Dec 05, 2023
Dec 05, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 84
Sri Hari confronts Taraka – Taraka’s overwhelming presence and fear-provoking techniques of war instill fears in the minds of forces of gods and therefore, after noticing distressed gods, Brahma, who knows the eternal truth, asks Kumara to kill Taraka …and the scenario after the war, presents a desolate look as mighty daityas ran away from the battleground
Precisely at this moment, a warrior of great wonder and mystery, Swamy Kartika sent a message through Veervahu, and stopped the war. Virbhadra got the message and withdrew. Sudden pulling out of Virbhadra infuriated the general of the asura’s army Taraka. He was an adroit and cruel fighter and knew the use of various weapons. He challenged the gods and thereafter, released terrifying arrows at gods and powerful warriors as if it were torrential rain. The violent assault made gods nervous as many died. It was an amazing and fear-instilling feat of daitya Taraka. Gods heard hurting sounds of dreadful strikes of arrows and found it awesome to resist unremitting offensive and beatings.
Sri Hari saw forces of terror, filled gods with dread and imminent end, who were now, in disarray because the mighty daitya had continued to destroy the army of gods with a frightening frequency. At that time, he was angry. The battleground was a scenario of immense ferocity. Sri Hari picked up Sudarshan Chankra, bow and arrows, arrived at the battleground and attacked Taraka. An appalling war filled everyone with anxiety and amazement. Terrific sounds of drumbeating and exigent roars from sundry directions appeared atrocious and exasperating.
After some time, Sri Hari released the divine weapon Sudershana Chakra and attacked Taraka. The divine Chakra hurt Taraka grievously and after some fear-filling and gory struggle, he collapsed on the ground unconscious. However, daitya Taraka was very brave and strong, and so after a few minutes, got up with full force and energy and broke the disc into several fragments. Thus, a vicious fight between lord Vishnu and mighty asura continued. Time stopped when the great and mighty warriors with divine powers confronted each other with wild ferocity and as a result, it traumatized everyone but none could anticipate the outcome.
Destiny was to play its role. As foretold earlier, Taraka was not to die notwithstanding Vishnu in the battlefield. The war continued. It appeared quite futile and a waste as death of soldiers and loss of resources in the armies caused setbacks and destruction unheard.
Brahma knew the truth that Vishnu would not be able kill Taraka. He told Kumara clearly that nobody in the three worlds, however, strong and mighty could kill Taraka. Therefore, Kumara should no longer delay slaughter of ferocious and powerful daitya. He asked Kumara to prepare and go to the battlefield. Perhaps, the creator did not want that death and destruction should continue indefinitely. It was suicidal for the creation despite writ of destiny and divine argument to the contrary.
He said, “O Kumara, please get ready to kill the demon. O son of Parvati, you are born of goddess’s womb through lord Sankara. You kill Tarakasura, and attain the sacred objective.”
Kumara Kartikeya emitted divine smiles as he heard Brahma. It was a reverent nod of obedience to the diktat of Supreme Brahma.
He was enthusiastic and modestly said, “I would do” for he had understood the divine objective of gods’ prayers, Parvati’s severe tapa, consequent parleys and final divine concord.
He said mildly, got down from a wonderfully ornamented aerial car and went on foot. At that time, Shiva’s son Kumara carried breathtaking energy like fire in hand and appeared to run in the region of the battlefield.
He seemed astounding and optimistic. No nervousness, distress or strain disturbed. He appeared hugely dominant, magnificent, awe-inspiring and chivalrous.
At that time, Taraka said to the great and mighty asuras, “Is he the destroyer of enemies? Is he Kumara? I shall alone fight with him. None will help me. I alone shall kill and destroy the warriors of gods, pramathaganas (the mighty counselors of lord Shiva), the powerful guardians of heavens and various gods including Sri Hari, who leads the army of gods.”
He tried to visualise the war scene clearly, spoke bitterly and harshly and without loss of time, asura Taraka began to fight a fierce battle the end of which he did not know. The destroyer of the mighty warriors of the enemy, Kumara thought of the holy feet of Shiva and resolved to kill asura. Kumara, a warrior of great brilliance and might began to roar in anger and thereafter, with a huge army, stood heroically in the battleground.
