(Last Updated on : 31/12/2012)
Shumbha and Nishumbha are the asuras who find mention in the Hindu text the Devi Mahatmyam
. According to the text they were killed by Maha Kali
in a fierce battle.
Battle between Shumbha, Nishumbha and Goddess Kali
Shumbha and Nishumbha were the two Asura brothers according to the stories from the Shrimad Devi Bhagwat Purana. Through their meditation they obtained the boon from Lord Brahma
that they may not be killed by any male but by a woman only. The lord pleased with their worship granted them the boon. Thus, empowered, these demons began tormenting people and disrupted the prayers and worship of the saints. The gods were also not spared. The asuras drove them away from heaven. They soon conquered the 'Three Worlds' by subjecting all to severe penance.
The gods realising that they cannot defeat the two brothers began praying to the goddess for help. Goddess Parvati
upon hearing the prayers of the Gods was moved to pity. She created another Goddess with her own powers who was known as 'Kaushiki.' The goddess was supremely beautiful and charming. Chanda and Munda, the disciples of the demon brothers Shumbha and Nishumbha fell for her beauty and reported about her to their masters. The asura brothers also taken by the beauty of the deity sent a marriage proposal to the goddess. The goddess however, rejected the proposal saying that she would only marry a person who can vanquish her in battle and capture her.
Shumbha and Nishumbha sent a large army and their competent generals to defeat and capture her. The huge army was however, easily defeated by the goddess. The asura brothers then sent their disciples Chanda and Munda to fight but they too were overpowered by the goddess who assumed the form of Maha Kali. The goddess was thus, also known as Chamunda
. Gradually the battle became fierce and violent. The goddess with her powers gave birth to seven more goddesses or Shaktis to assist her in the battle. Nisumbha was the first to be killed. Shumbha on seeing his dead brother went after the Devi but she cleaved him in two parts with her trident. The goddess therefore, relieved the world from all evils.