As I discuss in this answer, the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha once defeated the gods and took over the three worlds. The gods went to Mount Kailash to ask Durga for help. After they said a prayer to Durga, Shiva's wife Parvati walked by, and out of her body came a form of Durga known as Ambika, AKA Kaushiki, who defeated Shumbha and Nishumbha in battle and restored the rule of the three worlds to Indra and the gods.

In any case, in this chapter of the Devi Mahatmya of the Markandeya Purana, after the battle, Durga tells the gods about her future incarnations, and in particular, she says this about an incarnation in the present Mahayuga:

40-41. The Devi said: 'When the twenty-eighth age has arrived during Vaivasvata Manu, two other great asuras, Shumbha and Nishumbha will be born. Then born from the womb of Yasoda, in the home of cowherd Nanda, and dwelling on the Vindhya mountains, I will destroy them both.'

For those who don't know, around the same time that Krishna was born to Vasudeva and Devaki, a daughter was born to Nandagopa and Yashoda. She was an incarnation of Yogamaya, the illusory power of Vishnu who is often associated with Durga. When Vasudeva brought Krishna to Nandagopa and Yashoda, he took Yashoda's daughter back to the prison and presented her to Kamsa as the eighth son of Devaki. When Kamsa tried to kill the baby girl, she revealed herself as a goddess and said something like "Fool! The eighth son of Devaki is still alive and he'll kill you!" And then she flew up into the sky.

Afterward, this goddess is said to have gone to the Vindhya mountains, which is why she is known as Vindhyavasini. But my question is, what is the story of her fighting the rebirths of the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha? Who were they reborn as?

Are there any scriptures that describe this story?

  • Keshav, I asked the similar question earlier also at hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/3809/…. But there were no answers. Luckily, you have got some information, so can you either mark the earlier question as duplicate or answer the details there as well.
    – Aby
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 7:33
  • 1
    @Aby I just found a chapter of the Virata Parva of the Mahabharata where Yudhishthira worships Vindhyavasini, and it specifically mentions her as the daughter of Nandagopa and Yashoda: sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04006.htm So at least by the time the Pandavas had gone into exile, Yashoda's daughter Vindhyavasini was already famous and being worshipped. Commented May 15, 2015 at 0:59
  • 1
    So like Krsna would she gave been worshipped as Devakitanaya for some 12 to 15 years? Before who's who was cleared up? And did she continue to be worshipped as both Devaki and Yashoda's daughter?
    – Surya
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 12:26
  • 2
    @Surya As far as I know she's only worshipped as the daughter of Yashoda. I think right after she scared Kamsa, she remained as an adult-looking goddess and went around doing great deeds like fighting demons and blessing devotees and the like, so who her parents were didn't matter much. Also I think Kamsa and everyone clearly knew that she wasn't Devaki's child, because she told him that Devaki's child is still out there. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 12:39
  • 1
    @Surya That's interesting. You know my views on Radha, but I'm still interested in whether this story has some basis in Hindu scripture. By the way, Ekanamsha is another name for Vishnu's Yogamaya, who of course Vindhyavasini is an incarnation of. Ekanamsha is described in great detail in the Pancharatra Agamas; she was worshipped a lot by early Vaishnavas but somehow she lost popularity over time. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 13:22

2 Answers 2


The anedote of Vindhyavāsinī killing Śumbha-Niśumbha occurs in the 41st chapter of the Māhātmyakhaṇḍa of Tripurārahasya. According to it, 2 Asura brothers named Śumbha & Niśumbha attacked Vṛndāvana with their army after Śri Kṛṣṇa left for Dvārakā in order to avenge the death of their brother Aghāsura. They captured Nanda, the daughters of the gopas & their cows. Yashodā & other women fled the spot to seek refuge at the hermitage of sage Kātyāyana. On hearing their cries, Vindhyavāsinī manifested before them at the hermitage. A terrible battle ensured at the banks of Yamunā, in which Vindhyavāsinī rescued Nanda & the gopakumārīs. Terrified of her, the surviving Asuras fled away from Vṛndāvana & hid in the Vindhya mountains. Niśumbha hid in a cave deep within the mountains, Śumbha within the Gaṅgā & the remaining Asuras in a cave/hole near the Gaṅga in the mountains. Vindhyavāsinī assumed 3 corporeal forms to kill them & settled down in those places in those 3 forms with the aim to grant mokṣa to humans during Kaliyuga.

According to the Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa & Harivaṁśa, Yashodā's daughter didn't dissapear into the skies after the she assumed Her divine form & harshly rebuked Kaṁsa. That girl, subsequently named as Ekānaṁśā, was raised by Devakī & Vasudeva. Śrī Kṛṣṇa married off Ekānaṁśā to sage Durvāsā.

  • Beautiful find!
    – Surya
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 4:49
  • @অনু Pls tell me what are the three corporeal forms.
    – Boovanaes
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 8:26

Quoting from the Vindhyeshwari Stotram

enter image description hereenter image description here



This is also quoted in Devi Mahatmyam

[Here is the link of the website that attributes the Devi Mahatmyam] (https://greenmesg.org/stotras/durga/deeds_of_parvati.php)

Apparently,it was in the form of Vindhyeshwari that Mother killed the two demons.


This video answers your question,and gives more information

  • THE OP ASKS the full story not just the or form of the goddess.
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 9:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .