Chapter Thirteen
LORD SIVA ENTERS THE BATTLE


After hearing the goddess' report, Lord Siva, versed in the highest knowledge, went with his entire retinue into battle. He sat on his great bull and was encircled by Virabhadra and others, as well as the Bhairavas and the Ksetrapalas, all equal to him in valour. As Lord Siva entered the battle ground, he assumed a heroic form and shone well as the incarnation form of the destroyer.

When Sankhacuda saw him, he alighted from his aerial chariot and offered obeisances to him by lying flat on the ground. Then he got up, quickly returned to his chariot, and, seizing his bow and arrows, readied himself for the fight.

The fight lasted for a year. The two heroes showered arrows fiercely on one another the way clouds continuously pelt the earth with rain. When Sankhacuda playfully shot dreadful arrows, Lord Siva split them all with his own arrows. Lord Siva hit the demon's limbs with various weapons. Sankhacuda then grabbed his sword and shield, hastened toward Lord Siva's sacred bull and hit it on the head. Seeing this, Lord Siva smashed that sword and the shining shield by his Ksurapra weapon. Then the demon threw his spear but Lord Siva shot an arrow at it and split it in half. Sankhacuda, now infuriated, flung a discus, but Siva punched it with his fist and splattered it. The demon threw his club vigorously at Lord Siva, however Siva split it apart and reduced it to ashes. Grabbing an axe, Sankhacuda rushed toward Lord Siva, but Siva released such a volley of arrows at him that he fell unconscious.

The Danava quickly regained consciousness and mounted his beautiful chariot. Covering the whole sky, he shone resplendently with his mystic weapons and arrows.

When Lord Siva saw him coming toward him, he pounded his drum with enthusiasm and twanged his bowstring with a loud sound. Siva filled all four quarters with the sound of his horn and then, roaring loudly, frightened the demons. Next, the noble bull bellowed thunderously, filling the sky, earth and eight quarters and shaming the proud trumpeting elephants. Lord Siva surpassed all previous sounds by clapping the earth and the sky. The warriors emitted a raucous laughing sound, portending ill for the asuras. Siva also roared in that mighty battle.

The demons were frightened by these piercing and dreadful sounds. However, the Danava king became extremely angry.

Lord Siva shouted, "O wicked one, stay! Stay!," and the gods and his companions quickly shouted, "Victory! Victory!"

Sankhacuda then hurled at Lord Siva his awesome flame-shooting spear; as it travelled, it blazed brilliantly like a mighty fire. However, one of Lord Siva's followers shot a meteor at it and stopped it. As the battle between Lord Siva and the demon king continued, the heavens, earth, mountains, oceans and rivers shook and trembled. Lord Siva split apart hundreds and thousands of Sankhacuda's arrows, and the king did the same to Lord Siva's shafts. Then the infuriated Siva hit Sankhacuda with his trident and knocked him unconscious. But quickly regaining consciousness, he grabbed his bow, discharged some arrows and hit Lord Siva and his assistants. Then, by means of magic, the asura assumed ten thousand arms and quickly surrounded Lord Siva with ten thousand discuses. But Lord Siva shot wonderful arrows at them and split them all apart. Sankhacuda next seized his mace and, accompanied by a massive army, charged Lord Siva with the intention of destroying him. However, Lord Siva split the mace, making the Danava furious. The demon then seized a spear that, to the enemy, blazed unbearably; as he neared Lord Siva, the latter hit him in the chest with his trident. Then, a huge, valorous being came out of the demon's chest and said, "Stand by, stand by." Lord Siva laughed loudly and, with his sword, cut off the fearsome head that was emerging, and it fell to the ground.

Spreading her mouth wide open, Kali angrily consumed countless demons, crushing their heads with her fierce fangs. The enraged Ksetrapala consumed many other demons, and Lord Siva shot missiles at some and killed them. Others were just wounded. Virabhadra and Nandisvara destroyed many other demons. Thus a major portion of Sankhacuda's army was killed while many of his terrified troops cowardly fled the battlefield. But Sankhacuda stood firm and said to Lord Siva, "I'm here, ready to fight with you. Come on. So what if many of my men have been killed. Fight me, face to face!"

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