The AkhyAna of skanda-patnI

OM hrIM ShaShaThI devyai svAhA ||

The wandering sUta said: “Listen to the wonderous AkhyAna of skanda-patnI that relieves unborn and young kids from troubles. In days long past I was wandering in the fringes of the magadha, when I stumbled into the mighty brahmin, kashyapa, the son of marIchI. I asked him to narrate to me the tale of the wonderous exploits of skanda and his agents.

kashyapa said: “Listen sUta this ancient story of the great god kumAra, the commander of the deva forces and his agents. In the ancient kalpa, after the devas had drunk the amR^ita, the asura-s smarting due to their outwitting sought to avenge themselves. The gods have won account of vAk they said. We too shall strive with our vAk, declared dundubhi the lord of the asuras. All the asuras put forth their mighty vAk simulataneously and from the asura-vAk was born the deadly asura-kanyA, dIrgha-jihvI. The asuras then attacked the gods and a fierce battle broke out. The devas fought with their ranks comprised of the vasus, the rudras and Adityas, and their commander-in-chief being the six-headed skanda. He had with him his brothers and gaNa-s lead by shAkha, vishAkha, nejamesha and the bull-headed nandI. At first the deva assault drove back the asuras to pAtAla, but then they let out their secret agent- dIrgha-jihvI. Of black color and with many strong arms and a long lolling tongue the asura-kanyA rushed on the deva army. She started eating up the weapons shot by the devas and licking them up with her long tongue. Seeing their army in disarray the deva-s huddled around their commander kumAra and asked him to aid them in battle.

kArttikeya said: “give me a boon- I wish to be represented amongst all of the devatA gaNa-s”.
The devas pronounced the praNAva “te devA OM ityUchUH|“. Immediately kumAra became one of each of the devatA gaNa-s. Of the vasu-s he became dhruva, of the rudra-s he became sha~Nkara, of the Aditya-s he became ahaspati, who dominates the 13th month. Pleased with this kumAra decided to rid the world of dIrghajihvI and the asuras, who were tormenting all. kumAra thought of his shaktI, the great ShaShThi devI, and she emerged from this forehead in the form known as revatI devI. The mighty skanda-patnI cheered the deva army and advanced towards the asura army. Here she became a gigantic hyaena known as the shAlAvR^ikI and rushed towards dIrghajihvI who was darting all over the battlefield. With her powerful jaws she grabbed the asura-kanyA and tearing her to shreds swallowed her up. The asura-s terrified by this frightful form of skanda-patnI rushed at her with all their weapons showering, arrows, shataghni-s and other bhindipAlas. Then the frightful ShaShThi assumed the form known as shakuni devI and she flew over the asura army hurling a shower of weapons that crashed from the firmament like blazing meteorites. Then she used a lighting weapon that brought a enveloped the daitya army in the crackle of thunderbolts. Finally, revatI let loose a weapon that showered huge stones on the asuras. Assailed by these the enemies of the deva-s were smashed to smithereens and fled in disarray.

The dAnavas fearing an attack from skanda-patnI hid themselves in the wombs of various beings amongs their embryos. So revatI becoming jAtahAriNI at the behest of kumAra chased the demons in the wombs deluded them and killed them there. It is indeed the goblins of skanda under his wife’s command who can hence destroy the embryos and young kids. Hence, the revatI revealed to me [kashyapa] the line of bheShaja known as bAla-graha-chikitsa (paediatrics).”

Agents of kumAra

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