13

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 the period of 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 along the lines of "Fool! The eighth son of Devaki is still alive and he'll kill you!" And then she flew up into the sky.

Afterwards, 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 Apr 10 '15 at 7:33
  • @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. – Keshav Srinivasan May 15 '15 at 0:59
  • Thanks for more details Keshav. Its good to know that our books still have such pointers for missing information. – Aby May 19 '15 at 8:48
  • 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 Jan 14 '16 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. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 14 '16 at 12:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .