Taraka is slain ||32||

1Narada said: On hearing this eulogy loudly proclaimed by the celestial bards the Daitya remembered the words of Brahma that he would be killed by an infant.
2On hearing it all his limbs became wet (with sweat). The king then spoke to the gatekeeper, “I wish to see the Ministers. Bring them quickly. Do not delay.”
3-4Then, at the instance of the king, those (Ministers), the chief of whom was Kalanemi, came. Taraka, the Daitya, said: “What is it that you have done? You have never given me any news regarding the enemies. You are intoxicated with wine and lecherous pursuits. Hence you are not worthy of being Ministers (Advisers). One who gives advice to the king conducive to his welfare is called a Mantri.
5The Ministers replied: Who cares to know (more) about the miserable Devas? We the Daityas need not know. This was our opinion.
6Do not be anxious, O great king. We will defeat the Suras. What fear can we have from an infant? This anxious thought itself is shameful.
7-11All this can be easily managed. Let the Bherl (drum) be sounded firmly and loudly. Thereupon at the instance of the Lord of Daityas Bherl (drum) was beaten intensely and repeatedly which made (the Daitya soldiers) equip themselves suitably and get ready for war. It shook the entire universe. On being remembered by the king of the Daityas crores and thousands of crores and tens of hundreds of Parardhas of great Asuras came there immediately from the mountains, rivers, oceans, nether worlds and firmament. They had the lustre of the fire at the close of the yugas. The commander Kalanemi immediately advanced against Devas. Taraka was seated in a chariot that extended to four Yojanas and had many wonderful features. He appeared to be somewhat dejected and miserable.
12In the meantime, O son of Pritha, the entire rampart was pulled down by the infuriated attendants of Skanda. The parks and gardens were destroyed.
13Then the goddess Earth along with parks and forests quaked. The sky was ablaze with the stars. The universe became extremely confused.
14-17The entire universe was plunged in darkness. The sky was pervaded by vultures. Thereupon, the great army, the chief of which was Kalanemi, was seen there, O son of Pritha. It was equipped with many weapons. It resembled the clouds at the time of deluge. It was terrible and unlimited in number. It roared and uttered different kinds of words. The army rushed against the Devas in battle. It attacked Lord Sankara. By means of mountains, Sataghnis (‘Hundred-killers’) and iron bolts the army of the Devas was driven away by the Daityas who had great weapons and were roaring. Within a moment the army became averse to fighting.
18When they were being struck and hit by the Asuras like a forest by fires (the army of the Devas) fell down like great forests of trees at the site of forest fires.
19The heaven-dwellers fled here and there with their bones, heads and bodies shattered. On being killed by the great Asuras, they did not find any leader, help or guide.
20On seeing the army fleeing Lord Purandara consoled that army that had been extremely afflicted by the Danavas. He spoke thus to them:
21-22“O heroes, welfare unto you. Give up your fear. Take up your weapons. Turn your attention to fighting. Entertain no pain or fear at all. This Mahasena who has the brilliance of deadly fire and is seated on his peacock is your protector. Why are you afraid in spite of this?”
23On hearing the words of Sakra the heaven-dwellers were pacified and cheered up. Taking Sakra as their resort they fought with the Danavas.
24In that battle Kalanemi confronted Mahendra. Jambhaka accompanied by a thousand Akshauhinis fought with Sankara.
25-29Kujambha who too had as many Aksauhiynis fought with Vishnu. All the other Devas, Maruts of great strength, Sadhyas and Vasus fought with the leading Daityas. After fighting in various ways, O son of Pritha, Kalanemi jumped up suddenly on to the head of Airavana. He hit the elephant with a kick and Sakra with his fist roaring loudly. Both of them fell on the ground. Thereupon Kalanemi lifted up the unconscious Sakra, put him in the chariot and went towards Taraka. Then the Devas beginning with Antaka began to cry loudly:
30-31“The king is being taken away. He is being removed. There is no one to protect him .” In the meantime by means of arrows discharged from the Pinaka bow Sarva had slain Jambhaka along with his army and given great delight to vultures (by offering a feast of dead bodies). He approached Kalanemi and seated in the chariot spoke to him these words:
32-34“Of what avail is Mahendra? Fight with me, O Danava of extremely vicious intellect professing to be a hero. Thereupon you will know what is heroism.” Kalanemi replied: Who will fight with a naked man? Even if he is killed and the same were to be mentioned in the assemblies of Daitya warriors, there will be a general laughter. O wicked-minded one, look for someone like you. On hearing those contemptuous words Sarva was surprised.
35-37Then Kumara seated on his peacock suddenly rushed there. Vasudeva too rushed there after killing Kujambha with his followers. Then Hari said to Skanda: “Of what avail is this sinful base Daitya to you, O Lord? See my prowess for a short while.” After saying this Kesava who was seated on Garuda restrained him. He showered him (i.e. Kalanemi) with arrows discharged from his bow Sarnga.
38On being hit by those arrows as if by thunderbolts the infuriated great Asura left Vasava and split those arrows by means of his own arrows.
39The Daitya laughingly and playfully restrained and curbed every arrow and miraculous missile pf divine power that Hari discharged.
40Janardana who was quick in taking action, seized his (iron club) Kaumodaki and hurled it at the leader of the army. It smashed the charioteer.
41Then the demon jumped down from the chariot and opened his great mouth widely. He seized Garuda by his beak along with Vishnu and put them both into his mouth.
42Then all the Devas and all the worlds fainted. The earth quaked. The seven mountains and the seven oceans trembled.
43-51In that great battle Kalanemi roared and danced. When the time for hurrying up approached, Vishnu became steady and composed. With his discus he tore open the belly (of the Daitya). Coming out he shone like the rising sun. By means of his Maya power Hari deluded him and thereafter took him to the nether worlds. There he lay like a log of wood. Afterwards ten crores of Daityas were killed with the discus. The delighted Devas became free from stupefaction instantly. Then 6arva embraced him and said: “O Janardana, well done! well done! There is no one else to do what has been done by you. This Daitya is stronger and far more powerful than the demons, very difficult to be conquered, beginning with Mahisha and others—those demons who were struck down by the Goddess. He has been defeated by you. O Janardana, this demon ought to have been killed by you in the Tarakamaya battle. Again in the form of Kamsa he should be killed by you in your eighth incarnation.” Thus Devas praised Vasudeva, the sire of the universe. When the army of Daityas regained consciousness, they killed and destroyed them by means of volleys of arrows. Shattered by the great weapons those bodies of Daityas fell on the ground, O son of Pritha, like the scattered clouds falling all round. Thereupon the army became leaderless and helpless .
52By means of their weapons they were turned away by Devas who followed Skanda. Thereupon, all the joyous and delighted Devas shouted loudly in glee.
53-57They played on all the musical instruments jointly. On seeing his army broken and shattered with all the heroes killed in the great battle and on observing the great joy of Devas, Taraka said to his charioteer: “O charioteer, see my armies routed by Suras. They had been looked upon by us like blades of grass! See the wonderful way in which Kala (works). Hence, take my chariot quickly to Devas. Let the base Suras see the power of my arms and run away.” Saying this to the charioteer and shaking his very huge bow the king whose eyes became red with anger entered the army of Devas. On seeing the demon coming Hari spoke to Skanda:
58-61“O Kumara, see the Lord of Daityas, who is like Kala (god of Death) at the close of a Yuga. This is that same (demon) by whom Siva had been propitiated by means of terrible penance. It is he by whom Sakra and others had been transformed into monkeys for one hundred million years. It is he who could not be defeated by us despite our pile of all (superior) weapons in the course of the battle. This great Asura should not be viewed with contemptuous disregard. He is Taraka. This is your seventh day. Now it is mid-day. Slay him before sunset. Otherwise he cannot be killed.” After saying thus Keshava hurriedly spoke to Sakra and others:
62-63“Make the leading Daitya get exhausted so that he can be easily slain.” Thereupon at the instance of Viji the dwellers of heaven roared and approached (i.e. attacked) him (i.e. Taraka) with great joy and showered him with volleys of arrows. Laughingly Taraka routed all the Devas.
64-67He routed Devas like an atheist of evil conduct who drives away (i.e. disregards) the instructors in different scriptures. They were unable to bear that hero who was occupying the great chariot like a person overpowered by epileptic fits and uttering displeasing words. Driving away all the Devas within a moment Taraka came towards Kumara shaking his great bow. On seeing him coming Skanda proceeded against him; Bhava guarded his left side and Hari the right one. The attendants who were thousands of millions in number guarded him from the rear.
