Sree Bhagoutee jee sahaai.
Vaar sree Bhagoutee jee kee. Patshaahee 10.
(Guru Gobind Singh commences this composition in remembrance
of the almighty Vahiguru or God.)
The creator is only one and his victory is abiding.
May God’s1 all prevailing power be of support.
The ballad of the exalted Bhagautee. (A composition of) the tenth
king (Guru Gobind Singh).
Pritham bhagoutee simarkai gur Naanak laiee(n) dhiaai.
Fir Angad gur tay Amardaas Ramdaasai hoee sahaai.
Arjan Hargobind noo(n) simrao sree HarRaai.
Sree HarKrishan dhiaaeeai jis dithay sabh dukh jaai.
Tayg Bahaadur simreeai ghar naunidh aavai dhaai.
Sabh thaaee(n) hoi sahaai. 1.
Pourhee indicates a new verse.
Before all, meditate upon the all powerful Lord (God) and then
remember Guru Nanak.
Then remember Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das and Guru Ram Das,
may they be of support.
Remember Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Har Gobind and revered Guru Har
Remember the revered Guru Har Krishan upon whose sight, all pains
Meditate upon Guru Tegh Bahadur and the home is filled with the
May they be of assistance in all places. 1.
Khandaa prithmai saajikai jin sabh saisaar oupaaiaa.
Brahmaa Bishan Mahaysh saaj kudrat daa khayl rachaai banhaaiaa.
Sindh parbat maydnee bin thu(n)mhaa gagn rahaaiaa.
Sirjay daano dayvtay tin andar baad rachaaiaa.
Tai hee Durgaa saaj kai daitaa daa naas karaaiaa.
Taitho hee bul Raam lai naal baanhaa Dahsir ghaaiaa.
Taitho hee bul Krishan lai Kans kaysee pakarh giraaiaa.
Baday baday mun dayvtay kaiee jug tinee tan taaiaa.
1 Guru Gobind Singh uses the word Bhagoutee. Bhagoutee was
used as a name for God. Otherwise, the word refers to Durga. It is
surmised by some scholars that Guru Gobind Singh wanted to give
God a female name in this circumstance, to show that God is without
sex. Guru Ji however, leaves no doubt who he is remembering. In
Chaubees Autaar he states: Soi Bhavaanee naam kahaai, Jin sagree
eh srishtee upaai. This is translated, Only he can be called
Bhavaanee (another name for Durga), who has created this
2 The nine treasures of life a re as follows: Padam (gold, silver),
Mahapadam (jewels), Shank (delicious food), Makr (recognition by
state) , Ruchap (trade in silk and brocade), Mokand (fine art), Rund (
gold ornaments and utensils), Neel (pearls, etc.) and Vuch (wealth in
billions through wizardry in finance). (Kapur Singh, 288).
Kinee tayraa ant n paaiaa. 2.
(The all powerful Lord) first created the power of destruction which
then gave birth to this universe.
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva3 were created who in turn created the
play in nature.4
Oceans, Mountains and the earth were created and the sky was
erected without pillars (supports).
Then demons and gods were created and the conflict between them
You (God), created Durga and through her, destroyed the demons.
From you, Ram took his power and destroyed Raavan with his
From you, Krishan took his power, grabbed the hair of Kans and
threw him to the ground6.
Many other great sages and gods have for many ages tortured their
bodies (and meditated)7.
(Of all these beings) none could find your end. 2.
Saadhoo satjug beetiaa adhseelee traytaa aaiaa.
Nuchee kul sarosaree kal Naarad douroo vaaiaa.
Abhimaan outaaran dayvtiaa(n) Mahikhaasur Sunbh oupaaiaa.
Jeet laiay tin dayvtay tih lokee raaj kamaaiaa.
Vadaa beer akhaaikai sir opar chhaatr firaaiaa.
Ditaa Indar nikaal kai tin gir Kailaas takaaiaa.
Dar kai hutho daanvee dil andar traas vadhaaiaa.
Paas Durgaa day Indar aaiaa. 3.
The pious age of Satjug, had passed and Tretajug, which was half
as righteous as Satjug arrived8.
3This is a reference to the Hindu trinity. Brahma is the creator,
Vishnu is the sustainer while Shiva is the destroyer. Guru Gobind
Singh is by no means implying the existence of these gods but
simply uses them to personify the roles they are thought to play by
4 The play refers to the endless births and deaths in nature.
5 Ram is considered to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu. Ravan
was a demon and the cruel ruler of a country called Lanka. He had
ten heads. Ravan kidnapped Ram’s wife, Sita and after a great war,
Ram killed Ravan and freed Sita.
6 Kans was an evil king. A sage told Kans that only the son of a
woman, Devakee, could kill him. Kans imprisoned Devakee and her
husband, Vasudev. Six sons of Devakee were handed over to Kans
immediately after their births and they were killed. The seventh and
eighth sons of Devakee were saved by the gods: Balbhaddar and
Krishan. Krishan was an incarnation of Vishnu and eventually grew
older and killed Kans. Krishan took Kans’s hair in his hand and
threw him to the ground and then proceeded to kill him with kicks to
7 The ancient Indian sages and yogis believed that self mortification
was the path of realising God. Acts such as starvation, self
mutilation, etc. were considered tools to achieve God.
8 There are believed to be four ages: Satjug, Tretajug, Duapur and
Kaljug. Each has various characteristics. Satjug was an ideal time
when all people thought and acted upon the truth. Tretajug was a
time where there were some sinners and if an individual committed a
sin, his whole town or city was punished with him. In Duapur, if
one committed a sin, the whole family was considered liable to
(The sage), Narad9, played his drum10 so that all heads began to
swoon in pain and sorrow.
To remove (shatter) the egos of the gods, the demons Mahikhasar11
and Sunbh were created.
They conquered the gods and began to rule the three realms 12.
Mahikhasar and Sunbh considered themselves great warriors and
had canopies unfurled over their heads13.
They ousted the god Indar14 from the heavens and set their sights
upon the mountain Kailash15.
After being terrified by the demons, the horror in Indar’s heart
Finally (because of this fear), Indar came before Durga. 3.
Ik dihaarhay nhaavanh aaiee Durgshaah.
Indar brithaa sunhaaee aapnhay haal dee.
Chheen laiee thakuraaee saatay daanvee.
Lokee tihee firaaee dohee aapnhee.
Baithay vaai vadhaaee tay amraavutee.
Ditay dayv bhajaaee sabhnaa raakshaa(n).
Kinaai n jitaa jaaee Mahkay dait noo(n).
Tayree saam takaaee dayvee Durgshaah .4.
One day, as queen Durga came to bathe (in the river),
Indar came and recounted to her his predicament.
“The demons have seized from us our kingdom.
punishment. The present era is considered Kaljug, where the
darkness of ignorance is prevalent. The people are selfish and
sinners are punished on an individual basis. As these ages passed,
the age of man fell from hundreds of thousands of years to the
present age that is close to 100. Each jug lasts many hundreds of
thousands of years.
9 Narad was a renown mythical sage. He was conceived from the
neck of Brahma. He had the power of creation and was cursed by
Brahma for creating beings in the universe. He is the author of
many ancient text s and although he was a great sage, he was know
for his gossip mongering.
10 The douroo is a type of drum that is thin in the middle and wide at
the ends. The ends are covered in tightened leather. There are two
round balls attached to each end of the douroo that strike the
leather when it is shaken. This is the favourite instrument of Shiva.
The playing of the drum is accompanied with Shiva’s dancing.
Whenever Shiva dances, destruction and sorrow follow. Hence, the
peoples heads began to sway in sorrow and pain when the douroo
11 Mahikhasar is described as a fearful warrior with the head of a
12 The three realms are the upper, lower and middle regions of the
world. There are believed to be thousands of upper and lower
13 Canopies or umbrellas above the head is a sign of greatness in
14 Indar was the foremost god who was the head of all except the
divine trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). He was considered the lord
of rain and abided in heaven.
15 The Kailash mountain range is the highest mountain range of the
Himalayas. It is believed to be the cosmic centre of the universe by
Buddhists and the paradise of Shiva by the Hindus. This is also the
source of the rivers Indus, Sutlej and Brahma Putra.
The three realms call out for help because of them.
They sit in Indarpuree16 and play instruments (music) of
The demons have sent the gods running.
No one could conquer the demon Mahikhasar.
We (the gods) have come to your refuge18 (and beg for your help)
goddess Durga.” 4.
Durgaa bainh sunhandee husee harh -harhaai.
Ohee seeho mangaaiaa raaksh bhukhnhaa.
Chintaa karo n kaaee dayva(n) noo(n) aakhiya.
Roh hoee mahaa maaee raaksh maarnhay .5.
Durga heard these words and began to laugh heartily.
She called upon her demon devouring lion.
“Do not worry at all” she assured the gods.
The Great Mother19 became frenzied and prepared to destroy the
Raaksh aa-ay rohlay khayt bhirhan kay chaai.
Lushkan taygaa(n) barchheeaa(n) sooraj nadar n paai .6.
Doharaa: (indicating a shorter verse)
The demons, who were filled with rage and anticipation to combat,
came (onto the battlefield).
The swords and spears 20 were shimmering so brightly, that the sun
could not be seen (the sun had become obscured and could not
compete with the shine of the weapons). 6.
Duhaa(n) kandhaaraa(n) muhi jurhay dhol sankh nagaaray bujay.
Raaksh aa-ay rohlay tarvaaree bakhtar sujay.
Jutay souhay judh noo(n) ik jaat n jaanhan bhujay.
Khayt andar jodhay gujay.7.
Both armies 21 (the gods and demons) came before each other and
began to do battle as innumerable dhols 22 and kettledrums were
They came filled with rage and dressed in swords and armour.
The equally matched warriors came before each other and fought.
Their feet, it seemed, did not know how to retreat.
16 Indarpuree or heaven is the realm of the gods and is ruled by
17 Sant Teja Singh MA has translated this line “They have increased
their conflict with us and heaven.”
18 Gyanee Mahinder Singh Ratan believes saam refers to sword.
This would imply the gods gaze at her sword and ask for her help.
Bhai Kahan Singh and Sant Teja Singh MA believe it is indeed,
19 Great Mother is another name for Durga: Mahaa Maaee.
20 Barchee is literally a smaller spear.
21 A kandhaar is a specially arranged army; i.e. organised in ranks
22 A type of drum that is beaten on both sides by sticks
23 During Indian battles, drums were beaten loudly by both sides to
increase the fervour of the soldiers.
On the battlefield, the warriors began to roar (thunder). 7.
Jang musaafaa bujiaa ranh ghuray nagaaray chaavlay.
