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THE DEVI-MAHATMYAM

(extracted from website: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/8175/devi-1.txt)

 

 

(The Devi Mahatmyam is a collection of 700 Slokas on Sri Durga from MarkaNDeya PuraaNa: An English translation is given below)

Navaratri is celebrated four times a year. They are Ashada Navaratri, the Sharada Navaratri, the Maha Navaratri and the Vasantha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasantha Navaratri of the Vasantha kala are very important. If you refer to the agni purana, then it is said that the Puratashi and Panguni (in Tamil months) i.e. Asvin and Chaitra are like the two jaws of Lord Yama. If one wants to escape the mouth of Yama, then one should celebrate Navaratri on these two occasions. A similar analogy is presented in the devi bhagavatam. Devi bhagavatam also talks in detail on how one should observe fasts, and how one should meditate/work on these days. According to legend, Durga sat on the tip of a needle for nine days, doing a severe penance to destroy the evil Asura Mahisha. On the first three days, she meditated as Herself, the next three days as Mahalakshmi and the last three days as Sarasvati. This signifies progression from tamsik, to rajasik to satvik and eventually obtaining liberation. The tenth day during Sharada Navaratri is called vijayadashami to signify the victory on the day of dashami. It is, however, a long tradition that one reads the devi-bhagavatam or the devi mahatmyam (Durga saptasati, 700 verses on Durga) during this period. Devi bhagavatam notes that Rama meditated and fasted for nine days after Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. There are numerous such incidents on how people's wishes were granted. The reading of Devi Maahaatmyam during Navaraatri is to be done follows \\ Based on emails from S. A. Bhandarkar and M. Giridhar \\

\\ Chapter 1 (Madhu kaitabha samhaara) is to be read for 1st day,

\\ ch 2 thru 4 (Mahishhasura samhaara) to be read on 2nd day,

\\ ch 5 and 6 (Dhuumralochana vadha) on the 3rd day,

\\ ch 7 (Chanda Munda vadha) on 4th day,

\\ ch 8(Rakta biija samhaara) on 5th day,

\\ ch 9 and 10 (Shumbha Nishumbha vadha) on 6th day,

\\ ch 11(Praise of Narayani) on 7th day,

\\ ch 12 (Phalastuti) on 8th day,

\\ ch 13 (Blessings to Suratha and the Merchant)on 9th day

\\ ch 14 (aparaadha xamaapaNa) on 10th day

CHAPTER 1:****The slaying of Madhu and Kaitabha:

Meditation of Mahakali I resort to Mahakali, who has ten faces, ten legs and holds in her hands the sword, disc, mace, arrows, bow, club, spear, missile, human head and conch, who is three-eyed, adorned with ornaments on all her limbs, and luminous like a blue jewel, and whom Brahma extolled in order to destroy Madhu and Kaitabha, when Vishnu was in (mystic) sleep.

Markandeya said ( to his disciple Krasustuki Bhaguri):

1-3. Savarni, {Savarni was so called because he was the son of Savarna, Surya's wife. He became King Suratha in the second (Svarocisa) manvantara.} son of Surya, is called the eighth Manu. Listen , while I describe in detail about his birth, how Savarni, illustrious son of Surya, became the lord of the (eighth)Manvantara {One cycle of creation is divided into fourteen manvantaras. The period ruled over by one Manu is called a Manvantara. There are, therefore, fourteen Manus as follows: Svayambhuva, Svarocisa, Uttama, Tamasa, Raivata, Caksusa, Vaivasvata, Savarni, Daksha-savarni, Brahma-savarni, Dharma-savarni, Rudra-savarni, Deva-savarni, and Indra-savarni. } by the grace of Mahamaya {One of the names of the Divine Mother. }.

4-5. In former times there was a king named Suratha, born of the Chitra dynasty, ruling over the whole world in the period of Svarocisa. He protected his subjects duly like his own children. At that time the kings, who were the destroyers of the c, became his enemies.

6-7. He, the wielder of powerful weapons, fought a battle with the destroyers of Kolas, but was defeated by them though they were a small force. Then he returned to his own city, and ruled over his won country. Then that illustrious king was attacked by those powerful enemies.

8-9. Even in his own city, the king, (now) bereft of strength, was robbed of his treasury and army by his own powerful, vicious and evil-disposed ministers. Thereafter, deprived of this sovereignty, the king left alone on horse-back for a dense forest, under the pretext of hunting.

10-11. He saw there the hermitage of Medhas- the supreme among the twice-born - inhabited by wild animals which were peaceful, and graced by the disciples of the sage. Entertained by the sage, Suratha spent some time moving about in the hermitage of the great sage.

12-16. There then overcome with attachment, he fell into the thought, 'I do not know whether the capital (which was) well guarded by my ancestors and recently deserted by me is being guarded righteously or not by my servants of evil conduct. I do not know what enjoyments my chief elephant, heroic and always elated, and now fallen into the hands of my foes, will get. Those who were my constant followers and received favor, riches and food from me, now certainly pay homage to other kings. The treasure which I gathered with great care will be squandered by those constant spendthrifts, who are addicted to improper expenditures.'

17-19. The king was continually thinking of these and other things. Near the hermitage of the Brahamana he saw a merchant, and asked him: 'Ho! Who are you? What is the reason for your coming here? Wherefore do you appear as if afflicted with grief and depressed in mind?' Hearing this speech of the king, uttered in a friendly spirit, the merchant bowed respectfully and replied to the king. The merchant said:

20-25. 'I am a merchant named Samadhi, born in a wealthy family. I have been cast out by my sons and wife, who are wicked through greed of wealth. My wife and sons have misappropriated my riches, and made me devoid of wealth. Cast out by my trusted kinsmen, I have come to the forest grief-stricken. Dwelling here, I do not know anything as regards good of bad of my sons, kinsmen and wife. At present is welfare or ill-luck theirs at home? How are they? Are my sons living good or evil lives?' The king said:

26-28. 'Why is your mind affectionately attached to those covetous folk, your sons, wife and others, who have deprived you of your wealth?' The merchant said:

29-34. 'This very thought has occurred to me, just as you have uttered it. What can I do? My mind does not become hard; it bears deep affection to those very persons who have driven me out in their greed for wealth, abandoning love for a father and attachment to one's master and kinsmen. I do not comprehend although, I know it. O noble hearted king, how it is that the mind is prone to love even towards worthless kinsmen. On account of them I heave heavy sighs and feel dejected. What can I do since my mind does not become hard towards those unloving ones? Markandeya said:

35-38. Then O Brahmana, the merchant Samadhi and the noble king together approached the sage (Medhas); and after observing the etiquette worthy of him and as was proper, they sat down and conversed (with him ) on some topics. The king said:

39-45. 'Sir, I wish to ask you one thing. Be pleased to reply to it. Without the control of my intellect, my mind is afflicted with sorrow. Though I have lost the kingdom, like an ignorant man- though I know it- I have an attachment to all the paraphernalia of my kingdom. How is this, O best of sages? And this merchant has been disowned by this children, wife and servants, and forsaken by his own people; still he is inordinately affectionate towards them. Thus both he and I, drawn by attachment towards objects whose defects we do know, are exceedingly unhappy. How this happens, then, sir, that though we are aware of it, this delusion comes? This delusion besets me as well as him, blinded as we are in respect of discrimination.' The Rishi said:

46-49. Sir, every being has the knowledge of objects perceivable by the senses. And object of sense reaches it in various ways. Some beings are blind by day, and others are blind by night; some beings have equal sight both by day and night. Human beings are certainly endowed with knowledge, but they are not the only beings ( to be so endowed), for cattle, birds, animals and other creatures also cognize (objects of senses).

50-58. The knowledge that men have, birds and beasts too have; and what they have men also possess; and the rest (like eating and sleeping) is common to both of them. Look at these birds, which though they possess knowledge, and are themselves distressed by hunger are yet, because of the delusion, engaged in dropping grains into the beaks of their young ones. Human beings are, O tiger among men, attached to their children because of greed for return help. Do you not see this? Even so men are hurled into the whirlpool of attachment, the pit of delusion, through the power of Mahamaya ( the Great Illusion), who makes the existence of the world possible. Marvel not at this. this Mahamaya is the Yoganidra, of Vishnu, the Lord of the world. It is by her the world is deluded. Verily she, the Bhagavati, the Mahamaya forcibly drawing the minds of even the wise, throws them into delusion. She creates this entire universe, both moving and unmoving. It is she who, when propitious, becomes a boon-giver to human beings for their final liberation. She is the supreme knowledge, the cause of final liberation, and eternal; she is the cause of the bondage of transmigration and the sovereign over all lords. The king said:

59-62. 'Venerable sir, who is that Devi whom you call Mahamaya? How did she come into being, and what is her sphere of action, O Brahmana? What constitutes her nature? What is her form? Wherefrom did she originate? All that I wish to hear from you, O you supreme among the knowers of Brahman.' The Rishi said:

63-71. She is eternal, embodied as the universe. By her all this is pervaded. Nevertheless she incarnates in manifold ways; hear it from me. When she manifests herself in order to accomplish the purposes of the devas, she is said to be born in the world, though she is eternal. At the end of a kalpa when the universe was one ocean( with the waters of the deluge) and the adorable Lord Vishnu stretched out on Sesa and took the mystic slumber, tow terrible asuras, the well-known Madhu and Kaitabha, sprung into being from the dirt of Vishnu's ears, sought to slay Brahma; Brahma, the father of beings, was sitting in the lotus( that came out) from Vishnu's navel. Seeing these two fierce asuras and Janardhana asleep, and with a view to awakening Hari, (Brahma) with concentrated mind extolled Yoganidra, dwelling in Hari's eyes. The resplendent Lord Brahma extolled the incomparable Goddess of Vishnu, Yoganidra, the queen of cosmos, the supporter of the worlds, the cause of the sustentation and dissolution alike (of the universe).

