DURGAM was the son of a demon named Ruru. Though very strong, Durgam used his energy on negative activities like inflicting cruelty and spreading evil around him. When he became the king of demons, he asked his ministers, “We and our ancestors have been fighting the gods for years and yet we always face defeat at their hands. Why is it that the gods are always victorious? Could it be that there is some secret behind their success in every battle that we have fought with the gods?”
One of his senior ministers replied that the secret of their success lay in their knowledge of the Vedas.
Durgam resolved to acquire the knowledge possessed in the Vedas but he did not know whom to appoint his teacher because he had demons only all around him. He then decided to pray to Lord Brahma and went on penance for years. Lord Brahma, on seeing his devotion, appeared before Durgam and asked what boon he wanted as a reward for his worship and penance. Durgam replied, “Lord, I wish to acquire the knowledge that lies in the Vedas. I request that the Vedas may be kept in my safe custody and I will treasure them for life.”
Lord Brahma agreed and granted him the permission to keep the Vedas, which Durgam hid in the patal loka. The gods became worried on seeing this because without the Vedas, which gave them the knowledge on how to perform yajna and thus control the forces of Nature, they were helpless. People on the earth too were affected because without performing any yajna, they could not please the gods. There was famine and drought everywhere and without rain, the people began to starve and die.
In desperation, the gods approached Ma Bhagwati for help. She gave them a leaf that had grown on her body and said, “This will protect you as soon as rain pours on the earth.” At her words, rain began to fall and soon drought and famine ended and the fields began to bloom with crops and plants. Ma Bhagwati then constituted an army of ten goddesses and soldiers to attack Durgam’s kingdom. Many demons lost their lives in the battle but a few escaped.
Ma Bhagwati then confronted Durgam and threatened him, “Durgam, either you handover the Vedas to me or else I will destroy you and your brethren. It is for you to choose either to live peacefully in your patal loka or face death at my hands.”
Durgam, being a stubborn demon and bloated with ego, he refused to give in. Ma Bhagwati sent her army to fight Durgam and his remaining army and the fight continued for ages. At last, Ma Bhagwati aimed her trident at Durgam’s chest. The trident went and pierced his heart and he collapsed on the ground.
The gods were pleased to see Durgam’s life come to his end and so were the people on earth who acclaimed the occasion with cries of “Jai Ma Bhagwati” renting the air.