The King who had been listening to the story of Raktabeeja’s death asked the sage what Shumbha and Nishumbha did on his death.The sage said the two were very angry. Enraged and getting a fresh lease of energy on seeing the death of Raktabeeja, the great army charged at the goddess, wanting to kill her. Shumbha who was battling the band of mothers—the Matruganas—charged at Chandika Devi. A great battle ensued between the Devi, and Shumbha and Nishumbha. Arrows poured as if the clouds had broken into a torrential downpour of rain.
Chandika sent back arrows flying towards the two asuras and even charged on them physically with different weapons. Nishumbha attacked the Devi’s vehicle, the lion, on its head. Symbolically, the vehicles of gods and goddesses represent the powerful aspect of the mind the intellect uses as a means to operate. Here the Goddess is fighting from the standpoint of great power, force, courage exuding fear in the hearts of the opponent.
In the fierce battle, weapons went flying towards the Devi. She simply intercepted them and broke them. She brought Nishumbha to the ground. Shumbha was very angry. He positioned himself steadily on his chariot and took up a huge form that filled the sky. The goddess saw him getting close and blew her war conch. She also produced a fearsome sound by the mere twang of her bow string. She rang a bell that she had and the sounds that vibrated in all directions reduced all the power in the enemy camp of asuras. Not to be left alone in his assistance to the goddess, the lion gave out a loud roar with the sound filling all directions in space.
The goddess Kali, the epitome of time, rose high up from the quagmire of destruction and hit the earth and sky with her mere hands. Shivaduti let out layers after layers of loud laughter that further shook the asuras. Ambika said, “O Evil One, stop, stop.” Hearing that the gods in the sky shouted, “Victory. Victory!”
Shumbha’s weapon of fire was intercepted by Ambika’s lance and stopped its progress toward her midway. Shumbha let out a loud roar that filled the space between the earth and sky. Enraged, the goddess pierced him with her spear and brought him to the ground. Nishumbha who resumed consciousness got up to fight with the goddess and her lion with a continuous stream of arrows.
The tough fight between the goddess and the daityas are a symbolic representation of the force of power and dynamism of the human mind that joins hand with the divine goddess and fights the negative thoughts born out of ignorance. This is not an easy warfare of weapons. The tamasic forces draw an immense power continuously from seemingly inexhaustible store of energy from the unconscious mind and keep charging at the conscious mind in the present moment.The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chinmayamission.com