The story of slaying Dhumralochana, Chaṇḍa, Muṇḍa and Raktabija – Sri Durga Saptashati (Chapter 6, 7 & 8)
The story of slaying Dhmralochana, Chaṇḍa, Muṇḍa and Raktabija – Sri Durga Saptashati (Chapter 6, 7 & 8)
On hearing the message of Shumbha, the King of Daityas, to resort him or his younger brother, conveyed by the messenger the Mahamaya, the goddess informed him her vow that She shall endeavour to make one alone as her husband who can shake off her pride, who can conquer her in the battle. No one else.
Death of Dhumralochana (Chapter 6):
On hearing these words of the goddess, the Asura Sugriva returned to his king and acquainted him with every detail. On hearing the report of the messenger Shumbha of stern rule angrily said to Dhumralochana, the foremost of his generals. O Dhumralochana, there is a beautiful lady on the snow-capped Himalaya Mountain. Go quickly and fetch her here. O excellent Asura, do not be afraid of this expedition. If she wishes to fight, you shall fight strenuously.
Thus, directed the Daitya Dhumralochana went to Himalaya and spoke to the goddess who was a part of Uma. “O lady, approach my lord. Otherwise, I shall kill you. I am accompanied by sixty thousand Asuras”.
The goddess said: — “O hero, yon are commissioned by the king of Daityas. If you kill me, what can I do for you? But I consider it impossible to go without a fight.” Thus, addressed, the Danava Dhumralochana rushed at her but was burnt with a mere Hunkara uttered by her. Since then, that goddess is called Dhumavati in the world. When propitiated she destroys hosts of enemies of her devotees. After Dhunirakṣa was killed, his army was crunched and munched by the infuriated lion. Those who were spared fled away.
Death of Chanda & Munda (Chapter 7):
On hearing that the Daitya was killed by the goddess, the valorous Shumbha was angry and bit his lips. He sent the Asuras—Chaṇḍa & Muṇḍa. The Daityas, thus ordered, went to the spot where Ambika was stationed. On seeing the goddess seated on a lion, possessed of Aṇima and other Siddhis and dazzling the quarters with her brilliance, the leading Danavas said. “O lady, hasten to approach Shumbha and Nishumbha. Otherwise, we shall kill you along with your Gaṇas and your lion. O lady, choose him as your husband. He is eulogized by the guardians of the quarters and others. You will attain a great bliss rare to attain by the gods.”
On hearing these words, the goddess Amba smiled and spoke interesting and truthful words. Lord Shiva, the great Brahman, the eternal god is without a second. Even the Vedas do not understand his reality. What then of Vishnu and others? I am His subtle Prakriti. How can I choose another as my husband? Even if she is overwhelmed by love does a lioness choose a jackal as her mate? Descend to Patalla all of you. If you have the power, fight.”
On hearing her provocative words, the Asuras said to one another. “We do not kill you as you are a woman. But if you desire for battle, be ready with your lion.” While they spoke thus the fight ensued. The arrows rained in the battle., sharp arrows from either side.
There at Ambika uttered her wrath aloud against those foes, and her countenance then grew dark as ink in her wrath. Out from the surface of her forehead, which was rugged with frowns, issued suddenly Kali of the terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose, bearing a many-coloured skull-topped staff, decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger’s skin, very appalling because of her emaciated flesh, exceedingly wide of mouth, lolling out her tongue terribly, having deep-sunk reddish eyes, and filling the regions of the sky with her roars. She fell upon the great Asuras impetuously, dealing slaughter among the host, and devoured that army of the gods’ foes there. Taking up the elephants with one hand she flung them into her mouth, together with their rear men and drivers and their warrior-riders and bells. Flinging likewise warrior with his horses, and chariot with its driver into her mouth, she ground them most frightfully with her teeth. She seized one by the hair, and another by the neck; and she kicked another with her foot. And she seized with her mouth the weapons and the great arms which those Asuras abandoned and crunched them up with her teeth in her fury. She crushed all that host of mighty and high-spirited Asuras; and devoured some and battered others; some were slain with her sword, some were struck with her skull-topped staff, and other Asuras met their death being wounded with the edge of her teeth.
