Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Slaying of Mahishasura

When the Devi destroyed the army of the King of Demons, Mahishasura; Chakshura, the mighty general from his army decided to fight the Devi himself. But very soon, after a fierce battle with Chakshura, the Devi slaughtered him into hundreds of pieces like she did with his spear. As soon as the valiant general of Mahisha, was slain, Chamara, the afflicter of the gods came forward mounted on an elephant to try his luck in the great battle. The Devi’s Lion pounced upon the Elephant and the two battled fiercely till the end. The lion then struck Chamara with his paw and killed him.

Seeing his army being destroyed brutally by the Devi and her Lion, Mahishasura took the form of a majestic & fierce Buffalo & terrified the troops of the Devi. Hitting some by muzzle, trampling some by the hooves, lashing at some with his tail, and tearing others with is horns. When he was done with the Devi’s army, Mahishasura rushed to slay the lion of the Devi Shakti. This enraged the Devi. Mahishasura, pounded the terrain with his hooves in rage, crushed the earth by his whirling speed & flooded the oceans. When the Devi saw Mahishasura advancing towards her in such rage, she was angered & flung her noose over the great asura and bound him. But Mahishasura soon relinquished his buffalo form & became a lion. When the Devi cut the head of his Lion form, he took human form. The Devi slayed the human for too immediately & then the evil Mahishasura took the form of a huge Elephant. When the Devi cut off his trunk with her sword, the asura resumed his buffalo form and shook the three worlds. The enraged Goddess & Mahishasura continued to battle ferociously, till the Devi jumped in the air and landed herself on the buffalo form of Mahishasura. She crushed his neck under her feet and struck him with her spear. Caught helplessly under her foot, Mahishasura tried to take human form again but could only manage to reveal himself till his waist. Soon he was beheaded by the Devi. The battle thus ended & the entire army of Mahishasura perished.

The gods along with the divine seers lauded the Goddess, the Gandharva chiefs sang and the bevies of apsaras danced in celebration of Mahishasura’s end.

Mahishaasura represents the next step in our path to liberation (Mukti or Moksha). Mahishaasura who kept transforming from a buffalo, to a lion, to a man, to an elephant, and then back to a buffalo; represents the never ending chain of desires in us.  When one desire is fulfilled another springs and takes its place. There is a never ending transformation and multiplication of multifarious desires. This is called Vikshepa Shakti and it rooted in ‘RajoGuna’ or Rajas.  This conquest of Mahishasura is symbolic to winning over the ‘Rajasic’ tendencies in us.

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