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Bhagavadgita Pages, Chapters 1 to 18

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V.Krishnaraj

Lalita Mahatmya according to Brahmanda Purana

Lalita Mahatmya begins with obeisance to Lord Ganesa and Lalita, the Mother of the Universe, having four arms, digits of the moon on the forehead, full breasts, red-crimson skin color from red Saffron, and holding a white lotus, a sugarcane, a noose, a goad, flowers and arrows in her hands.

    The wise and learned men receive their purusharta Kama from her. The divine Sage Agastiya, who knew the essence of all Vedas, Vedangas and all doctrines, realized Brahma Vidya, and whose soul experienced the Bliss of Brahman, was visiting the holy pilgrimage sites near and in  and around the forests, rivers, lakes, and mountains. He saw many creatures in a shroud of darkness, gripped by hunger and sexual desire; this made him worry. In his wanderings, he came upon the most meritorious city of Kanchi (Kanchipuram, 75 KM SW of Chennai, Madras). He worshipped Siva and Kamakshi. Janardana (Lord Vishnu), knowing the intelligent sage and his work for the welfare of humanity, appeared in front of Agastya as Hyagriva (Vishnu with horse-head.) He appeared splendorous, with bright shining conch, discus, rosary of beads, and book. Hyagriva was pure Consciousness and lit up the whole universe. Pleased with his penance and devotion, Saranga bow-wielding Hyagriva-Hari offered to give him a boon of his choice.  Agastya asked Vishnu, "O Lord, If you are pleased with me, it is incumbent upon you to tell me how the ignorant people and vulgar creatures can get liberation."

    Hyagriva-Hari answered him as follows:

    This question was posed to me before by Siva, Brahma and Durvasa. My answer will be my boon to you. I am the creator, preserver, and destroyer of everything. I am Trimurti, beyond all gunas, and the soul of all living beings.  My nature is of Purusa (the Supreme Being) and Pradhana (prakrti, matter, 2nd logos). My cosmic form split into Purusa and Pradhana; the former is the Great One beyond all Gunas, greater than the Greatest; the latter is made of gunas and worlds.

    When the Karma is resolved through Yama (DONT's, restraints, forbidden acts), Niyama (DOs, permitted acts, observances) and Tyaga (renunciation), salvation is obtained.  I am Trimurti, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. I am above all gunas (modes), the soul of the universe and living beings. Satvic actions, generosity, and renunciation guarantee liberation. One should observe Yama and Niyama as follows.

(1) Yama (doníts): sexual abstinence (celibacy), ahimsa (noninjury), no lies, no theft, no greed. 

(2) Niyama (dos): meditation on Brahman or Isvara; silence (mauna); study of Vedas (svādyāya), Upanishads, and moksa-promoting books; repeating of mantra OM; Tapas (ascetic practice); Sauca (clean body and mind) ; Santosha (contentment); Isvara Pranidhāna (submission to God, God-Pleasing actions).

Liberation depends on Sat and Asat (good and evil karmans or acts). Jnana, spiritual knowledge bestows all  Siddhis (perfection).  By meditating on the eternal form, man obtains liberation, though he may be a sinner. The worshippers of Sakti are the liberated souls and never suffer in life on earth. Lord Siva became the leader of all Siddhas by worshipping Parasakti (Supreme Sakti). He became Ardhanarisvara with his Sakti form as part of his body.  Abrahma as the leader of Devas became a Siddha by worshipping her. Goddess Tripura guarantees worldly enjoyment and liberation to her devotees.  You will attain liberation by reposing your desires, breath, mind worship, rites and soul in Her. This is what I have to say to you and all for the welfare of all.

Agastya bowed and asked the Lord, "please tell me the nature of your form, its power and your sports." The Lord answered, This divine sage Hyagriva is a partial incarnation of mine. He will tell you whatever you want to know." Thus saying the Lord disappeared from in front of pot-born Agastya.

    Once Hyagriva Hari, the Lord of the universe took leave and disappeared, sage Hyagriva and Agastya went back to their hermitage. Agastya offered a high seat for Sage Hyagriva and spoke, "O Siddha of Siddhantas, please tell me the manifestation of the Great Goddess, her forms, sportive activities and pastimes."

    Sage Hyagriva answered:

    The Goddess has no beginning and is the support of everything in the universe; Sat and Asat karmans are her forms; meditation is the only way she is perceived; meditation and Vidyas make her limbs with her heart as her base; she manifests to those who who attained oneness with her by performing sacred rites. She manifests herself as a Sakti and Prakrti to those who perform meditation of god Brahma.

   

A king may kill lions, tigers, and other animals, if they inflict injury or death to people. If a person does not have any other food, he may kill an animal for food (Lalita mahatmya: 6.51-52).  In an emergency, a Brahmana can eat meat of an animal fit for sacrifice (6.58). Women and Sudras may eat meat as food served after a sacrifice (6.58). One is not tainted with sin if he kills a horse, a cow, an elephant, a camel, a buffalo by chanting a manta and partake the food with others. The mantra is "This Pinda (food) comes from Siva and is elevated to the state of Siva. Know this, O sacrificial animal, you are not Asiva (inauspicious). You are Sacchiva (good and auspicious)" 6.69. One does not accrue sin, if one kills serpents, mice, hogs, and scorpions. Killing a guest or any lower caste person in one's charge and trust is sin.

    Stealing from a poor man, Brahma Jnani and man with a large family and of hard-earned wealth, carries no expiation. Killing a jewel thief earns the fruit equal to that of horse sacrifice. Stealing from a preceptor, deity, Brahmana, one's friend, and son accrues sin in amounts ten times the preceding one starting from the deity. Likewise, the same rule applies for stealing from a Chandala, a Sudra, a Vaisya, a Ksatriya, and a Brahmana.

 

The story of a thief, thief of the thief, charity, atonement and liberation.

In the the City of the riches, Kanchi, there was a thief by name Vajra who stole from people over a long period of time and buried his wealth in a pit which he filled with dirt and stones. A forest ranger Kirata (forester), Viradatta saw the loot being buried in the pit. Kirata-Viradatta started taking 1/10th of the loot at a time, many times over a period and gave it to his wife for safe-keeping. A Brahmana passing by her house on a daily basis, told her one day that she would come by great wealth. The wealth does not stay with a Billas, Kiratas, and Chandalas, according to the curse of Sage Valmiki.  Kirata's wife  said, "One should use the wealth that comes by easily for meritorious purposes." She told her husband that he should spend his easy money on bunds, wells and tanks. He started spending his easy money on charitable and religious projects. In the middle of a man-made lake, he built a huge temple for Lord Saringin (Vishnu) and a shrine for Sankara on the embankment. He took 1/10 the of the loot every time he needed money. This way the Vajra would not notice the change.  He cleared the forests and donated the land to the temples and the Brahmanas. He invited all the Brahmanas and gave them gifts. The leader of the Brahmanas, Devavrata, was happy to give Viradatta and his wife special names, Dvijavarma and Silavati, who stayed in the Brahmana neighborhood for protecting the Brahmanas.  Kirata-Dvijavarma named the city, Devaratapura after the Brahmana priest. With the passage of time, Kirata-Dvijavarma died and the deities came along to claim and take him to a proper destination: hell or heaven. Messengers of Yama, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra assembled and began having fight over the ownership of Kirata-Dvijavarma.  The ubiquitous and omnipresent Narada Muni appeared before them and said, "Since Kirata-Dvijavarma built so many public utilities with the wealth stolen from Vajra, he should wander around in gaseous state until Vajra died and Vajra also upon his death should suffer the same fate until all his victims died.  All accepted the solution and departed. Kirata-Dvijavarma became a gaseous entity. Narada told his wife that she did not have to worry because she did not commit any sin.  But Silavati did not accept the fact that her husband was in a gaseous state and wanted to perform expiatory rites for her husband to regain his body. Narada gave her the Satarudra mantra for reciting for the sake of her husband. She should take a dip in the holy waters before eating, worship Siva and Ambika, meditate on Mahesana in her heart, repeat Satarudra Manu Mantra 1008 times,  and eat only roots and fruits. Silavti carried out the instructions and helped her husband wash his sin off and regain the body. Vajra also died and later all the his victims also died. Yama, the God of death  appeared and asked him what he wants to do because he committed both good and bad deeds. He said that he would enjoy the heaven first and later will pay for his sins.  Kirata-Dvijavarma and his wife went beyond all worlds and became the Ganapatya, the commander of the Attendants of Siva in Kailas.  Kirata-Dvijavarma gained half of the merit; Vajra a half of the remainder; the victims enjoyed a quarter of the merit. A person commits actions by the mind, speech, and involuntary and willful acts. The accrued sins perish by the same parts of the body.

    Indra asked several questions with regards to Āsava (liquor), the problems, the merit, and forbidden foods. Drinking liquor is one of the great sins (Mahapapa) in Hinduism.

 

                                                   

Brhaspati answered as follows:

Religious drinking under strict rules is allowed; drinking for inebriation is sin.

Inebriating drinks are made from Paistika (rice), Taalaja (date palm), Kaira (coconut palm juice), Maadhuuka (honey or Madhuuka flowers) and from Gudasambhava (molasses); the latter three are more acceptable for all non-Brahmin ladies and Ksatriyas.  Menstruating woman, a virgin and a widow should not drink liquor. A woman drinking not in the company of her husband is Unmaadinii (mad woman), not worthy like a Chandala woman. Brahmanas can drink ten parts while the lower castes can drink eight parts; women can drink only 50% of that; if the women drink with her husbands, it is 25% of the above.

    Inappropriate drinking can be expiated by performing Krcchracaandraayana and chant Gayatri or Jaatesvedasa or Ambikaarhrdaya Mantras. Honey liquor is the approved drink for worshipping Saktis: Lakshmi. Sarasvati, Gauri, Chandika, Tripura, Ambika, Vaishnavi, Bhairavi, Kali, and Mahendri.  A Brahmana expert in Vedangas worships without wine.

    A man without scruples drinking liquor without worshipping Parasakti remains in Raurava hell one year for every drop he imbibed. Drinking for enjoyment has no expiation or atonement. Here Brhaspati is very severe in his recommendations: he should fall off a cliff or immolate in the fire.  (This severe treatment will reduce the population to a great extent.) A Brahmana should not engage in social drinking or feed his addiction to liquor.

Sexual crimes and their atonement

Indra asked questions with regards to sexual crimes: Agamyaagamana (approaching a woman with carnal desire), its problems, and means of expiation.

    Brhaspati answered as follows:

    Approaching one's own mother, sister, wife of a preceptor and wife of maternal uncle is a sin that has no expiation at all. Preceptors are of many kinds; Mahaguru teaching Brahmopadesa, Acharya teaching Brahmopadesa, and Desika teaching Vedas and Sastras. If wife of the Guru is defiled, one should perform Krcchra and Atikrcchra rites six years each.

 

Contact with wife of maternal uncle Contact of Brahmana  with  Brahmana woman Contact of a Brahmana with a harlot of his own caste Contact of a  Brahmana with Ksatriya woman Contact of a Brahmana with a vaisya woman
Krcchra for 6 yrs fast for 3 nights and 100 pranayamas fast for three nights automatic purity in 5 days automatic purity in 7 days
Contact of a Brahmana with *lower classes. Brahmana's contact with Sudra or Chandala by mistake Sexual contact with menstruating wife Sexual contact with virgin  
automatic purity in 12 days. automatic purity in 1 year. perform Prajapatya rite fasting for 3 nights and marry her with the parents' permission.  

 These sexual indiscretions and their expiation are given in great details in Lalita Mahatmya chapter 8.

The appearance of Lalita Vasudeva is Purusa (The Man) and Lakshmi is Prakrti (Sakti principle responsible creation of souls and universe, Mother of the Universe). 

    Churning of the Milk Ocean and Visvamohini pursued by Siva

    The Suras and Asuras (gods and demons) cast herbs and churned the milk ocean to obtain Amrta (nectar of immortality). Danvantri with a vessel of Amrta emerged from the ocean.  Madhava assumed several forms, one form on the side of Suras and another form on the side of Asuras and helped churn the ocean. He assumed the form of tortoise and supported the churning pin (Mount Mandara); in another form (Narayana) he was boosting the morale of the Suras; in the form of Janardhana, he revived the serpent used as the churning rope. To the joy of all, Surabhi, the divine cow appeared in the churning milk ocean. Next to appear was Varuni, the wine goddess with timorous eyes from inebriation. The Asuras, (demons) did not accept her and so she joined the Suras, the gods; the demons are teetotalers and gods are imbibers of wine. Since the Asuras shun alcoholic beverages, they were very disciplined and were a cause for fear. Sura is wine and those who don't drink wine is an Asura. Next to appear was Parijata, the great tree, exuding a sweet smell all around. Then came the most luscious beautiful celestial damsels, the cynosure of all people. The cool rays of the moon came up and Mahesvara snatched it up in a trice and wore it on his locks. Many kinds of poison appeared in the frothing milk ocean and the Nagas (snakes) accepted them. Now you know why the snakes are poisonous. A glitter appeared on the ocean surface accompanied by the emerging Kaustibaha gem, which Janardhana wore over his heart in a chain. Hemp appeared floating on the ocean surface, whose smoke was capable of altering the moods of the mind; soon it was taken by Bhairava.  Danvantari rose up with a pot of nectar of immortality in his hand; Daityas, Aditayas (demons and gods) and sages rejoiced at seeing it. From the great ocean of Milk there rose the goddess Sri of fortune and bestower of boons holding a lotus and sitting on a full blown lotus. The sages and Gandharvas recited Sri Sukta (hymns of praise to Sri or Lakshmi). Visvaci leading a group of celestial damsels danced and the sacred rivers like Ganges came to Sri offering her a bath. The eight elephants of the quarters emerged from the ocean and took the water from the sacred vessel and showered the lotus-seated Sri-Lakshmi. The embodied form of ocean of milk donned Lakshmi with a garland of lotus flowers. Tulasi plant appeared next and went to the side of Hari.  Visvakarma, the divine architect presented Lakshmi with various divine ornaments. Ramah (Sri Lakshmi) went towards Vishnu and took residence on his chest; ever since she has resided on his chest. The Great Goddess looked at the Devas with compassionate eyes; she did not shower her graceful glances on Daityas (demons, Asuras).  A powerful demon, the arch enemy of Devas and the Daityas showed displeasure with Vishnu and at the slight of not receiving the gracious glance from Lakshmi, which meant loss of wealth and prosperity.

    The Daityas took the pot of Amrta (nectar) by force from Danvantari. The Asuras and Suras started fighting. Brahma and Siva went to their respective abodes; Vishnu went to a secluded place and meditated on Lalita, whose form came into union with his own. (Whenever Vishnu is mentioned in any kind of union, Sri Lakshmi is always his consort, who may go by any name, power and potency. Here the assumption is that Sri took the form of Lalita.)  Vrsa (Indra, the chief of gods) and the Devas fought with Malaka demon and the Daityas. Vishnu meditated again on Mahesvari and became one with her. This form of Mahesvari and Vishnu appeared as Mohini, the most voluptuous damsel of all times. She was the epitome of love, seduction, and charm; her very appearance stopped the war between the Suras and Asuras. She smiled profusely at the Daityas, who didn't know who she was. She admonished them for the futility of fight and harsh words. She went on with her offer of conciliation. You and the Suras worked very hard at getting the nectar. I shall serve the role of impartial mediator. I will distribute the nectar equally among all of you; please hand me the pot of nectar.

The foolish Daityas, mesmerized by her seductive words and beauty, gave the pot of nectar to her. She stood in the aisle between Adityas (Devas) and Daityas and began to distribute the nectar. Her left hand resembling the lotus held the pot while right hand held the golden ladle. Her bangles jingled, jangled and tinkled, driving the Daityas tizzy. She served the nectar first to the Devas. Rahu pretended to be a Deva and sat in the midst of Devas and drank the served nectar. The sun and the moon sitting by his side pointed this to Mohini, who immediately severed his head before he gulped it down into the stomach; this resulted in the sanctification of the head and not the body. The head went to heaven, leaving the body. All the Devas received their share and she placed the pot in front of the Daityas and disappeared.  The demons finding the empty pot, fought with the Devas, who being stronger from drinking the nectar of immortality overwhelmed and conquered the demons. The prominent Danavas went to the ends of the quarters and the rest to Patala, the netherworld. Indra, the Lord of the Devas, glanced benignly by Sri, defeated Malaka and regained his glorious past. The Devas enjoyed their freedom from oppression and roamed about gleefully. Sage Narada who was a world traveler at the speed of thought before Mohini's exploits went to Kailasa to settle down. Nandin (theriomorphic form of Siva, the Sacred Bull, the gatekeeper) let him pass by and enter the presence of Siva, who graciously received and seated him in his abode.

    The consort of Parvati, of the complexion of a crystal (Siva) asked the omniscient News Bearer  and instigator of quarrels in the universe (Narada) what news he has for him.  He continued, What is happening to the heaven dwellers? Who won and who lost? What can you tell me about the nectar? What is Vishnu doing with it?

    Narada at once knew that Siva, the omniscient, the omnipotent and the omnipresent was playing a game of innocence with him. Narada replied, O Lord, you are omniscient and yet you asked; I will reply to you. A big fight ensued between the devas and Asuras; Adhinarayana assumed the form of Mohini whose appearance with ornaments induced love in the Daityas and Devas, who stopped their fight on that account. He finished the story with all other details. 

Having heard the story, Siva and Parvati, unknown to his attendants (pramathas = tormentors), Nandin, Skanda and Vinayaka,  left the premises to see Vishnu, who received him with effusive greetings and embraced him on the shores of the milk ocean. Siva came to the point of his visit immediately and asked him to show him the form of Mohini that bewitched every one and was indescribable beyond imagination and speech. I must see that form because it is personified love. You are the divine cow that fulfils all desires. Hari the master of Yogic practice meditated on the form and disappeared after saying to Siva, "so be it."

    Sarva (Siva) was looking around in all ten direction expectantly and saw a beautiful garden 'the like of which he had never seen before.'  Campaca flowers (Michelia Campaka) were exuding sweet smell; the bees were drinking honey from the full-blown blossoms. Cuckoos were drinking the nectar from mango blossoms.  Peacocks were strutting, prancing and dancing among Asoka trees.  The hum of the bees excelled the note of the lutes. The garden was full of colors; the trumpet flowers were brilliant and carried extravagant fragrance.

    There she was at the foot of the Parijata tree, red in complexion like the rising sun with ruby-colored feet, nails and lips. Her lotus feet made tinkling sounds from bells. Her thighs rivaled the trunk of an elephant and stem of the plantain tree. What Siva saw were Her callipygian hemispheres covered with soft diaphanous silk, her big hips, loins, golden girdle inlaid with rubies, eddy-like swirl of her navel, her Trivali (ravishing folds of skin, a mark of beauty), pearl necklace gracing her neck and breasts, florescent breasts moving in gracious swings and jiggles, her delicate waist bending from the weight of the breasts, her flower-like hands in bangles and bracelets, ringed fingers, her conch-like smooth and shiny neck, her curved moon-like chin, her beautiful teeth set in perfect rows looking like jasmine buds, her moon-light face, her pearl nose-rings, braid of hair decorated with Ketaka flowers, her long eyes, forehead like the half-moon, neatly coiffured forelocks, her ears brilliant with ruby earrings, her sweet-smelling mouth, forehead mark with Kasthuri, her thick bluish-black hair, the parting line on the head marked with saffron, her moon-like head ornament, Uttamsa, her rapturous tremulous eyes and her divinely amorous glance and stance. She was playing with a ball, the jewels jingling and jangling with her breasts moving in perfect unison.  Isvara-Siva left Uma his consort and ran after the bewitching lady. Upon this sudden abandonment by her consort, Uma felt very insecure about her beauty, became envious and shamed, and stood there motionless with fallen crest.

    Siva caught the slippery lady and embraced her many times. Engulfed by passion and afflicted by the god Love, his semen  fell on the ground; Mahasasta was born from that emission; the earth developed deep in its womb veins of silver and gold instantly wherever it fell. (Now you know the origin of silver and gold.) Suddenly Visvamohini, the enchantress disappeared and Siva-Girisa left for Kailas with Uma-Gauri.

 

    Demon Bhanda

    Daityas had a fierce leader Bhanda, who was the terror of gods, the celestials, Indra and even Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesa. Here is an account of how Bhanda came into existence.

    Lord Siva was seated in yogic meditation. Kama came along to disturb his meditation, but was destroyed by Siva. Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth.  The gods sent Kama (god of love, cupid, Amos, Eros) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on Siva and disturb his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort Parvati.  He (Kama)  by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the privacy of Sivaís presence, lay bare gracefully, sporting sidelong glances. Siva felt like two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another, Yogi of all yogis bent on control of the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must give even greater pleasure. Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by Kamaís arrows and bitten by love. How could that happen to a Yogi of yogis, who has complete control over senses?  Paramayogi Siva addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya (detachment, desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of platonic detachment, not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused. He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) were associating with a wife of someone else; such was the depth of his Vairagya.  Kama continued to shoot arrows at Siva with no effects. Siva's anger was bubbling to surface. A fire rising from the third eye of Siva incinerated Kama into ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. One of Siva's Ganas (attendant of Siva) gathered the ashes of Kama and shaped it in the form of man. The Gana begged Siva to teach him a mantra and confer half the power of Kama to the ash-made man. Since the Ash-man was dead Kama and the result of Siva's fury, the Ash-man became a demon (Bhanda), who with his newfound strength and power defeated the gods who sought the help of Tripurasundari, who defeated the demon and restored the gods to their former status. (Bhasman or Sacred Ash is euphemious for Semen Virile of Siva. Incineration brings all substances to their pristine primal state.) Rati, Kama's wife, came to Siva and begged him to give her husband back to her. Siva restored Kama not to the physical state but to a mental image, a representation of true love and affection; since then, he is also known by the epithet, Ananga (one without body parts).

(The Ash-man asked and obtained Mantra from Siva who congratulates him with epithet Bhand, Bhand (good, good); so the name Bhanda stuck with the Ash-man. Since Bhanda is the product of Siva's anger and later ash and much later with the power of mantra he built a city rivaling the City of gods ruled by Indra, Siva's Gana becomes a demon. It appears that Bhanda is the fusion product of Siva's Gana and the ash of Kama.  Bhanda rules his kingdom for sixty thousand years. Bhanda attacks the city of gods, Indra and his army; immediately on the advice of Narada Muni Indra goes to TPS for help. The gods offer their own flesh and blood as sacrificial present to TPS. The gods also perform a marriage of Siva with TPS, as an act of propitiation. TPS = Tri-Pura-Sundari = Three-City-Beauty = Lalita.

