|Narada, singing the praise of the
Lord as usual, went to the city of Veeramahendra. He told Shurapadma, "Indra's
wife Shachidevi is a gem among women. If you are able to bring her and keep her
with you for yourself, then you would also have avenged the death of your brother
Taraka at the hands of Kartikeya, as planned by Indra."
Narada knew that tendering good advice to the wicked Asuras was useless. Such
Rakshasas had to be provoked into further evil deeds so that they would be destroyed
by their own sins. This was the method followed by Narada.
Shurapadma with his Rakshasa qualities felt that the advice
of the sage was a favor to him. He began efforts to capture Shachidevi. Shurapadma resolved to
march on Indra's Heaven with his Rakshasa army. His son Bhanukopa came and said, "Father,
please permit me to go to Heaven with the army. I will crush the opposing gods
and fetch Shachi."
Shurapadma agreed and the Rakshasa hordes marched on Devaloka, the Heaven of
the gods under Indra. Indra was really afraid because he already had a taste
of the prowess of Tarakasura. He had heard that Shurapadma was mightier than
Tarakasura. He consulted his minister and priest, Brihaspathi, as to what he
should do. Unknown to any, Indra, with his consort Shachi, came to a forest called
Shrikashi near Chidambaram.
The gods were distraught because they could not see their
king Indra and did not know where he had gone. Brihaspati consoled them and made Jayanta, the son
of Indra, the leader of the gods. He also ordered that preparations be started,
for the gods to confront Shurapadma and fight.
|THE ASURAS ATTACKING THE
The Rakshasa army attacked the kingdom of the gods. The wicked Rakshasas forcibly
entered every home, dragged and molested the women and snatched their jewels.
They mercilessly killed the children. They beat everyone they saw, shouting, "Show
us your Indra." "Where is Shachi?" they shouted, and beat up the
gods further. They rampaged and spoiled the beautiful gardens of Heaven and set
fire to houses.
The army of the gods opposed the Rakshasa hordes. Commanders like Bhanuka and
Renuka fought and were defeated. Jayanta came to the battlefield and fought bravely.
But Bhanukopa vanquished him and took him captive. Though the gods kingdom of
Heaven was searched thoroughly, Indra and Shachi could nowhere be found. Bhanukopa
looted great wealth from Heaven and having it carried by the captive gods, returned
to the capital city of Veeramahendra.
|DEVAS SEEKING HELP FROM SHIVA
Brihaspati and the other gods went Shrikashi and told Indra of the plundering
of Heaven by the Asuras. Indra and Shachi were greatly pained. Indra left Shachi
in the protection of Shastara, the presiding deity of that forest, and went with
Brihaspati and the other gods to Bramha. All of them then went to Shiva.
Shiva gave them his assurance - "All of you may for the time being be in
the safety of the Kakachala Mountain near the Rajatadri Peak. I will see that
Shurapadma is killed by Kartikeya, and remove your troubles." Accordingly
all the gods went there.