SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 5 CHAPTER 29

THE FIFTH BOOK

Chapter XXIX

On the killing of Raktavīja

1-21. Vyāsa said:

O King! Please hear attentively about the extraordinary boon that was given by Mahādeva, the God of gods, to the great warrior, Raktavīja.

Whenever a drop of blood from the body of that great warrior will drop on the surface of the earth, immediately will arise innumerable Dānavas, equal in form and power to him; thus the Deva Rudra granted the Demon the wonderful boon.

Thus elated with the boon, he entered into the battlefield with great force in order to kill Kālikā with Ambikā Devī.

Seeing the Vaiṣṇavī Śaktī, lotus-eyed, seated on the bird Garuda, the Demon struck Her with a violent weapon (named Śakti).

She then baffled the weapon by Her club and hurled Sudarśana disc on the great Asura Raktavīja. Thus struck by the disc, blood began to ooze out from his body as the red stream of soft red sandstone comes out of a mountain-top.

Wherever on the surface of the earth drops of blood fell from his body, then and there sprang out thousands and thousands of demons like him.

Indrāṇī, the wife of Indra, became very angry and struck the terrible Raktavīja with his thunderbolt.

Streams of blood then began to ooze out from his body. No sooner the drops of blood fell from the Demon’s body, than were instantaneously born from the blood many powerful Asuras, of similar forms, having similar weapons and hard to be conquered in battle.

Brahmāṇī then becoming enraged struck at him with the staff of Brahmā with greater force. Maheśvarī rent the Dānava asunder by striking him with Her trident. Nārasimhī pierced the Asura with Her nails; Vārāhī struck at him with Her teeth.

Then the Dānava becoming angry shot at them all with sharpened arrows and pierced them all.

Thus when the Matrikā Devīs were pierced by the club and other various weapons of that great Asura, they got very angry and pierced the Dānavas in return with shots of arrows.

Kaumārī, too, struck at his breast with Her weapon, named Śaktī.

The Dānavas then got angry and hurled on them multitude of arrows and began to pierce them.

O King! The Chaṇḍikā Devī, getting angry, cut off his weapons into pieces and shot violently at him other arrows.

O King! Thus struck by severe blows, when blood began to flow in profuse quantities from his body, thousands and thousands of Dānavas resembling Raktavīja sprang out instantly from it.

So much so, that the heavens were all covered over with Raktavījas that sprang up from the blood. They all covered all over their bodies with coats of armour, began to fight terribly with weapons in their hands.

Then the Devas, seeing that the innumerable Raktavījas were striking the Devī, became very much frightened and were distressed with sorrow.

They began to talk with each other with sorrowful countenances that thousands and thousands of huge bodied warriors were springing from the blood. These were all very powerful; so how could they be destroyed!

In this battlefield there were now left only the Matrikās, Kālikā, and Chaṇḍikā. It would be certainly extremely difficult for them to conquer all these Dānavas.

And if at that moment, Śumbha and Niśumbha were to join them with his army, certainly a great catastrophe would occur.

22-28. Vyāsa said:

O King! When the Devas were thus extremely anxious, out of terror, Ambikā Devī said to the lotus-eyed Kālī:

“O Chāmuṇḍā! Open out your mouth quickly, and no sooner I strike Raktavīja with weapons, you would drink off the blood as fast as it runs out of his body.

Instantly I will kill those Dānavas sprung from the blood with sharpened arrows, clubs, swords and Muṣalas; and you would then be able to devour them all at your will, and, then, roam in this field as you like.

O Large-eyed One! You would drink off all the jets of blood in such a way that not a drop of it escapes and falls on the ground.

And then when they will all be devoured, no more Dānavas would be able to spring. Thus they will surely be extirpated; otherwise they will never be destroyed.

Let me begin to strike blows after blows on Raktavīja and you better drink off quickly all the blood, being intent on destroying the forces.

O Chāmuṇḍē! Thus, the Dānavas being all exterminated, we will hand over to the Indra, the lord of the Devas, his Heavens without any enemy; and, thus, we can go peacefully and happily to our own places.”

29-47. Vyāsa said:

O King! The Chāmuṇḍā Devī, of furious strength, hearing thus the Devī’s words began to drink the jets of blood coming out of the body of Raktavīja.

The Devī Ambikā began to cut the Demon’s body into pieces and Chāmuṇḍā, of thin belly, went on devouring them.