    Lalitamahatmya says the following about Bandha. The gods were so afraid of him they hid in the netherworlds, deep in the ocean, in the bushes, and in the mountains. They ran away leaving their wives  and children and roamed the earth in disguise. The great fighters such as Yakshas, great serpents, Siddhas, and Sadhyas were no better than blades of grass for Bhanda.  Everybody joined in and performed a sacrifice and from the fire rose a goddess in the form of Lalita and Para Devata (Supreme Deity).  She held Pasa (noose), Ankusa (goad), Dhanus (bow), and the highest Sakti. She was none other than Brahman.

    Bandha was born from the ashes of the Cupid.

        The following narrative comes from Lalita Mahatmya about the origin of Bandha but has some variations.  Siva destroyed Dakshayana's sacrifice and became a widower because his consort Dahshayani died by the heat of Tapas (self immolation) because her father and the father-in-law of Siva, Daksha insulted Siva and did not invite them for the sacrifice. She disowned him as a father. Since the death of his consort, Siva went to  meditate by the Ganges river. Dakshayani, after abandoning her body, was reborn as the daughter of Himalaya. 

Ganges River: Ganges has three streams (Trisrotah) or there are three Ganges: The first is MandAkini of heavenly abode, AlakanandA of earthly abode and Bhogavati of the nether world.  There are many stories as to how Ganges came down to the earth. Ganges was born on the toe of Vishnu as Brahma performed ritual ablution of His feet. It descended on earth with such force and ferocity that Siva broke its fall by letting it gather on His russet matted hair, form many streams and fall gently on the earth.

        There was a demon by name Taraka who received a boon from Brahma that he wound fear no one except the son of Siva. The Devas hatched a plan to get Siva and Gauri together to have a son and then put an end to Taraka.  The god of love readied himself to seduce Siva in to making a baby with Gauri, who is of the color of conch, jasmine and moon and of gold. Isana-Siva was seated in meditation. The daughter of Himavan (Girija-Gauri-Parvati) came there to serve Siva. Smara, the god of love started shooting flowery arrows at Siva to seduce him. Siva opened his eyes and saw Gauri in front of him. When he saw the Cupid in the area with his flowery arrows, he opened his third eye and reduced Cupid to ashes. On being ignored by Siva, Gauri went into the forest to perform penance.

        The ash was made into a man by Citrakarma, the Lord of Ganas (attendants) of Siva. Rudra-Siva saw the Ash-Man and immediately he came into life as though the Cupid was back to life; he shone like a midday sun.  Citrakarma embraced him and said his new son, " O son, praise Mahadeva-Siva, He is the bounteous giver of all objects."  Citrakarman taught him the Mantra Satarudriya who after chanting the Mantra one hundred times bowed to Rudra-Siva, who, having been pleased, offered him a boon. The boy asked Siva to him a boon by saying to Siva, "Opponent of mine will lose half his strength to me and my arrows would make all his weapons useless." Siva saying "So be it, Bhand, Bhand" (Bhand = good), Siva gave him the weapons and disappeared.

        Manifestation of Lalita

        Since Bandha came from the fire of anger of Siva-Rudra, he remained powerful.  The Daityas including  Bhrgu, Sukra, gravitated towards him. Banda summoned Maya the Architect of Daityas and ordered him to rebuild the City of Sonitapura to its former glory. The Daityas, headed by Sukra the son of Bhrgu Muni, installed Bandha as the king of the rebuilt city. The crown was none other than the one worn by Hiranyakasipu and other Daitya kings, given to Hiranyakasipu by Lord Brahma.  Bandha received Camaras (Chowries or whisks) as protection against illness and miseries; umbrella which protected against missiles (Now you know the origin of the term, nuclear umbrella); a bow Vijaya; a conch; ornaments; a throne; eight muscle men as body guards; four beautiful wives; thousands of chariots, horses, elephants, and soldiers; noble people for his court...  Sixty-thousand years whizzed by, as Bandha ruled his kingdom.

    The gods headed by Indra were in a bad shape; Bandha and Daityas were powerful by their discipline, Tapas, and penance.  Vishnu, the consort of Kamala and the God of gods, wanted to bring an end to the evil forces and thus created Maya, the feminine form of His potency or Sakti.  Vishnu ordered Maya to delude all beings and Bandha. Now you know how gods used the lure of sex as a destructive force. Vishnu willingly gave Maya assistants (think of Charley's Angels) to accomplish her goal. One of Ladies of Lure was the chief enchantress Visvaci who made a bee-line to Manasa lake, where Bandha was in a state of blissful congress with a bevy of nubile young women drawn from his kingdom. When he was not in congress, he was in the the lake in balneal relaxation. Visvaci with fawn eyes put her tent up under the cool shade of Campaka tree and began voicing luscious notes of divine music. No one could resist that golden voice and bubbly musical notes of the lute. Soon Bandha with his band of ministers came to the Lady of Lure, drawn by the lute. Just imagine champagne bubbles make music as you imbibe it. Who could resist it? Bandha being a Lout was more attracted by her lightning-like limbs than by the notes of the lute.  The ministers were equally taken by the charm of the Ladies of Leasure and felt the tender bites of love in their hearts. Bandha and the ministers went on a love-offensive and invited Maya and her iridescent lovelies for marathon congress to which they readily agreed.  Ten thousand years passed in such voluptuosity that it appeared as if it were a mere Muhurta (48 minutes).  The Chief lady of Lure was also known as Mohini. There was a widespread abrogation of moral laws; even the priests succumbed to the lure ---Verse 12. 33. The gods were very happy to see the Daityas degenerate as manure in their moral values.

    Narada, the tattletale benign Muni of all ages, came to the court of Devendra (the chief of gods) and gave him his advice as follows. "Bandha and his ministers are under the influence and clutch of Vishnu's Maya and her lovelies.  He is so strong that you cannot defeat him in a zillion years. O Ignoramus, propitiate the Great Goddess, Parasakti with whose help you can defeat Bandha.  Thus started the worship and penance to please the Great Goddess.  The news reached the high priest of the Asuras, the son of Bhrgu, Sukracharya, who went to Bandha and advised him as follows. " O BhandAsura, you, your ministers and your subjects go anywhere in the three worlds without fear. Hari (Vishnu) loves to kill you and the Danavas. Maya-Mohini was created by Vishnu for the express purpose of weakening and defeating you. This allure of yours to Maya is the weakness, Indra the chief of gods has been looking for; he is performing penance to win over you.  Abandon the Lady of Lure Maya, go to the mountains and ruin their penance so that the gods will not gain any strength.  Bandha briefed the ministers on the happening of the day.

    Srutvarma, the most intelligent among them advised Bandha as follows.  Siva allotted you sixty thousand years to rule the three worlds. It is now more than 60 thousand years that you ruled.  There is no solution to this problem except to pray to Siva. Victory or defeat will come at the appropriate time. Bhimakarma came up with contrarian view and said as follows. The enemy should be dealt with according to the threat. Siva granted you the magical power (Vidya) that saps the strength of your enemy; this is the time to use that power.

