The Mahabharata Home
"Markandeya said, 'The illustrious Dhundhu, O king, was the son of Madhu and Kaitabha, and possessed of great energy and prowess, he underwent ascetic penances of great austerity and he stood erect on one leg and reduced his body to a mass of only veins and arteries, and Brahma, gratified with him, gave him a boon. And the boon he had asked of the lord Prajapati was in these words, 'Let no one among the gods, the Danavas, the Rakshas, the Snakes, the Gandharvas and the Rakshasas be capable of slaying me. Even this is the boon that I ask of thee.' And the Grandsire replied unto him saying, 'Let it be as thou wishest. Go thy way.' And thus addressed by the Grandsire, the Danava placed the feet of the Deity on his head and having thus touched with reverence the Deity's feet he went away and possessed of mighty energy and prowess. Dhundhu, having obtained the boon hastily approached Vishnu remembering the death of his father at the hands of that Deity, and the wrathful Dhundhu having vanquished the gods with the Gandharvas began to distress all the celestials with Vishnu at their head. And at last O bull of the Bharata race, that wicked souled Asura arriving at a sea of sands known by the name of Ujjalaka, began to distress to the utmost of his might the asylum of Utanka. And endued with fierce energy, Dhundhu, the son of Madhu and Kaitabha, lay in his subterranean cave underneath the sands in the observance of fierce ascetic and severe austerities with the object of destroying the triple world, and while the Asura lay breathing near the asylum of Utanka that Rishi possessed of the splendour of fire, king Kualaswa with his troops, accompanied by the Brahmana Utanka, as also
by all his sons set out for that region, O bull of the Bharata race! And after that grinder of foes, the royal Kuvalaswa, had set out, accompanied by his twenty-one thousand sons all of whom were exceedingly powerful, the illustrious Lord Vishnu filled him with his own energy at the command of Utanka and impelled by the desire of benefiting the triple world and while that invincible hero was proceeding on his way and loud voice was heard in the sky repeating the words, 'This fortunate and unslayable one will become the destroyer of Dhundhu to-day.' And the gods began to shower upon him celestial flowers. And the celestial kettle drums began to sound their music although none played upon them. And during the march of that wise one, cool breezes began to blow and the chief of the celestials poured gentle showers wetting the dust on the roads and, O Yudhishthira, the cars of the celestials could be seen high over the spot where the mighty Asura Dhundhu was. The gods and Gandharvas and great Rishis urged by curiosity, came there to behold the encounter between Dhundhu and Kuvalaswa and, O thou of the Kuru race, filled by Narayana with his own energy, king Kuvalaswa, aided by his sons, soon surrounded that sea of sands and the king ordered that wilderness to be excavated and after the king's sons had excavated that sea of sands for seven days, they could see the mighty Asura Dhundhu. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the huge body of that Asura lay within those sands, effulgent in its own energy like the Sun himself. And Dhundhu, O king, was lying covering the western region of the desert and surrounded on all sides by the sons of Kuvalaswa, the Danava was assaulted with sharp-pointed shafts and maces and heavy and short clubs and axes and clubs, with iron spikes and darts and bright and keen-edged swords, and thus assaulted, the mighty Danava rose from his recumbent posture in wrath. And enraged, the Asura began to swallow those various weapons that were hurled at him and he vomited from his mouth fiery flames like unto those of the fire called Samvarta that appeareth at the end of the Yuga and by those flames of his, the Asura consumed all the sons of the king and, O tiger among men, like the Lord Kapila of old consuming the sons of king Sagara, the infuriated Asura overwhelming the triple world with the flames vomited from his mouth, achieved that wonderful feat in a moment. And, O thou best of the Bharatas, when all those sons of king Kuvalaswa were consumed by the fire emitted by the Asura in wrath, the monarch, possessed as he was of mighty energy, then approached the Danava who, like unto a second Kumbhakarna of mighty energy, had come to the encounter after waking from his slumbers. From the body of the king, O monarch, then began to flow a mighty and copious stream of water and that stream soon extinguished, O king, the fiery flames emitted by the Asura. And, O great king, the royal Kuvalaswa, filled with Yoga force, having extinguished those flames by the water that issued from his body, consumed that Daitya of wicked prowess with the celebrated weapon called Brahma for relieving the triple world of its fears, and the royal sage Kuvalaswa, having consumed that great Asura, that foe of the celestials and slayer of all enemies, by means of that weapon became like unto a second chief of the triple world and the high-souled king Kuvalaswa having slain the
the Asura Dhundhu, became from that time known by the name of Dhundhumara and from that time he came to be regarded as invincible in battle, and the gods and the great Rishis who had come to witness that encounter were so far gratified with him that they addressed him saying, 'Ask thou a boon of us!' And thus solicited by the gods, the king bowed to them and filled with joy, the king said unto them, with joined hands these words, 'Let me be always able to give wealth unto superior Brahmanas! Let me be invincible as regards all foes! Let there be friendship between myself and Vishnu! Let me have no ill-feeling towards any creature! Let my heart always turn to virtue! And let me (finally) dwell in heaven for ever!' And the gods and the Rishis and Utanka, hearing this were exceedingly gratified and all of them said, 'Let it be as thou wishest!' And, O king, having also blessed him with many other speeches, the gods and the great Rishis then went away to their respective abodes. And, O Yudhishthira, after the slaughter of all his sons, king Kuvalaswa had still three sons left, and, O thou of the Bharata race, they were called Dridaswa and Kapilaswa and Chandraswa. It is from them, O king, that the illustrious line of kings belonging to Ikshvaku's race, all possessed of immeasurable prowess, hath sprung.
"It was thus, O best of king, that that great Daitya of the name Dhundhu, the son of Madhu and Kaitabha was slain by Kuvalaswa and it was for this also that king came to be called by the name of Dhundhumara. And indeed, the name he assumed was no empty one but was literally true.
"I have now told thee all that thou hadst asked me, viz., all about that person in consequence of whose act the story of Dhundhu's death hath become famous. He that listeneth to this holy history connected with the glory of Vishnu, becometh virtuous and obtaineth children. By listening to this story on particular lunations, one becometh blessed with long life and great good fortune. And freed from every anxiety one ceaseth to have any fear of diseases."
Next: Section CCIV