Then Raktavīja, becoming angry, struck Chāmuṇḍā with his club.

But though She was thus hurt severely, She drank off the blood and then devoured all the limbs thereof.

O King! Thus Kālikā Devī drank off the blood of all other powerful wicked Dānava Raktavījas that sprang out of the blood. Ambikā thus destroyed them. Thus, all the Dānavas, created out of the blood were devoured; then, there was left, lastly, the real Raktavīja.

Ambikā Devī then cut him asunder into pieces by Her axe and thus killed him.

Thus, when the dreadful Raktavīja was slain in the battle, the Dānavas fled away trembling with fear.

Without any weapons, covered all over their bodies with blood, and void of consciousness they uttered, dumb confounded:

“Alas! Alas! What has happened, what has happened.”

Thus crying, they told their King Śumbha thus:

“O King of Kings! Ambikā Devī has killed Raktavīja and Chāmuṇḍā has drunk off all their blood. The carrier (Vāhana) of Devī, the powerful ferocious Lion killed other powerful warriors and Kālī devoured the remaining soldiers.

O Lord of the Dānavas! We have fled and come to you to give the news of the battle and to describe the wonderful doings of that Chaṇḍikā Devī in the battlefield.

O King! In our opinion, no one will be able to conquer that Lady, be he a Daitya, Dānava, Gandharva, Asura, Yakṣa, Pannaga, Chāraṇa, Rākṣasa, or an Uraga.

O King of Kings! The other Goddesses, Indrāṇī and others, have come to the battle, on their own carriers respectively and are fighting with various weapons.

O Lord of the Dānavas! The Dānava forces are all slain by them with the excellent weapons in their hands.

Even Raktavīja has been slain in no time.

That Lion, of indomitable prowess, killed the Rākṣasas in the battle; The Devī alone is hard to conquer; how much more would it be impossible to conquer Her, when She has been joined with other goddesses.

So consult with the ministers and do what is reasonable. In our opinion it is better to make treaty with Her and quit your enmity.

O King! Think over the fact that that Lady destroyed all the Dānavas and at last drank off the blood of Raktavīja and at last killed him. What on earth can be more wonderful than this?

O King! The Devī Ambikā killed all the other Daityas and Chāmuṇḍā devoured their blood, flesh, and all.

Considering all this, it is now better for us to serve the Devī Ambikā or fly away to Pātāla. No more fighting is desirable.

She is not an ordinary woman; She is Mahā Māyā, there is not the least doubt in this. Only to serve the cause of the Gods, She has manifested Herself and is now destroying the Rākṣasas race.”

48. Vyāsa said:

Hearing thus, Śumbha got confounded by Kala (Death), as his end was coming nigh, and said the following words, his lips quivering with anger:

49-54. You are struck with fear; so you all take the refuge of Chaṇḍikā or fly down to Pātāla; but I will kill Her with all my exertion and effort.

I conquered all the hosts of Devas and I have enjoyed their kingdom; shall I now, out of the fear of one Lady, fly and enter into the Pātāla.

All my attendants, Raktavīja and other heroes, are now slain in the battle and is it possible that I will now fly away out of the sake of preserving my life only.

See! The death of all the beings is ordained by Kala and it is unavoidable. No sooner a being is born, he is liable to the fear of death. How can a man, then, out of fear of death, quit all his name and fame?

O Niśumbha! I will now go immediately to the battle, mounting on my chariot and will return after slaying Her in battle. And if I cannot kill Her, I will not then return any more.

O Best of warriors! Better stand on my side with all your forces and kill that Lady in no time, with sharp arrows.

55-58. Niśumbha said:

Today I will go to the battle and slaying that Kālikā, will shortly return here with Ambikā.

O King! Do not think at all for that Lady; see my world-conquering strength and look at that weak woman; there is a vast difference.

Cast aside your this great mental anxiety and trouble. Enjoy, O Brother, excellent things. I will bring that dignified Lady with all honours before you.

O King! You ought not to go to the battle when I am alive. I will presently go to the fight and bring for you that Lady as a sign of our victory.

59-60. Vyāsa said:

O King! Thus saying, the younger brother, proud of his own strength, went hurriedly to the battlefield, mounting on his big chariot.

He was protected all over his body by his coat of armour and he was well provided with various weapons and all other accoutrements of war.

The bards began to sing hymns to him and various other propitious ceremonies were being performed.

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