Attacked by the goddess Shivaduti and supported by the horde of mothers called the Matruganas, the asuras were terrified. Mahasura Raktabeeja saw how these asuras were simply running away from the battlefield in an attempt to save their lives and decided to fight the Devi.
Raktabeeja means the seed of blood. His characteristic physique was that if just a drop of blood from his body touched the ground, another giant Raktabeeja would emerge to fight. Raktabeeja symbolises our thoughts of inertia, sloth, violence and untruthfulness. If just a little opportunity is given, they emerge as a completely new, separate and powerful entity, and attack and persecute others with the same force as the original thought, not weakening a wee bit but proliferating countlessly.
Aindri, the power of Indra, fought with Raktabeeja and finally she struck him with the thunderbolt. Blood gushed out and fell on the ground and giant powerful warriors countless in number emerged. The Matruganas gave a tough fight with many fierce missiles. Raktabeeja’s head was smashed with the thunderbolt and again the blood that fell on the ground brought forth Raktabeejas by the thousands.
Vaishnavi attached the Mahasura with her disc-like swirling weapon called the chakra and Aindri smashed the king of asuras with her mace. Though it seemed like an end to the terrific being, it was not to be as millions of asuras looking exactly like Raktabeeja manifested. Kaumari fought with her lance, Varahi used a sword and Maheshwari fought with her trident.
Notwithstanding the tough fight, he pounded on the women and tried to smash them. The whole world was filled with asuras and this brought fear in the hearts of the devtas. The asuras are symbolic of the 10 sense organs and their strong contact with the 10 corresponding sense objects of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching and the organs of action.
Their main function is to look outside into the world to derive its happiness and pleasure. It is a constant effort of extreme and tireless attention. The devas were the powers of the sense organs residing in the mind. They draw their power not from the world, but from the divine consciousness that is experienced within. So there is a constant battle between the two groups.
Chamunda Devi drank up all the blood that flowed from the asuras. If there was spillage and asuras emerged, she ate them up too. Attacking with weapons, drinking the blood and finally chewing up Raktabeeja, the fight was over and the devas were overjoyed.
These gory war scenes described are symbolic in their meaning and they also give tremendous courage to the one who studies with diligence in overcoming any problem in life, however intense and recurring its nature may be.
The author is Sevak,Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi;