Manu

1-6. The Muni said:

O King! The powerful Asura Mahiṣa, born of a she-buffalo, defeated all the Devas and became the Lord of the whole universe.

That indomitable Dānava seized forcibly all the rights of the Devas and began to enjoy the pleasures of the kingdom over the three worlds.

The Devas, thus defeated, were expelled from their abodes in Heavens.

They took Brahmā as their Leader and went to the excellent regions where Mahā Deva and Viṣṇu resided and informed them of all that had been done by that vicious Asura Mahiṣa.

They said:

“O Deva of the Devas! The insolent Mahiṣāsura has become unbearable and he has taken possessions of the rights and properties of the whole host of the Devas and he is now enjoying them.

Both of you are quite capable to destroy the Asura. So why you do not devise means to annihilate him in short time!”

7-10. Hearing these pitiful words of the Devas, Bhagavān Viṣṇu became quite indignant. Śankara, Brahmā and the other Devas all were inflamed with anger.

O King! From the face of the angry Hari, then emanated an Unusual Fire, brilliant like thousand Suns. Then by and by emanated fires also from the bodies of all the Devas who were filled then with joy.

From the mass of fire thus emanated there came out a beautiful Female Figure.

The face of this figure was formed out of the fire that emanated from the body of Mahā Deva. Her hairs were formed out of the fire of Yama and Her arms were formed out of the fire that emanated from Viṣṇu.

11-21. O King! From the fire of the Moon came out two breasts; from the fire of Indra came out Her middle portion; from the fire of Varuṇa, appeared Her loins and thighs;

from the fire of Earth, Her hips were formed; from the fire of Brahmā, Her feet were formed; from the fire of the Sun, Her toes were formed; from the fire of the Vasus, Her fingers were formed;

from Kubera's fire, Her nose came out; from the excellent tejas of Prajāpati, teeth; from the fire of Agni, Her three eyes; from the fire of the twilights, Her eye-brows and from the fire of Vāyu, Her ears appeared.

O Lord of men! Thus Bhagavatī Mahiṣamardinī was born of the Tejas (fiery substances) of the Devas.

Next Śiva gave Her the Śūla (weapon spear); Viṣṇu gave Sudarśana (Chakra); Varuṇa gave the conch-shell;

Fire gave Śaktī (weapon); Vāyu gave Her bows and arrows; Indra gave Her thunder bolt and the bell of the elephant Airāvata;

Yama gave Her the Destruction Staff (Kāla Daṇḍa); Brahmā gave Her the Rudrākśa, rosary and Kamaṇḍalu; the Sun gave Her, in every pore the wonderful rays;

the Time (Kāla) gave Her sharp axe and shield; the oceans gave Her the beautiful necklace and new clothes (two in number); Viśvakarma gladly gave Her the crown, ear-rings, kaṭaka, Angada, Chandrārdha, trinklets; and the Himālayās gave Her the Lion as Her Vehicle and various gems and jewels.

22-30. Kubera, the Lord of wealth gave Her the cup filled with the drink; Bhagavān Ananta Deva gave Her a necklace of snakes (Nāghāra).

Thus the World Mother, the Devī, became honoured by all the Devas.

The Devas, very much oppressed by Mahiṣāsura, then, chanted various hymns of praise to the World Mother Maheśvarī Mahā Devī.

Hearing their Stotras, the Deveśī, worshipped by the Devas, shouted aloud the War- Cry.

O King! Mahiṣāsura, startled at that War-Cry, came to Bhagavatī with all his army corps.

Then that great Asura Mahiṣa hurled various weapons in the air and overcast the sky with them and began to fight with great skill.

The several generals Chikṣura, Durdhara, Durmukha, Vāṣkala, Tāmraka, Vidālākṣa and various other innumerable generals as if Death incarnate, accompanied Mahiṣa, the chief Dānava.

A fierce fight then ensued. Then the Devī Who enchants all the beings, became red-eyed with anger and began to kill the generals of the against party.

When the generals were killed one by one Mahiṣāsura, skilled in the science of magic, came up quickly to the front of the Devī.

31-40. The Lord of the Dānavas, then, by his magic power, began to assume various forms. Bhagavatī, too, began to destroy his those forms.