72-74. Brahma said: 'You are Svaha and Svadha. You are verily the Vasatkara and embodiment of Svara. You are the nectar. O eternal and imperishable One, you are the embodiment of the threefold mantra. You are half a matra, though eternal. You are verily that which cannot be uttered specifically. You are Savitri and the supreme Mother of the devas.

75-77. 'By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created. By you it is protected, O Devi and you always consume it at the end. O you who are (always) of the form of the whole world, at the time of creation you are of the form of the creative force, at the time of sustentation you are of the form of the protective power, and at the time of the dissolution of the world, you are of the form of the destructive power. You are the supreme knowledge as well as the great nescience, the great intellect and contemplation, as also the great delusion, the great devi as also the great asuri.

78-81. ' You are the primordial cause of everything, bringing into force the three qualities. You are the dark night of periodic dissolution. You are the great night of final dissolution, and the terrible night of delusion. You are the goddess of good fortune, the ruler, modesty, intelligence characterized by knowledge, bashfulness, nourishment, contentment, tranquility and forbearance. Armed with sword, spear, club, discus, conch , bow, arrows, slings and iron mace, you are terrible( and at the same time) you are pleasing, yea more pleasing than all the pleasing things and exceedingly beautiful. You are indeed the supreme Isvari, beyond the high and low.

82-87. 'And whatever of wherever a thing exists, conscient( real) or non-conscient (unreal), whatever power all that possesses is yourself. O you who are the soul of everything, how can I extol you (more than this)? By you, even he who creates, sustains and devours the world, is put to sleep. Who is here capable of extolling you? Who is capable of praising you, who have made all of us- Vishnu, myself and Shiva- take our embodied forms? O Devi, being lauded thus, bewitch these two unassailable asuras Madhu and Kaitabha with your superior powers. Let Vishnu, the Master of the world, be quickly awakened from sleep and rouse up his nature to slay these two great asuras.' The Rishi said:

88-95. There, the Devi of delusion extolled thus by Brahma, the creator, in order to awaken Vishnu for the destruction of Madhu and Kaitabha, drew herself out from His eyes, mouth, nostrils, arms, heart and breast, and appeared in the sight of Brahma of inscrutable birth. Janardana, Lord of the universe, quitted by her, rose up from His couch on the universal ocean, and saw those two evil(asuras), Madhu and Kaitabha, of exceeding heroism and power, with eyes red in anger, endeavoring to devour Brahma. Thereupon the all-pervading Bhagavan Vishnu got up and fought with the asuras for five thousand years, using his own arms as weapons. And they, frenzied with their exceeding power, and deluded by Mahamaya, exclaimed to Vishnu, ' Ask a boon from us.' Bhagavan(Vishnu) said:

96-98. 'If you are satisfied with me, you must both be slain by me now. What need is there of any other boon here? My choice is this much indeed.' The Rishi said:

99-101. Those two(asuras), thus bewitched (by Mahamaya), gazing then at the entire world turned into water, told Bhagavan, the lotus eyed One, 'Slay us at the spot where the earth is not flooded with water.' The Rishi said:

102-104. Saying 'Be it so', Bhagavan(Vishnu), the great wielder of conch, discus and mace, took them on His loins and there severed their heads with His discus. Thus she (Mahamaya) herself appeared when praised by Brahma. Now listen again the glory of this Devi. I tell you. Here ends the first chapter called 'The slaying of Madhu and Kaitabha' of Devi mahatmya in Markandeya purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 2} *****{Slaughter of the armies of Mahisasura}

Meditation of Mahalakshmi I resort to Mahalakshmi, the destroyer of Mahisasura, who is seated on the lotus, is of the complexion of coral and who holds in her (eighteen ) hands rosary, axe, mace, arrow, thunderbolt, lotus, bow, pitcher, rod, sakti, sword, shield, conch, bell, wine-cup, trident, noose and the discus Sudarsana. The Rishi said:

1-3. Of yore when Mahisasura was the lord of asuras and Indra the lord of devas, there was a war between the devas and asuras for a full hundred years. In that the army of the devas was vanquished by the valorous asuras. After conquering all the devas, Mahisasura became the lord of heaven( Indra).

4-5. Then the vanquished devas headed by Brahma, the lord of beings, went to the place where Siva and Vishnu were. The devas described to them in detail, as it had happened, the story of their defeat wrought by Mahisasura.

6-8. 'He(Mahisasura) himself has assumed the jurisdictions of Surya, Indra, Agni, Vayu, Candra, Yama and Varuna and other (devas). Thrown out from heaven by that evil-natured Mahisa, the hosts of devas wander on the earth like mortals. All that has been done by the enemy of the devas, has been related to you both, and we have sought shelter under you both. May both of you be pleased to think out the means of his destruction.'

9. Having thus heard the words of the devas, Vishnu was angry and also Siva, and their faces became fierce with frowns.

10-11. The issued forth a great light from the face of Vishnu who was full of intense anger, and from that of Brahma and Siva too. From the bodies of Indra and other devas also sprang forth a very great light. And (all) this light united together.

12-13. The devas saw there a concentration of light like a mountain blazing excessively, pervading all the quarters with its flames. Then that unique light, produced from the bodies of all the devas, pervading the three worlds with its lustre, combined into one and became a female form.

14-15. By that which was Siva's light, her face came into being; by Yama's (light) her hair, by Vishnu's light her arms; and by Candra's (light) her two breasts. By Indra's light her waist, by Varuna's (light) her shanks and thighs and by earth's light her hips.

16-18. By Brahma's light her feet came into being; by Surya's light her toes, by Vasus (light) her fingers, by Kubera's (light) her nose; by Prajapati's light her teeth came into being and similarly by Agni's light her three eyes were formed. The light of the two sandhyas became her eye-brows, the light of Vayu her ears; the manifestation of the lights of other devas too (contributed to the being of the ) auspicious Devi.

19. Then looking at her, who had come into being from the assembled lights of all the devas, the immortals who were oppressed by Mahisasura experienced joy.

20-21. The bearer of Pinaka (Siva) drawing forth a trident from his own trident presented it to her; and Vishnu bringing forth a discus out of his own discus gave her. Varuna gave her a conch, Agni a spear; and Maruta gave a bow as well as two quivers full of arrows.

22-23. Indra, lord of devas, bringing forth a thunderbolt out of (his own) thunderbolt and a bell from that of his elephant Airavata, gave her. Yama gave a staff from his own staff of Death and Varuna, the lord of waters, a noose; and Brahma, the lord of beings, gave a string of beads and a water-pot.

24. Surya bestowed his own rays on al the pores of her skin and Kala (Time) gave a spotless sword and a shield.

25-29. The milk-ocean gave a pure necklace, a pair of un-decaying garments, a divine crest-jewel, a pair of ear-rings, bracelets, a brilliant half-moon(ornament), armlets on all arms, a pair of shining anklets, a unique necklace and excellent rings on all the fingers. Visvakarman gave her a very brilliant axe, weapons of various forms and also an impenetrable armour. The ocean gave her a garland of unfading lotuses for her head and another for her breast, besides a very beautiful lotus in her hand. The (mountain) Himavat gave her a lion to ride on a various jewels.

30-33. The lord of wealth (Kubera) gave her a drinking cup, ever full of wine. Sesa, the lord of all serpents, who supports this earth, gave her a serpent-necklace bedecked with best jewels. Honoured likewise by other devas also with ornaments and weapons, she (the Devi) gave out a loud roar with a decrying laugh again and again. By her unending, exceedingly great, terrible roar the entire sky was filled, and there was great reverberation. All worlds shook, the seas trembled.

34-46. The earth quaked and all the mountains rocked. 'Victory to you,' exclaimed the devas in joy to her, the lion-rider. the sages, who bowed their bodies in devotion, extolled her. Seeing the three worlds agitated the foes of devas, mobilized all their armies and rose up together with uplifted weapons. Mahisasura, exclaiming in wrath, 'Ha! What is this?' rushed towards that roar, surrounded by innumerable asuras. Then he saw the Devi pervading the three worlds with her lustre. Making the earth bend with her footstep, scraping the sky with her diadem, shaking the nether worlds with the twang of the bowstring, and standing there pervading all the quarters around with her thousand arms. Then began a battle between that Devi and the enemies of the devas, in which the quarters of the sky were illumined by the weapons and arms hurled diversely. Mahisasura's general, a great asura named Ciksura and Camara, attended by forces comprising four parts, and other (asuras) fought. A great asura named Udagra with sixty thousand chariots, and Mahahanu with ten millions (of chariots) gave battle. Asiloman, another great asura, with fifteen millions (of chariots), and Baskala with six millions fought in that battle. Privarita with many thousands of elephants and horses, and surrounded by ten millions of chariots, fought in that battle. An asura named Bidala fought in that battle surrounded with five hundred crores of chariots. And other great asuras, thousands in number, surrounded with chariots, elephants and horses fought with the Devi in that battle.

47-48. Mahisasura was surrounded in that battle with thousands of crores of horses, elephants and chariots. Others (asuras) fought in the battle against the Devi with iron maces and javelins, with spears and clubs, with swords, axes and halberds. Some hurled spears and others nooses.

49-58. They began to strike her with swords in order to kill her. Showering her own weapons and arms, that Devi Chandika very easily cut into pieces all those weapons and arms. Without any strain on her face, and with gods and sages extolling her, the Isvari threw her weapons and arms at the bodies of the asuras. And the lion also which carried the Devi, shaking its mane in rage, stalked among the hosts of the asuras like a conflagration amidst the forests. The sighs which Ambika, engaged in the battle, heaved became at once her battalions by hundreds and thousands. Energized by the power of the Devi, these (battalions) fought with axes, javelins, swords, halberds, and destroyed the asuras. Of these battalions, some beat drums, some blew conches and others played on tabors in that great martial festival. Then the Devi killed hundreds of asuras with her trident, club, showers of spears, swords and the like, and threw down others who were stupefied by the noise of her bell; and binding others with her noose, she dragged them on the ground. Some were split into two by the sharp slashes of her sword, and others, smashed by the blows of her mace, lay down on the ground; and some severely hammered by club vomited forth blood.

59-61. Pierced in the breast by her trident, some fell on the ground. Pierced all over by her arrows and resembling porcupines, some of the enemies of devas gave up their lives on that field of battle. Some had their arms cut off, some, their necks broken the heads of others rolled down; some others were torn asunder in the middle of their trunks, and some great asuras fell on the ground with their legs severed.

62. Some rendered one-armed, one-eyed, and one-legged were again clove in twain by the Devi. And others, though rendered headless, fell and rose again.

63. Headless trunks fought with the Devi with best weapons in their hands. Some of these headless trunks danced there in the battle to the rhythm of the musical instruments.

64-65. The trunks of some other great asuras, with their swords, spears and lances still in their hands, shouted at the Devi with their just severed heads, 'Stop, stop'. That part of earth where the battle was fought became impassable with the asuras, elephants and horses and chariots that had been felled.

66-67. The profuse blood from the asuras, elephants and horses flowed immediately like large rivers amidst that army of the asuras. As fire consumes a huge heap of straw and wood, so did Ambika destroy that vast army of asuras in no time.

68-69. And her carrier-lion, thundering aloud with quivering mane, prowled about in the battlefield, appearing to search out the vital breaths from the bodies of the enemies of devas. In that battlefield the battalions of the Devi fought in such a manner with the asuras that the devas in heaven, showering flowers, extolled them. Here ends the second chapter called 'Slaughter of the armies of Mahisasura' of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

CHAPTER 3} *****{The Slaying of Mahisasura}

The Rishi said:

1-2. Then Ciksura, the great asura general, seeing that army being slain(by the Devi), advanced in anger to fight with Ambika.

3. That asura rained showers of arrows on the Devi in the battle, even as a cloud (showers) rain on the summit of Mount Meru.

4. Then the Devi, easily cutting asunder the masses of his arrows, killed his horses and their controller with her arrows.

5. Forthwith she split his bow and lofty banner, and with her arrows pierced the body of that(asura) whose bow had been cut.

6. His bow shattered, his chariot broken, his horses killed and his charioteer slain, the asura armed with sword and shield rushed at the Devi.

7. Swiftly he smote the lion on the head with his sharp-edged sword and struck the Devi also on her left arm.

8. O king, his sword broke into pieces as it touched her arm. Thereon his eyes turning red with anger, he grasped his pike.

9. Then the great asura flung at Bhandrakali the pike, blazing with lustre, as if he was hurling the very sun from the skies.

10. Seeing that pike coming upon her, the Devi hurled her pike that shattered his pike into a hundred fragments and the great asura himself.

11. Mahisasura's very valiant general having been killed, Camara, the afflictor of devas, mounted on an elephant, advanced.

12. He also hurled his spear at the Devi. Ambika quickly assailed it with a whoop, made it lustreless and fall to the ground.

13. Seeing his spear broken and fallen, Camara, full of rage, flung a pike, and she split that also with her arrows.

14. Then the lion, leaping up and seating itself at the centre of the elephant's forehead, engaged itself in a hand to hand fight with that foe of the devas.

15. Fighting, the two then came down to the earth from the back of the elephant, and fought very impetuously, dealing the most terrible blows at each other.

16. Then the lion, springing up quickly to the sky, and descending, severed Camara's head with a blow from its paw.

17. And Udagra was killed in the battle by the Devi with stones, trees and the like, and Karala also stricken down by her teeth and fists and slaps.

18. Enraged, the Devi ground Uddhata to powder with the blows of her club, and killed Baskala with a dart and destroyed Tamra and Andhaka with arrows.

19. The three-eyed Supreme Isvari killed Ugrasya and Ugravirya and Mahahanu also with her trident.

20. With her sword she struck down Bidala's head from his body, and dispatched both Durdhara and Durmudha to the abode of Death with her arrows.

21. As his army was thus being destroyed, Mahisasura terrified the troops of the Devi with his own buffalo form.

22. Some ( he laid low) by a blow of his muzzle, some by stamping with his hooves, some by the lashes of his tail, and others by the pokes of his horns.

23. Some he laid low on the face of the earth by his impetuous speed, some by his bellowing and wheeling movement, and others by the blast of his breath.

24. Having laid low her army, Mahisasura rushed to slay the lion of the Mahadevi. This enraged Ambika.

25. Mahisasura, great in valour, pounded the surface of the earth with his hooves in rage, tossed up the high mountains with his horns, and bellowed terribly.

26. Crushed by the velocity of his wheeling, the earth disintegrated, and lashed by his tail, the sea overflowed all around.

27. Pierced by his swaying horns, the clouds went into fragments. Cast up by the blast of his breath, mountains fell down from the sky in hundreds.

28. Seeing the great asura swollen with rage and advancing towards her, Chandika displayed her wrath in order to slay him.

29. She flung her noose over him and bound the great asura. Thus bound in the great battle, he quitted his buffalo form.

30. Then he became a lion suddenly. While Ambika cut off the head (of his lion form), he took the appearance of a man with sword in hand.

31. Immediately then the Devi with her arrows chopped off the man together with his sword and shield. Then he became a big elephant.

32. (The elephant) tugged at her great lion with his trunk and roared loudly, but as he was dragging, the Devi cut off his trunk with her sword.

33. The great asura then resumed his buffalo shape and shook the three worlds with their movable and immovable objects.

34. Enraged threat, Chandika, the Mother of the worlds, quaffed a divine drink again and again, and laughed, her eyes becoming red.

35, And the asura, also roared intoxicated with his strength and valour, and hurled mountains against Chandika with his horns.

36. And she with showers of arrows pulverized ( those mountains) hurled at her, and spoke to him in flurried words, the colour of her face accentuated with the intoxication of the divine drink. The Devi said:

37-38. 'Roar, roar, O fool, for a moment while I drink this wine. When you sill be slain by me, the devas will soon roar in this very place.' The Rishi said:

39-40. Having exclaimed thus, she jumped and landed herself on that great asura, pressed him on the neck with her foot and struck him with her spear.

41. And thereupon, caught up under her foot. Mahisasura half issued forth ( in his real form) from his own (buffalo) mouth, being completely overcome by the valour of the Devi.

42. Fighting thus with his half-revealed form, the great asura was laid by the Devi who struck off his head with her great sword.

43. Then, crying in consternation, the whole asura army perished; and all the hosts of deva were in exultation. 44. With the great sages of heaven, the devas praised the Devi. The Gandharva chiefs sang and the bevies of apsaras danced. Here ends the third chapter called 'The Slaying of Mahisasura' of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 4 } The Devi Stuti

The Rishi said:

1-2. When that most valiant but evil-natured Mahisasura and the army of that foe of the devas were destroyed by the Devi, Indra and the hosts of devas uttered their words of praise, their necks and shoulders reverently bent, and bodies rendered beautiful with horripilation and exultation.

3. 'To that Ambika who is worthy of worship by all devas and sages and pervades this world by her power and who is the embodiment of the entire powers of all the hosts of devas, we bow in devotion. May she grant us auspicious things!

4. 'May Chandika, whose incomparable greatness and power Bhagavan Vishnu, Brahma and Hara are unable to describe, bestow her mind on protecting the entire world and on destroying the fear of evil.

5. ' O Devi, we bow before you, who are yourself good fortune in the dwellings of the virtuous, and ill-fortune in those of the vicious, intelligence in the hearts of the learned, faith in the hearts of the good, and modesty in the hearts of the high-born. May you protect the universe!

6. 'O Devi, how can we describe your inconceivable form, or your abundant surpassing valour that destroys the asuras, or your wonderful feats displayed in battles among all the hosts of gods, asuras and others?

7. 'You are the origin of all the worlds! Though you are possessed of the three gunas you are not known to have any of their attendant defects (like passion)! You are incomprehensible even to Vishnu, Shiva and others! You are the resort of all! this entire world is composed of an infinitesimal portion of yourself! You are verily the supreme primordial Prakriti untransformed.

8. 'O Devi, you are Svaha at whose utterance the whole assemblage of gods attains satisfaction in all the sacrifices. You are the Svadha which gives satisfaction to the manes. Therefore you are chanted (as Svaha and Svadha in Sacrifices) by people.

9. 'O Devi, you are Bhagavati, the supreme Vidya which is the cause of liberation, and great inconceivable penance (are the means for your realization). You ( the supreme knowledge) are cultivated by sages desiring liberation, whose senses are well restrained, who are devoted to Reality, and have shed all the blemishes.

10. 'You are the soul of Sabda-Brahman. You are the repository of the very pure Rig-veda and Yajus hymns, and of Samans, the recital of whose words is beautiful sith the Udgitha! You are Bhagavati embodying the three Vedas. And you are the sustenance whereby life is maintained. You are the supreme destroyer of the pain of al the worlds.

11. 'O Devi, you are the Intellect, by which the essence of all scriptures is comprehended. You are Durga, the boat that takes men across the difficult ocean of worldly existence, devoid of attachments. You are Shri who has invariably taken her abode in the heart of Vishnu. You are indeed Gauri who has established herself with Shiva.

12. 'Gently smiling, pure, resembling the full moon's orb, beautiful like the splendour of excellent gold was your face! Yet it was very strange that, being swayed by anger, Mahisasura suddenly struck your face when he saw it.

13. 'Far strange it is that after seeing your wrathful face, O Devi, terrible with its frowns and red in hue like the rising moon, that Mahisasura did not forthwith give up his life! For, who can live after beholding the enraged Destroyer?

