Durga Stories for Navaratri – Episode 1 – Birth of Mahisa and Raktabeej
With the onset of Navaratri festival let us see a few Durga stories for Navaratri. Here in this episode is the story of how Mahisa and Raktabeej were born.
Once there lived 2 demon brothers, Rambho and Karambho, were quite ambitious. In order to gain some boons from the great Gods, they decided to devote themselves to deep meditation. Karambho sat in a river and meditated; Rambho did the same balancing himself in a tree, Indra used to be scared of anybody who meditated on the great Gods. Under his influence, a crocodile killed Karambho in the river. When Rambho learnt of his brother’s death, he lighted a flame before him and decided to sacrifice himself to the God of Fire.
He unsheathed his sword for the purpose, At once the God of Fire appeared before him and said, and “To take one’s own life is a grievous sin. Don’t do it. Ask me for a boon.” “Very well! Let me have a son who cannot be killed by gods, men or demons,” said Rambho. He wanted to wreak vengeance on the gods through such a powerful son, in case he too got killed like his brother. “It is granted,” said the God of Fire and he vanished. Rambho wandered from place to place. One day he met a young demoness. Fascinated by her, he married her. The de- moness was in the habit of assuming the form of a she-buffalo when travelling. One day when Rambho and his wife were crossing a forest – Rambho’s wife in the form of a buffalo—a wild buffalo saw her and attacked her. Rambho went to her rescue, but instead got killed. His wife sacrificed herself in his funeral pyre. She was then pregnant. Out of the fire emerged her two sons, Mahishasura and Raktabeej.
Mahishasura soon distinguished himself as an uncompromising foe of the gods. The demons, pleased with him, made him their king. Renowned demon- heroes like Tikshur,Tamra, Asiloma, Sudarka, Vidal, Trinetra, and Kalavandhaka became his ministers and generals. The war between the gods and the demons was continuing for a long time. Mahishasura climbed the Kanchan Mountain and sat for years concentrating on Brahma. When Brahma at last appeared before him the demon asked him for the boon of immortality. “Whoever is born must die I cannot make you immortal ask me for some other boon,” said Brahma. “Grant me then, O God, that no hero among the gods or men or demons can ever vanquish me,” prayed Mahishasura. “Let it be so,” said Brahma.
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