Preparations of Devas and Daityas for war ||28||

1Lomasa said: After placing Kumara in his lap, Rudra, the valorous Bharga, the lord of the universe, said to Devas including lndra:
2“What is to be done by my son, O Devas? Let it be stated.” Then all of them together said to Lord Pasupati:
3“A threat has come from Taraka to all the worlds, O Lord. You are the saviour. You are the master of the worlds. Hence let protection be accorded.
4Today itself, O Lord, Tar aka shall be killed by Kumara Karttikeya. Hence we shall go today itself in our endeavour to kill Taraka.”
5-9Thinking that it should be so, Suras started at once keeping Karttikeya, the son of Sankara, at the head. All of them, with Brahma and Vishnu as leaders, had soon gathered there. On hearing about the preparation of Devas, Taraka, the mighty one, marched against Suras to fight them with a great army. The great army of Taraka that had come (there) was seen by Devas. Then an ethereal voice said consoling them: “All of you have started after keeping the son of Sankara at the head. You will become victorious after defeating Daityas in the battle.”
10On hearing the ethereal voice, all the Devas became enthusiastic. Keeping the infant-lord (Kumara) at the head, they got rid of all their fears.
11When all the Suras who were desirous of fighting had arrived, the invincible daughter of Mrtyu came there to woo Kumara.
12Formerly she had been urged by Brahma to resort to great penance (to enable herself to attain) Kumara by means of that great penance. That beautiful lady named Sena , the daughter of Mrityu, came there.
13On seeing her, all of them said to Lord Pasupati: “A very beautiful lady has come for this Kumara.”
14At the instance of Brahma she was wooed by Kumara. Then Kumara, the son of Sankara, became Senapati (‘Lord of Sena’, also “commander-in-chief of the army”).
15Then conchs and drums (such as) Bherl, Pataha, Anaka, Gomukha and Dundubhi as well as Mridaligas of loud sound were sounded.
16The entire firmament was filled with that loud sound. At that time, Gauri, Ganga and Mothers and Krttikas told one another, “This is my son. This is my son.”
17-18Thus all of them-Mothers and others-who were engaged in arguments were forbidden by Narada: “Do not commit any foolishness. He is born of Parvati and Sankara for the sake of accomplishing the task of Devas.” Then all the Krttikas along with the Mothers became silent.
19-21Then all the wives of the sages, the Krttikas, were told by Guha: “All of you resort to the constellations and stay there forever . So the groups of mothers also were established in the fundament by the lord. Accepting the daughter of Mrityu hurriedly, Karttikeya, the infant-lord, the son of Sankara, said to Indra: “Go back to heaven along with Suras.”
22-23Kumara was told by lndra: “Indeed all of us have been harassed by Taraka. We have been driven out of heaven and we have dispersed to all the ten directions. Now what are you asking of us who have been ousted from our positions, O magnanimous one?” On being told thus by the Vajra-bearing Lord (lndra), the son of Sankara laughed and said to lndra: “Do not be afraid.” Thus, he granted him freedom from fear.
24Even as the noble-souled son of gaitkara was saying thus. Rudra went back to Kailasa along with Parvati and Pramathas.
25The great Daitya, surrounded by the armies of Daityas came (there). Great war drums were played. They were as terrifically loud as (the sounds at the time of) the great Deluge.
26-28There were intensely harsh sounds of martial musical instruments. Wonderful drums such as Dindimas and Gomukhas were sounded. There were many trumpets and large and harshsounding military drums like Kahalas and Kharasringas. Different kinds of musical instruments were played when Daityas gathered there. The heroes shouted and roared along with Taraka. Narada spoke these words to Taraka, a thorn unto Devas:
29Narada said: O excellent one among Asuras, effort has already been made by Devas for slaying you. There is no doubt about it. What is said by me cannot be otherwise.
30This son of Sarva has been intended for you. After knowing this, O mighty one, try (to save yourself) with great concentration.