68Then in that great battle of Devas and Daityas both of them came into contact with each other like Dharma and Adharma in their ascendancy. They caused great miracles and surprise in the universe.
69-71Then approaching Kumara playfully Taraka spoke: “O boy, you are indeed a very small infant. Why do you, at the instance of Devas, come to me for fighting like a moth falling into fire? What do I gain by killing you? O boy, you have been released by me. Go and drink milk. Take this ball. Play with it.” On being told thus, the preceptor of the Yogins laughed and said to Taraka:
72-74“Do not disregard contemptuously the state of being a small infant. Even an infant serpent causes distress and strain. Even the young (rising) sun is very difficult to look at directly. Even a small fire is very difficult to be touched. A Mantra consists of very few letters. But is it not found effective and fruitful, O Daitya?” After saying this he seized the ball hurled by the Daitya. He charged it with the Sakti missile and discharged it against the Daitya. On being hit with it his chariot was reduced to powder.
75-76It was a chariot four Yojanas in extent and was equipped with many wonderful features. When the excellent chariot was shattered, the sons of Garuda became free. They flew up with great difficulty and entered another ocean. Thereupon the infuriated Taraka hurled a mallet at Guha.
77-79It appeared like the Vindhya mountain. Skanda caught hold of it and struck it against his broad chest. The mallet was then smashed to a hundred pieces. The Daitya thought that the Six-faced Lord was invincible in battle. He then recollected the words of Brahma. On seeing him as though frightened, crores of Daitya heroes roared loudly and showered Mahasena with various kinds of weapons.
80-85Then infuriated Skanda hurled the terrible Sakti on them. When the miraculous Sakti missile was thrown by Skanda of unmeasured splendour, excessively terrible clusters of meteors fell on the earth. The extremely terrible Sakti was hurled by the son of Bhava. A crore of Saktis fell out from it, O leader of the descendants of Bharata. Then the powerful Lord struck with the Sakti missile held in his hand. Eight thousand billions and a thousand crores of the Daityas were struck down. Thousand million and a crore of vehicles were struck down. He made the leading Daitya (so deformed that) his belly appeared like a deep eddy. The Daitya had been surrounded by ten Nikharvas (‘billions’) (of his soldiers). When the enemies were being killed, O son of Pritha, the followers of Kumara made a tumultuous sound filling all the ten quarters. Some were killed by the Saktis that had come out from the sparks of the Sakti missile.
86Thousands of Daityas were tossed, shaken and killed by the flag. Some were frightened by the sounds of bells. They fell down with broken hearts.
87Some were killed by the wings of the peacock. Some by his feet. Crores of them were pierced by the cock and swallowed.
88-90Others numbering thousands of billions were killed by the attendants (of Skanda) and the Mothers. Thus, when the Danavas were being killed by Guha and others, Taraka came to Skanda along with the misfortunes of the worlds as it were. He took up his shining iron club having a hundred thousand bells. It was unthwartable too. With it he struck the peacock and the peacock turned his face. On seeing Skanda with his face averted (from fighting) Vasudeva spoke in a hurry:
91“O Lord of Devasena (‘the army of Devas’), discharge the Sakti quickly against the great Asura. Keep your own promise. Look the sun is about to set.”
92Skanda said: It was by you, O Janardana, that this (Daitya) was mentioned to me as a devotee of Rudra. My arm does not discharge the Sakti to kill a devotee of Rudra .
93One who is not Rudra himself will not worship Rudra. Hara himself (appears) in the form of the devotee. What will be the nature of our life after killing this (Daitya) who is of the form of Rudra?
94If they are insulted and abused, reviled, neglected and disregarded, pained and tormented, the devotees of Rudra burn down the entire family. What then, if they are killed?
95If he were to kill me in the battle, let him kill me. That would be better. But, O Vishnu, I am not prepared to take up arms against a devotee of Rudra.
