Chapter Fifteen
THE FINAL BATTLE

At this time, on the battlefield, King Sankhacuda approached Lord Siva without his armour. The latter seized his blazing trident to slay the demon. The trident's name was Vijaya, and it was as bright as a hundred summer suns. The front of it was presided over by Lord Narayana, the middle by Lord Brahma, the root by Lord Siva and the edge by Time. It was bright like the fire of devastation at the end of the world--dauntless, irresistible, fixed and destructive in its aim. In brilliance it equalled the Sudarsana Chakra, and it was the topmost of all weapons. No one but Lord Visnu or Lord Siva could wield it, and all but them were afraid of it. The trident was 14,000 cubits long and 100 cubits wide. One could not tell from where and how it proceeded. By its own will, this trident could destroy all the worlds.

Lord Siva raised the trident high, aimed and hurled it at Sankhacuda. Seeing it coming, the demon king dropped his bow and arrows, collected his mind, sat down in a yoga posture, and meditated on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna with great devotion. The trident whirled around Sankhacuda's head for a while. Then, at Lord Siva's command, it smashed into the demon's head and burned him and his chariot to ashes. Thereafter, the trident returned to Lord Siva, and then left for the airways at the speed of the mind, and finally returned with force and gladness to Lord Narayana.

In the heavens, the celestials beat their drums, the Gandharvas and Kinnaras sang, the sages and demigods chanted eulogies and all the damsels danced. Flowers continuously rained down upon Lord Siva, and Lord Visnu, Brahma, Indra and other notables praised him.

Out of compassion, Lord Siva tossed the demon's bones into the sea and these bones became transformed into all the conches in the world. They are always considered very holy and favourable in the worship of the demigods. The water in the conch is also considered very sacred and satisfying to the demigods--as sacred as the water in any holy river. It can be offered to all the demigods but not to Lord Siva. Wherever the conch is blown, Laksmi dwells there with great delight. If one bathes with the conch water, this is equivalent to bathing in all the holy rivers. Wherever the conch is placed, Lord Hari and Goddess Laksmi live there, and all inauspicious things disappear from that place. However, wherever the females and sudras blow the conch, Goddess Laksmi becomes annoyed and, out of fear, travels to other places.

Lord Siva then mounted his bull carrier and, with all his followers, returned to his own residence. All the demigods also returned to their abodes with great joy. Before leaving, Lord Siva favoured Sankhacuda by releasing him from his curse, and thus he regained his original form as the cowherd boy Sudama.

Adorned with jewels, holding a flute, mounted on a divine chariot, and surrounded by numerous cowherd boys from Goloka Vrndavana, Sankhacuda then flew to the spiritual sky, Goloka, which is full of devotees of Lord Krsna who have various transcendental relationships with Him.

When Sudama saw Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna, he bowed down to Their lotus feet with devotion. Seeing him, the Divine couple were filled with love for him and, with kind faces and joyful eyes, lifted him up and took him on Their laps.

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