As we come to the end of Navaratri we are also coming to the story of Chandika fighting Shumbhasura. She raised a voice that had the timbre of a loudly ringing bell and it filled all the directions scattering the power of the asuras. Her vehicle, the lion, too raised a loud roar that filled the space around in the battlefield. The elephants in the enemy camp that heard this sound lost all their strength. In this melee, goddess Kali raised her hands and pounded the ground, shutting out the other noises with her own beating of the earth.
Shivaduti, a member of that valiant feminine army, let out laughter as if it rose up in rows of sound structures like a big building. That kind of laughter is called ‘attahasa’ in Sanskrit. ‘Atta’ means floor level and ‘hasa’ is laughter. That laughter caused great fear to the asuras as it was not auspicious and life-giving to their ears. Shumbha was mad with anger hearing Shivaduti’s boisterous laughter.
Ambika shouted, “Stand there, O evil one.” She shouted and the gods listening to this from the heavens shouted, “Victory, victory!” Shumbha sent out a lance that looked like a thick rod of blazing fire. Countering that came another weapon that intercepted it from the side of the goddess, which looked like a burning log of wood.
Shumbha let out a roar like a lion and it filled the skies around. The thunderous noise quelled the other shouts and clangs of people and weapons in the battle field. Shumbha and Devi countered their arrows and weapons with new weapons diffusing their power midway.
Chandika was angry seeing this failed attempt and sent her trident hurling towards Shumbha, cleaving him. He simply fainted and fell to the ground. Nishumbha then came with the bow and began to aim his arrows at Chandika, Kali and the lion. The son of Diti spouted 10,000 arms and hid Chandika with 10,000 spinning wheel weapons.
Then it was the turn of Durga, who removes all inauspiciousness in our path, to emerge in all anger. She broke all the weapons with her arrows. Nishumbha then got the mace and charged before Chandika along with his asura army. Even as he was running with it, Chandika split it into two with her spear.
Chandika hurled a spear which split Nishumbha’s chest and out of it emerged a strong and powerful man, who said, “Stop!” Nothing could stop the Devi who threw her lance and killed that man and all the goddesses Kali, Sivaduti, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi and Maheshwari finished the rest of the asuras with the lion making a good meal out of them. It was victory and celebration time for the gods.
The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; email@example.com; www.chinmayamission.com