Jhoolanh nayjay bairkaa neesaanh lasn lasaavlay.
Dhol nagaaray pounh day oo(n)ghan jaanh jataavlay.
Durgaa daano dh-hay ranh naad vujan khayt bheehaavlay.
Beer parotay barchheeay(n) janh dhaal chumutay aavlay.
Ik vuday taygee tarhfeean mad peetay lotin baavlay.
Ik chunh chunh jhaarhou kadeean rayt vicho(n) suinaa daavlay.
Gadaa trisoolaa(n) barcheeaa(n) teer vugan kharay outaavalay.
Janh dasay bhujangam saavlay.
Mar jaavan beer ruhaavlay.8.
The hour of battle arrived and the kettledrums rumbled in
The flags mounted upon lances began to fly and the radiant
banners were shimmering.
As the boom of the dhols and kettledrums filled the air, the demons
with long matted hair were becoming intoxicated (by the sounds)24.
On the field, the battle between Durga and the demons started, as
the fearful blasts of kettledrums could be heard.
The warriors who had been pierced by spears, looked like olives
hanging on the branch of an olive tree.
Those who had been cut with swords were suffering (like) fools
who roll about after drinking liquor.
(Those hiding) were being flushed out of the bushes like a
niaareeyaa25 searches for gold in the dirt.
Maces, tridents, spears and arrows were flying about rapidly.
It seemed as if cobras were striking,
By which those brave and furious warriors were dying. 8.
Daykhanh chand parchand noo(n) ranh ghuray nagaaray.
Dhaa-ay raaksh rohlay chougirday bhaaray.
Huthee taygaa(n) pakarhkai ranh bhirhay karaaray.
Kaday n nuthay judh tay jodhay jujhaaray.
Dil vich roh badaaikai maar maar pukaaray.
Maaray chand parchand nai beer khayt otaaray.
Maaray jaapn bijulee sir bhaar munaaray.9.
Upon seeing the infuriated Durga, the kettledrums rumbled upon
The demons came dashing from all four sides to combat.
They held swords in their hands and fought a pitched battle.
These warriors did not know how to run from battle.
They had become enraged and were shouting: “Kill! Kill!”
Durga had killed the demons and they lay on the battlefield in
As though lightning had struck down turrets, (falling them to the
ground) head first. 9.
Chot paiee damaamay dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Dayvee dast nachaaee seehanh saar dee.
24 Pandit Narain Singh translates this line “The dhols and
kettledrums booming, sounded like the roars of a lion.”
25 A niaareeya has the job of separating the gold and silver from the
ash a goldsmith produces from his work.
Payt malanday laaee Mahkhay dait noo(n).
Gurday aa(n)daa(n) khaaee naalay rukarhay.
Jayhee dil vich aaee kuhee sunhaaikai.
Chotee jaanh dikhaaee taaray dhoomkayt.10.
The kettledrums sounded and the armies fought.
Durga took an iron sword in her hands and made it dance26.
She stabbed the loquacious demon Mahikhasar in the stomach.
The sword ate (cut to pieces) his entrails, kidneys and ribs.
Whatever came into Durga’s heart, she declared27.
It seemed as if a comet had shown its tail (as it shot across the
Chotaa(n) pavan nagaaray anheeiaa(n) juteeaa(n).
Dhooh laieeaa(n) tarvaaree dayvaa(n) daanvee.
Vaahan vaaro vaaree sooray sangharay.
Vagai rut jhulaaree jio gayroo bastraa.
Daykhan baith ataaree naaree raakshaa(n).
Paaee dhoom savaaree Durgaa daanvee. 11.
The kettledrums sounded and the armies engaged in combat .
The gods and demons pulled out their swords.
The brave warriors took turns attacking (with their blades), upon the
Streams of blood began to flow just as colour streams when clothes
are shaded with red sand29.
The wives of the demons were watching this terrifying scene while
sitting atop of their palaces.
The animals Durga and the demons were riding, were causing a
great tumult. 11.
Lukh nagaaray vujanh aamo saamhnhay.
Raaksh ranho n bhujan rohay rohlay.
Sheehaa(n) vaa(n)goo gajanh sabhay soormay.
Tanh tanh kaibar chhudan Durgaa saahmhnay.12.
One hundred thousand kettledrums were being beaten on both
sides, before each other.
The demons were so filled with anger that they would not move
from the battlefield.
All the warriors were roaring like lions.
26 She wielded the sword with skill and it seemed to dance in her
27 This implies Durga gravely insult ed Mahikhasar. Pandit Narain
Singh translates this “Whatever praise came from my heart, I have
expressed.” Thus implying Guru Gobind Singh interceded and gave
28 The sword (red with blood), looked a comet (shooting star) with a
red trail as it withdrew from his body.
29 Natural dyes, such as red sand, etc. are used to colour clothes in
India. When the clothes are taken out of the dye, streams of that
dye flow away from the clothing. Gayroo is generally the dye used
by sadhoos (ascetics). Pandit Narain Singh translates this as “The
blood began to flow like the waters of the Ganga.” Another
translation is that blood was flowing like red water flows from a
mountain after a rain.
They were pulling their bows back very tightly and firing their
arrows upon Durga. 12.
Ghuray nagaaray doharay ranh sangleeaalay.
Dhoorh lapaytay dhooharay sirdaar jataalay.
Oukhuleea(n) naasaa(n) jinaa mohi jaapn aalay.