Then the Daitya, the crusher of the Devas, assumed the form of a buffalo and began to fight. The Devī then fastened the animal, the Asura, the Death of the Devas, tightly and cut off his head by Her axe.

The remainder of his forces, then, fled away in terror and disorder with a loud cry. The Devas became very glad and began to chant hymns to the Devī.

O King! Thus the Lakṣmī Devī appeared to kill Mahiṣāsura. Now I will describe how Saraswatī appeared. Listen.

Once on a time the two very powerful Daityas Śumbha and Niśumbha were born. They attacked the Devas, oppressed them and seized their houses and rights.

The Devas became dispossessed of their kingdoms and went to the Himālayās and offered stotras to the Devī with the greatest devotion:

“O Deveśī! O Thou, skilled in removing the difficulties of the Bhaktas! Victory to Thee! O Thou, the Sinless One! Old age and death cannot touch Thee. O Thou! Death incarnate to the Dānavas!

O Deveśī! O Thou, of mighty valour and prowess! O Thou, the embodiment of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa! Unbounded is Thy might; Thou canst be easily reached by the power of devotion.

O Thou, the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer! O Mādhavi! O Thou, the Giver of Bliss! Thou dancest with great joy at the time of the dissolution of all the things (Pralaya).

41-50. O Thou, full of mercy! O Deva Deveśī! Be gracious unto us. O Thou, the Remover of the sufferings of the refugees! We now come unto Thy protection.

The terror of Śumbha and Niśumbha is like an endless ocean unto us. Save, save us from their fast clutches. O Devī! Save us! O Queen! Verily.”

When the Devas praised thus, the daughter of the Himālayās, Bhagavatī became pleased and asked:

“What is the matter?”

In the meanwhile, there emitted from the physical sheath of the Devī another Devī Kauśikī who gladly spoke to the Devas:

“O Sūras! I am pleased with Thy Stotra. Now ask the boon that you desire.”

The Devas then asked for the following boon:

“O Devī! The two famous Daityas Śumbha and Niśumbha have attacked forcibly the three worlds. The wicked Lord of the Dānavas, Śumbha, has overcome us by the power of his arm and is now tormenting us without any break. Kindly devise some means to kill him.”

The Devī said:

“O Devas! Be patient. I will kill these two Daityas, Śumbha and Niśumbha and thus remove the thorn on your way. At an early date I will do good to you.”

Thus saying to Indra and the other Devas the merciful Devī disappeared at once before their eyes.

The Devas with their hearts delighted went to the beautiful Śumeru Mountain and dwelt there in the caves thereof.

Here the servants of Śumbha and Niśumbha Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa, while they were making their circuits, saw the exquisitely beautiful Devī, the Enchantress of the world, and came back to Śumbha their King and said:

51-60. “O Destroyer of enemies! O Giver of honour! O Great King!

You are the Lord of all the Daityas and are fit to enjoy all the gems and jewels. Today we have seen an extraordinary beautiful woman jewel. She is fit to be enjoyed by you.

So now you would better bring that perfectly beautiful woman and enjoy. No such enchanting women can be seen amongst the Asura women Nāga Kanyās Gandharva women, Dānavas or men.”

Hearing thus the words of the servant, Śumbha, the tormentor of the foes, sent a Daitya named Sugrīva as a messenger to Her.

The messenger went to the Devī as early as possible and spoke to Her all that Śumbha had told him:

“O Devī! The Asura Śumbha is now the conqueror of the three worlds and respected by the Devas. O Devī! He is now enjoying all that is best, the gems and jewels;

O Devī! I am his messenger sent here to convey to you his message as follows:

O Devī! I am the sole enjoyer of all the jewels. O Beautiful-eyed! You are a gem; so you would worship me.

O Fair One! All the gems and jewels that are in the Deva loka, in the Daitya loka, or amongst the regions of men, are under my control. So you would lovingly worship me.”

The Devī said:

“O Messenger! True that you are speaking for your King; but I made a promise before, how can I act against it? O Messenger! Hear what I promised:

61-70. Whoever in the three worlds will conquer Me by sheer force and thus crush My vanity, whoever will be as strong as Myself, He can enjoy Me.

