Daruka the demon, mighty and arrogant, wanted to conquer and rule the whole world. He also desired not to die, naturally or unnaturally. So he undertook meditation unto Lord Brahma. Having meditated for several hundred years, finally Lord Brahma appeared before him.“Son Daruka,” the Lord addressed his devotee:
“I am highly pleased with your penance”, He continued: “Ask any boon you desire.” Daruka opened his eyes slowly and saw with his external eyes the resplendent figure of Brahma and prostrated before Him. “Oh Lord, the creator of universe, Pranam. I want a boon that I should never die.” “This is impossible”, replied Lord Brahma, “for every being that takes birth must die.” Ask me something else. Daruka paused cautiously and said: “Give me boon that where one drop of my blood is strewn, another Daruka as mighty as I am, should resurrect then and there.”That means if a thousand drops of his blood is strewn in battle, the enemy has to combat with thousand and one terrible demons. So killing him would be second to impossible. Lord Brahma could read his mind. Yet the helpless Lord approved his request. Blessing him thus Lord Brahma disappeared.
Daruka, swollen with the power of boon granted by Lord Brahma became more arrogant and unscrupulous. He killed many noble men including Brahmans, Poojaris, Yogis and Rishis and ate them. He gave combat to the demigods and gods and defeated them. Unable to bear his tortures and onslaughts any more, the saints and yogis led by saint Narad proceeded towards Mount Kailasa.
Welcoming Narad and the Devas, the Lord with a suppressed smile inquired of them:“Narad and others, you are all welcome.”He continued: “Is the entire world happy and contend?” Looking especially at Narad, He asked by the way, what brought you all together here? What service shall I render to you?”
Hearing these words from the Lord, Narad replied: “Narayan…Narayan…! Bhagawan, this is very strange to hear from you as you are omniscient. Is there anything in this whole Universe that happens without your knowledge or approval? Plead, don’t take us under illusion of your Maya, Mahadeva…”
Narad then narrated the whole story of Daruka’s misdeeds. Hearing the total episode complacently, Lord Shiva said: “Narad, I am aware of his tyranny and the havoc he does. Just because of Lord Brahma I did not venture to finish him. However your worries will be addressed instantly.”
Saying this, the Lord plucked a few hairs from his tuft and threw it down uttering aloud: “Bhadrakali, my daughter…”With an uproar mounting to that of a thousand thunders, there appeared a gigantic lady. Sky-blue in colour, curled hair like melted copper, shining sword in hand, garland of human skulls around neck, chain of bones around waist, burning eyes like fire torches and protruded tongue. Bhadrakali, the one who does amelioration to all, sky erect, saluted her father and waited for His orders. Lord Shiva said, “Daughter mine, you alone are capable of wiping out their tears, putting end to Daruka. Go. Victory is yours!”
A fierce battle ensued between the Goddess and Daruka. All the gods and demigods from above looked at them both, fighting incessantly without knowing fatigue. The war lasted for nine days. At the end of the ninth day, Bhadrakali lifted Daruka holding around the tuft of his hair with her left hand. With her sword in the right hand she chopped his head from his torso, sucked the total blood streaming down and danced. Then she yelled. The entire world quivered and went into disorder in that lion-roar. Narad came near her and sang his celestial rhapsody praising her. Yet her anger did not subside fully. Finally lord Shiva appeared and laid Himself across her way. The moment her feet inadvertently touched the body of the Lord, all Her anger vanished and She became cool all of a sudden.
“Daughter darling,” hugging her with affection Lord Shiva said: “You have redeemed your duty that is unparallel in history. You saved the world from complete destruction. You will enjoy the power equal to that of Lord Vishnu and me. You will bless and look after all your devotees dwelling at 108 holy shrines in Bharat.”Lord Shiva then mounted to Kailasa.
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(To be concluded)