Dhaa-ay dayvee sahmnhay beer muchhleeaalay.
Surpat jayhay larh hatay beer talay n taalay.
Gujay Durgaa ghayr kai janh ghanheearh kaalay.13.
From both sides, the kettledrums bound with chains30 began to beat.
(Because of the movement of the armies much dust began to rise)
The demon commanders, who had long matted hair, were covered
The demons’ nostrils were as big as mortars31and their mouths were
as big as shelves32.
Those brave demons with moustaches came before Durga.
They had fought against those like Indar and these warrors would
not stop nor could they be stopped.
After surrounding Durga, the demons thundered like black storm
Chot paiee kharchaamee dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Ghayr laiee variaamee Durgaa aaikai.
Raaksh vaday alaamee bhuj n jaanhday.
Ant hoay surgaamee maar dayvtaa.14.
The kettledrums made of flesh33 were struck as the armies fought.
The brave demons surrounded Durga.
The demons, who were so learned in the art of war, it seemed, had
not learned how to flee from the battlefield.
However in the end, they were sent to dwell in paradise34, after
being destroyed by the gods. 14.
Aganhat ghuray nagaaray dalaa(n) bhirhandiaa(n).
Paa-ay mahkhal bhaaray dayvaa(n) daanvaa(n).
Vaahn fut karaaray raaksh rohlay.
Jaapn taygeeaaray miaano dhooheeaa(n).
Jodhay vaday munaaray jaapn khayt vich.
Dayvee aap savaaray pub javayhanhay.
Kaday n aakhan haaray dhaavan saamhnhay.
Durgaa sabh sanghaaray raaksh kharhag lai. 15.
As the armies did battle, countless kettledrums rumbled.
The gods and demons fought like bulls35 upon the field of battle.
30 This type of kettledrum comes in pairs and played while upon a
horse etc. The chain holds the drums together so they do not fall.
31 This type of mortar refers to those that are used to crush wheat.
32 This is a type of shelf that is burrowed into the wall. It is
essentially a hole in the wall which is used to store things.
33 This flesh would produce a separate sound and beat from the
other kettledrums. According to Sant Teja Singh MA, it is made of
34 Svaragvasee is the word. It means literally resident of heaven. It
however implies died.
The furious demons were striking with great strength and ravage.
Their unsheathed swords looked like saws.
The demons upon the battlefield were as tall as towers36.
Durga was herself killing those as big as mountains.
However, the demons who would not even say the word “defeated”
continued to surge forward.
Durga destroyed all the demons with her khanda37. 15.
Oumal luthay jodhay maaroo bujiaa.
Budal jio Mahikhaasur ranh vich gujiaa.
Indar jayhaa jodhaa maithou bhujiaa.
Kounh vichaaree Durgaa jin ranh sujiaa.16.
The kettledrum of battle38 was sounded and the brave warriors came
forward with passion and zeal.
The demon Mahikhasar began to thunder on the battlefield like a
(He challenged) “If a brave warrior (and god) like Indar ran from me,
Who is poor Durga to have commenced this battle?” 16.
Vujay dhol nagaaray dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Teer firai raibaaray aamho saamh-nhay.
Aganhat beer sanghaaray lagdee kaibree.
Digay jaanh monaaray maaray bij day.
Khulee vaalee dait ahaarhay subhay soormay.
Sutay jaan jataalay bhangaa(n) khaaikai.17.
Dhols and kettledrums beat as the armies fought.
Guiding arrows39 began to fly before each other (from both sides).
Countless warriors died upon being struck by an arrow.
They tumbled, like towers that had been destroyed by lightning.
All the brave demons, with open hair, were screaming in pain.
They looked like long matted haired sadhoos who had taken bhang
and fallen asleep40. 17.
Duhaa(n) kandhaaraa(n) muhi jorhay naal dhousaa bhaaree.
Karhak outhiaa fouj tay vadaa ah(n)kaaree.
Lai kai chaliaa soormay naal vado hajaaree.
Miaano khandaa dhoohiaa Mahkhaasur bhaaree.
Oumul luthay soormay maar muchee karaaree.
Jaapay chulay rat day sal-lay jutdhaaree.18.
With the beating of the great kettledrum, the battle between the two
35 The fighting of bulls is loud and violent. This is exactly what this
battle was like.
36 Pandit Narain Singh believes this is a reference to the dead
demons lying on the ground.
37 Double edged sword
38This type of kettledrum had a higher pitch.
39 This kind of arrow would guide the soldiers. Perhaps it would
illuminate the battlefield or give directions.
40 A sadhoo is an ascetic or hermit. The demons were lying on the
battlefield like a sadhoo who has taken bhang (marijuana) lies on the
ground senselessly and sleeps. Bhang is taken in the form of a
The great pride filled demon of the army, (Mahikhasar), rose up
with a roar.
With him, he took thousands of mammoth warriors.
Mahikhasar withdrew a heavy khanda from its sheath.
The zealous warriors had caused terrible killings (a blood bath).
The streams of blood began to flow like the waters which rush from
the locks of Shiva’s hair41. 18.
Sut paiee jamdhaanhee dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Dhoohi laiee kripaanhee Durgaa miaan tay.
Chandee raaksh khaanhee vaahee dait noo.
Koparchoor chavaanhee luthee karag lai.
Paakhar turaa palaanhee rarhkee dhaul jaai.
Laidee aghaa sidhaanhee singaa(n) dhouldiaa(n).
