SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 5 CHAPTER 27

THE FIFTH BOOK

Chapter XXVII

On the description of the war of Raktavīja

1-14. Vyāsa said:

O King! Seeing the two Dānavas killed in the battle, the remnant soldiers all fled away back to Śumbha. Some of them were cut and wounded in many places by arrows, some had their arms severed, some were bleeding; thus they entered crying into the sky.

On reaching the lord of the Daityas, they began to make frequently the noise indicative of danger and exclaimed:

“O King! Save us, Save us; Kālikā is devouring everything today. The two great warriors Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa, the tormentors of the Devas, were slain by Her; all the soldiers were devoured by Her; we have fled away panic-stricken.

O Lord! Kālikā has rendered the battlefield horrible by the dead bodies of elephants, horses, camels, warriors, and foot soldiers.

A river of blood is flowing there of which the flesh of the soldiers is sufficient mud, their hairs are like aquatic plants, the broken chariot wheels are like whirlpools, the severed arms and feet are like fishes and their heads look like Tumbi fruits (long gourds).

O King! Save your line; go quickly to Pātāla.

The Devī has become angry and will, no doubt, destroy our race. Even the lion is eating away the Dānavas; and the Kālikā Devī is killing innumerable Dānavas by Her arrows.

Therefore, O King! What intentions are you cherishing in your mind? Is it that you have desired to be merely slain with your younger brother Niśumhha!

And what good purpose will this cruel woman, destroying your race, serve, for Whose sake, you have desired to kill all your friends?

O King! Victory or defeat in this world are under the Daiva. The wise never risk to meet with great difficulties for the gratification of an ordinary whim.

O Lord! Look at the wonderful deeds of that Great Creator! What more wonder can there be than this that a woman alone killed all the Dānavas.

O King! You have conquered by the help of your army all the Lokapālas (guardians of the quarters of the sky); but now that Lady, though alone and unsupported by anybody, is challenging you to fight.

15-24. O King! In ancient times, in the holy pilgrimage of Puṣkara, the sacred place of the Devas, you performed austerities when Brahmā, the Grandsire of all the worlds, came to you to grant a boon.

Then you asked the boon and wanted to become to be immortal.

But when Brahmā refused to grant it you wanted from him and were granted that you would not be killed by any male being, be he a Deva, Dānava, a man, Naga, Kinnara, Yakṣa, or any other person.

O Lord! For that very reason we think now that this Lady has timely come to kill you. Think over it seriously and cease fighting.

O King! This Devī is the great Mahā-Māyā, the Highest Prakriti; It is She that devours everything at the end of a Kalpa.

This auspicious Devī is the Creatrix of all the worlds and the Devas. She is the embodiment of the three qualities, endowed with all the powers.

She is Tāmasī, i.e., is the Destructrix of the whole world.

This Devī can never be conquered, Imperishable, Eternal, She is the Sandhya and the Refuge of the Devas.

She is Gāyatri, the Mother of the Vedas. She is All-knowing and always manifested. This Undecaying Lady is void of any Prakriti attributes, though She at times possesses attributes.

She is Success Incarnate and bestows success to all; She is Bliss Herself and gives bliss to all.

This Gaurī bids all the Devas discard all their fears. She is Śuddha Sattva.

Thus knowing, O King! Quit thy inimical feelings to Her; seek refuge unto Her; the Devī would then certainly protect you.

 Be obedient to Her and save your race. Then the remnant Dānavas will be able to live for a very long time.”

25. Vyāsa said:

O King! Hearing thus, Śumbha, the conqueror of the Devas, told them truly in words becoming of a hero:

26-42. Śumbha said:  

“O Fools! Hold your tongue. You have fled because your desire to live is very strong. So you better go to Pātāla without any delay.

This world is under the control of Fate; so I need not think about Victory. I am under this Fate just as Brahmā and other Devas are under it.

Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Yama, Agni, Varuṇa, Sūrya, Chandra, and Indra are all under the sway of this Destiny.

O Fools! Whatever is inevitable will certainly come to pass. What need I think over it then?

The effort also comes to be of such a nature as will lead to that ordained by Fate.

Thus thinking, the wise never grieve; especially the wise ones never leave their own Dharma for fear of death.

The happiness, pain, longevity, birth and death of all the embodied souls are all determined by Fate when their proper time arrives.