31-35On hearing the words of Narada, the intelligent Taraka laughingly spoke these words: “Go to Purandara, O great sage, and report my words immediately and truthfully: “You wish to fight with me, keeping (the infant) Kumara at the head; you are reporting to a foolish step if you wish to do so. It cannot be otherwise. Depending upon a man named Mucukunda, you stayed in Amaravati on the strength of his glory and not otherwise. You are now standing before me relying on the power of Kumara. I will kill you. O dull-witted one, along with the Guardians of the Quarters.” Tell him this, O celestial sage. Do not tell Devendra anything else.”
36Thinking that it should be so, the holy sage Narada went to Suras whose leader was Sakra. The intelligent (sage) repeated to them all that was uttered by the leader of Asuras along with derisive laughter.
37Narada said: O Devas, let my words be heard. They should not be misunderstood. What has been said by Taraka along with his followers may be heard.
38-39Taraka said: I will kill you, O stupid one; my speech cannot be otherwise. You who had been honoured by the Guardians of the Quarters, have resorted to Mucukunda. I would rather not fight with you, a coward who has resorted to a man despite (your) being a Deva.
40On hearing his words all the Devas including Vasava said to Narada, the excellent sage, referring to Kumara:
41-43“Indeed, O celestial sage, you know the relative strength and weakness of Kumara. How is it that his (Taraka’s) words were uttered before me as if you had become ignorant?” Narada laughed and spoke these words in his presence: “I too laughed satirically and spoke (befitting) words to Taraka. O immortal Suras, understand ye all that Kumara wilI be victorious. What I say will (surely) take place. There is no doubt about it.”
44-45aOn hearing the words of Narada, all the Devas became joyous. They jointly rose up desirous of fighting with Taraka.
45bPlacing Kumara on an elephant Devendra proceeded ahead accompanied by the big army of Suras and surrounded by the Guardians of Quarters.
46Then Dundubhis were sounded. Many Bheris and musical instruments were played. Lutes, flutes and Mridangas were played. There were the vocal songs of Gandharvas.
47After giving the elephant to Mahendra, Kumara rode in an (aerial) chariot. It was studded with many gems and jewels. It was equipped with many wonderful features. It was extremely spacious and equipped with various marvels.
48Getting into the aerial chariot that son of Sankara of great fame shone well. He was accompanied by all the Ganas. He was endowed with great glory and radiance. The great lord was fanned with chowrics of great lustre.
49The umbrella (offered by) Varuna was held above the head of Kumara by Candra (Moon). It had great refulgence on account of jewels. It was fitted with many precious gems and stones. It was made highly splendid by means of the rays of the Moon.
50Then all the Devas assembled together with Indra at their head. They were accompanied by their respective armies. All those mighty ones were desirous of fighting.
51-53Yama came with his followers. The Wind-god came with Maruts; Varuna with Pathas (waters) (or Yadas-aquatic animals); Kubera with Guhyakas; lsvara with Pramathas; Nairrta with Vyadhis (ailments). Thus all the eight Guardians of the Quarters joined together desirous of fighting. In order to kill Taraka they had as their leader Senapati, the son of Sankara, the most excellent one among the knowers of the Atman worthy of being saluted by the entire universe. Thus desirous of fighting, they descended to the earth. They stood within the doab in the middle of Ganga and Yamuna.
54(Some of) the dependents of Taraka came from Patala, with all types of subsidiary armies. They moved about (here and there) desirous of killing Suras in battle.
55-56Taraka who shone in an aerial chariot came (there). (The Daitya) of great splendour had an umbrella held over his head. Being fanned with chowries, the king of Daityas shone well.
57Thus Devas and Daityas stood in the region between Ganga and Yamuna. They had separate arrays of soldiers. They were accompanied by great armies.
58-60They kept the elephants on one side. different kinds of horses (on another side). Chariots of various kinds set with many gems and precious stones stood (on another side). There were many foot-soldiers who were splendidly equipped with javelins, tridents, axes, swords, mallets, iron clubs, steel-tipped arrows, nooses and maces. The two armies of Suras and Daityas shone (while they faced) one another. They were desirous of killing one another. They were being eulogized by their kinsmen.