Koorm sir lahilaanhee dushman maarkai.
Vuday gun tikhanhee mooay khayt vich.
Ranh vich ghutee ghaanhee lohoo mijh dee.
Chaaray jug kahaanhee chulag tayg dee.
Bidhanh khayt vihaanhee Mahkhay dait noo(n).19.
As the kettledrum made of a buffalo’s flesh began to beat the armies
began to do battle.
Durga removed her sword from its sheath.
She used (the sword), the devourer (killer) of demons, to attack
It broke through his skull and his mouth and went down his
skeleton (thus cutting him in two).
Through his saddle, h orse and caparison42, finally hitting the earth.
It (the sword) continued forward to the horns of the bull43
After killing the enemy, it finally rested upon the head of the
The demons lay dead upon the battlefield like scattered pieces of
wood after a carpenter cuts through timber.
The battlefield was covered with a slush of blood and marrow.
The story of (Durga’s) sword will be famous for all the four eras.
For the demon Mahikhasar, a time of great pain had come to pass.
Itee Mahkhaasr dait maaray Durgaa aaiaa.
Choudah lokaa raanhee singh nachaaiaa.
Maaray veer jutaanhee dal vich uglay.
Manganh naahee paanhee dalee hanghaarkai.
Janh karee samaai pathaanhee sunhikai raag noo(n).
Rutoo day harhvaanhee chalay beer khayt.
Peetaa ful iaanhee ghooman soormay.20.
In this way, Durga killed the demon Mahikhasar44.
41 Shiva, the destroyer of the Hindu trinity is said to be in constant
meditation of the highest mountain of the Kailash range. The river
Ganges was thought to come from heaven and Shiva’s hair is said
to neutralise the impact of the water by letting it first fall onto his
matted hair and then letting it touch the earth. So the streams of
blood began to flow like the Ganga.
42 This is the ornamental covering of a horse that is usually beneath
the saddle. It may be a beautiful shawl etc.
43 It was though by the Hindus that the world was resting upon the
horns of a bull who was in turn standing on the shell of a tortoise.
The queen of the fourteen worlds45 (Durga) made her lion dance46.
Durga47 killed many other demons.
They would not even ask for water, as they continued to challenge
the (enemy’s) army 48.
They were like a Pathan who has listened to a raag and becomes
absorbed (in the tune)49.
Floods of blood began to flow from the warriors lying on the field.
(The brave warriors were writhing on the ground) like one who has
taken (poppy) flower50rolls about. 20.
Hoiee alop Bhavaanee dayvaa(n) noo(n) raaj day.
Eeshar dee bardaanee hoiee jit din.
Sunbh Nisunbh gumaanee janmay soormay.
Indar dee rujdhaanee tukee jitunhee.21.
After returning the kingdom (of heaven) back to the gods, Durga
The day Shiva had prophesied would come, then one day dawned.
Two proud warriors, Sunbh and Nisunbh were born.
These two demons cast their eyes upon Indar’s kingdom (heaven)
and decided to conquer it. 21.
Indarpuree tay dhaavanhaa vadjodhee mataa pakaaiaa.
Sanj pataylaa paakhraa bhayrh sandaa saaj banhaaiaa.
Ju(n)may katak achhoohanhee asmaan gardee chhaaiaa.
Roh Sunbh Nisunbh sidhaaiaa.22.
The two brave demons began to plan for their attack on Indarpuree .
They fashioned armour and masks; they also forged armour for their
animals of battle51.
The achhoohanhee52 army gathered. (So much dust rose because
from this throng that) the sky was overshadowed by dust.
The enraged Sunbh and Nisunbh moved forward towards battle. 22.
44 Pandit Narain Singh suggests the word “aaiyaa” suggest more
demons came but were killed.
45According to Hindu mythology, there are fourteen different worlds
or dimensions, where different beings reside. There are seven upper
regions and seven lower regions. Each region is inhabited by a
different being i.e. spirits, sages etc. God reigns over all these
46 Making a lion dance is a sign of victory and supremacy. Durga
was riding the lion as it pranced about and went up on two legs, etc.
47 Literally queen of the matted hair: another name for Durga.
48 The dying demons asked for no mercy and continued to challenge
49Each raag or musical chord is thought to possess individual and
unique capabilities i.e. Malaar raag is thought to cause rain to fall. It
is believed that if a raag is played perfectly, the individual is left in a
state of virtual intoxication. The Pathans are a tribe which is
considered particular lover of raags and thus they were used as an
example. The demons were senseless and totally self absorbed.
50 Poppy seeds are refined to make opium.
51 Animals used in battle are elephants, horses and occasionally
52 This is a particular type of army with set numbers. 21 870
elephants, 21 870 chariots, 65 610 horses and 109 350 infantry
soldiers. (Narain Singh, 449)
Sunbh Nisunbh alaaiaa vadjodhee sanghar vaa-ay.
Roh dikhaalee diteeaa variaamee turay nachaa-ay.
Ghuray damaamay doharay jam baahan jiou arrhaa-ay.
Dayou daano lujhan aa-ay.23.
After receiving orders from Sunbh and Nisunbh, the great warriors
played trumpets of war53.
The warriors showed their rage by making their horses dance54.
Paired kettledrums were beating from both sides and making a noise
like that of the bull Jamraj rides55.
The gods and demons had arrived to do battle. 23.
Daano dayou anaagee sanghar ruchiaa.