Seeing all that host of Asuras laid low in a moment, Chaṇḍa rushed against her, Kali, who was exceedingly appalling. Muṇḍa the great Asura covered her, the terrible-eyed goddess, with very terrible showers of arrows and with discuses hurled in thousands. Those discuses seemed to be penetrating her countenance in multitudes, like as very many solar orbs might penetrate the body of a thundercloud. There at Kali, who was roaring frightfully, laughed terribly with excessive fury, showing the gleam of her unsightly teeth within her dreadful mouth. And the goddess, mounting upon her great lion, rushed at Chaṇḍa, and seizing him by his hair struck off his head with her sword. And Muṇḍa also rushed at her when he saw Chaṇḍa laid low; him also she felled to the ground, stricken with her scimitar in her fury. Then the army, so much as escaped unslain, seeing Chaṇḍa laid low and most valiant Muṇḍa also, seized with panic fled in all directions.
And Kali, holding Chaṇḍa’s head and Muṇḍa also, approached Chaṇḍika and said, her voice mingled with passionate loud laughter— “Here I have brought thee Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa, two great beasts; thou thyself shalt slay Shumbha and Nishumbha in the battle-sacrifice.”
Thereon, seeing those two great Asuras Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa brought to her, auspicious Chaṇḍika spoke to Kali this witty speech, “Because thou hast seized both Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa and brought them, you, O goddess, shalt therefore be famed in the world by the name Chamuṇḍa!”
Death of Raktabija (Chaper 8):
After both the Daitya Chaṇḍa was slain and Muṇḍa was laid low, and many soldiers were destroyed, the lord of the Asuras, majestic Shumbha, with mind overcome by wrath, gave command then to array all the Daitya hosts,—“Now let the eighty-six Daityas, upraising their weapons, march forth with all their forces; let the eighty-four Kambus march forth surrounded by their own forces; let the fifty Asura families who excel in valour go forth; let the hundred families of Dhaumri go forth at my command. Let the Kalakas, the Daurhṛtas, the Mauryas, and the Kalakeyas, — let these Asuras, hastening at my command, march forth ready for battle.”
After issuing these commands Shumbha, the lord of the Asuras, who ruled with fear, went forth, attended by many thousands of great soldiers. Chaṇḍika, seeing that most terrible army at hand, filled the space between the earth and the firmament with the twanging of her bowstring. Thereon her lion roared exceedingly loud, O king; and Ambika augmented those roars with the clanging of her bell. Kali, filling the regions of the sky with the noise from her bowstring, from her lion and from her bell, and expanding her mouth wide with her terrific roars, had the predominance. On hearing that roar which filled the four regions of the sky, the Daitya armies enraged surrounded the goddess’ lion and Kali.
At this moment, to destroy the gods’ foes, and for the well-being of the lion-like Immortals, there issued forth endowed with excessive vigour and strength the Energies from the bodies of Brahma, Shiva, Guha and Vishnu and of Indra also, and went in the forms of those gods to Chaṇḍika. Whatever was the form of each god, and whatever his ornaments and vehicle, in that very appearance his Energy advanced to fight with the Asuras. In the front of a heavenly car drawn by swans advanced Brahma’s Energy, bearing a rosary of seeds and an earthen water-pot; she is called Brahmani. Mahesvara’s Energy, seated on a bull, grasping a fine trident, and wearing a girdle of large snakes, arrived, adorned with a digit of the moon. And Kumara’s Energy, Ambika, with spear in hand and riding on a choice peacock, advanced in Guha’s shape to attack the Daityas. Likewise, Vishnu’s Energy, seated upon Garuḍa, advanced with conch, discus, club, bow and scimitar in hand. The Energy of Hari, who assumes the peerless form of a sacrificial boar, she also advanced assuming a hog-like form. Narsimha’s Energy assuming a body like Narsimha’s arrived there, adorned with a cluster of constellations hurled down by the tossing of his mane. Likewise, Indra’s Energy, with thunderbolt in hand, seated upon the lord of elephants and having a thousand eyes, arrived; as is Shakra, such indeed was she. Then those Energies of the gods surrounded Shiva. He said to Chaṇḍika, “Let the Asuras be slain forthwith through my good-will.”
Thereupon from the goddess’ body there came forth Chaṇḍika’s Energy, most terrific, exceedingly fierce, howling like a hundred jackals. And she the unconquered said to Shiva, who was smoke-coloured and had matted locks, “Be you, my lord, a messenger to the presence of Shumbha and Nishumbha. Say unto the two overweening Danavas, Shumbha and Nishumbha, and to whatever other Danavas are assembled there to do battle— ‘Let Indra obtain the three worlds, let the gods be the enjoyers of the oblations; go to Patala if ye wish to live. Yet if through pride in your strength ye are longing for battle, come ye on then! let my jackals be glutted with your flesh.” Because the goddess appointed Shiva himself to be ambassador, she has hence attained fame as Shivaduti in this world.