    Bandha took the latter's advice and camped out at the base of the mountain, Himavan.  The Mother of the universe, the Goddess raised an insurmountable wall in front of them. Bandha launched missiles after missiles shattering the wall, as Goddess rebuilt the wall as soon it was destroyed. The Suras (gods) became very nervous and wanted to flee. Flee where; they had no where else to go.  on the advice of Sakra, they dug a sacrificial pit, and offered human flesh to the Goddess in the fire.  (Here consider this as our soldiers die in battlefield; offering human flesh is dying in battle as a sacrifice to the Goddess to obtain victory over the enemy.) Soon thereof, Mahadevi rose from the fulminating fire of the sacrificial pit. She was the Goddess of the entire universe and the embodiment of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. She was the pinnacle of beauty and  ambrosial bliss; wore clothes of the color of pomegranate flower; shone with jewels; radiated mercy and love; parleyed cool glance of moonlight and sported a sugarcane bow with five arrows, goad and noose.  The glorious Goddess appeared before them to the delight of the Suras. She cast a glance on all of them thus, making them strong and vibrant.  The gods all joined together and praised the goddess Ambika, the fulfiller of all wants.

    A Hymn in praise of Lalita (Ambika)

The gods addressed by Her many names: Kali, Kamakshi, Brahman, Narayani, Sri lalita, Yajnarupa, Visvarupa...  They praised in the following manner.

    You are victory, the Mother of the Universe,  the abode of plenty,  of beautiful eyes, the bestower of all desires, victory, riches and prosperity, protectress of the three worlds, goddess with thousand hands and feet smaller than the smallest and larger than the largest... Atala is your feet, Vitala your knees, Rasatala your waist , Earth your abdomen, Bhuvarloka  your heart and Svar your face. The sun, moon and fire are your eyes.  The directions are your arms. The wind is your breath and Vedas are your Vak (words).  Creation is your sport.  Siva is Cit, the Supreme Consciousness and our friend.  Bliss of Sat is your food. You abide in the hearts of good people.

    You are the world; your constitution, both visible and invisible, is the world.  The stars are the flowers; the clouds are your tresses. Dharma and Adharma are your arms and weapons.  Yamas and Niyamas are the nails on your fingers and toes.

SvAhA and SvadhA Pranayama Sarasvati Pratyahara rites mediatation
Breasts Nose Tongue sense organs intellect

 

Dharana Dawn past, present and future Yajnarupa and Visvarupa  
Mind Robe Her physical Form The Mother of the Universe  

You are the creator of Brahma. Your nature is Rajasic in creation, Sattvic in maintenance, and Tamasic in destruction. You are Siva devoid of gunas. You are the Father and the Mother of the universe.  You are in all forms, Tantras and Yantras.  Obeisance to you in the form of Lakshmi.  You are without beginning or end.  Your form is Vedas and learning.  You are Mahamayi and Mantravigraha (Great deluder and embodiment of Mantras).

Thus praising Her, Indra and other gods prostrated before her and sought refuge and protection from the Daitya king.  Sridevi acceded to their request and told them, "I shall myself defeat Bhanda. I will restore what is yours--the three worlds.

Manifestation of Kamesvara and the marriage of Lalita to Siva.

Brahma on his swan, Vishnu on Garuda, the son of Vinata, and Siva on the bull came to pay their respects to the Goddess.  Parama Siva and Sakti are the Greater Siva (1st excellence) and Lalita. Siva as one of the Trinity is of lesser station than Parama Siva.  It is like the Prime minister holding the lesser additional portfolio of defense minister.  Para Sakti is the First Goddess, Lalita.  Sakti needs the complimentary Saktiman, the role played by Parama Siva, who manifested himself as Kamesvara. There was a procession of gods, sages, and celestials coming to pay obeisance: Narada, Celestial damsels, VisvAvasu, Gandharvas, Yaksas, Durga, Brahmi, goblins, Mothers, Yoginis, Bhairavas, Ksetrapalas, Mahasasta, Mahaganesvara, Skanda, BAtuka, Virabhadra...  Brahma ordered Visvakarma to build a divine city equal in splendor to Amaravati, the City of Immortals.

No one except Sankara (Siva) can be the Bridegroom of the Great Goddess, Lalita.  Siva had russet matted hair with a blue neck, a garland of skull bones, three eyes, white complexion, ash all over his body... Would Lalita choose Him as Her consort?  Brahma had his doubts. Siva cleared his doubts and appeared in a resplendent manner.  He was of the form of ten million Kandarpas (God of Love) all decked with garlands, scents, unguents, crown, necklace, bracelets, earrings... Brahma was taken aback at the dashing appearance of young Siva, immediately took to Him and named Him Kamesvara (The Lord or master of love). Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara went to Lalita, upon seeing her, Nilalohita-Siva fell in love with Para Sakti and was besides Himself. She also felt very attracted to youthful Siva. Their eyes were fixed on each other. Brahma addressed Lalita. "We the celestials want to install you on the throne along with Saktiman. We plead with you to fight for us on the battlefield to defeat Bhanda."

The goddess looked upon Brahma and Vishnu with a benign smile and said, "My activities, sports, and lifestyle are independent of you and my husband Siva who plays a complimentary role in relation to me." Upon hearing this, Brahma eulogized the goddess as follows. "You are Brahman and Prakrti. You are the cause and effect. Sankara and Yogins follow you. You are Pancha Brahma Svarupini ( five forms of Brahma).  You are Sadrupa (Sad = existence; Rupa = form), Asadrupa (non-existent form), Karmarupa (the form of Karman, work), Vyaktodayatmika (form of manifestation), and Avyaktodayaatmika (unmanifest form)."  Brahma stated, "You are the creator and maintainer of the universe." The Great Goddess lifted a garland with her hand and threw it up in the air; the garland landed on the neck of Kamesvara to the delight of Brahma and Vishnu; the clouds rained petals. Brahma's spirits heightened and communicated to Janardhana (Vishnu), O Hari, proper religious performance should mark the marriage of the divine couple. You are the brother of the Goddess, O Vishnu.  Let us decide on the auspicious hour for the wedding ceremony. You will give away the bride to Kamasiva.  Trivikrama-Vishnu gave away the bride accordingly.  This ceremony took place before gods, sages, pitrs, Gandharvas, Devas, Brahma and the Suras. 

 

 

Gifts were given to Siva and Sivaa (Sakti) as follows.

Name Brahma Hari (Vishnu) Varuna, god of waters Visvakarma
Gift Sugar bow, imperishable and strong unchangeable and fade-free flower arrows nagapasa, serpent noose Goad
Name Agni (Fire) Moon and Sun Ratnakara (god of ocean) King of Suras
Gift Crown two earrings nine precious stones inexhaustible supply of honey in a vessel
Name Kubera Vishnu Ganga and Yamuna Others*
Gift Necklace of precious stones (Cintamani) Umbrella with icon of imperial power Chowries (fans) weapons and more**

Others*: The Asvins, Adityas, Gandharvas, Maruts, Pramathas, Rudras, Vasus

weapons and more**: Chariots, horses, elephants, camels, all of great strength.

At the coronation of Siva and Sivaa (Sakti), Brahma presented an aerial chariot (KusumAkara), endowed with fade-free flowers and all other amenities, capable of long-distance travel across the three worlds and completely fortified against any kind of weapon systems. (Security was a concern at all times, ages, Kalpas and Yugas.) Its aroma had healing qualities, satiated hunger, relieved miseries and defeated delusions. (Won't it be nice to have aroma therapy for weight control?) The goddess went along the parade route on the aerial chariot and received greetings from celestials standing on the first floor of the mansions and showers of grains as a mark of auspiciousness. People along the route sang and played instruments. The goddess along with Siva alighted the plane, enjoyed receiving Niranjana rites (waving of lights, Arati) and went into the Great Hall and sat on the throne.  By her glance, she fulfilled all the desires of assembled people. Brahma christened her Kamakshi and Kamesvari.  Being pleased with the people, she ordered the clouds shower a plethora of ornaments and precious articles for the use of the people.  In the City of the Goddess, Kamala, Kamadhenu, and Kalpa (wish-tree) made sure that victory was Hers.  Man and gods including Brahma and Vishnu completely free from wants and miseries joined together to serve the Great Goddess.  KAmasankara (Siva) and Ambika ruled the heaven, earth and the sky for ten thousand years giving great opulence to gods, men an all living creature.