Ful khirhay janh baagee baanhay jodhiaa(n).
Bhootaa(n) ilaa(n) kaagee gosht bhukhiaa.
Humarh dhumarh jaagee ghutee sooriaa.24.
The demons and gods then at once started to battle.
The warriors’ (colourful) clothes were like (different) flowers which
are blossomed in a garden.
(There was such a slaughter in the battlefield that) phantoms, kites
and crows 56 ate meat (to their heart’s content).
The kettledrums and the warriors were causing turmoil57(upon the
Sut paiee nagaaray dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Ditay dayou bhajaaee milkai raakshee.
Lokee tihee firaaee dohee aapnhee.
Durgaa dee shaam takaaee dayvaa(n) dardiaa(n).
Aa(n)dee Chand charhaaee outay raakshaa(n).25.
The kettledrum beat and the two armies fought.
The demons united and drove away the gods.
They made the three realms cry out for help 58.
The terrified gods came and gazed at Durga’s refuge59.
53 The great warriors declared war on Indar.
54 They made their horses stand on two legs and ran about in a great
commotion. The Punjabi word to describe this emotion is j~S
(josh), this is an emotion which is a mixture of zeal, fury, anticipation
and passion. No such English word exists.
55 Jam Raj or Dharam Rai is the one who keeps accounts of the
individual’s activities in life and after death, rewards and
punishments are awarded according to this record. He is though to
be a frightening character who rides a bull. The bull also makes a
fierce deafening grunt/snort.
56 Phantoms, kites and crows are all thought to be scavengers.
Phantoms are thought to prey upon the dead. Kites are large
predatory birds with long pointed wings and a forked tail. They are
of the hawk family.
57 Humarh Dhumarh is a term that indicates confusion, excitement
and chaos all at once.
58 Sant Teja Singh MA believes this line means that the demons
played the kettledrum of victory in the three realms. Pandit Narain
Singh and Bhai Kahan Singh believe Dohee means dohaiee or cry
They brought the goddess Chandee60 to mount an attack upon the
Aaee fayr Bhavaanee khubree paaeea(n).
Dait vuday abhimaanee hoay aykuthay.
Lochan Dhoom gumaanee raai bulaaiaa.
Jug vich vudaa daano aap kahaaiaa.
Sut paiee kharchaamee Durgaa liavaanhee.26.
(The demons) received the news that Durga had again arrived.
The haughty demons gathered together.
The called upon Dhoomar Lochan, the arrogant demon king.
The demon called himself the finest (warrior) in the world .
With the beat of a kettledrum, he announced that he would bring
Durga back (to the demons as a prisoner). 26.
Karhak outhee ranh Chandee foujaa(n) daykh-kai.
Dhoohi miaano khandaa hoiee saahmanhay.
Subhay beer sanghaaray Dhoomar Nainh day.
Janh lai kutay aaray darkhat baadheea(n).27.
Upon seeing the army of the demons, Durga rose up with a roar.
She unsheathed her khanda and came forward (to face the enemy).
She killed all the soldiers of Dhoomar Lochan.
(The dead soldiers) looked like giant trees that carpenters had cut
down with saws. 27.
Chobee dhous bajaaee dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Roh Bhavaanee aaee outay raakshaa(n).
Khubai dast nachaa-ee sheehinh saar dee.
Bahutiaa(n) day tan laaee keeteee rangulee.
Bhaa-eeaa(n) maarn bhaaee Durgaa jaanhkai.
Roh hoi chalaaee raaksh raai noo(n).
Jampur deeaa pathaaee Lochan Dhoom noo(n).
Jaapay ditee saaee maaran Sunbh dee. 28.
The drummer struck the kettledrums and the battle between the two
Durga was in a great rage and rose up against the demons.
She made an iron sword dance in her left hand61.
She stabbed so many (with this sword), that it became red with
Brothers were killing brothers, taking each other to be Durga.
Finally, in great anger, Durga wielded (her sword) upon the king of
demons (Dhoomar Lochan)
Dhoomar Lochan was dispatched to hell62.
It seemed (this death) served as a warning to Sunbh (of his
impending demise). 28.
59 Takaiee is literally looked at but means took refuge in.
60 Another name for Durga.
61 This is showed Durga’s skills of sword fighting. She was able to
use her left hand just as well as the right one.
62 The word Jam Pur is literally translated city of the devils. This
Bhanai dait pukaaray raajay Sunbh thai.
Lochan Dhoom sanghaaray sanhai sipaaheeaa(n).
Chunh chunh jodhay maaray andar khayt dai.
Jaapn anbar taaray digan soormay.
Giray parbut bhaaray maaray bij day.
Dai(n)ta(n) day dal haaray dahshat khaaikai.
Bachay su maaray maaray rahday raai thai.29.
The demons ran to their king Sunbh and cried for his help.
“Dhoomar Lochan and his soldiers have been killed.
One by one all the warriors were killed on the field.
(The fallen warriors) looked like stars which had fallen from the sky.
They looked like massive mountains which had been toppled by
The army of the demons is terrified and has been defeated.
Those that went to kill have been killed; those that remain, are
before you.63 ” 29.
Roh hoi bulaa-ay raaksh raai nay.
Baithay mutaa pakaaee Durgaa liaavanhee.
Chand ar Mund pathaa-ay bahotaa katak dai.
Jaapay chhupar chaa-ay banheea kayjama.
