Chapter 9

Chapter 9

The king said:

The story you have just related about the Devi slaying Raktabija was wonderful. Now I want to hear about Shumbha and Nishumbha – how did they react to the death of Raktabija?

The Rishi said:

After Raktabija was slain and the other demons had been killed, Shumbha and Nishumbha were filled with rage. Having seen his great soldiers killed, the asura Nishumbha rushed forward with his battalion. Surrounding and following him came the army of asuras angrily biting their lips as they advanced to slay the Goddess.
And Shumbha, full of rage after fighting the Mothers, also advanced surrounded by his troops.
The desperate combat between the Goddess and Shumbha and Nishumbha was like two thunderclouds raining violent showers of arrows on her.
Chandika cut through those arrows with Her own shower of arrows and wounded both demon kings limbs with Her weapons.
Nishumbha grasped a sharp scimitar and glittering shield. He struck the head of the lion, that noble beast who carried the Goddess.
When Her mount was struck, the Devi quickly split his sword with a sharp arrow and destroyed his lovely shield, which was decorated with eight moons.
With his shield broken and sword split, Nishumbha hurled his spear which She split with Her discus as it approached.
Then Nishumbha, blazing with anger, grabbed his dart. This also She smashed with Her fist. He flung his club. She shivered it to ashes with Her trident.
Then, as the demon advanced, battle-axe in hand, She felled him with a multitude of arrows. Felled him to the ground.
Seeing his mighty brother Nishumbha felled by the Goddess, Shumbha was outraged. He strode forward to kill the Mother Ambika. As he stood on his chariot he seemed to fill the entire sky; his eight arms upraised with splendid weapons.
The Devi watched his approach and blew Her conch. She twanged Her bowstring making an unbearable sound. She filled all directions with the ringing of Her bell which un-nerved the demon hosts.
Then the lion gave a roar which penetrated the ten regions of the sky, and destroyed the pride of the demon’s elephants.
Then Kali sprang into the sky and came down, slapping the earth with both hands. This boom drowned all of those previous sounds.
Shivaduti gave an ominous loud laugh.
The demons trembled and Shumbha flew into a terrible rage.

Ambika said:

“Stand still, Evil One.”

The devas all shouted:

“Victory to you”

Shumbha came on, hurling his flaming spear, terrible, like a mountain of fire. She extinguished this with Her meteor.
O King! The terrible roar of the lion filled the interspace between the three worlds. But the dreadful thunderclaps of the Devi smothered even that!
The Devi and the demon each split the hundreds of fiery arrows of the other.
Then Chandika grew angry and hit him with Her trident. He fell to the ground in a faint.
Then Nishumbha recovered his senses and grasped a bow. He struck the Devi and Kali and the lion with his arrows.
That Danuja Lord, the son of Diti, extended his ten thousand arms and covered Chandika with a myriad of discuses.
Then the great Goddess Durga, destroyer of all difficulties, became angry and split those discuses and arrows with Her own arrows.
Nishumbha then took up his mace and, surrounded by his army, rushed at Chandika to kill Her.
Even as he came She clove his club with a sharp sword. He grabbed a pike.
As Nishumbha came at Her with his dart She pierced him in the heart with Her swift pike.
From his pierced heart another valiant warrior emerged saying, “Stop!”
Laughing vigorously the Devi cut off his head as he was speaking. He fell down dead.
The lion then devoured the asuras whose necks he had crushed. Kali and Shivaduti devoured others.
Many great asuras were killed by Kaumari with Her spear. Others were frightened away by Brahmani sprinkling vibrated water.
Some were felled by Maheshvari with Her trident. Others were smashed by the snout of Varahi. Some were cut to pieces by Her discus. Aindri killed some with the thunderbolt from Her palms. Some did away with themselves, some fled the battlefield. Others were eaten by Kali, Shivaduti and the lion.

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