One day Narada came, paid his obeisance to Parasakti and addressed her as follows.  O Great Goddess, You are existence and  non-existence. You made it possible for alternate ideas, opinions, understandings to flourish. You protect the good and destroy the bad. You are Kalyani, The Auspicious. But we have a problem. Bhanda, the demonic Daitya king has become the cruel ruler of the three worlds, harassing gods. Upon hearing the harrowing story from Narada, the Great Goddess sent all the gods to their respective safe cities. Brahma, Vishnu, Sambhu, Vasava and others received permission to go in ten cardinal directions for their own protection. They out of fear of abandoning the Goddess stayed behind and served Lalita.

Lalita on a war path to victory over Bhanda. The war between Lalita and Bhanda is symbolic of the struggle between good and evil.

Lalita to remove the thorn of the three worlds decided to go to war with Bhanda; the soldiers sounded all kinds of drums and played musical instruments.  Lalita created a deity named Sampatkari from Her goad, who, mounted an elephant, lead an army of soldiers.  Goddess Lalita mounted on a horse (Aparajita) followed by a cavalry.  These horses were capable of reading the mind of the riders and carried out their wishes. They were strong, tranquil and steady under stress and fatigue. They moved at the speed of wind. Lalita had the noose, the goad, the cane and the reins in her four hands. Many Saktis emanating from Lalita performed various functions on the battlefield thus serving Lalita on her Victory path.  One Sakti named Potrimukhi with a bear face was leading bear-faced soldiers. Sri Dandanatha rode a lion. The celestials in heaven were struck with fear seeing the boar-faced Potrini, who they thought might incinerate the universe, split the earth and stir up the seas.  To appease Potrini, they paid her obeisance.  One Sakti by name Mantrinatha had the capability of killing enemies just by looking at them.

Lalita looked benignly at the Suras, Brahma, Vishnu, Indra as they worshipped Her. She had a chariot for use named Srichakra whose flagstaffs touched the clouds and made roaring sounds sending shivers in the hearts of enemies.  hyagriva the narrator the story mentioned the twenty-five names of lalita: Simhasana, Srilalita, Maharajni, Parankusa, Capini, Tripura, MAhatripurasundari, Sundari, Cakranatha, SAmrajni, Chakrini, Cakresvari, mahadevi, Kamesi, Paramesvari, Kamarajapriya, Kamakotiga, Chakravartini, Mahavidya, Sivananagavallabha, Sarvapatala, Kulanatha, Amnayanatha, Sarvamnayanaivasini, and  Sringaranayaka.

The ten Siddhis  (Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Isita, Vaista, Prapti, Prakamya, Mukthi, and Sarvakama) took physical forms (Siddhidevis) ready to assist Lalita. Ten Mudradevis had four arms, two of which held shields and swords. Sixteen Saktis representing the 16 digits of the moon had four arms, three  eyes and crowns.

Lalita's chariot (Chakraratha) had special features and nine steps, each step populated by the Saktis to serve Lalita.

1st step: The seat of Lalita on the chariot is surrounded by 15 eternal Deities of Time (KAla RUpa). They are equal to Lalita.

2nd step: is occupied by three Saktis: KAmesi, Vajeresi, and Bhagamalini. Each one had eight arms and assorted weapons. They appeared inebriated and ready to take on Bhanda.

3rd step: Eight Rahasyayoginis the deities of speech occupied the 3rd step, holding weapons, lutes and books.

4th step: Ten Nigarbhayoginis sporting four arms which held thunderbolt, javelin, iron club and discus.

5th step: Ten kind-hearted Kulottirnas occupied the 5th step.

6th step: Twelve Sampradayas who rose from the ashes of Kama were holding bows and arrows of Fire.

7th step: Six Guptataras occupying the 7th step are inducers of eroticism holding flowery arrows, lotuses and bouquets of flowers.

8th step: The 16 Guptas ( secretive ones) occupied the 8th step.

9th Step: Ten Siddhidevis occupied the 9th step.

All these Saktis were ready to fight Bhanda and his soldiers.

Dandanayaka (Rod Applier = The rod is the symbol of authority and the owner of the rod is the authority) occupies the primary 1st step Bindu, the epicenter and has a boar-face (Potrini). She deflates the haughtiness and tears the demons (DAnavas) with her snout. Her tender body is vine-like, of the color of dark nimbus clouds and rides the First Chariot Kirichakra with accompanying chariots, Chakraraja, and Geya. She was surrounded by many fearsome deities, and had strategically placed SurAsindhu (ocean of Liquor) all over the battle field to relieve any fatigue in the fighting soldiers. Its companion was the deity of intoxication. Then there were DhAtunAthAs (Yakini, Sankini, Lakini, Sakini, Dakini and Hakini, whose essential job was to eat the seven essential ingredients of human or demon's body, blood, skin, flesh, fat, bones, marrow, semen of enemy soldiers.  They were good to the Yogis and give them Siddhis like anima, mahima etc.  The enemies are mere lunch for them. Apart from cannibalism, they were adept in paralyzing and  confusing the demons.  seated by the side of Dandanayaka, there was a fearsome lion, Candoccanda, whose roar sent shivers in the hearts of the demons. Then there was a buffalo, the vehicle of Dandanayaka, ready to carry her anywhere anytime. Its two horns were 11/2  kilometers apart and body three kilometer long. The hairs were sharp like swords.  Every time it whisks its tails scores would die like flies. Its fiery breath was so hot the oceans boiled.  This buffalo was so strong that it laughed at the buffalo vehicle of Yama, the god of death.  The deities from Indra down were at the ready to take orders from her. There were battlefield doctors Asviniputras, and Danvantari at hand.  Then there were the Wheel-Deities by name  Jrmbhini, Stambhini and Mohini. Stambhini was the charioteer of Kirichakra. There was an antelope, the vehicle of Dandini. This antelope had horns 0.75 Kilometers apart;  the face was 02 kilometers long; the legs 3 miles long with upright tail, white underbelly... It laughed at the small antelope, the vehicle of Wind god.  Some of these animals figure in Kundalini Chakras.  Bhairavas stood there at the ready with their splendorous weapons.

Bhanda inflates his Ego Balloon

The army of Lalita was marching with military bands raising sound and dust. The citizens of Bhandasura were a wind-swept tree of leaves in great agitation. The city was enveloped in a cloud of smoke, a sign of evil omens. There was a spontaneous rupture of the City Walls. Meteors were circling the city; some fell down.  Fissures appeared on earth, fires erupted and an earthquake was registered.  The hearts of the citizens quivered in fear. The agitated birds perched on flagstaffs looking at the sun. The invisible goblins emitted ethereal voices in the void of space driving the citizens insane. All items  such as mirrors, armors, flags became dirty for apparent reason. There was a downpour of skulls, blood, and hairs from the sky. Words of serious malady of the city reached the ears of the king Bhanda who was served by his brothers, Visukra and Visanga and a host of vassal kings who promised their support with men and material for the fight with Lalita.

Visukra spoke with a voice like that of ocean waves crashing on the craggy shore.  "The suras fell in the fire from which arose a woman who claims to have immense strength. She is surrounded by feeble females who vow to conquer us. The inhabitants of heaven degenerated into cowards. Brahma became emaciated from fear and worry.  Vishnu is worried sick.  Though the feeble woman is leading a feeble army  of women, we should not let our guard down. We will send servants to make them beat a retreat and bring the head woman by her tresses.  We will force the head women serve as a slave girl of the ladies of our harem." The king upon hearing these words became more angry at the invading army of women.