Jaytay raai bolaa-ay chulay judh no.
Janh jam pur pakarh chalaa-ay sabhay maarnay. 30.
The demon king (Sunbh) became furious and called upon all the
They sat together and decided that Durga must be brought (back a
Sunbh gave Chund and Mund64 a large army and sent them (onto
The warriors’ locked swords formed tents 65.
All those demons that had been called upon by the king, went off to
It seemed as if Sunbh had sent his soldiers to their deaths (at the
hands of Durga). 30.
Dhol nagaaray vaa-ay dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Roh ruhaylay aa-ay outay raakshaa(n ).
Sabhnee turay nachaa-ay barchhay pakarh kai.
Bahutay maar giraa-ay andar khayt dai.
Teeree chhabar laa-ay buthee dayvtaa. 31.
The dhols and kettledrums beat and the battle between the armies
The furious bands of demons rose up.
They took spears in their hands and were making their horses dance
Durga killed many and fell them on the battlefield.
63 This line has been translated a number of different ways. Other
translations are as follows “Only the weak one who remained with
you are still living” ; “Those that are before are you should also be
counted amongst the dead.” (Narain Singh, 452)
64 Two generals
65 The armies faced off before each other the swords of both sides
locked to form what looked like a tent. Like so: / \
The gods released a rain of arrows. 31.
Bhayree sankh vajaa-ay sanghar rachiaa.
Tanh tanh teer chalaa-ay Durgaa dhankh lai.
Jinee das t outhaa-ay rahay n jeevday.
Chandh ar Mund khapaa-ay dono dayvta. 32.
Trumpets and conch shells were blown as the battle began.
Durga took a bow (in her hands), pulled back tightly and began to
Who so ever even raised a hand against Durga, did not remain alive.
Durga killed both the demons Chund and Mund. 32.
Sunbh Nisunbh risaa-ay maaray dait sunh.
Jodhay sabh bolaa-ay aapnhay majalsee.
Jinee dayou bhajaa-ay Indar Jayvhay.
Tayee maar giraa-ay pul vich dayvta.
Onee dastee dast vajaa-ay tinaa chit kar.
Fir Sranhvat Beej chalaa-ay beerhay raai day.
Sanj Patayla paa-ay chilkat topeeaa(n).
Lujunhh no ararhaa-ay raksh rohalay.
Kaday n kinai hathaa-ay judh maachaikai.
Mil tayee daano aa-ay hunh sanghar daykhnha. 33.
Sunbh and Nisunbh became furious upon hearing of the death of
They called upon all their advisers.
(The advisers recounted:) “demons that made a god like Indar flee,
Were the same ones that were killed in an instant by Durga.”
They put hand upon hand66 and remembered them (Chund and
Then the demon Sranvat Beej was given the duty (of continuing the
war against the gods) by the king67.
He wore chain mail, a metal belt and a helmet; all which shone
The enraged demons began to cry out for war.
After a battle had commenced, they could not be stopped.
Now the demons had come forward to see this battle (to fight). 33.
Daitee dand oubhaaree nayrhai aai kai.
Singh karee asvaaree Durgaa shor sunh.
Khabay dast oubhaaree gadaa firaaikai.
Sainaa sabh sanghaaree Sranhvat Beej dee.
Janh mad khaai madaaree ghooman soormay.
Aganhat paaou pasaaree rulay ahaarh vich.
Jaapai khayd khidaaree sutay faag noo(n). 34.
The demons came closer to the battlefield and began to cause a
When Durga heard the din, she mounted her lion.
66 Putting hand over hand is a sign of grief. The demons grieved
over the loss of Chund and Mund.
67 Literally picked up the betel leaf. This is a Punjabi expression for
taking responsibility for.
68 The term “shor” is used. This means shouting out and causing
She flourished a mace in her left hand.
All of Sranvat Beej’s army was annihilated.
The warriors were rolling upon the ground like an addict rolls about
(senselessly) after taking a drug.
Countless demons were lying upon the battle ground after being
knocked off their feet.
They looked like players who were asleep in the month of Fagan69
after playing (Holi)70. 34.
Sranvat Beej hakaaray rahday soormay.
Jodhay jayd monaaray disanh khayt vich.
Sabhnee dast obhaaray tayga(n) dhoohi kai.
Maaro maar pukaaray aa-ay saamnhay.
Sanjaatay thanhikaaray taygee oubharay.
Ghaath gharhan thathiaaray jaanh banhaaikai. 35.
Sranvat Beej called upon his remaining warriors.
They looked like towers in the battlefield.
The warriors pulled out their swords and raised them high.
They came forward crying out “Kill! Kill!”
The clang of swords hitting armour created a sound like
That of blacksmiths forging vessels 71. 35.
Sut paiee jamdhaanhee dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Ghoomar bargsataanhee dal vich ghuteeo.
Sanhay tura palaanhee digan soormay.
Outh outh manginh paanhee ghaaial ghoomday.
Ayvad maar vihaanhee opar raakshaa(n).
Bijal jiou jharlaanhee outhee dayvtaa. 36.
With the beating of the kettledrums, the battle commenced.
(Durga’s) roar, sent the (demon) army running.
The warriors along with their horses and saddles were falling to the
The wounded soldiers were wandering about and rising up (from
the ground), begging for water.
This was the magnitude of the thrashing laid upon the demons.
The goddess thundered like lightening and rose up (to attack). 36.