So the King of Daityas can prove My promise true and by sheer force can marry Me. What is there with him that he cannot do?

So, Messenger! Go back to your master and tell him all this so that the powerful Śumbha may fulfil My promise.”

Hearing thus the words of the Great Devī, the messenger went back to Śumbha and informed him everything regarding the Devī's sayings.

The very powerful Lord of the Daityas, Śumbha became very angry at the unpleasant words of the messenger and commanded the Daitya named Dhumrākṣa:

“O Dhumrākṣa! Listen to my words with great attention. Go and catch hold of that wicked woman by her hairs and bring her to me. Go quickly; do not delay.”

Thus commanded, the very powerful and the best of the Daityas, Dhumrākṣa, went at once to the Devī with sixty thousand Daityas and cried aloud to Her:

“O Auspicious One! You would better worship quickly our Lord Śumbha, who is very powerful and mighty ; you will then acquire all sorts of pleasures; else I will hold you by your hairs and take you to the Lord of the Daityas.”

71-80. Thus addressed by Dhumrākṣa Daitya, the enemy of the Devas, the Devī said:

“O Powerful One! O Daitya! What you have spoken is perfectly right, but tell me first what you or your king Śumbha can do to Me?”

When the Devī said thus, the Daitya Dhumralochana rushed on Her at once with arms and weapons.

With one loud noise, Maheśvarī burnt him immediately to ashes.

O King! The other forces were partly crushed by the Lion, the vehicle of the Devī and partly fled away in disorder to all the quarters; some became senseless out of fear.

Śumbha , the Lord of the Daityas, became very angry to hear this. His face assumed a terrible form with eyebrows contracted. Then he became impatient with anger and sent in order Chaṇḍa, Muṇḍa and Raktavīja.

The three powerful Daityas went to the battle and tried their might to capture the Devī.

The Devī Jagaddhātrī, of violent prowess, seeing that these three Daityas were coming to Her, killed them by Her trident and laid them prostrate on the ground.

Hearing their death with all their army, Śumbha and Niśumbha came in their own persons arrogantly to the battlefield.

Śumbha and Niśumbha fought for a time with the Devī a terrible fight and became tired, when the Devī killed them outright.

When the Bhagavatī, Who is all this world, killed Śumbha and Niśumbha, the Devas began to praise Bhagavatī the Supreme Deity of Vāk (Word) incarnate.

81-93. O King! Thus I have spoken to you in due order the manner in which the beautiful Kālī, Mahā Lakṣmī and Saraswati incarnated themselves on the earth.

That Supreme Deity, the Devī Parameśvarī thus creates, preserves, and destroys the Universe.

You better take refuge of that highly adored Devī, that causes the distinction and the delusion of this Universe. Then only you will attain success.

Nārāyaṇa said:

The king Suratha, hearing these beautiful words of the Muni, took refuge of the Devī, that yields all desired objects.

He built an earthen image of the Devī and, with concentrated attention, thought wholly of the Devī and began to worship Her with devotion. When the worship was over, he offered sacrifices of the blood of his body to the Devī.

Then the World-Mother, the Deity of the Devas, became pleased and appeared before him and asked him Accept the boon that you desire.

When the Devī said thus, the king asked from the Maheśvarī that excellent knowledge whereby the ignorance is destroyed and as well the kingdom could be freed from any dangers or difficulties.

The Devī said:

“O King! By My boon, you will get your foeless kingdom in this very birth as well as the Jñānam that removes ignorance.

O King! I will tell you also what you will be in the next birth. Hear.

In your next birth, you will be the son of the Sun and be famous as Sāvarṇi Manu. By My boon you will be the Lord of the Manvantara, become very powerful and you will get good many sons.”

Thus granting him this boon, the Devī disappeared.

By the Grace of the Devī, Suratha became the Lord of the Manvantara.

O Sadhu! Thus I have described to you the birth and deeds of Sāvarṇi. He who hears or reads this story with devotion, will be a favourite of the Devī.

Here ends the Twelfth Chapter of the Tenth Book on the anecdote of Sāvarṇi Manu in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.