SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 5 CHAPTER 26

THE FIFTH BOOK

Chapter XXVI

On the killing of Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa

1-17. Vyāsa said:

O King! Thus ordered, the two strong warriors Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa hurriedly went to the battle, accompanied by a vast army. There they saw the Devī, intent on doing good to the Gods.

Then they began to address Her in conciliatory words:

O Lady! Dost Thou not know that the extraordinarily strong Śumbha and Niśumhha, the Lords of the Daityas have crushed down the Devas and vanquished Indra and have become intoxicated with their victory?

O Fair One! Thou art alone!

Only Kālikā and Thy Lion are with Thee! It is Thy foolishness that Thou art desirous to conquer Śumbha, who is endowed with all power.

I think there is no adviser to Thee, man nor woman; the Devas have sent Thee here simply for Thy destruction.

Think, O Delicate One! About the powers of Thine as well as those of Thy enemy. Vainly dost Thou boast of Thy having eighteen hands.

Before the great warrior Śumbha, the conqueror of the Devas, many hands and many weapons will be useless; they will prove mere burdens.

So dost Thou fulfil what reigns in the heart of Śumbha, the destroyer of the legs and the uprooter of the teeth of Airāvata elephant.

Vain is Thy boast, O Beloved! Follow my sweet words; they will do good to Thee, O Large-eyed One! They will destroy Thy pains and give Thee bliss.

Those actions that lead to pain are to be avoided by the wise; and those that bring in happiness are to be served by the Pundits, versed in the Śāstras.

O Sweet speaking one! Thou art clever. Look at the great strength of Śumbha with Thy eyes. He has enhanced his glory by crushing down the Devas.

And if Thou thinkest the gods superior, that is false, for the wise men do not rely on the mere guess, full of doubts; they believe what they actually see.

Śumbha, hard to be conquered in battles, is the great enemy of the Gods; they have been crushed down by him, and have therefore sent Thee here.

O Sweet smiling One! Thou hast been deceived by their sweet words; they, prompted by their selfish ends, have sent Thee here simply to give Thee trouble.

The friends that come with certain business and selfish ends are to be rejected. Friends out of religious motives are only to be sought for refuge.

Verily I tell Thee that the gods are terribly selfish.

Therefore dost Thou serve Śumbha, the conqueror of Indra and the lord of the three worlds; he is a hero, beautiful, lovely, cunning and thoroughly expert in the science of amorous love.

Thou wilt get the prosperity of all the worlds by the mere command of Śumbha; therefore make a firm resolve and serve that splendid husband Śumbha.

18-30. Vyāsa said:

O King! The Universal Mother, hearing the words of Chaṇḍa spoke with a voice deep as thunder:

O Boor! Why do you use false deceitful words? Fly away just now. Why shall I make Śumbha my husband, disregarding Hari, Hara and the other Devas?

O You, a veritable Fool! I have no necessity for My lord; I have got nothing to do with my lord. I Myself am the Lord of all the beings; and I preserve this whole Universe with all the lords and beings therein.

Note this. In ancient times I saw thousands and thousands of Śumbha and Niśumbha and I slew them all. I sent hundreds and hundreds of Daityas and Demons to the realm of Death.

Before the hosts of Devas were destroyed in yugas after yugas by Me. Today the Daityas again will go unto destruction.

The Time has come to destroy the Daityas; why, then, are you struggling in vain with your followers for your lives?

Fight now and keep the Dharma of the warriors; death is inevitable; thinking thus, the high-souled ones should keep their name, fame, and respect.

What business have you to do with Śumbha and Niśumhha? Follow the warrior’s Dharma and go to Heavens, the abode of the gods. Śumbha, Niśumhha and your other friends and followers, all will follow you and will come here no doubt.

O Stupid One! I will put an end to all the Dānavas today. Therefore cast aside your weakness and go on, fight. I will slay you and your brother just now; next I will kill the proud Raktavīja, Niśumhha and Śumbha and the other Dānavas in the battle field and will then go to My desired place.

Now remain here if you like or fly away quickly. You have been fed in vain because you fear to fight. What use is there now in using sweet words like a weak and distressed man.

Well! Take up your arms now and fight.

31-61. Vyāsa said:

O King! Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa, elated with pride got excited at the Devī’s words, became angry and made a violent noise with their bow strings.