See! When the time is over, Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Mahādeva, the lord of Parvatī die away; on the expiration of their terms of lives, Indra and other Devas go to destruction.

Similarly I am also completely under the sway of time; so what doubt is there that I, too, will go to destruction when I have observed my own Dharma!

This Lady is challenging me to fight of Her own will; how can I fly away and live hundreds of years. I will fight today.

Let the result come whatever it may. I will gladly take the victory or defeat whatever the case may be.

The learned approving of the cause of effort declare Fate as fictitious; those who realise their sayings know that they are full of reason.

Without exertion no end can be achieved; weak persons depend on the destiny. Foolish persons say that Fate is strong; but the wise do not say so.

There is no proof whether Fate exists or not; in fact what is called Fate is invisible; how can it then be seen? Has anybody seen Fate? It is simply a scare for the illiterate; remedy only to console one’s mind in times of distress.

Simply proximity to a grind mill without any man’s effort cannot grind a material.

Therefore if exertion be made in proportion to the gravity of the work, success is sure to ensue; if exertion be made less in proportion, the work does not come to a successful issue.

If time, place and one’s enemies forces be correctly taken into account and then if the proper attempts be made, success follows;

thus Brihaspati has said.’

43-44. Vyāsa said:

O King! Thus making a firm resolve to send the powerful Raktavīja to the battle with a vast army; Śumbha said:

“O Raktavīja! You are a very powerful hero; therefore do you go to the battle. O Fortunate One! Fight as you are the strength of your forces.”

45-46. Raktavīja said:

“O King! You need not be a bit anxious for this work. Certainly I will either slay Her or I will bring Her under your control.

Please see my skill in this warfare; that Lady, favourite of the gods, is worth nothing; I will just now conquer Her and make Her your slave.”

47-50. Vyāsa said:

O Best of Kurus! Thus saying, the powerful Raktavīja mounted on his chariot and went to the battle accompanied by his forces.

The battalion consisted of cavalry, infantry, chariots and elephants. Thus surrounded he departed from the city for that Devī, seated on a mountain top.

Then the Devī, seeing him coming, blew Her conch shell; the Dānavas were terrified at that sound and the joy of the Devas increased.

Hearing that sound Raktavīja came very hurriedly to Chāmuṇḍā and began to speak to Her sweetly:

51-62. O Girl! Do you think me weak and thus want to terrify me with the sound of a conch-shell?

O Lean One! Have you taken me to be a Dhūmralochana? O Sweet speaking one! My name is Raktavīja; I have come here for Thy sake. If Thou desirest to fight, be prepared; I am not a bit afraid of that.

O Dear! You saw those who were weak; I do not belong to that class. Therefore dost Thou fight as Thou likest and then Thou wilt be able to ascertain my strength.

O Beautiful! If Thou didst serve the old persons before, if Thou hadst heard the science of politics and morals, if Thou hadst studied the political economy, joined the assemblage of the Pundits or if Thou hast been well versed in literature and Tantras, then hear this my good counsel which will serve as a medicinal diet to Thee.

Out of the nine sentiments, the Śringāra (Amorous love sentiments) and Śānti (Peace) are considered as the chief by the assemblage of the Pundits.

Again out of these two, the love sentiment is the king. Drenched with this sentiment, Viṣṇu lives with Kamalā; Brahmā, the four-faced, lives with Sāvitrī; Indra with Śachi and Śankara resides with his wife Umā.

The tree stands with creepers surrounding it, the deer lives with his female deer, the pigeon lives with the female pigeon; thus all the beings are very attached to this sentiment of remaining in couples.

Those who cannot enjoy owing to certain disease or illness, they are deprived by Fate of such enjoyments.

Those who are ignorant of this love sentiment in couples, they are deprived of it by the sweet jugglery of words of the cheat and yet attached to the Peace sentiment.

When delusion, the destroyer of Buddhi, the common sense, occurs, when the violent indomitable anger, greed, and lust arise, where, then, is the place for knowledge and dispassion?

Therefore, O Auspicious One! Dost Thou marry the beautiful Śumbha or the powerful Niśumhha.

63. Vyāsa said:

O King! When Raktavīja spoke all these words, standing before the Devī Kālikā, Ambikā and Chāmuṇḍā began to laugh.

Here ends the Twenty-seventh Chapter of the Fifth Book on the description of the war of Raktavīja in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam, of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.