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More Tales of Goddess Durga


According to another story Shumbha and Nishumbha were two demons who had made penance for 10,000 years, and they pleased Brahmadev. Their boon was that they would not die by the hand of men. Of women they were not afraid. Shumbha was king and Nishumbha his prime minister. Chanda and Munda were two generals of the army. One day they came with their army to Shumbha. With them came Dhumralochan of the colour of smoke and soot ("Dhumra" = smoke, "lochan" = eye), and Raktabij (seed of blood) who was a reincarnation of Mahishasur.

Shumbha and Nishumbha became very strong. They defeated Indra, who with all the other gods escaped from heaven. Bruhaspati, the guru of the gods, suggested that they have recourse to the goddess. All the gods gathered on the Himalayas and began to pray, "O goddess, protect us. Save us from the tyranny of the demons."


Kalika
At that time the goddess had gone to take bath in the Ganges. She heard their prayers. From her body another goddess was created. She was black and horrible to look at. So she was called "Kalika". She smiled and promised to destroy Shumbha and Nishumbha. When King Shumbha heard about the new goddess, he sent her the demon Sugreev with the invitation to become the queen of King Shumbha.

She replied, "1 shall marry the one who defeats me in battle. Tell the king to come here and fight with me." Hearing this Shumbha got angry and sent his general Dhumralochan to the goddess. But the goddess only saying "hum" burnt him to death.

Chamunda Then the army of the demons came to attack the goddess, but they were put to flight by her lion. Then Chanda and Munda came with their. armies.


As they approached, a new goddess was created from the forehead of Kalika. Of a terrible appearance was she, and she wore a tiger's skin. In her hands she held a sword, a noose and a "khatvang" (weapon of Shiva) ("Khatva" Khat or baj = a bedstead, a part of it, is called Khatvang = like the foot of the bedstead). The newly created goddess caught Chanda and Munda and kept them bound before Kalika. Then by Kalika's command she made their heads fly. Because she killed Chanda and Munda she is known as "Chamurtda".

Shumbha sent another hero demon. His name was Raktabij, because Brahmadev had given him the boon, that when wounded, every drop of his blood falling on the ground would become a new demon.When Kalika 'saw the number of demons multiplying from Raktabij's blood, she ordered Chamunda to spread her mouth (she had a huge jaw) and swallow every drop of the demon's blood. So Chamunda swallowed each and every drop of blood until Raktabij lost all his blood and died.


Final Battle, Kalika Kills Shumbha

Finally Shumbha and Nishumbha in person reached the battle field. With their army they surrounded the goddess from all sides. Kalika began to fight bitting on her lion, and Chamunda was helping her. The demon's army was very large, and the two brothers were experienced warriors. So all the gods sent all the power at their command to help the goddess.

Bramhadev sent his power Branihani by a plane drawn by a swan. Maheshvari, the power of the great god Shankar came sitting on the bull. The virginal power of Kartikaya came sitting on the peacock. The Vaishnavi power came sitting on the eagle. Aindri power came sitting on the elephant Airavat. They all descended on the demons. They soon killed Nishumbha. Shumbha was furious. He said, "Are you so proud of your power? Then why are you taking the help of all these gods and goddesses? If you dare come and fight me single handed."

Kalika said smiling, "No problem. All these deities are my own nature. If you wish they can all get again immersed in me." As she said this all the powers disappeared in her body, and Kalika was there alone. Then Shumbha lifted her up and flew into the sky. The goddess fought in the sky. There was a fierce fight. At the end the goddess whirling Shumbha around hurled him down from the sky. Shumbha was at last dead. All the demons ran away to hell.


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