Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Birth of Mahishaura-Mardhini

*The following has been taken from the second chapter of 'Durga Saptashati'. I have tried to translate the original texts, to the best of my abilities. All faults are mine, all brilliance is Hers*
जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी ।
दुर्गा शिवा क्षमा धात्री स्वाहा स्वधा नमोऽस्तु ते ॥

The war had lasted a hundred years. Hundred years of bloodshed, destruction and rampage. The Devas had fought valiantly, and lost a great many of their numbers. The Asuras (led by Mahishasura) however, had held their ground.
And as the end of the war drew nearer, Devas had to admit their defeat. Indra and other Gods were banished from the Heavens.
With no other option in sight, they (accompanied by Brahma himself) went to ask Siva and Vishnu for guidance.
                   *                               *                                   *                                    *             
Indra bowed low before the Trinity. 
"We have been wronged. O Lord Of The Lords! I come before the three of you, to ask for justice. For hundred years, we have locked horns with the demon  Mahishasura. 
He has crushed us to the ground. He has taken over the realm of Surya, Agni, Vayu, Chadra, Yama and Varuna. We have been forced to roam the Earth, like mere mortals.
And he sits there, lording over the world and spreading injustice and cruelty. Help us get rid of Him! Help us save the Universe from his atrocities" , Indira almost screamed in despair.
He gasped for air, unable to control his emotions. All around, there prevailed a deadly silence. The kind of silence that ruffles up winds and announces the storm. 

All the Gods present were filled with anger and a desire for revenge. The faces of Siva and Vishnu were contracted with rage. 
And as the silence deepened, a light issued forth from both their bodies. The same rays emerged from all the other Gods. It merged, it collided, it united to form an avalanche of pulsating energy.
The energy filled every direction, nook and corner of the universe.

And as the Gods stared in wonder, the light from Siva transformed into a face. A face so divine and radiant that they had seen none of it's like.
Yamaraj's energy bestowed Her the crown of dark, lustrous, long hair. Her arms emerged from Lord Vishnu's aura.

Chandra carved Her breasts, Indra formed Her abdomen. From Varuna came her shanks, from Earth her hips, from Brahma her feet and from Surya Her toes.
Vasus's light gave her fingers, Kubera's 'tej' formed her nose. Prajapati gifted her perfect teeth, and Agni's magnificence blossomed into her three eyes.
 The light of the two Sandhyas became her eye-brows, the light of the Vayu her ears. 

And as the Devas looked upon her, they bowed their head in reverence. She was poetry in motion, the epitome of womanhood and the spirit of the Shakti.
But, the work had just begun.

Siva drew a trident from His own, and presented it to Her. Vishnu followed in His footsteps, and presented His chakra. Varua gave Her a conch, Agni bestowed Her with power and Vayu shaped two quivers full of arrows.
Indra duplicated his own Vajra and a bell from his elephant, Airavata. Yama gave Her a staff of death, Varuna a noose and a string of beads and 'kamandal' came from Brahma.
The rays of Surya shone throne her skin, and Kala ( the Time) drew forth a spotless sword and shield.

The Mlik-Ocean presented her with an exquisite necklace, timeless garments and bedecked her in ornaments. Vishwakarma gave Her a brilliant axe, and an impenetrable armour. The Ocean produced a garland of unfading lotuses, and a beautiful lotus for her hand. 

The mountain Himavata, brought forward magnificent beast of a lion for Her. Kubera gave her a cup of wine that would never empty. Sesa, the lord the snakes, carved a serpent-necklace adorned with jewels. 

She stood there, a vision beyond compare. She laughed out aloud, as her lion roared. Her laughter rang with pride, power and defiance. 
She might look resplendent, but the weapons enhanced her beauty to another level. She was a force to be reckoned with, ruthless and lusting for blood. 
The seas trembled, the Earth shook and the skies tore open. As she ventured forth into the battlefield, the Devas roared
"Victory to You !"

