Hinduism

Shiva Purana: Rudra Samhita: War - 7

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 93

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Sankhchuda advises Shiva against the war whereas Shiva conveys that he works for the happiness, peace and prosperity of devotees and therefore, war is predictable rather inevitable if daitya does not withdraw

He valued adherence to the principles of war and so, sent a lord of demons as emissary. Through the envoy, he advised Shiva not to engage in war. Shiva heard demon’s emissary.

Shiva said, “O dear envoy, I do not side with anyone because I am never free and therefore, remain under the control of devotees. I do everything that the devotees desire. I never go against the wishes of bhaktas. Just remember O envoy and tell Sankhchuda to return land of gods and let them live in peace in their respective heavens. In ancient times, on the request of Brahma, a dreadful war between Sri Hari and the mightiest demons Madhu and Kaitabha ensued and the fierce war caused death and destruction. O emissary of great Sankhchuda, recall another incident. On gods’ request, Vishnu killed the lord of demons Hirayanakasipu because he persistently and cruelly tortured bhatka Prahalada. You know that I fought against the demons and destroyed the fort of Tripura and later on, I reduced asuras to ashes.”

He added after a pause, “I did it on request of gods. Goddess destroyed Daityas like Sumbha because they caused sufferings to the gods of heavens. O dear daitya, I tell you that the gods had gone to Brahma and sought refuge at the lord’s feet. Later on, Vishnu and gods came. Thus, I obey instructions of Brahma, Vishnu and the gods. I am the lord of gods and therefore, I came to the battlefield. I cannot see devotees in troubles. Many daityas lost lives but no one was as mighty as you are. None is equal to you. I am not ashamed of the fact that I am to fight against you so that the gods of heavens achieve the objective. I know you are one of the greatest counselors of lord Krishna. I am the lord and with clarity of minds, the gods sent me with a request. Therefore, O messenger, go back and tell Sankhchuda everything I told.”

 After a break, he said, “Daitya Sankhchuda will do what he feels appropriate before he returns the land and wealth of gods and I would also do it suitably for the gods. It is definite.”

Shiva was silent. Envoy got up and went back to Sankhchuda. It appeared the contending parties had hardened attitude and as war was unavoidable, they kept in mind the principles of dharma and stayed away from intrigues and acts of disloyalty.

Sankhchuda, the great daitya ascended the chariot after he heard the messenger. He issued directions to the ministers and therefore, the forces marched to the battleground spiritedly and exhibited immense hope and courage. Blowing of conches and beating of drums, thrilled and inspired soldiers without loss of time.

Soon after, the war began. Immense noise and roars, loud voices and cries filled the battlefield. They fought in right earnest and did not violate the principles of dharma. Conspiracy, deceit and acts of betrayal did not play any role. An honorable and righteous war it was between the soldiers of gods and daityas. The great warriors of gods Vishnu, Kaalasura, Gokarna, Kalkeya, Mayei, Bhayankara, Sanhar, Kalambika and many brave generals of the army fought vigorously with the warriors of mighty daitya Dambha namely – Kaal, Agni, Kubera, Vishvakarma, Mrityu, Yama, Varuna and so on. A fight among the equals created immense interest among celestial beings. Hundreds of great warriors in the armies of gods and demons were engaged in a war of law and principles, prestige and uprightness.

Rudras were engaged in dreadful war with mighty asuras. In fact, warriors namely Ugra, Chanda, Mahamani, Rahu, Chandrama were fiercely fighting a war of survival. None was a spectator on either side. Sukracharaya, the guru of demons and guru Bhrispati of gods also fought a grievous war. If one wants to enjoy the war-scene fully, one must go back to the original text. Many details are left out for obvious reasons. One thing must be kept in mind that in the Great War, the warriors adhered to the principles of dharma. It was a war among equals. While the forces were engaged in fierce war, lord Shiva and the king of daityas observed everything from a distance and continued to inspire respective forces. Later on, Sankhchuda also joined forces and fought against gods. Virbhadra, one of the generals of Shiva, was now engaged in a fierce battle with the great daitya.

After sometime, goddess Bhadrakali also plunged into battlefield. The war continued for a long time and yet end of it was uncertain. No possibility of an early end created fears and hazy war situation. Goddess attacked the great daitya but she could do no harm. Bhadrakali released a deadly and lethal weapon narayana-astra at Sankhchuda. He saw the weapon rushing and so prostrated on the ground and saluted. Divine weapon was calm and did not hurt the demon. Then, the goddess employed Brahmastra but the demon bowed before it, paid respect and the Brahmastra was also silent.

A terrific, violent and fierce battle broke out between Sankhchuda and Bhadrakali. After a thought, Bhadrakali attacked with the divine weapons and hurt Sankhchuda each time grievously but the mighty demon resisted, got up and fought with intensity. However, after some time, he collapsed with no hope but he got up again and began fighting ferociously and the body’s signs indicated obvious delight and pleasure.

Later on, he saluted Bhadrakali, and then flew above and sat comfortably on the divine craft whereas goddess felt very hungry and in distress, killed many demons and drank blood. The war between the gods and demons continued with intense vigour and passion, and spread terror around but the warriors were unrelenting. Every warrior adhered to the laws of dharma and none deceived or conspired. The demons honored passionately the laws of decorum and grace and fought for survival but failed to visualize early end of a furious war.

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27-May-2023

More by :  P C K Prem

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