The other brother Visanga, thoughtful, prudent and intelligent, spoke words of caution.  Because they are woman we cannot assume we will win over them. We should send a perfect spy who will blend and find out all about the army and the head woman. There are unknowns here that we should try to eliminate in order to win. Consider Hiranyakasipu of our race who was killed by a spirit emerging from a pillar in the form a Lion-man. Think of Chandika, a manifestation of Maya killing Mahisa, Sumbha and Nisumbha. Because they are women we should not be lackadaisical and indifferent. It is Sakti that brought death and destruction to our race.  We should know who she is, where she comes from, and what her support and power are?

Bhanda spoke thus, "The brave generals and soldiers could drink the ocean if they wanted. Where is the need for hesitation, spying, and deliberation in the face of our immense strength?  You are a misfortune teller. Why are you afraid of this woman? I have already spies bring me news about this woman who sprang from fire, created women from within her body, and is of delicate frame and limbs, and a novice in the art of war. Granted that she has a great army, look at the heaven-dwellers. They cannot stand up to me; they are afraid; I have all the three worlds under my control and power.  They are hiding from me in the bush on the mountains, the sea, and the nether world. They roam around in disguise fearing exposure. This woman born yesterday is too naive to understand my strength. I will quash her pride.  Let the whole heaven come to me fighting and I will ruin them all. Our generals will smash them as if they were ripe cucumbers.  Here are my 100 plus sons who would earn victory for me.  Don't let despondency and doubt rule your mind." Thus saying he ordered his general Kutilaksa to mobilize his army of three thousand soldiers, defeat the enemy, drag Lalita by her tresses and bring her to him. Soon, he left for the harem for good time with the ladies.

Sridevi's army marched with accompaniment of dust and din, which blinded the eyes and hurt the ears of the daityas. The Asuras  responded with the sound of war drums, which roiled the seas and the three worlds. The Daitya soldiers lifted their weapons in a show of force.  Anything they can throw, they fashioned them as weapons.  They rode all kinds animals and birds. Durmada, the chief of an army division of Asuras sounded drum whose sounds penetrated the fourteen worlds. All the entrances to the city were fortified with weapons and soldiers.  The soldiers from either side came into violent contact with each other. The Daitya soldiers came like locusts and fell on the Sakti soldiers who laughed boisterously as they cut them down one by one. Clouds of dust rose up from the hoofs of animals and the feet of soldiers. Sakti's elephants and horses drove through and killed columns of Daitya soldiers. Rivers of blood ran over the battlefield, and umbrellas fell  creating a scene like the moon in the company of red cloud at dusk.

The Daitya soldiers circled around the Sakti soldiers like a ring of fire. Heads of the Danavas were falling like ripe fruits on the battleground with red eyes, bitten lips, and screwed eyebrows.  Seeing the devastation, general Durmada prompted the soldiers to continue fighting and mounted a camel to fight the Sakti soldiers.  Soon, sakti goddess Sampadambika mounted majestically on an elephant started discharging arrows in an incessant fashion so much so they gathered the sun's rays, plunged into the enemies and burned them.  The arrows of Durmada and the goddess met in space and burned like hellish fire. The shower of arrows flying in all directions cast a shadow on the battle ground. The elephant went to work in smashing the Daitya soldiers with its feet, trunk, tusks, nails and tail. Durmada shot an arrow at the goddess so fiercely that it brought down a gem from her crown.  Red with anger she sent a volley of arrows which hit him on the chest and sent him to the land of no return.  The Daitya soldiers who survived the onslaught took to their heels and took refuge in the city of Sunyaka.  Bhanda was very upset at the death of the mighty warrior Durmada at the hands of a woman; he sent general Kuranda to bring Lalita by her hair to his court.

General Kuranda was known for battlefield tactics such as Maya (illusion). he had a grievance against Lalita because her sakti goddess killed his elder brother, Durmada.  He challenged the goddess by saying that he would drink her blood and send her to the city of no return and death (Antaka).  Another goddess by name Candi rushed into the battlefield and told Sampadambika that she would take over the fight with Kuranda.  Wind-fast horses of the Sakti goddess came like waves of the ocean one by one in a single file to fight the Daitya soldiers. The Danavas (Daityas, demons) knew horses well. They had the ability not only controlling their horses but also the horses of the enemies. They can be called horse whisperers with utmost control over horses.  Goddess Turganana (Candi) with the horse face was equal in her ability. She sent arrows in ten directions and Danavas fell like dead ducks.  She let loose her Pasa ( the celebrated noose of  immense brilliance) on the enemy soldiers. The Pasa multiplied into many snakes which wrapped around the soldiers in such ways they were all rendered immobile.  Kuranda sent an arrow that shattered the bow and cut the string of the goddess. Hayasana (horse-riding goddess) soon  swung the goad and pounded Kuranda on his chest.  He fell down with a thud like a falling tree and breathed his last.  From the goad emerged Putanas (ogres) who devoured the rest of the enemy soldiers. The rest of the Daityas ran away from the battlefield. The news of this sent Bhanda into deep depression.

Bhanda still did not get the message of the inviolate and indomitable valor of the goddess and her cohorts. He asked Kutilaska to send his general Karanka and four others with a hundred Aksauhinis (an army consisting of 21870 elephants, 21870 chariots, 65, 610 horses and 109350 foot soldiers).  Animals and men advanced towards the battlefield, all neighing, trumpeting, shouting, screaming... The dust rose and obliterated the sun's rays.  The Suras (gods) took one look at the army of Asuras and were shaking with fear. The five generals created Sarpini, an ogre whose sunken stomach resembled a great ocean, and her skin, breasts and lips were smoke-colored. Many snakes writhed out of her body and began attacking the saktis. Their breath was fiery; with each exhalation, they emitted seven kinds of poisons and more: Paarada (quicksilver), Vatsanabha (poison from aconite--buttercup family of plants),  Kalakuta (poison from a bulbous root), Saurashtra (snake, vegetable, mineral poison), Brahmaputra (plant poison), Saulkikeya (posion from a country, Sulkika).  The poisonous snakes emerged from all per pores, cavities and body openings.  They wrapped around the soldiers, immobilized and choked them to death.  They bit, spit and quit upon the death of the Sakti soldiers. When they were cut, more clones of snakes came. Some died.  Sarpeni was creating millions of snakes from her body; as long as she was alive there was no end to the snakes. General Karanka's chariot were drawn by donkeys.  General Vajradanta rode a camel and showered  arrows on the Sakti soldiers. General Vajramukha rode an ass and used his spear to kill the soldiers.

Goddess Nakuli (Mongoose) emerged from the palate of Lalita and mounted a Garuda (a mythical bird) whose wings flipped and flapped breaking mountain peaks.  From Goddess Lalita's teeth emerged 320 million golden mongooses (her answer to snakes), which snapped and snipped the serpents into bits and pieces.  Every serpent that emerged from Ogre Sarpini (Snake demoness), there was a mongoose waiting to take a crunchy bite at it.  The Snake Lady became angry to see all her snakes dying by the millions. Sakti Nakuli seeing the angry lady sent a Garuda, a flaming missile which entered the body of Sarpini and neutralized her power of making snakes in her body.  Her body simply vanished once her power was removed.  The five generals disheartened by the death of Sarpini, threw all kinds of weapons on Nakuli.

Nakuli rode a chariot  and launched millions of weapons on the enemies and also bit them in vulnerable parts of their body to extinguish their life and breath. The mongooses started attacking the enemy soldiers, bit them, assumed sizes small enough to enter the pores of their bodies and bit each of them a billion times.  The generals showered a cloud arrows on the mongooses, most of whom were roundly beaten. The mauled mongooses surrounded Nakuli, their boss, who launched a missile, Aksinanakula (unending mongooses). This missile had fiery points all around. The launched mongooses  in tens of millions went to work. They moved like thunderbolts.  They nibbled the enemies to death with their teeth.  The Demonical soldiers all died; the five generals were standing on the battlefield with no one to support them.  Karanka's head fell in a flash from Nakuli's swish of the sword.  The flying Nakuli mounted on Garuda swooped down cutting the heads of the remaining four generals.  Syamalambika-Lalita seeing the dexterous Nakuli honored and elevated her to a satellite deity.  The remaining demons sought refuge at the feet of Nakuli.  She gracefully accepted their surrender and sent them on their way to Sunyaka with a message of the happenings of the battlefield to king Bhanda.

Seven Generals (brothers)  were dispatched to battlefield for a tryst with death.

Bhanda was red with anger upon hearing the routing of his military and death of the five generals. He ordered his commander-in-chief to dispatch the remaing seven generals with thirty Aksauhinins. The seven generals (sons of Kikasa: Balahaka, Sucimukha, Phalamukha, Vikarna, Viktanana, Karalaksa, and Karataka) knew no defeat in their life.

The Danavas (demons, Asuras, Daityas) taunted the saktis of Lalita and promised to dispatch them to the god of death forthwith. Some soldiers from either side were sent to the other camp for spying.  Sometimes the fighting was confusing because they all looked alike.  Then came a Daitya Balahaka riding on a vulture, Samharagupta, who formerly rose out of fire. The beak was  a cauldron of fire devouring the Sakti soldiers. Its wingspan was half a Krosa (Krosa = 2 miles). Krosa = distance as far as a voice can go = shouting distance.  Another Daitya was riding on a crow with a wingspan of one Krosa and a humongous beak, which it used to pick, peck, and kill the Saktis. Phalamukha rode a huge heron with a ploughshare as a weapon.  Vikatanana rode on a huge cock.  Karakalksa rode on a ghost which he tamed by the power of his mantras.  General Karataka rode a vampire, which domesticated by mantras killed the Saktis.  This brotherhood of seven generals received a boon from sun-god after a long penance. The boon conferred on them the ability to have the sun in their eyes which would radiate heat, paralyze the enemies, burn them and render them susceptible to their weapons. They were killing soldiers by mere sight; they were like sitting ducks to be taken out. Many divisions of Sakti soldiers came to a full stop upon the paralyzing look of the seven generals.  With the spears, they were picking the immobilized saktis, (as if they were pickles).  Rendered thus, they were crying and appealed to Lalita for mercy and strength.  Lalita created a goddess, Tiraskaranika on the battlefield. She poured a thunderstorm of arrows on the Daityas, who were greatly decimated.  Everything about her was black, her color, her armor, her aerial chariot, her bow, her arrows, her horses... She launched the missile of missiles by name Andha (blinding one) to counter the power of the eyes of the seven generals. The missile made a heavy veil in front of the eyes, so they could not see.  With vision gone, they remained helpless. The saktis eulogized the goddess for her feat.  She eventually killed the seven brother generals.  General Balahaka, a bag of vanity and pride, was scrapping the ground as the goddess was dragging him by his hair. Her sword met his neck releasing his life and breath and shooting fountains of blood. The others met the same fate. She took the seven heads, tied them up by their hair and wore it as a garland.  The news reached the Lord of Sunyaka Bandha, who broke down and cried. The remaining Daitya enemy soldiers by her look received Her grace and began singing her glory. The Saktis in chorus said, well done, well done and nodded their heads in approval.

Haughty Bhanda still held his head high and called his brothers and ministers for a brainstorming session. They all were very angry to suffer defeat at the hands of "wicked Lalita" and a woman. They wondered as to how they could get to the woman who always stayed behind armies, who did the fighting.  Could an attack from behind a possible answer? Since she had only a few attendants around her, they mused they could take her easily. Could the Daitya soldiers go in disguise, capture and kill her? She was the root of all trouble. Cut the root and gain victory: that strategy was bandied around by the conniving congregants.  They had an idea to execute. Lalita always rode a chariot, 3 Yojanas high (27 miles; one Yojana = 4 Krosas = 9 miles). There was no way one could not notice it.  They were looking for vulnerabilities. The chariot had an umbrella studded with shining pearls. No one could miss it. Its telltale flags were caressing the clouds. Bhanda said with all these telltale signs, one could drag her by the tresses and smash her into a pulp.  Fifteen generals with troops were deployed for seizure. He sent an Aksauhini for support.  With all those horses and elephants, Bhandha beleived that his regiment could move stealthily around Lalita's camp and attack one woman guarded by only a few woman; such was his audacious plan.  He sent Visanga backed by 15 generals and many battalions.

Darkness spread; it thickened, became more dense and deepened. The opaque darkness was a lumpen mass among bushes.  It seemed to flow from the crevices of the earth and the caves of the mountains. It seemed to run like a coward at the sight of tiny little lamps and hid in the blue lotus perched on the ears of women. It found safe refuge in the black elephants and collyrium. The dense forest seemed to invite it. The whole universe was covered by the dense darkness like the blue bodice of the woman.  The Asuras enjoyed embracing the bosom of darkness, which suited them best to perform their maya (illusion). The generals wore dark uniforms, dark armors, dark swords and dark everything, so much so "they became one with dense darkness. "  Visanga, dressed to kill (with armor, Meghadambaraka = cloud, thunderbolt) proceeded in darkness without any sound with the accompanying soldiers with drawn swords. They moved so quietly that even their breathing was quiet. They saw Lalita in the refulgent chariot facing west. The Danavas attacked the Saktis, the anima Saktis first. Anima saktis have the power to become extremely minute.  Spears, hammers, javelins, missiles came hurtling down to the chariot. Before no time, the Danavas occupied the ninth step of the chariot, Chakranatha.  With the stealth weapons (VipAtas) invisible to the Saktis, they fought the Saktis. (It appears that the concept of stealth technology was known to India in the ancient past. Think of stealth plane that evades radar.) The Daityas were invisible because of thick darkness.  Visanga's soldiers killed millions of Sakti soldiers.  The Nitya deities became very agitated and angry as they became very vulnerable.  Nityakamesvari (leading Nitya deity) after receiving permission from Lalita descended ftom the chariot and was accompanied by other Nitya deities such as Jvalamalini, Vahnivasini... They are known as Kalavarupinis having time units as their forms and a digit of the moon as the form. With their forms covering all fifteen digits of the moon, they brightened the night with their effulgence. All fifteen Nitya deities, in great effulgence easily smashed through the Daityas. The accompanying sound and fury appeared like the Mandara Mountain that churned the ocean to make the Ambrosia. They used Pranakodandas (life-breath bow) to discharge their arrows on the Daityas in the brightly-lit battlefield; as expected, the arrows drew the life out of the Daityas.  The Nitya Deities killed all fifteen generals.  The battle went on for three Yamas ( one Yama = 3 hours). Visanga was alone and wanted to run from the battlefield after fighting for three hours. KAmesvari tore his armor, now lighted up and made visible by the light of the moon.  She spared him because he was destined to be the quarry for Dandanatha and was running away.  When all this was over, day dawned, and the enemy was defeated, the Nitya deities reported to Srilalita with bleeding open wounds all over the bodies.  Her looks of compassion healed all their wounds and made them whole again.  Lalita was happy and pleased at the heroism of the Nitya deities.

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