She had been born of all their energies, and She surpassed them all. She was Durga. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Slaying Of Mahishasura

*The story has been taken from third chapter of 'Durga Saptshati'. I have tried to translate and reinterpret the original sanskrit texts, to the best of my abilities. The brilliance is all Hers, the faults are all mine*

जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी ।
दुर्गा शिवा क्षमा धात्री स्वाहा स्वधा नमोऽस्तु ते ॥

Mahishasura bellowed in anger. He raised his bloodshot eyes and looked all around the field. Arms lay twitching, countless severed heads and blown out eyes were staring at the sky. Some heads were muttering, others spewing blood on the sodden ground.
The sky itself has turned blood red, as if mirroring the emotions of the battle. Blood curling screams, raucous war cries and claps of thunder roared.  His centre of attention however, were none of these.

She stood in the centre of the field, indistinguishable from the war around her. She WAS the war, unstoppable and ruthless. She battled hundreds at a time, her weapons raining down death upon all those unlucky enough to come near her.
"Once I win this war, She and the Gods shall pay for it dearly", he swore to himself, and he counted his losses.

Ciksura, his great general had been the only one who had manged to harm Her. She had slain him with her pike, the force of the attack blasting the general into a thousand pieces.
His blood and gore had not even settled to the ground, when that ferocious lion of Hers had pounced upon Camara. That had been a valiant battle, until the beast had soared high into the sky and slashed off Camara's head with his brutal claws.
Each of her weapons were deadly, but she was the deadliest of them all. Her arrows tore apart Durmukha, she beheaded Bidala with her sword. That trident of hers had claimed Mahamanu.
She had relentlessly poundedUddhata to death, with her club. If that was not enough, Karala had been torn to pieces by her mere hands and teeth

She was a dangerous, vicious, merciless and blood lusting enemy! Well, if war was what She wanted, Mahishasura will give her war!

                                                              *                *                   *

Mahishasura transformed himself to his buffalo form. The great beast stood like a mountain, his horns gleaming with crusted blood. Each of his muscles bulged, his arteries pulsated, his nostrils puffed great bouts of air, his hooves shook the earth and his eyes spelled Death.

He charged, and the army of the Devi fell to pieces. his muzzle tossed soldiers in the air, his hooves crushed and pounded them. His sheer speed, his bellowing, his wheeling movements and his deadly breath. He was a machine of war, an army in himself.
And turned his attention to the other beast roaring in front of him. The very elements of nature seemed to be shivering with fear. The Earth gave way, under his terrible hooves. The great seas parted, by the flick of his tail and his horns tore apart the clouds high above!
As he advanced towards Her, he finally caught a close glimpse.

She was covered in blood, filth and gore. Each of her wepaons glimmered with the spoils of battle. Her eyes were bloodshot ,drunk and red. Her muscles were poised, her mouth smiling in happiness.
The great Asura could not control his wonder, even in moments of such rage. She had looked eternally beautiful when She had walked in. But now, in this insane maniac form, she surpassed beauty. This was her, in all her glorious splendour. No amount of 'sringaar' could have given her the aura that 'sanghaar' gave her!

The two titans collided, and the world waited with bated breath. He was brute force, She was contained dynamism. He was rage untamed, She was strength fortified.
They clashed and clashed again. As She bound the great buffalo with a noose, He was forced to take the form of a lion. Before he could pounce, his head had been slashed off with Her sword.
The man She fell with a thunder of arrows, the elephant's trunk was chopped off too.  He was forced to return to his buffalo form, and he bellowed with anger!

The Devi's eyes burned red, She had had enough of this. She launched a hail of arrows at the mountains he had thrown at her . She raised her glass to her mouth and laughed,
"Roar, Roar! You fool! Once I finish this wine, the Devas shall roar in this place after I've slain you"

She leaped, twirled in the air and gracefully landed on the great asura! He was so taken aback, He did not have time to retreat.
He struggled under her foot, unable to comprehend the power of this woman. He was the great Asura, immune to all men and defeater of Devas! The more he roared, the more she pressed him down!

Frustated, he emerged as his human form. Raised his head from the neck of the great buffalo. His war cry rang with insanity. It was the final call of the Great Asura, his shock and shame at having been subjugated by a woman!
The Devi slashed off his head with a single swipe of her sword. The blood issued forth from His neck, bathing Her in an iridescent glow.

She stood still, clothes torn to pieces, hair disheveled and eyes glowing with naked bloodlust. She stood there with her Lion by the side, slayer of a million and wielder of deadly astras.
She stood there, and there was none as beautiful as She.