14. 'O Devi, be propitious. You are Supreme. If enraged, you forthwith destroy the (asura) families for the welfare (of the world). This was known the very moment when the extensive forces of Mahisasura were brought to their end.

15. 'You who are always bounteous, with whom you are well pleased, those (fortunate ones) are indeed the object of esteem in the country, theirs are riches, theirs are glories, and their acts of righteousness perish not; they are indeed blessed and possessed of devoted children, servants and wives.

16. 'By your grace, O Devi, the blessed individual does daily all righteous deeds with utmost care and thereby attains to heaven. Are you not, therefore O Devi, the bestower of reward in all the three worlds?

17. 'When called to mind in a difficult pass, you remove fear for eve3ry person. When called to mind by those in happiness, you bestow a mind still further pious. Which goddess but you, O Dispeller of poverty, pain and fear, has an ever sympathetic heart for helping everyone?

18. 'The world attains happiness by the killing of these (foes) and though these (asuras) have committed sins to keep them long in hell, let them reach heaven by meeting death eventually at he battle (with me)- thinking thus, that you, O Devi, certainly destroy our enemies.

19. 'Don't' you reduce to ashes all asuras by mere sight? But you direct your weapons against them so that even the inimical ones, purified by the missiles, may attain the higher worlds. Such is your most kindly intention towards them.

20. 'If the eyes of the asuras had not been put out by the terrible flashes of the mass of light issuing from your sword or by the copious lustre of your spearpoint, it is because they saw also your face resembling the moon, giving out (cool) rays.

21. 'O Devi, your nature is to subdue the conduct of the wicked; this your peerless beauty is inconceivable for others; your power destroys those who have robbed the devas of their prowess, and you have thus manifested your compassion even towards the enemies.

22. 'What is your prowess to be compared to? Where can one find this beauty (of yours) most charming, (yet) striking fear in enemies? Compassion in heart and relentlessness in battle are een, O Devi, O Bestower of boons, only in you in all the three worlds!

23. 'Through the destruction of the enemies all these three worlds have been saved by you. Having killed them in the battle-front, you have led even those hosts of enemies to heaven, and you have dispelled our fear from the frenzied enemies of the devas. Salutation to you!

24. 'O Devi, protect us with your spear. O Ambika, protect us with your sword, protect us by the sound of your bell and by the twang of your bow-string.

25. 'O Chandika, guard us in the east, in the west, in the north and in the south by the brandishing of your spear. O Iswari!

26. 'Protect us and the earth with those lovely forms of yours moving about in the three worlds, as also with your excludingly terrible forms.

27. 'O Ambika, protect us on every side with your sword, spear and club and whatever other weapons your sprout-like (soft) hand has touched.' The Rishi said:

28-30. Thus the supporter of the worlds was praised by the devas, worshipped with celestial flowers that blossomed in Nandana and with perfumes and unguents; and with devotion all of them offered her - heavenly incense. Benignly serene in countenance she spoke to all obeisant devas. The Devi said:

31-32. 'Choose all of you, O devas, whatever you desire of me. (Gratified immensely with these hymns, I grant it with great pleasure)' The devas said:

33-34. 'Since our enemy, this Mahisasura, has been slain by Bhagavati (i.e you) everything has been accomplished, and nothing remains to be done. 35. 'And if a boon is to be granted to us by you, O Mahesvari, whenever we think of you again, destroy our direct calamities.

36-37. 'O Mother of spotless countenance, and whatever mortal shall praise you with these hymns, may you, who have become gracious towards us, be also for his increase in this wealth, wife, and other fortunes together with riches, prosperity and life, O Ambika!' The Rishi said:

38-39. O King, being thus propitiated by the devas for the sake of the world and for their own sake, Bhadrakali said, 'Be it so' and vanished from their sight.

40. Thus have I narrated, O King, how the Devi who desires the good of all the three worlds made her appearance of yore out of the bodies of the devas.

41-42. And again how, as a benefactress of the devas, she appeared in the form of Gauri for the slaying of wicked asuras as well as Sumbha and Nisumbha, and for the protection of worlds, listen as I relate it. I shall tell it to you as it happened. Here ends the fourth chapter called "The Devi Stuti " of the Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 5} *****Devi's conversation with the messenger }

Meditation of Mahasaraswati I meditate on the incomparable Mahasaraswati who holds in her (eight) lotus-like hands bell, trident, plough, conch, mace, discus, bow and arrow; who is effulgent like destroyer of Sumbha and other asuras, who issued forth from Parvati's body and is the substratum of the three worlds. The Rishi said:

1-2. Of yore Indra's (sovereignty) over the three worlds and his portions of the sacrifices were taken away by the asuras, Sumbha and Nisumbha, by force of their pride and strength.

3. The two, themselves, took over likewise, the offices of the sun, the moon, Kubera, Yama, and Varuna.

4. They themselves exercised Vayu's authority and Agni's duty. Deprived of their lordships and sovereignties, the devas were defeated.

5. Deprived of their functions and expelled by these two great asuras, all the devas thought of the invincible Devi.

6. 'She had granted us the boon, "Whenever in calamities you think of me, that very moment I will put an end to all your worst calamities."'

7. Resolving thus, the devas went to Himavat, lord of the mountains, and there extolled the Devi, who is the illusive power of Vishnu. The devas said:

8-9. 'Salutation to the Devi, to the Mahadevi. Salutation always to her who is ever auspicious. Salutation to her who is the primordial cause and the sustaining power. With attention, we have made obeisance to her.

10. 'Salutation to her who is terrible, to her who is eternal. Salutation to Gauri, the supporter(of the Universe). salutation always to her who's is of the form of the moon and moon-light and happiness itself.

11. 'We bow to her who is welfare; we make salutations to her who is prosperity and success. Salutation to the consort of Shiva who is herself the good fortune as well as misfortune of kings.

12. 'Salutations always to Durga who takes one across in difficulties, who is essence, who is the authority of everything; who is knowledge of discrimination and who is blue-black as also smoke-like in complexion.

13. 'We prostrate before her who is at once most gentle and most terrible; we salute her again and again. Salutation to her who is the support of the world. Salutation to the devi who is the form of volition.

14-16. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who in all beings is called Vishnumaya.

17-19. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings as consciousness;

20-22. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of intelligence;

23-25. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of sleep;

26-28. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of hunger:

29-31. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of reflection;

32-34. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of power.

35-37. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of thirst;

38-40. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of forgiveness;

41-43. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of genus;

44-46. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of modesty;

47-49. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of peace;

50-52. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of faith;

53-55. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of loveliness;

56-58. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of good fortune;

59-61. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of activity;

62-64. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of memory;

65-67. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of compassion;

68-70. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of contentment;

71-73. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of mother;

74-76. 'Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of error;

77. 'Salutations again and again to the all-pervading Devi who constantly presides over the senses of all beings and (governs) all the elements;

78-80. 'Salutations again and again to her who, pervading the entire world, abides in the form of consciousness.

81. 'Invoked of yore by the devas for the sake of their desired object, and adored by the lord of the devas every day, may she, the Isvari, the source of all good, accomplish for us all auspicious things and put an end to our calamities!

82. 'And who is now again, reverenced by us, devas, tormented by arrogant asuras and who, called to mind by us obeisant with devotion, destroys this very moment all our calamities.' The Rishi said:

83-84. O Prince, while the devas were thus engaged in praises and (other acts of adoration), Parvathi came there to bathe in the waters of the Ganga.

85. She, the lovely-browed, said to those devas, 'Who is praised by you here?' An auspicious goddess, sprung forth from her physical sheath, gave the reply:

86. 'This hymn is addressed to me by the assembled devas set at naught by the asura Sumbha and routed in battle by Nisumbha.

87. Because that Ambika came out of Parvati's physical sheath (Kosa), she is glorified as Kaushiki in all the worlds.

88. After she had issued forth, Parvati became dark and was called Kalika and stationed on mount Himalaya.

89. Then, Canda, and Munda, two servants of Sumbha and Nisumbha, saw that Ambika (Kausiki) bearing a surpassingly charming form. They both told Sumbha:

90. 'O King, a certain woman, most surpassingly beautiful, dwells there shedding lustre on mount Himalaya.

91. 'Such supreme beauty was never seen by any one anywhere. Ascertain who that Goddess is and take possession of her, O Lord of the asuras!

92. 'A gem among women, of exquisitely beautiful limbs, illuminating the quarters with her lustre there she is, O Lord of the daityas. You should see her.

93. 'O Lord, whatever jewels, precious stones, elephants, horses and others there are in the three worlds, they are all now in your house.

94. 'Airavata, gem among elephants, has been brought away from Indra and so also this Parijata tree and the horse Uccaihsravas.

95. 'Here stands in your courtyard the wonderful chariot yoked with swans, a wonderful gem (of its class). It has been brought here from Brahma to whom it originally belonged.

96. 'Here is the treasure named Mahapadma brought from the lord of wealth. And the ocean gave a garland named Kinjalkini made of unfading lotus flowers.

97. 'In your house stands the gold-showering umbrella of Varuna. And here is the excellent chariot that was formerly Prajapati's.

98. By you, O Lord, Death's shakti weapon named Utkrantida has been carried off. the noose of the ocean-king is among your brother's possessions.

99. 'Nishumbha has every kind of gem produced in the sea. Fire also gave you two garments which are purified by fire.

100. 'Thus, O Lord of asuras, all gems have been brought by you. Why this beautiful lady-jewel is not seized by you? The Rishi said:

101-102. On hearing these words of Chanda and Munda, Sumbha sent the great asura Sugriva as messenger to the Devi. He said:

103. 'Go and tell her thus in my words and do the thing in such a manner that she may quickly come to me in love.'