96-97Sri Bhagavan (Vishnu) said: This is not befitting you, O Skanda. Listen as to who is a genuine devotee of Rudra. Sages conversant with the Vedas know that there are two bodies of Siva, the Lord of the daughter of the Mountain. One is that consisting of the beings. The other is the visible one. One who hates and harasses all living beings is not said to be a genuine devotee of Rudra.
98-100A person who is devoted to Rudra must be merciful towards all living creatures. Hence slay this (false devotee) of the Pinaka-bearing Lord, because he is the hater and harasser of all living beings, especially of human beings. O Lord, in this matter I do not, find any fault for you. Even after hearing these words of truthful meaning from Govinda, O descendant of Bharata, (Kumara) was not inclined to kill him because he remembered him as a devotee of Rudra. Thereupon the infuriated Taraka rushed at Kesava.
101He said thus, “O extremely wicked-minded one, I will kill you. See my power. I shall destroy the root of all Devas, pious rites and intelligent ones. After killing you today I shall chop off all of them. See my power.”
102-107Vishnu said: O Lord of Daityas, why should there be (a fight) between you and me? Listen to the truth. Here is Sarva in his chariot. If he is killed, everything is killed. On hearing this, the infuriated Taraka immediately proceeded towards the chariot of Rudra. Approaching the chariot of Rudra he caught hold of its pole. When the infuriated Taraka caught hold of the pole suddenly the heaven and the earth cried loudly and the great sages fainted. The Daityas of very huge size resembling (large) clouds roared. They were sure that they would conquer. Surmising the idea and intention of Taraka, Lord Sankara abandoned the chariot along with Uma and mounted his bull. Repeating the Mantra “Om” Brahma resorted to the sky suddenly.
108Then Taraka lifted up the chariot that had been made by Rudra and had a hundred lions (yoked to it), dashed it against the ground and smashed it to powder.
109-110The trident, the Pasupata and other weapons approached suddenly. But Bhava, Girina, stopped them saying, “He can be managed.” Thereupon realizing his self-deception as well as that by Rudra, the Daitya maliciously roared and rushed suddenly against Mahesvara who was riding his bull.
111-115aThereupon various Devas rushed (against the Daitya) in the following manner: Janardana lifted up his discus and rushed speedily. Indra lifted up his thunderbolt. Yama raised his staff roaring loudly. The infuriated Dhanesvara roared raising his iron club. Varuna roared with his noose held aloft. Vayu raised his terrible great goad. The Fire-god (Vahni) lifted up his Sakti of great refulgence. Nirrti raised his sharp sword. The infuriated Rudras lifted up their tridents. Sadhya-devas raised their bows. Vasus lifted up iron bolts. Visvedevas raised pestles and thrashing rods. The Moon and the Sun their refulgence, the Asvinidevas the medicinal herbs, the serpents the blazing poison and Himadri and other important ones lifted up the mountains.
115b-117On seeing the Devas roaring and rushing (against him), O son of Pritha, Taraka turned suddenly trumpeting like a great elephant. With his adamantine fist he hit Sakra in his arm and made him fall down. He seized the staff from Yama, struck him with it on his head and made him fall down. With his (own) chest he hit Dhanada and his iron club and made him fall on the ground.
118He seized the noose from Varuna and bound him with it and toppled him down. With his great goad he went on striking Vayu for a long time on his head.
119With Phutkaras (‘blowing out wind from his mouth’) Taraka subdued the blazing fire. He seized Nirfti’s sword, struck him with it and made him fall down.
120Rudras were tortured with (their own) tridents, Sadhyas with their bows, Vasus with their own iron bolts and Visvedevas with their own pestles.
121-122He covered the Moon and the Sun with dust particles. They appeared as though they were stationed in an anthill. He smashed the terrible and great medicinal herbs of Asvini-devas by means of palms. By trampling and treading on them he made the poisonous serpents rid of their poisons. The mountains were choked and suffocated much by means of (other) mountains.
123Thus within a muhurta he made the army of Devas unconscious. It cried out “Ha, Ha” (Alas!) in distress Then he rushed at the Discus-wielding Lord (i.e. Vishnu) roaring.
124Then Kesava laughed and suddenly vanished like the Lord (Svami), the most excellent one among the intelligent, who always becomes invisible to Kuyogins (‘a bad yogini).
