Chapter Eleven
THE WAR BEGINS


Sankhacuda quickly got up, bowed down to Lord Siva, and ascended his chariot with his ministers. Lord Siva ordered his army to be ready immediately, and Sankhacuda did the same. Musical instruments blared out, formally announcing the start of war. There was a great clamour along with the cries of the warriors. Then the fight between the demigods and demons began, and both sides fought righteously. Indra fought with Vrsaparvan, Bhaskara (the sun god) with Vipracitti, Nisakara (the moon god) with Dambha, Fire with Gokarna, Kuvera with Kalakeya, and Viswakarma with Maya. Mrtyu (the death god) battled with Bhayamkara, Yama with Sambara, Vayu with Bala, Vaurna with Vikamka, Budha with Dhritapristha, Sani with Raktaksa, Jayanta with Ratnasara, the Vasus with the groups of Varchases, the two Aswini Kumaras with the two Diptimans, Nalukuvara with Dhuma, and Dharma with Dhurandhara. Mangala contended with Ganakaksa, Vaisvana with Sobhakara, Mammatha with Pipita, the twelve sun gods with Gokamukha, Curna, Kahdga, Dhumra, Samhala, Visva and Palasa. The eleven Rudras fought with eleven terrible and powerful asuras, Mahamani fought with Ugracanda and others, and Nandisvara and the rest fought with the leading demons.

Lord Siva, the goddess Kali and their son Karttikeya encamped at the root of the holy fig tree.

King Sankhacuda, adorned with gems and surrounded by millions of demons, sat down on a beautiful jewelled throne.

Then a great battle ensued. Many mystical and supernatural weapons were hurled, and numerous demigods and demons were killed. Maces, long and short swords, Pattisas, Bhusundis, Mudgaras (different types of iron clubs), javelins, spears, axes and other weapons glowed in the soldiers' hands. Fighting with these weapons, the jubilant warriors roared and cut off each other's heads. Elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers, along with their drivers and passengers were hit and torn apart. Arms, thighs, hands, hips, ears and feet were cut off. Flags, arrows, swords, coats of mail and beautiful ornaments were split apart. From the tussle, glowing heads with earrings as well as elephant like thighs were strewn about the earth. Severed arms with their ornaments and weapons were scattered about like honeycombs. Warriors running on the battlefield saw several headless bodies that jumped and which were still holding their weapons. The warriors discharged so many arrows at each other that the sun became obscured and it appeared as if the rainy season had arrived. Heroes roared like lions, blew conches loudly and fought furiously. Though the combat was terrible and tumultuous, it was pleasurable to the fighters. Then the demigods were defeated. Many were wounded by weapons and missiles, and, frightened, they fled the battlefield.

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