Those great Asuras however, on hearing the goddess’ speech fully announced, were filled with indignation, and went where Katyayani stood. Then, at the very first, the arrogant and indignant foes of the Immortals in front poured on the goddess showers of arrows, javelins, and spears. And gracefully she clove those arrows, darts, discuses and axes, which were hurled, with large arrows shot from her resounding bow. And in front of her stalked Kali then, tearing the foes asunder with the onset of her darts and crushing them with her skull-topped staff. And Brahmani caused the foes to lose their courage by casting water on them from her earthen pot, and weakened their vigour, by whatever way she ran. Maheshvara’s Energy slew Daityas with her trident, and Vishnu’s Energy with her discus, and Kumara’s Energy, very wrathful, slew them with her javelin. Torn to pieces by the down-rush of the thunderbolt hurled by Indra’s Energy, Daityas and Danavas fell on the earth in hundreds, pouring out streams of blood. Shattered by the hog-embodied Energy with blows from her snout, wounded in their breasts by the points of her tushes, and tom by her discus, demons fell. And Narsimha’s Energy roamed about in the battle, devouring other great Asuras who were torn by her claws, as she filled the intermediate region of the sky with her roaring. Asuras, demoralized by Shivaduti with her violent loud laughs, fell on the earth; she then devoured those fallen ones. Seeing the enraged band of Mothers crushing the great Asuras thus by various means, the troops of the gods’ foes perished.
Raktavija, a great Asura, seeing the Daityas, who were hard-pressed by the band of Mothers, intent on fleeing, strode forward to fight in wrath. When from his body there falls to the ground a drop of blood, at that moment starts up from the earth an Asura of his stature. He, a great Asura, with club in hand fought with Indra’s Energy, and Indra’s Energy then struck Raktavija with her thunderbolt; blood flowed quickly from him when wounded by the thunderbolt. Thereupon stood up together fresh combatants, like him in body, like him in valour; for as many blood-drops fell from his body, so many men came into being, like him in courage, strength, and valour. And those men also who sprang from his blood fought there with the mothers in a combat, dreadful because of the sweep of their very sharp weapons. And again, when his head was wounded by the fall of her thunderbolt, his blood poured forth; therefrom were born men by thousands. And Vishnu’s Energy struck at this foe with her discus in the battle. Indra’s Energy beat that lord of the Asuras with her club. The world was filled by the thousands of great Asuras, who were his equals, and who sprang from the blood that flowed from him when cloven by the discus of Vishnu’s Energy. Kumara’s Energy struck the great Asura Raktavija with her spear, and Varaha’s Energy also struck him with her sword, and Mabeshvara’s Energy with her trident. And the Daitya Raktavija, that great Asura, filled full of wrath, struck every one of the mothers in turn with his club. By the stream of blood, which fell on the earth from him when he received many wounds from the spears, darts, and other weapons, Asuras came verily into being in hundreds. And those Asuras who sprang from that Asura’s blood pervaded the whole world; there at the gods fell into the utmost terror. Seeing the gods dejected, Chaṇḍika spoke with haste; she said to Kali, “O Chamuṇḍa! stretch out thy mouth wide; with this mouth do thou quickly take in the great Asuras, which are the drops of blood, that have come into being out of Raktavija at the descent of my weapon on him. Roam about in the battle, devouring the great Asuras who sprang from him; so, shall this Daitya with his blood ebbing away meet destruction. These fierce demons are being devoured by thee and at the same time no others will be produced.”
Having enjoined her thus, the goddess next smote him with her dart. Kali swallowed Raktavija’s blood with her mouth. Then he struck Chaṇḍika with his club there; and the blow of his club caused her no pain, even the slightest, but from his stricken body blood flowed copiously, and from whatever direction it came, Chamuṇḍa takes it then with her mouth. The great Asuras, who sprang up from the flow of blood in her mouth, Chamuṇḍa both devoured them and quaffed his blood. The goddess smote Raktavija with her dart, her thunderbolt, arrows, swords and spears, when Chauṇḍa drank up his blood. Stricken with that multitude of weapons, he fell on the earth’s surface, and the great Asura Raktavija became blood-less, O king. There at the thirty gods gained joy unparalleled, O king. The band of Mothers which sprang from them broke into a dance, being intoxicated with blood.
Thus, fighting with them sportively the goddess slew the Asuras along with Chaṇḍa and Muṇḍa. Though they had an inimical feeling these enemies of the gods attained in the end that world which her followers go to. Thereupon the devas attained great joy, O King. The band of Matrs who sprang from them dance, being intoxicated with blood. Here ends the eighth chapter called ‘The Slaying of Raktabija’ of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.