All gods raised slogans of victory even as the sages and the celestial beings witnessed the horrible war from the sky. They admired Kumara, the commander-in-chief of the forces of gods. In no time, a hard-hitting and ferocious war ensued between Kumara and Taraka. The fight was frightening, violent and hugely destructive. It instilled fears in the minds of created beings. Kumara and Taraka were extremely dexterous in the art of war and knew how to use various weapons. They began to attack each other with the most dreadful weapons. During the war of terrific proportions, they changed strategies of war each time and continued to roar like lions to heighten intensity of violence as anxiety of uncertain outcome mystified.
In the terrible war, the mighty generals of daityas and gods manipulated, planned, and adopted various tricks and strategies to defeat and kill one another. They launched a dreadful attack on one another with changed strategy each time. Even weapons of divine powers put to use adopting different techniques did not affect much they realised. At that time, when lethal duels assumed dreadful and murderous dimensions between the generals of the armies, the gods, the gandharavas and the kinners quietly witnessed its viciousness. They were extremely astonished. Even the air stopped blowing and the radiance of Sun faded away. The entire earth, mountains, forests, vegetation and living beings trembled. At this moment, mountains like Himalaya, out of love and affection for the great warrior Kumara, arrived at the battleground for the protection of Kumara. All mountains and forests were full of fear Kumara observed and therefore, he assured and consoled calamitous forces of nature and smiled placidly and looked at the forces.
After a short pause, the son of Sankara and Parvati said, “O holy mountains, do not feel sorry.”
He was quiet for some time and then added, “You do not worry and I find no reason to regret. Without loss of time, I shall finish daitya Taraka before you.”
He assured all the mountains, forests and gods, the celestial beings, ganas, holy souls and created beings and thought of the feet of Girija and Sambhu, saluted divine parents and thereafter, picked up divine power ‘kantimati’, the celestial weapon.
Everyone knew that Kumara was a great warrior of opulence and grandeur. When he took the weapon to finish Taraka, a divine glow around brightened up everything. Blessed with the terrific power and glow, Kumara hit the king of daityas, who frequently gave troubles to the three worlds and brought sufferings to the celestial and created beings. As he hit the great daitya, the divine weapon kantimati tore apart the mighty Taraka into many fragments, and next moment, he collapsed on the ground. When he observed that the demon was dead, Kumara did not hit again. He stood quiet with divine radiance, and perhaps at that time, everyone thought, it was time for celebrations.
However, after the death of Taraka, the gods launched a dreadful attack and killed many asuras because the gods of heavens did not want to take a chance.
It was an awful scenario of bereavement and devastation. Mighty asuras were full of fears and therefore, stood with folded hands and sought forgiveness. The bodies of some demons lay scattered in little fragments in the battlefield as many met unfortunate death. It was the most tragic moment of daitya’s fortunes and their powerful time, when the strongest among the gods Kumara not only destroyed power and wealth but also also instilled fears in the minds of asuras and discouraged them, and simultaneously killed many demons. Many begged for life, sought protection from the terror of gods, and then took refuge at the feet of Kumara. Still the war did not end. Many still faced elimination and still many more ran away in fear to save lives. A few daityas felt disheartened and miserable, lost hopes of life and ran fast, disappeared and sought shelter in the subterranean world.
A very powerful army of daityas stood destroyed. Fear, terror and ferocity of gods did not allow demons to stay even for a second. After the purge of asuras and the death of Taraka, the three worlds were free from the troubles and thus, lord Indra and various gods were full of joy and delight. The victory of Kumara over daitya Taraka and mighty demons gave satisfaction and pleasure to the created beings of the three worlds. The news of victory over the demons filled Sankara with joy and pleasure, and at once, he landed on the battlefield with Parvati even as the mighty ganas surrounded the great lord and holy consort for security reasons. Parvati was extremely happy and showered love on Kumara.
All the gods, monks, seers, siddhas and celestial musicians praised Kumara eloquently. Sambhu and Parvati were immensely pleased while Guha, the chief of the forces of gods appeared amply gratified. Other gods of heavens showered flowers on the victors from above and different instruments of music created rhythmic and melodious ear-filling tunes. Joy and pleasures led to tremendous celebrations. All gods praised the Supreme lord of the universe.
After the victory, Kumara boarded the aerial car along with celestial beings and gods, and went to Kailasa. Times of joys and celebrations filled the three worlds and thus, the gods of heavens felt relieved from the terror of daityas.
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