125Not being able to see Vishnu, the infuriated Daitya Taraka rushed against the Bull-vehicled Lord with great speed lifting up his closed fist.
126Like a streak of lightning, Lord Hari became (partly) visible and invisible. Lifting up his arm he loudly proclaimed to Devas:
127“Alas, O Devas, run away, if you have sufficient strength to flee. All of us who came here at the instance of an infant have been deluded.
128Has this verse not been heard—the verse that was formerly sung by the son of the Self-born Lord? ‘Whatever is deposited and placed on trust in infants, women, bad scholars, and epileptic patients (or forgetful persons) is no better than fallen in peril (or being lost).’
129-130All that is (i.e. the truth of that is) borne out by direct experience now. If we had previously known that he would not kill a devotee of Rudra, if he had not taken that vow also, we would not have had this great sorrowful plight and destruction.
131Or, if this evil-minded one docs not kill the Lord of Daityas, do not be afraid, O highly fortunate ones. I shall kill your enemies.
132See now, O Devas, the unlimited power of my arms. Look (now), with a single (blow of my) fist I shall destroy the base Daitya.
133My right arm is permanently offered to you by me. I shall kill your enemies. I shall keep up this promise.
134Just as a violent gust of wind dispels clouds, I shall in a moment destroy all those great Asuras who are in the sky, on the earth and in the nether worlds.”
135After saying this, Jagannatha raised his closed right fist. Without any weapon, he jumped down from the back of Tarksya (Garuda) and dashed (against the Daitya).
136While Govinda was running, all the three worlds shook. The entire universe swooned. Devas became excessively afraid.
137He was on a par with Rudra at the close of the Kalpa. While he was running flames came out from his mouth. By them, a hundred Kharvas (i.e. I followed by ten zeroes) of Daityas were killed.
138Thereupon Siddhas in the firmament directly spoke these words: “O Vasudeva, eschew your anger. If you are furious, where will be the universe?”
139He did not pay heed to that statement. He said, “I shall not do anything else.” The infuriated Hari called and challenged the great Daitya and rushed at him.
140He spoke these words: “Let me acquire that merit which those who strenuously protect good men acquire. Let me acquire that merit which those who kill the vicious ones get.”
141Then Mahasena saw Taraka proceeding towards Rudra and also Hari the ancient Purusa (Being) pursuing Taraka.
142-144He saw the universe extremely agitated. He recollected his own promise made earlier. He noticed the red disc of the sun suspended in the western horizon. He heard an ethereal voice as follows: “O Skanda, why are you exhausted and dispirited? If after killing a Brahmana you repent and install a Linga of Isa, you will be liberated from the sins of hundreds of slaughters.” On hearing this (ethereal speech) Skanda became extremely infuriated so much so that he appeared desirous of burning the earth.
145Then the son of Bhava jumped down from his peacock, laughingly embraced Kesava with his arms and spoke:
146“I know you, O Vishnu, as one endowed with great intellect and exploit. You can kill all the Daityas of the past, present and future by means of Humkaras (i.e. humming and hissing sound in anger).
147You alone are the slayer of Daityas, the protector of Devas. You are the person who establishes Dharma (virtue and piety). Here I have joined my palms in reverence to you.
148Within half a moment, see my prowess. The sun is becoming ruddier and ruddier.” Thus Vasudeva was pleased and delighted by Skanda who (duly) bowed down to him.
149Kesava became rid of anger. He embraced Skanda and spoke these words: “Now Dharma has acquired a patron in you. Suras have a leader in you, O Guha.
150Recollect yourself what for you have been born from Mahesvara. It is for the sake of protecting good men and annihilating the vicious ones. The birth and the whole life of noble- souled persons is for the sake of Suras and Brahmanas.
151-152You are born from the splendour of Rudra, the goddess (Parvati), Ganga, Krttikas, Svaha and Vahni. Make that splendour fruitful (effective). If one makes use of one’s wealth, vigour and assets for the sake of good people, all those things are really fruitful. Not otherwise, O son of Rudra.
153Let virtue, Devas, cows, Sadhyas and Brahmanas become delighted today by your vigour and prowess. Exhibit your power and potentiality.”