104. He went there where the Devi was staying in a very beautiful spot on the mountain and spoke to her in fine and sweet words. The messenger said:

105-106. 'O Devi, Sumbha, lord of asuras, is the supreme sovereign of three worlds. Sent by him as messenger, I have come here to your presence.

107. 'Hearken to what has been said by him whose command is never resisted among the devas and who has vanquished all the foes of the asuras:

108. '(He says), "All the three worlds are mine and the devas are obedient to me. I enjoy all their hares in sacrifices separately.

109-110. "All the choicest gems in the three worlds are in my possession; and so is the gem of elephants, Airavata, the vehicle of the king of devas carried away be me. The devas themselves offered to me with salutations that gem of horses named Uccaisravas which arose at the churning of milk-ocean.

111. "O beautiful lady, whatever other rare objects there existed among the devas, the gandharvas and nagas are now with me.

112. "We look upon you, O Devi, as the jewel of womankind in the world. You who are such, come to me, since we are the enjoyers of the best objects.

113. "Take to me or to my younger brother Nisumbha of great prowess, O unsteady-eyed lady, for you are in truth a jewel.

114. "Wealth, great and beyond compare, you will get by marrying me. Think over this in your mind, and become my wife."' The Rishi said:

115-116. Thus told, Durga the adorable and auspicious, by whom this universe is supported, then became serene and said. The Devi said:

117-118. You have spoken truth; nothing false has been uttered by you in this matter. Sumbha is indeed the sovereign of the three worlds an likewise is also Nisumbha.

119. 'But in this matter, how can that which has been promised be made false? Hear what promise I had made already out of foolishness.

120. "He who conquers me in battle, removes my pride and is my match is strength in the world shall be my husband."

121. 'So let Sumbha come here then, or Nisumbha the great asura. Vanquishing me here, let him soon take my hand in marriage. Why delay?' The messenger said:

122-123. 'O Devi, you are haughty. Talk not so before me. Which man in the three worlds will stand before Sumbha and Nisumbha?

124. 'All the devas verily cannot stand face to face with even the other asuras in battle. Why mention you, O Devi, a single woman?

125. 'Indra and all other devas could not stand in battle against Sumbha and other demons, how will you, a woman, face them?

126. 'On my word itself, you go to Sumbha and Nisumbha. Let it not be that you go to them with your dignity lost be being dragged by your hair.' The Devi said:

127-128. 'Yes, it is; Sumbha is strong and so is Nisumbha exceedingly heroic! What can I do since there stands my ill-considered vow taken long ago?

129. 'Go back, and tell the lord of asuras carefully all this that I have said; let him do whatever he considers proper.' Here ends the fifth chapter called 'Devi's conversation with the messenger' of the Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 6} *****{The Slaying of Dhumralocana}

The Rishi said:

1-2. The messenger, filled with indignation on hearing the words the Devi, returned and related them in detail to the king of the daityas.

3-4. Then the asura monarch, enraged on hearing that report from his messenger, told Dhumralocana, a chieftain of the daityas: 'O Dhumralocana, hasten together with your army and fetch here by force that shrew, distressed when dragged by her hair.

5. 'Or if any one else stands up as her saviors, let him be slain, be he a god, a yaksa or a gandharva.' The Rishi said:

6-7. Then the asura Dhuralocana, commanded thus by Sumbha, went forth quickly, accompanied by sixty thousand asuras.

8. On seeing the Devi stationed on the snowy mountain, he asked her aloud, 'Come to the presence of Sumbha and Nisumbha.

9. 'If you will not go to my lord with pleasure now, here I take you by force, distressed when dragged by your hair.' The Devi said:

10-11. 'You are sent by the lord of the asuras, mighty yourself and accompanied by an army. If you thus take me by force, then what can I do to you?' The Rishi said:

12-13. Thus told, the asura Dhumralocana rushed towards her and thereupon Ambika reduced him to ashes with a mere heave of the sound 'hum'

14. Then the great army of asuras became enraged and showered on Ambika sharp arrows, javelins, and axes.

15. Then the lion, vehicle of the Devi, shaking its mane in anger, and making the most terrific roar, fell on the army of the asuras.

16. Some asuras, it slaughtered with a blow of its fore paw, others with its mouth, and other great asuras, by treading over with its hind legs.

17. The lion, with its claws, tore out the hearts of some and severed heads with a blow of the paw.

18. And it severed arms and heads from others, and shaking its mane drank the blood from the hearts of others.

19. In a moment all that army was destroyed by that high-spirited and exceedingly enraged lion who bore the Devi.

20-21. When Sumbha, the lord of asuras, heard that asura Dhumralocana was slain by the Devi and all his army was destroyed by the lion of the Devi, he was infuriated, his lip quivered and he commanded the two mighty asuras Chanda and Munda:

22-23. 'O Chanda, O Munda, go there with large forces, and bring her here speedily, dragging her by her hair or binding her. But if you have any doubt about doing that, then let the asuras strike (her) in the fight with all their weapons.

24. 'When that shrew is wounded and her lion stricken down, seize that Ambika, bind and bring her quickly.' Here ends the sixth chapter called 'The Slaying of Dhumralocana' of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 7*****The slaying of Chanda and Munda}

The Rishi said:

1-2. Then at his command the asuras, fully armed, and with Chanda and Munda at their head, marched in fourfold array.

3. They saw the Devi, smiling gently, seated upon the lion on a huge golden peak of the great mountain.

4. On seeing her, some of them excited themselves and made an effort to capture her, and others approached her, with their bows bent and swords drawn.

5. Thereupon Ambika became terribly angry with those foes, and in her anger her countenance then became dark as ink.

6. Out from the surface of her forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose.

7-9. Bearing the strange skull-topped staff, decorated with a garland of skull, clad in a tiger's skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep-sunk reddish eyes and filling the regions of the sky with her roars, and falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hosts of the foes of the devas.

10. Snatching the elephants with one hand she flung them into her mouth together with their rear men and drivers and their warrior-riders and bells.

11. Taking likewise into her mouth the cavalry with the horses, and chariot with its driver, she ground them most frightfully with her teeth.

12. She seized one by the hair and another by the neck; one she crushed by the weight of the foot, and another of her body.

13. And she caught with her mouth the weapons and the great arms shot by those asuras and crunched them up with her teeth in her fury.

14. She destroyed all that host of mighty and evil-natured asuras, devoured some and battered others.

15. Some were killed with her word, some were beaten with her skull-topped staff, and other asuras met their death being ground with the edge of her teeth.

16. On seeing all the hosts of asuras laid low in a moment, Chanda rushed against that Kali, who was exceedingly terrible.

17. The great asura (Chanda) with very terrible showers of arrows, and Munda with discuses hurled in thousands covered that terrible-eyed(Devi).

18. Those numerous discuses, disappearing into her mouth, looked like numerous solar orbs disappearing into the midst of a cloud.

19. Thereat Kali, who was roaring frightfully, whose fearful teeth were gleaming within her dreadful mouth, laughed terribly with exceeding fury.

20. Then the Devi, mounting upon her great lion, rushed at Chanda, and seizing him by his hair, severed his head with her sword.

21. Seeing Chanda laid low, Munda also rushed at her. She felled him also the ground, striking him with her sword in her fury.

22. Seeing the most valiant Chanda and Munda laid low, the remaining army there became panicky and fled in all directions.

23. And Kali, holding the heads of Chanda and Munda in her hands, approached Chandika and said, her words mingled with very loud laughter.

24. 'Here have I brought you the heads of Chanda and Munda as two great animal offerings in this sacrifice of battle; Sumbha and Nisumbha, you shall yourself slay.' The Rishi said:

25-27. Thereupon seeing those asuras, Chanda and Munda brought to her, the auspicious Chandika said to Kali these playful words: 'Because you have brought me both Chanda and Munda, you O Devi, shall be famed in the world by the name Chamunda. Here ends the seventh chapter called 'The slaying of Chanda and Munda' of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 8} *****{The Slaying of Raktabija}

The Rishi said: 1-3. After the daitya Chanda was slain and Munda was laid low, and many of the battalions were destroyed, the lord of the asuras, powerful Sumbha, with mid overcome by anger, commanded then the mobilization of all the daitya hosts: 4. 'Now let the eighty-six asuras - upraising their weapons - with all their forces, and the eighty-four Kambus, surrounded by their own forces, go out. 5. 'Let the fifty asura families of Kotiviryas and the hundred families of Dhaumras go forth at my command. 6. 'Let the asurasa Kalakas, Daurhrdas, the Mauryas and the Kalakeyas hasten at my command and march forth ready for battle.' 7. After issuing these orders, Sumbha, the lord of the asuras and a ferocious ruler, went forth, attended by many thousands of big forces. 8. Seeing that most terrible army coming, Chandika filled into space between the earth and the sky with the twang of her bow-string. 9. Thereon her lion made an exceedingly loud roar, O King, and Ambika magnified those roars with the clanging of the bell. 10. Kali, expanding her mouth wide and filling the quarters with the sound (hum ) overwhelmed the noises of her bow-string, lion and bell by her terrific roars. 11. On hearing that roar the enraged asura battalions surrounded the lion, the Devi (Chandika) and Kali on all the four sides. 12-13. At this moment, O King, in order to annihilate the enemies of devas and for the well-being of the supreme devas, there issued forth, endowed with exceeding vigour and strength, Shaktis from the bodies of Brahma, Shiva, Guha, Vishnu and Indra, and with the form of those devas went to Chandika. 14. Whatever was the form of each deva, whatever his ornaments and vehicle, in that very form his Shakti advanced to fight with the asuras. 15. In a heavenly chariot drawn by swans advanced Brahma's Shakti carrying a rosary and Kamandalu. She is called Brahmani. 16. Maheshvari arrived, seated on a bull, holding a fine trident, wearing bracelets of great snakes and adorned with a digit of the moon. 17. Ambika Kaumari, in the form of Guha, holding a spear in hand riding on a fine peacock, advanced to attack the asuras. 18. Likewise the Shakti of Vishnu came, seated upon Garuda, holding conch, club, bow and sword in hand. 19. The Shakti of Hari, who assumed the incomparable form of a sacrificial boar, she also advanced there in a boar-like form. 20. Narasmihi arrived there, assuming a body like that of a Narasmiha, bringing down the constellations by the toss of her mane. 21. Likewise the thousand-eyed Aindri, holding a thunderbolt in hand and riding on the lord of elephants arrive just like Sakra (Indra). 22. Then Shiva, surrounded by those shaktis of the devas, said to Chandika, 'Let the asuras be killed forthwith by you for my gratification.' 23. Thereupon from the body of Devi issued forth the Shakti of Chandika, most terrific, exceedingly fierce and yelling like a hundred jackals. 24. And that invincible (Shakti) told Shiva, of dark coloured matted locks, 'Go, my lord, as ambassador to the presence of Sumbha and Nisumbha. 25. 'Tell the two haughty asuras, Sumbha and Nisumbha, and the other asuras assembled there for battle. 26. "Let Indra obtain the three worlds and let the devas enjoy the sacrificial oblations. You go to the nether world, if you wish to live. 27. "But if through pride of strength you are anxious for battle, come on then. Let my jackals be satiated with your flesh."' 28. Because that Devi appointed "Shiva" himself as ambassador thenceforth she became renowned in this world as Shiva-duti. 29. Those great asuras, on their part, hearing the words of the Devi communicated by Shiva, were filled with indignation and went where Katyayani stood. 30. Then in the very beginning, the enraged foes of the devas poured in front on the Devi showers of arrows, javelins and spears. 31. And lightly, with the huge arrows shot from her full-drawn bow, she clove those arrows, spears, darts and axes hurled by them. 32. Then, in front of him (Sumbha), stalked Kali, piercing the enemies to pieces with her spear and crushing them with her skull-topped staff. 33. And Brahmani, wherever she moved, made the enemies bereft of valour and prowess by sprinkling on them the water from her Kamandalu. 34. The very wrathful Maheshvari slew the daityas with her trident, and Vaisnavi, with her discus and Kaumari, with her javelin. 35. Torn to pieces by the thunderbolt which come down upon them, hurled by Aindri, daityas and danavas fell on the earth in hundreds, streams of blood flowing out of them. 36. Shattered by the boar-formed goddess (Varahi)with blows of her snout, wounded in their chests by the point of her tusk and torn by her discus, (the asuras) fell down. 37. Narasmihi, filling all the quarters and the sky with her roars, roamed about in the battle, devouring other great asuras torn by her claws. 38. Demoralised by the violent laughter of Shivaduti, the asuras fell down on the earth; she then devoured them who had fallen down. 39. Seeing the enraged band of Matrs crushing the great asuras thus by various means, the troops of the enemies of devas took to their heels. 40. Seeing the asuras harassed by the band of Matrs and fleeing, the great asura Raktabija strode forward to fight in wrath. 41. Whenever from his body there fell to the ground a drop of blood, at that moment rose up from the earth asura of his stature. 42. The great asura fought with Indra's shakti with club in his hand; then Aindri also struck Ranktabija with her thunderbolt. 43. Blood flowed quickly and profusely from him who was wounded by the thunderbolt. From the blood rose up (fresh)combatants of his form and valour. 44. As many drops of blood fell from his body, so may persons came into being, with his courage, strength and valour. 45. And those persons also sprung up from his blood fought there with the Matrs in a more dreadful manner hurling the very formidable weapons. 46. And again when his head was wounded by the fall of her thunder-bolt, his blood flowed and therefrom were born persons in thousands. 47. Vaisnavi struck him with her discus in the battle, Aindri beat that lord of asuras with her club. 48. The world was pervaded by thousands of great asuras who were of his stature and who rose up from the blood that flowed from him when cloven by the discus of Vaisnavi. 49. Kaumari struck the great asura Raktabija with her spear, Varahi with her sword, and Mahesvari with her trident. 50. And Raktabija, that great asura also, filled with wrath, struck everyone of the Matrs severally with his club. 51. From the stream of blood which fell on the earth from him when he received multiple wounds by the spears, darts and other weapons, hundreds of asuras came into being. 52. And those asuras that were born from the blood of Raktabija pervaded the whole world; the devas got intensely alarmed at this. 53-54. Seeing the devas dejected, Chandika laughed and said to Kali, 'O Chamunda, open out your mouth wide; with this mouth quickly take in the drops of blood generated by the blow of my weapon and (also) the great asuras born of the drops of blood of Raktabija. 55. 'Roam about in the battle-field, devouring the great asuras that spring from him. So shall this daitya, with his blood emptied, perish. 56. 'As you go on devouring these, other fierce (asuras) will not be born.' Having enjoined her thus, the Devi next smote him (Raktabija) with her dart. 57. Then Kali drank Raktabija's blood with her mouth. Then and there he struck Chandika with his club. 58-60. The blow of his club caused her not even the slightest pain. And from his stricken body wherever blood flowed copiously, there Chamunda swallowed it with her mouth. The Chamunda devoured those great asuras who sprang up from the flow of blood in her mouth, and drank his (Raktabija's ) blood. 61. The Devi (Kausiki) smote Raktabija with her dart, thunderbolt, arrows, swords, and spears, when Chamunda went on drinking his book. 62. Stricken with a multitude of weapons and bloodless, the great asura (Raktabija) fell on the ground, O King. 63. 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.

{CHAPTER 9} *****{The Slaying of Nisumbha}

The king (Suratha) said: 1-2. 'Wonderful is this that you, adorable sir, have related to me about the greatness of the Devi's act in slaying Raktabija. 3. 'I wish to hear further what the very irate Sumbha and Nisumbha did after Raktabija was killed.' The Rishi said: 4-5. After Raktabija was slain and other asuras were killed in the fight, the asura Sumbha and Nisumbha gave way to unbounded wrath. 6. Enraged on seeing his great army slaughtered, Nisumbha then rushed forward with the chief forces of the asuras. 7. In front of him behind him and on both sides of him, great asuras, enraged and biting their lips, advanced to slay the Devi. 8. Sumbha also, mighty in valour, went forward, surrounded, with his own troops to slay Chandika in this rage, after fighting with the Matrs. 9. Then commenced severe combat between the Devi on one side and on the other, Sumbha and Nisumbha who, like two thunder-clouds, rained a most tempestuous shower of arrows on her. 10. Chandika with numerous arrows quickly split the arrows shot by the two asuras and smote the two lords of asuras on their limbs with her mass of weapons. 11. Nisumbha, grasping a sharp sword and a shining shield, struck the lion, the great carrier of the Devi on the head. 12. When her carrier was struck, the Devi quickly cut Nisumbha's superb sword with a sharp-edged arrow and also his shield on which eight moons were figured. 13. When his shield was slit and his sword too broken, the asura hurled his spear; and that missile also, as it advanced towards her, was split into two by her discus. 14. Then the danava Nisumbha, swelling with wrath, seized a dart; and that also, as it came, the Devi powdered with a blow of her fist. 15. Then brandishing his club, he flung it against Chandika; cleft by the trident of the Devi, it also turned to ashes. 16. Then the Devi assailed the heroic danava advancing with battle-axe in hand, and laid him low on the ground. 17. When his brother Nisumbha of terrific prowess fell to the ground, (Sumbha) got infuriated in the extreme, and strode forward to slay Ambika. 18. Standing in his chariot and grasping excellent weapons in his long and incomparable eight arms, he shone by pervading the entire sky. 19. Seeing him approaching, the Devi blew her conch, and made a twang of her bow-string, which was unbearable in the extreme. 20. And (the Devi) filled all directions with the ringing of her bell, which destroys the strength of all the daitya hosts. 21. The lion filled the heaven, the earth and the ten quarters of the sky with loud roars, which made the elephants give up their violent rut. 22. Then Kali, springing upwards in the sky, (came down) and struck the earth with both her hands; by its noise all the previous sounds were drowned. 23. Sivaduti made a loud ominous peal of laughter, the asuras were frightened by those sounds, and Sumbha flew into an utmost rage. 24. As Ambika said, 'O evil-natured one, stop, stop', the devas stationed in the sky cheered her with the words, 'Be victorious'. 25. The spear, flaming most terribly and shining like a mass of fire, which Sumbha approaching hurled was, as it was coming along, put out by a great firebrand (from the Devi). 26. The interspace between the three worlds was pervaded by Sumbha's lion-like roar, but the dreadful thunder-clap ( of the Devi) smothered that, O King. 27. The Devi split the arrows shot by Sumbha, and Sumbha also split the arrows discharged by her, (each with her and his) sharp arrows in hundreds and thousands. 28. Then Chandika became angry and smote him with a trident. Wounded therewith, he fainted and fell to the ground. 29. Then Nisumbha, regaining consciousness seized his bow and struck with arrows the Devi and Kali and the lion. 30. And the danuja-lord, the son of Diti, putting forth a myriad arms, covered Chandika with myriad discuses. 31. Then Bhagavati Durga, the destroyer of difficulties and afflictions, became angry and split those discuses and those arrows with her own arrows. 32. Thereupon Nisumbha, surrounded by the daitya host, swiftly seizing his club, rushed at Chandika to sly her. 33. As he was just rushing at her, Chandika colve his club with her sharp-edged sword; and her took hold of a dart. 34. As Nisumbha, the afflictor of the devas, was advancing with the dart in hand, Chandika pierced him in the heart with a swiftly hurled dart. 35. From his (Nisumbha's) heart that was pierced by the dart, issued forth another person of great strength and valour, exclaiming (at the Devi) 'Stop.' 36. Then the Devi, laughing aloud, severed the head of him, who issued forth, with her sword. Thereupon he fell to the ground. 37. The lion then devoured those asuras whose necks he had crushed with his fierce teeth, and Kali and Sivaduti devoured others. 38. Some great asuras perished, being pierced through by the spear if Kaumari. Others were repulsed by (sprinkling of ) the water purified by the incantation of Brahmani. 39. Others fell, pierced by a trident wielded by Mahesvari; some were powdered on the ground by the blows from the snout of Varahi. 40. Some danavas were cut to pieces by the discus of Vaisnavi, and others again by the thunderbolt discharged from the palm of Aindri. 41. Some asuras perished (themselves), some fled from the great battle, and others were devoured by Kali, Sivaduti and the lion. Here ends the ninth chapter called 'the Slaying of Nisumbha' of Devi mahatmya in Markandeya-purana during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 10} *****{The Slaying of Sumbha}

