Dec 11, 2023
Dec 11, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 92
Shiva reflects and sends Chitraratha an envoy, who tries to prevail upon Sankhchuda about the futility of confrontation but he does not agree and so the lord asks Virbhadra and Bhairavas to teach lesson to an arrogant lord of daityas
He was not agitated or irritated when gods left. He thought over, decided and then called Chitraratha, one the most beloved gandharavas and dispatched him to the capital of Sankhchuda as an envoy, who appeared before the king of demons with the message of lord. Chitraratha tried to convince the great daitya of the futility of nursing enmity and bitterness against gods. He also advised him to return the land, wealth and kingdom of gods. However, the mighty Sankhchuda did not agree to hand over the kingdoms of gods without war.
Chitraratha made efforts to prevail upon but King Sankhchuda said, “I firmly decide not to return anything to the gods of heavens without fighting even if it were Maheshwara. Neither any kingdom nor wealth or power or prestige would be given back to gods I say. You go to the great benefactor Rudra and tell everything literally, what I told. Let the lord do what he thinks right. Do not argue. Why do you…?”
Envoy of Shiva heard brusque outburst, returned to Maheshwara and narrated everything that transpired. Sankara was annoyed at the effrontery and insolence of Sankhchuda. He called Virbhadra and other ganas and said, “O Virbhadra, Nandi, the guardians and Bhairavas (Eight), I wish to tell …listen carefully. You go and destroy Sankhchuda. I give consent and therefore, get ready for war. The warriors ought to armour with all astras-sastras. You begin the historic journey to the battleground with kumaras – Swamy Kartikeya and lord Ganesha. Bhadrakali should also go.” Lord’s directions were unambiguous.
Shiva directed chief ganas and warriors to march ahead, and then, he stood in front of a huge army, thought, and thereafter, began a frightening journey to the battlefield. All felt happy and cheerful. Skanda and Ganesha, the generals of the armies of Shiva appeared armed and armoured. Major warriors Virbhadra, Nandi, Mahakaal, Subhadraka, Vishalaksa, Vikriti, Virupa, Vana, Pinglaksa, Kapila, Bashkala, Manibhadra, Kalankar, ganas and others followed Shiva. Figure of dreadful soldiers ran to thousands of millions. Bhairavas, eleven angry Rudras, Vasus, Indra, Adityas, Agni, Moon, Vishvakarma, Ashwinikumaras, Kubera, Yama, Vayu, Varuna and Kamadeva along with many frightful troops were inseparable part of the army of Shiva.
All the lords of the celestial world and the created beings joined the scary march to participate in the Great War. At the same time, the army of Shiva equipped with the divine weapons glorified the forces.
One earnestly desires that for exhaustive description one must, if interested, refer to the original text or a reasonably good version of the text to know more about the detail. Broad depiction of strong heavenly army and its meticulous strategic deployment would be clear. If one looks deeply into the war strategy, one is aghast and bewildered, for it defies explanation. A modern general would learn a lot if he cares to delve deep into ancient war strategies. Military generals and strategists would feel delighted when they know about the exhaustive planning of the generals of Shiva before they embarked upon the great journey to the battleground where a mighty lord of daityas Sankhchuda waited for a violent confrontation.
After the in depth and scrupulous arrangements were complete, the soldiers were ready, lord Rudra marched ahead fearlessly and stood under a Vat tree on the bank of Chandrabhaga river with resolve to safeguard gods from the terror of a mighty demon and ensure return of old glory and divine kingdom.
Daitya Sankhchuda had already declared his intent. The envoy of Shiva heard words of daitya and returned, and reported everything to the lord. War had become inevitable.
Sankhchuda was conscious of catastrophic consequences of the crises-ridden times ahead and he had already held serious dialogue with the wise men of the kingdom and thereafter, had decided to move to the battlefield (at riverbank Puspbhadra). After the envoy of Shiva went away, Sankhchuda went to the palace of queen Tulsi and narrated the entire incident.
He said to Tulsi, “O goddess, I am ready to fight after learning about the veiled objective of Shiva. I shall go to have a fight with the lord. I have come to you to seek consent. I cannot avoid this war.”
The learned demon tried to explain everything and told queen Tulsi that times ahead were not going to be trouble-free. Peace is not possible. Here, it is interesting to look into the pre-war acts of the great demon. One visualises a frightful scenario when one scrutinises clear outlook of daitya.
Wise daitya got up very early next morning before the sunrise, at the most auspicious hour, performed obligatory duties as usual, appeared in public, gave valuables to the needy in charity and felt contended. He could foresee what was going to happen in future and therefore, without wasting time, he deliberated, held consultations with the ministers again, and resolved to hand over the control of kingdom to the prince. He coroneted and enthroned his son as the king of demons and without loss of time, handed over the kingdom, wealth, property and women for protection and thereby, appointed him the guardian of wealth, prosperity and kingdom. Tulsi thought over with tears filled eyes and tried to stop husband’s journey to the battlefield. At that time, the king of demons narrated tales of courage and bravery and tried to comfort and motivate.
Now, Sankhchuda put on armour and inspired the soldiers in the presence of the commander-in-chief of the army, “O great warriors, you are adroit, courageous and jewels of war, who decorate the battleground with feats of heroism. Put on shields and pick up arms. O soldiers of courage and nerve, now different battalions of armed soldiers of daityas ought to equip fully with arms, ammunition and armour.” Thus, the great demon ensured proper and effective deployment of various armies of the daityas.
After great preparation, the king of demons, who instilled fears and terror in the hearts of enemy, heading a formidable army of three lakh Aksonees, emerged out of the camp in a majestic and royal way wholly armoured even as precious jewels and stones on the huge body dazzled the eyes of the onlookers. He ascended a jewel-decorated chariot that looked as if it were an aircraft and began the journey while senior generals and gurus marched ahead and confirmed fantastic fortitude and resilience.
After a short journey to the battlefield, he reached the bank of Puspbhadra River and entered an ashrama of siddhas. He saw a wonderful Vat Tree where siddhas secured blessings of perfection and several boons after tapa. Sage Kapila also underwent severe tapa at this place. A strategically located place had width of five yojanas (>a Vedic measure of distance) where rivers Puspbhadra and Sarswati flowed for the happiness and prosperity of people. Sankhchuda noticed that Shiva was standing under a Vat Tree.
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