Thursday, April 2, 2020

Devi Mahatmya - 7

Devi Mahatmya - Markandeya Purana, tr. by Bibek Debroy

Ch 6 << Chapter 7 (Ch 84 in the book) >> Ch 8

handa and Munda, along with their army, made their way back to where the goddess was. A slight smile played on her lips. However, as soon as the battle started, her face turned black as ink because of rage, her brows furrowed, and from the base of her forehead, Kali emerged, with a sword and noose. Not only that, she wore a garland of human skulls and held a colourful khatvanga (a staff with a skull on top).

Not only that, she had a terrible appearance because of other aspects of her appearance too - she was clad in a tiger skin, her face was dried up, her tongue lolled out, her eyes were red and sunken, and the roars from her very large mouth pervaded the skies.

She then descended on the asura army, decimating it. The destruction was terrible. She caught elephants and threw them into her mouth. It wasn't just the elephants that went into her mouth - the riders guarding the flanks, the drivers with their goads, the warriors and the bells - everything went into in. Not just that, she chewed all that up with her teeth! She crushed asuras with her teeth, some she killed with her sword, some with her khatvanga.

Seeing their army being decimated, Chanda rushed at Kali and hurled innumerable chakras at her. She swallowed all of them, and then rushed at Shumbha. Severing his head, she let out a roar that terrified everyone. Seeing Chanda killed, Munda rushed at her, but met the same fate as Chanda.

Holding both their severed heads in her hands, Kali went to Chandika and told her that Shumbha and Nishumbha would be killed by her, Chandika. Chandika told Kali that since she had killed Chanda and Munda, she would thereafter also be known as Chamunda.

Reference: Markandeya Purana, translated by Bibek Debroy. Published by Penguin, 2019. The Devi Mahatmya is covered in chapters 78-90 of the Markandeya Purana.

© 2020, Abhinav Agarwal (अभिनव अग्रवाल). All rights reserved.