The Rishi said: 1-3. Seeing his brother Nisumbha slain, who was dear to him as his life, and his army being slaughter, Sumbha angrily said. 'O Durga who are puffed up with pride of strength, don't show your pride (here). Though you are exceedingly haughty, you, resorting to the strength of others, fight.' The Devi said: 4-5. 'I am all alone in the world here. Who else is there besides me? See, O vile one, these Goddesses, who are but my own powers, entering into my own self!' 6. Then all those, Brahmani and the rest, were absorbed in the body of the Devi. Ambika alone then remained. The Devi said: 7-8. ' The numerous forms which I projected by my power here - those have been withdrawn by me, and (now) I stand alone. Be steadfast in combat.' The Rishi said: 9-10. Then began a dreadful battle between them both, the Devi and Sumbha, while all the devas and asuras looked on. 11. With showers of arrows, with sharp weapons and frightful missiles, both engaged again in a combat that frightened all the worlds. 12. Then the lord of daityas broke the divine missiles, which Ambika discharged in hundreds, with (weapons) that repulsed them. 13. With fierce shout of hum and the like, the Paramesvari playfully broke the excellent missiles that he discharged. 14. Then the asura covered the Devi with hundreds of arrows, and the Devi in wrath split his bow with her arrows. 15. And when the bow was split the lord of the daityas took up his spear. With a discus, the Devi split that (spear) also in this hand. 16. Next the supreme monarch of the daityas, taking his sword bright like the sun and shining shield bearing the images of a hundred moons, rushed at the Devi at that moment. 17. Just as he was rushing forward, Chandika split his sword with sharp arrows shot from her bow, as also his shield as bright as the solar rays. 18. With his steeds slain, with his bow broken, without a charioteer, the daitya then grasped his terrible mace, being ready to kill Ambika. 19. With sharp arrows, she split the mace of Sumbha, who was rushing at her. Even then, raising his fist, he rushed swiftly at her. 20. The daitya-king brought his fist down on the heart of the Devi, and the Devi also with her palm smote him on his chest. 21. The daitya-king, wounded by the blow of her palm fell on the earth, but immediately he rose up again. 22. Seizing the Devi, he sprang up and mounted on high into the sky. There also Chandika, without any support, fought with him. 23. Then the daitya (Sumbha) and Chandika fought, a never before, with each other in the sky in a close contact, which wrought surprise to the Siddhas and sages. 24. Ambika then, after carrying on a close fight for a vary long time with him, lifted him up, whirled him around and flung him down on the earth. 25. Flung thus, the evil-natured (Sumbha) reaching the earth and raising his fist, hastily rushed forward desiring to kill Chandika. 26. Seeing that lord of all the daitya-folk approaching, the Devi, piercing him on the chest with a dart, threw him down on the earth. 27. Pierced by the pointed dart of the Devi he fell lifeless on the ground, shaking the entire earth with its seas, islands and mountains. 28. When that evil-natured (asura) was slain, the universe became happy and regained perfect peace, and the sky grew clear. 29. Flaming portent-clouds that were in evidence before became tranquil, and the rivers kept within their courses when (Sumbha) was stricken down there. 30. When he had been slain, the minds of all the bands of devas became overjoyed, and the Gandharvas sang sweetly. 31-32. Others sounded (their instruments), and the bands of nymphs danced; likewise favourable winds blew; the sun became very brilliant; the sacred fires blazed peacefully and tranquil became the strange sounds that had risen in different quarters. Here ends the tenth chapter called 'The Slaying of Sumbha' of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeya-purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 11} *****{Hymn to Narayani}

The Rishi said: 1-2. When the great lord of asuras was slain there by the Devi, Indra and other devas led by Agni, with their object fulfilled and their cheerful faces illumining the quarters, praised her, Katyayani: The devas said: 3. 'O Devi, you who remove the sufferings of your suppliants, be gracious. Be propitious, O Mother of the whole world. Be gracious, O Mother of the universe. Protect the universe. You are, O Devi, the ruler of all that is moving and unmoving. 4. 'You are the sole substratum of the world, because you subsist in the form of the earth. By you, who exist in the shape of water, all this (universe) is gratified, O Devi of inviolable valour! 5. 'You are the power of Vishnu, and have endless valour. You are the primeval maya, which is the source of the universe; by you all this (universe) has been thrown into an illusion. O Devi. If you become gracious, you become the cause of final emancipation in this world. 6. 'All lords are your aspects O Devi; so are all women in the world, endowed with various attributes. By you alone, the Mother, this world is filled. What praise can there be for you who are of the nature of primary and secondary expression regarding (objects)worthy of praise? 7. 'When you have been lauded as the embodiment of all beings, the Devi (the effulgent one), and bestower of the enjoyment and liberation, what words, however excellent, can praise you? 8. 'Salutation be to you, O Devi Narayani, O you who abide as intelligence in the hearts of all creatures, and bestow enjoyment and liberation. 9. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who, in the form of minutes, moments and other divisions of time, bring about change in things, and have (thus ) the power to destroy the universe. 10. 'Salutation be to you O Narayani, O you who are the good of all good, O auspicious Devi, who accomplish every object, the giver of refuge, O three eyed Gauri! 11. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, you who have the power of creation, sustentation and destruction and are eternal. You are the substratum and embodiment of the three gunas. 12. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who are intent on saving the dejected and distressed that take refuge under YOU. O you, Devi, who remove the sufferings of all! 13. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who ride in the heavenly chariot yoked with swans and assume the form of Brahmani, O Devi, who sprinkle water with Kusa grass. 14. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who bear the trident, the moon and the serpent, and ride a big bull, and have the form of Mahesvari. 15. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who are attended by peacock and cock, and bear a great spear. O you, who are sinless and take the form of Kaumari. 16. 'Salutation be to you, O Naraayani, O you who hold the great weapons of conch, discus, club and bow, and take the form of Vaisnavi, be gracious. 17. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who grasp a huge formidable discus, and uplift the earth with thy tusk, O auspicious Devi, who has a boar-like form. 18. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who, in the fierce form of a man-lion, put forth your efforts to sly the daityas, O you who possess the benevolence of saving the three worlds. 19. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, you who have a diadem and a great thunderbolt, are dazzling with a thousand eyes, and took away the life of Vrtra, O Aindri! 20. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who in the form of Sivaduti slew the mighty hosts of the daitya, O you of terrible form and loud throat! 21. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who have a face terrible with tusks, and are adorned with a garland of heads, Chamunda, O slayer of Munda! 22. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who are good fortune, modesty, great wisdom, faith, nourishment and Svadha, O you who are immovable O you, great Night and great Illusion. 23. 'Salutation be to you, O Narayani, O you who are intelligence and Sarasvati, O best one, prosperity, consort of Vishnu, dark one, nature, be propitious. 24. 'O Queen of all, you who exist in the form of all, and possess every might, save us from error, O Devi. Salutation be to you, Devi Durga! 25. 'May this benign countenance of yours adorned with three eyes, protect us from all fears. Salutation be to you, O Katyayani! 26. 'Terrible with flames, exceedingly sharp destroyer of all the asuras, may your trident guard us from fear. salutation be to you, O Bhadrakali! 27. 'May your bell that fills the world with its ringing, and destroys the prowess of the daityas, guard us, O Devi, as a mother protects her children, from all evils. 28. 'May your sword, smeared with the mire like blood and fat of asuras, and gleaming with rays, be for our welfare, O Chandika, we bow to you. 29. 'When satisfied, you destroy all illness but when wrathful you (frustrate) all the longed-for desires. No calamity befalls men who have sought you. Those who have sought you become verily a refuge of others. 30. 'This slaughter that you, O Devi, multiplying your won form into many, have now wrought on the great asuras who hate righteousness, O Ambika, which other (goddess) can do that work? 31. 'Who is there except you in the sciences, in the scriptures, and in the Vedic sayings the light the lamp of discrimination? (Still) you cause this universe to whirl about again and again within the dense darkness of the depths of attachment. 32. 'Where raksasas and snakes of virulent poison (are), where foes and hosts of robbers (exist), where forest conflagrations (occur), there and in the mid-sea, you stand and save world. 33. 'O Queen of the universe, you protect the universe. As the self of the universe, you support the universe. You are the (goddess) worthy to be adored by the Lord of the universe. Those who bow in devotion to you themselves become the refuge of the universe. 34. 'O Devi, be pleased and protect us always from fear of foes, as you have done just now by the slaughter of asuras. And destroy quickly the sins of all worlds and the great calamities which have sprung from the maturing of evil portents. 35. 'O Devi you who remove the afflictions of the universe, be gracious to us who have bowed to you. O you worthy of adoration by the dwellers of the three worlds, be boon-giver to the worlds.' The Devi said: 36-37. 'O Devas, I am prepared to bestow a boon. Choose whatever boon you desire in your mind, for the welfare of the world. I shall grant it.' The devas said: 38-39. ' O Queen of all, this same manner, you must destroy all our enemies and all the afflictions of three worlds. The Devi said: 40-41. 'When the twenty-eighth age has arrived during the period of Avaisvsvata Manu, two other great asuras, Sumbha and Nisumbha will be born. 42. 'Then born from the womb of Yasoda, in the home of cowherd Nanda, and dwelling on the Vindhya mountains, I will destroy them both. 43. 'And again having incarnated in a very terrible form on the earth, I shall slay the danavas, who are the descendants of Vipracitti. 44. 'When I shall devour the fierce and great asuras descended from Vipracitti, my teeth shall become red like the flower of pomegranate. 45. 'Therefore when devas in heaven and men on the earth praise me, shall always talk of me as the 'Red-toothed.' 46. 'And again when rain shall fail for a period of hundred years, propitiated by the munis I shall be born on the drought-ridden earth, but not womb-begotten. 47. 'Then I shall behold the munis with a hundred eyes and so mankind shall glorify me as the 'hundred-eyed.' 48. 'At that time, O devas, I shall maintain the whole world with life -sustaining vegetables, born out of my own (cosmic) body, till rains set in. 49. 'I shall be famed on the earth then as Sakambhari. At that very period I shall slay the great asura named Durgama. 50-53. 'Thereby I shall have the celebrated name of Durgadevi and again, assuming a terrible form on the mountain Himalaya, I shall destroy the raksasas for the protection of the munis. Then all the munis, bowing their bodies reverently, shall praise me, and thereby I shall have the celebrated name of Bhimadevi. When the (asura) named Aruna shall work great havoc in the three worlds, having taken a (collective) bee-form, consisting of innumerable bees, I shall slay the great asura for the good of the world. 54-55. 'And then people shall laud me every where as Bhramari. Thus whenever trouble arises due to the advent of the danavas, I shall incarnate and destroy the foes.' Here ends the eleventh chapter called 'Hymn to Narayani' of Devi-mahatmyam in Markandeyapurana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 12} *****{Eulogy of the Merits}

