Durga Stories for Navaratri – Episode 2 -The Torments of Mahisasura
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In the last episode we saw how Mahisa and Raktabeej were born and how Mahisasura attained the boon.
When Mahishasura asked for this boon, he had in his mind the male heroes. He never imagined that there was any possibility of a goddess or a woman or a demoness turning his enemy. Mahishasura, now protected by Brahma’s boon, grew extremely proud. He sent an emissary to heaven. The demon-emissary met Indra, the king of gods, and said, “I come from the mighty demon-king, Mahishasura. He proposes that you surrender your abode to him. Let all the gods live peacefully as his subjects. You can turn down the proposal only to your own jeopardy. You ought to know that there is nobody equal to my king in strength or valour. To go to fight him would mean only one thing for you to meet your doom.” Indra burst out, “Listen, you impudent emissary of an impudent demon! You deserve to die; but I spare you to uphold the dignity of your office. Go and tell your master that he is welcome to fight me. I have heard that he sports a pair of horns. I shall pluck them and use them in my thunder.” The emissary went away.
“My lord, the words that Indra used were too disparaging of you to be repeated by me. In brief, he is ready to meet your challenge.” “Audacity!” cried out Mahishasura. “Who does not know that it is more through tricks than through valour that Indra has retained his position? Does he not employ the nymphs to distract the hermits from their spiritual goal? What does he know of fighting? I shall finish him in no time. In fact, I intend to put an end to the whole nice of the gods. Vishnu who always helps them should be punished too.” He summoned the leading demons and told them, “Heaven is a luxurious place. Gods have enjoyed the place for too long. It is time you drive them out of heaven and occupy it.”
The demons were quite happy at the prospect of conquering heaven for themselves. In heaven, Indra called the leading gods and said, “Mahishasura who has grown audacious on account of a boon from Brahma sent an emissary with an offending proposal. I had to reject it. He has threatened war. No doubt, he is very powerful. But there is no way out for us. We must fight. It is important for us to know the strength of the demon-king’s army.” The gods agreed with him. A capable spy was despatched to survey the army of Mahishasura. The spy’s report astounded Indra. He met Brihaspati, the priest and guide of the gods, and said, “I had no idea that Mahishasura had mobilised such a huge army. What is your advice to us?” “This is a critical situation. What you must muster now are patience and courage. It is your duty to try to protect this domain of the gods to the best of your capacity. I can be of no help to you except wishing you victory,” said Brihaspati. “I will of course do my best, but the foe we are facing is terrible. He believes that the boon of Brahma has made him invincible. He thinks that the conflict between the gods and the demons has gone on for a very long time. It should be brought to an end.
In the next episode we will spill the beans on who will face the mighty demon King
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