The Devī, too, blew Her conch-shell so loudly that the ten quarters of the sky reverberated; in the meanwhile, the powerful lion became very angry and roared loudly.

Hearing that sound Indra and other Devas, the Munis, Yakṣas, Siddhas, and Kinnaras became all very glad.

A dreadful fight than ensued between Chandikā and Chaṇḍa with arrows, axes and other weapons, causing terror to the weak.

Then Chandikā Devī became very wrathful and cut off to pieces all the arrows shot by Chaṇḍa and then hurled arrows serpent-like on him.

Then the sky over the battle ground seemed to be overcast with arrows just as the clouds get covered over with locusts, dreadful to the cultivators.

In the meanwhile Muṇḍa, exceedingly terrible, came up to the field, taking with him his army and becoming impatient with anger began to shoot arrows.

Seeing that multitude of arrows, Ambikā got very angry; out of Her frowny look, Her eyebrows became crooked, Her face became black, and Her eyes turned red like Kadalī flowers;

at this time suddenly came out of Her forehead Kālī.

Wearing the tiger’s skin, cruel, covering Her body with elephant’s skin, wearing a garland of skulls, terrible, with a belly like a well dried up, mouth wide open, with a wide waist, lip hanging loosely, with axe, noose, Śiva’s weapon, in Her hands, She looked very terrible like the Night of Dissolution.

She began to lick frequently and forcibly dashed into the Dānava army and began to destroy it.

She angrily began to take the powerful Dānavas by Her arms and pouring them into Her mouth crushed them with Her teeth.

Taking the elephants with bells by Her own power in Her hands She put them all into Her mouth and swallowed them all with their riders and began to laugh hoarsely.

Thus camels, horses and charioteers with chariots all She put into Her mouth and began to chew them all grimly.

O King! Seeing that the forces were being thus destroyed, the two great warriors Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa began to shoot arrows after arrows without intermission and covered the Devī with them.

Chaṇḍa hurled the Sudarśana-like disc, lustrous like the Sun, with great force against the Devī, and frequently shouted thundering cries.

Seeing him roaring and the lustrous disc coming towards Her like another sun, She shot at him arrows sharpened on stones so that the warrior Chaṇḍa became overpowered by them and lay down senseless on the ground.

The powerful Muṇḍa seeing his brother unconscious became very much distressed with grief; but he got angry and began to shoot arrows immediately on the Devī.

Chandikā Devī hurled the weapon named Īṣikā and thus cut off to pieces all the dreadful arrows of Muṇḍa in a moment and shot Ardha Chandra (semi-circular) arrow at him.

With this arrow the powerful Asura was deprived of his pride and made to lie down unconscious on the earth.

Muṇḍa thus lying on the ground, a great uproar arose amidst the army of the Dānavas; and the Devas became delighted in the sky.

In the meanwhile Chaṇḍa became conscious and taking a very heavy club hurled it violently on the right hand of Kālikā.

Kālika rendered that blow useless and instantly tied down that Asura by Her Pāśa weapon, purified by Mantras.

Muṇḍa again rose up, and, seeing his brother in that fastened condition, came to the front well armoured and with an exceedingly strong weapon called Śakti.

Seeing the Asura coming, She instantly fastened him down like his brother.

Taking the powerful Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa like hares and laughing wildly, Kālī went to Ambikā, and said:

“I have brought the two beasts very auspicious as offerings in this sacrificial war. Kindly accept these.”

Seeing the two Dānavas brought, as if they were the two wolves, Ambikā told her sweetly:

O Thou, fond of war! Thou art very wise; so dost not commit the act of envy nor dost leave them; think over the purport of my words and know that it is Thy duty to bring the Devī’s work to a successful issue.

62-65. Vyāsa said:

O King! Hearing thus the words of Ambikā, Kālikā spoke to Her again:

“In this war-sacrifice there is this axe which is like a sacrificial post; I will offer these two as victims to Thy sacrifice. Thus no act of envy will be committed (i.e., killing in a sacrifice is not considered as envy).”

Thus saying, the Kālikā Devī cut off their heads with great force and gladly drank their blood.

Thus seeing the two Asuras killed, Ambikā said gladly:

Thou hast done the service to the gods; so I will give Thee an excellent boon.

O Kālikā! As Thou hast killed Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa, henceforth Thou wilt be renowned in this world as Chāmuṇḍā.

Here ends the Twenty-sixth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the killing of Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam, of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.