The Devi said: 1-2. ‘And whoever with a concentrated mind shall pray to me constantly with these, hymns, I shall without doubt put down every trouble of his. 3. ‘And those who shall laud (the story of) the destruction of Madhu and Kaitabha, the slaughter Nisumbha likewise. 4-5. ‘And those also who shall listen with devotion to this sublime poem on my greatness on the eighth, the fourteenth and on the ninth days of the fortnight with concentrated mind, to them nothing wrong shall happen, nor calamities that arise from wrong doings nor poverty and never separation from beloved ones. 6. ‘He shall not experience fear from enemies, or from robbers and kings, or from weapon, fire and flood. 7. ‘Hence this poem of my greatness must be chanted by men of concentrated minds an dlistened to always with devotion; for it is the supreme course of well-being. 8. ‘May this poem of my glories quell all epidemic calamities, as also the threefold naturral calamities. 9. ‘The place of my sanctuary where this poem os duly chanted everyday, I will never forsake and there my presence is certain. 10. ‘When sacrifice is offered, during worship, in the fire-ceremony, and at a great festival, all this poem on my acts must be chanted and heard. 11. ‘I will accept with love the sacrifice and worship that are made and the fire-offering that is offered likewise, whethere they are done with due knowledge (of sacrifice) or not. 12-13. ‘During autumnal seasson, when the great annual worship is performed, the man hearing this glorification of mine with devotion shall certainly through my grace, be delivered without doubt from all troubles and be blessed with riches, grains and children. 14. ‘Hearing this glorification and auspicious appearances of mine, and my feats of prowess in battles, a man becomes fearless. 15. ‘Enemies perish, welfare accrues and the family rejoices for those who listen to this glorification of mine. 16. ‘Let one listen to this glorification of mine everywhere, at a propitiatory ceremony, on seeing a bad dream, and when there is the great evil influence of planets. 17. ‘(By that means) evil protents subside, as also the unfavourable influence of planets, and the bad dream seen by men turns into a good dream. 18. ‘It creates peacefulness in children possessed by the seizes of children(i.e., evil spirits), and it is the best promoter of friendship among men when split occurs in their union. 19. ‘It diminishes most effectively the power of all men of evil ways. Verily demons, goblins, and ogres are destroyed by its mere chanting. 20-30. ‘This entire glorification of mine draws ( a devotee) very near to me. And by means of finest cattle, flowers, arghya and incenses, and by perfumes and lamps, by feeding Brahmanas, by oblations, by sprinkling (consecrated) water, and by various other offerings and gifts (if one worships) day and night in a year-the gratificattion, which is done to me, is attained by listening but once to this holy story of mine. The chanting and hearing of the story of my manifestations remove sins, and grant perfect health and protect one from evil spirits; and when my martial exploit in the form of the slaughter of the wicked daityas is listened to, men will have no fear from enemies. And the hymns uttered by you, and those by the divine sages, and those by Brahma bestow a pious mind. He who is (lost) on a lonesome spot in a forest, or is surrounded by forest fire, or who is surrounded by robbers in a desolate sopt, or who is captured by enemies, or who is pursued by a lion, or tiger, or by wild elephants in a forest, or who, under the orders of a wrathful kinng, is sentenced to death, or has been imprisoned, or who is tossed about in his boat by a tempest in the vast sea, or who is in the most terrible battle under shower of weapons, or who is amidst all kinds of dreadful troubles, or who is afflicted with pain - such a man on remembering this story of mine is saved from his strait. Through my power, lions etc., robbers and enemies, flee from a distance from him who remembers this story of mine.’ The Rishi said: 31-32. Having spoken thus the adorable Chandika, fierce in prowess, vanished on that very spot even as the Devas were gazing one. 33. Their foes having been killed, all the devas also were delivered from fear; all of them resumed their own duties as before and participated in their shares of sacrifices. 34-35. When the exceedingly valourous Sumbha and Nisumbha, the most fierce foes of devas, who brought ruin on the world, and who were unparallelled in prowess had been slain by the Devi in battle, the remaining daityas went away to Patala. 36. Thus O King, the adorable Devi, although eternal, incarnating again and again, protects the world. 37. By her this universe is deluded, and it is she who creates this universe. And when entreated, she bestows supreme knowledge, and whne propitiated, whe bestows prosperity. 38. By her, the Mahakali, who takes the form of the great destroyer at the end of time, all this cosmic sphere is pervaded. 39. She indeed takes the form of the great destroyer at the (proper) time. She, the unborn, indeed becomes this creation (at the time proper for re-creation), She herself, the eternal Being, sustains the beings at (another) time. 40. In times of prosperity, she indeed is Lakshmi, who bestows prosperity in the homes of men; and in times of misfortune, she herself becomes the goddess of misfortune, and brings about ruin. 41. When praised and worshipped with flowers, incense, perfumes, etc., she bestows wealth and sons, and a mind bent on righteousness and prosperous life. Here ends the twelfth chapter called ‘Eulogy of the Merits’ of Devi-mahatmya in the period of Markandya-purana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu.

{CHAPTER 13} *****{The bestowing of boons to Suratha and Vaisya}

The Rishi said: 1-2. I have now narrated to you, O King, this sublime poem on the glory of the Devi. 3. The Devi is endowed with such majestic power. By her this world is upheld. Knowledge is similarly conferred by her, the illusive power of Bhagavan Vishnu. 4. By her, you, this merchant and other men of discrimination, are being deluded; and others were deluded (in the past), and will be deluded (in the future). 5. O great King, take refuge in her, the supremem Isvari. She indeed when worshipped bestows on men enjoyment, heaven and final release (from transmigration). Markandeya said (to his disciple Bhaguri): 6-8. O great sage, King Suratha who had become despondent consequent on his excessive attachment and the deprivation of his kingdom, and the merchant, having heard this speech prostrated before the illustrious Rishi of sever penances and immediately repaired to perform austerities. 9. Both king and the merchant, in order to obtain a vision of Amba, stationed themselves on the sand-bank of a river and practised penances, chanting the supreme Devi-sukta (hymn to the Devi). 10. Having made an earthen image of the Devi on the sands of the river, they both wroshipped her with flowers, incense, fire and libation of water. 11. Now abstaining from food, and now restraining in their food, with their minds on ther and with concentration, they both offered sacrifices sprinkled with blood drawn from their own bodies. 12. When they, with controlled minds propitiated her thus for three years, Chandika, the upholder of the world, was well pleased and spoke to them in visible form. The Devi said: 13-15. What you solicit, O King, and you, the delight of your family, receive all that from me. Well-leased I bestow those to you both. Markandaya said: 16-17. Then the King chose a kingdom, imperishable even in another life, and in this life itself, his own kingdom wherein the power of his enemies is destroyed by force. 18. Then the wise merchant also, whose mind was full of dipassion for the world, chose tha knowledge which removes the attachment (in the form of) ‘mine’ and ‘I’. The Devi said: 19-21. O King, after slaying your foes in a few days, you shall obtain your own kingodm and it shall last with you there. 22-23. ‘And, when you are dead, you shall gain another birth from the Deva Vivasvat (Sun), and shall be a Manu on earth by name Savarni. 24-25. ‘and, O the best of merchants, I grant you the boon which you have desired of me. (Supreme) knowledge shall be yours, for your self-realization’. Markandeya said: 26-27. Having thus granted them both the boon that wach desired, the Devi disappeared forthwith, as they were extolling her with devotion. 28-29. Having thus gained the boon from the Devi, Suratha, the foremost of Ksatriyas, shall obtain a new birth through Surya (and of his wife Savarna), and shall be the Manu(eighth) named Savarni, shall be the Manu named Savarni. Here ends the thirteenth chpater called ‘The bestowing of boons to Suratha and Vaisya’ of Devi-mahatmya in Markandeyapurana, during the period of Savarni, the Manu. Here ends the Devi-Mahatmya of 700 Mantras.

{OM TAT SAT OM.}