154-155Skanda said: If I do not kill Taraka immediately, let me get the same state (of life) as one gets if one abandons you and Siva, O Kesava. Let me get that state that one gets by abandoning Srutis (Vedas), by tormenting and harassing one’s own chaste wife, by keeping aloof from good people, by leading the life aimlessly and fruitlessly and by being ruthless. Let me get that state, O Kesava.
156When this was averred (by Skanda) a loud sound (of applause) arose from the ranks of Heaven-dwellers. Some of them praised Guha and some praised Lord Narayana.
157Then, in the course of that great battle, Hari mounted on his Tarksya and Mahasena on his cock and both of them rushed at Taraka.
158-159Lord Mahasena was clad in red clothes. His garland and ornaments were red. He was red-eyed with large powerful arms. He had golden armour. He lifted the Sakti with his arm and made all the living beings tremble. Approaching Taraka he said to him laughingly:
160“Stop, stop, O excessively wicked one. Your life is held by me (within my power). Let the world be made well pleased and yielder of all rare Siddhis.
161I am striking at your ruthlessness towards Dharma, Devas and cows. Remember the weapon in which you have had sound training.”
162-163When this was spoken by Guha and when Taraka turned a certain woman came out of his head. With her refulgence, she illuminated him, up and down and all the quarters. On seeing the woman Guha said: “Who are you? Why have you come out?”
164The woman replied: I am called Sakti, O Guha. I am always stationed on the earth. I have been acquired by this king of Daityas by means of great penance.
165I stay in all Suras. I stay in Brahmanas devoted to the subjects mentioned in scriptural texts. I stay in chaste women. But I never stay in a place devoid of good qualities.
166O Guha, the collection (balance) of the meritorious deeds of this (Daitya) got exhausted now. Therefore, I am going away forsaking him. Kill him for the good of the universe.
167When she went away, the head of the Daitya shivered. His body also quivered and trembled . Then it lost all its vigour and prowess within a moment.
168-170Tn the meantime the son of the daughter of the Mountain hurled the Sakti which emitted meteor-like sparks, and surpassed the sun and fire by its lustre. It made a loud terrible sound like the roaring of the ocean at the time of the close of the Kalpa. It seemed to be desirous of burning the universe. It appeared to be the special unfortunate position of Planets marking the time of death of the unfortunate Taraka. It (the Sakti) could tear up mountains and surpassed all beings in its strength. The infuriated Guha lifted it up, roared loudly and discharged it.
171While discharging it he proclaimed thus: “If Dharma prevails in the world, if Dharma is ever victorious, then let this Daitya be destroyed by virtue of this truth.”
172Discharged by the arms of Kumara that unassailable Sakti which could not be curbed, pierced his (i.e-Taraka’s) heart. After piercing it, it fell on the earth.
173With a wavelike movement of water it came back to Skanda. The Asura had been struck with the Sakti. His heart had been split and he made the entire earth vibrate by his loud roar. Then he fell down with his face down and died.
174Thus, O son of Pritha, Taraka who had scorched the three worlds and who had defeated Suras many times, was killed by Kumara in the great battle.
175-176When this Daitya was killed, the entire universe became delighted. Pleasant gentle breezes blew. The sun shone with good lustre. Fires blazed quietly. The (terrific) sounds produced in various quarters quietened down.
177-178Then the delighted Kesava, the slayer of enemies, said to Skanda once again: “O Skanda, O Skanda of powerful arms, the son of Bala named Bapa, is harassing Devas by wielding the Kraunca mountain. O hero, since he is afraid of you now, he has fled to the mountain. Kill with the force of your Sakti that demon of evil design who is stationed on the Kraunca mountain.”
179The Lord of great refulgence pierced with his Sakti the mountain Kraunca where many tigers roamed about roaring, and which was full of many trees and animals.
180The Sakti of loud sound pierced the mountain and burned thousands of tigers and ten thousand crores of Daityas and Bana as well.
181-182Even today, O son of Pritha, that hole through the Kraunca exists. It is through it that swans and Kraunca (crane) birds go to the Manasa lake. After killing Bana, the great Sakti came back to Skanda in the same manner as the mind of a good man directed elsewhere is brought back to the original state.
183Then Hari, Indra and others eulogized; Rambha and other excellent women danced. They played on various musical instruments. The Immortals exclaimed loudly, “Well done! Well done!”