Chobee dhous oubhaaree dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Sabho sainaa maaree pal vich daanvee.
Durgaa daano maarai roh badaaikai.
Sir vich tayg vagaaee Sranvat Beej day. 37.
With the echo of the drummer striking the kettledrum, the armies did
69 The month Fagan takes place in last half of February and first half
70 Holi is a Hindu festival where colours and dyes are sprayed upon
all. Guru Ji uses this example to show how one feels tired after
playing Holi and is covered in colour; and in the same way the
warriors were lying on the ground dead or wounded, soaked in
71 The clanging had a likeness to the hammering of a blacksmith as
he forges great vessels. The material used at that time was
Durga had destroyed the army of the demons within the blinking of
Durga killed the demons after her fury intensified.
She launched her sword at Sranvat Beej’s head. 37.
Aganhat daano bhaaray hoay lohooaa.
Jodhay jayd munaaray andar khayt dai.
Durgaa no lalkaaray aavan saamnhay.
Durgaa sabh sanghaaray raaksh aa(n)vday.
Ratoo day parnaalay tin tay bhuei puay.
Othay kaarnhiaaray raaksh harh-harhraai. 38.
Countless massive demons were bloodied (wounded).
Demons as tall as turrets could be seen upon the battlefield.
They were challenging Durga and coming before her.
Durga killed them all as they approached.
Out of their bodies, the blood began to stream and fall to the
(Out of this blood) laughing demons rose up, prepared to do battle.
Dhugaa sangleeaalee sanghar vaaiaa.
Barchhee banbleeaalee sooray sangharay.
Bhayrh machiaa beeraalee Durga daanvee(n).
Maar muchee muhraalee andar khayt dai.
Janh nat luthay chhaalee dhol bajaaikai.
Lohoo faathee jaalee lothee jamdharhee.
Ghanh vich jiou chhanchhaalee taygaa(n) haseeaa(n).
Ghomraar siaalee banheeaa(n) kayjamaa(n). 39.
The kettledrums bound with chains and the trumpets of battle were
The warriors fought with spears which had ribbons73 upon them.
Like fearless warriors, the demons and Durga began to do battle.
A slaughter of great calibre74 was occurring upon the field.
(The warriors were fencing like) like acrobats who beat dhols and
The kataars 76 wedged in the dead bodies looked like red fish that
had been caught in nets 77.
Swords were shining like lightning shines in a storm cloud.
Swords covered the ground like mist and fog (clouds the earth) in
the winter78. 39.
72 The word parnala is used to describe the blood. A parnala is a
drain for water. In this case, the demon’s bodies oozed blood like a
drain empties water.
73 Often, spears or flags have ribbons tied upon them. Many
Nishaan Sahibs on present day gurdwaras have blue ribbons tied to
their tops. It is done mainly for ornamental purposes.
74 The battle was intense, spectacular.
75 This is a reference to the feats of athleticism being displayed
upon the battlefield by the warriors. It seemed as if athletes were
performing jumps and other physical feats, to the beat of a dhol.
76 A kataar is a type of knife.
77 In this simile, the net would be the chain mail armour upon the
Dhugaa sool bujaaeeaa(n) dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Dhoohi miaano laaeeaa(n) juaanee soormee.
Sranvat Beej badhaaeea(n) aganhat soortaa(n).
Durgaa souhay aaeeaa(n) roh badaaikai.
Sabhnee aan vagaaeeaa(n) taygaa(n) dhoohikai.
Durgaa sabh bachaaeeaa(n) dhaal sanbhaal kai.
Dayvee aap chalaaeeaa(n) tak tak daanvee.
Lohoo naal dubaaeeaa(n) taygaa(n) nangeeaa(n).
Sarsutee janh nahaaeeaa(n) milkai dayveeaa(n).
Sabhay maar giraaeeaa(n) andar khayt dai.
Tidooang fayr savaaeeaa(n) hoieeaa(n) soortaa(n). 40.
As the wooden sticks stuck the kettledrum, the battle was fought.
The youthful soldiers pulled their swords out of their sheaths.
Sranvat Beej countlessly increased the number of demons in his
All his images came before Durga in heightened rage.
They all attacked her with their swords.
Durga warded off their blows with her shield.
The goddess herself then attacked with her sword, glaring at each
demon (and then charging).
The naked swords were soaked in the blood of the demons.
It seemed as if the goddesses had assembled and then bathed in the
She killed all the images that were upon the battlefield,
However, out of their blood, even more figures (demons) were
Sooree sanghar rachiaa dhol sankh nagaaray vaaikai.
Chand chitaaree Kaalkaa man bahlaa ros badaaikai.
Niklee muthaa forhikai jan futay neesaanh bajaaikai.
Jaag su ja(n)mee judh noo jarvaanhaa janh mararhaaikai.
Dal vich ghayra ghutiaa janh sheeh turiaa ganhinhaaikai.
Aap visoolaa hoiaa tiho lokaa(n) tay khunsaaikai.
Roh sidhaaeea(n) chakarpaanh kar Nindaa kharhag outhaaikai.
Agay raaksh baithay rohlay teeree taygee chhabar laaikai.
Pakarh pachhaarhay raakshaa(n) dal daitaa(n) andar jaaikai.
Bah(o) kaysee pakarh pachhaarhian tin andar dhoom rachaaikai.
Buday buday chunh soormay gaih kotee daiay chalaaikai.
Ranh Kaalee gusaa khaaikai. 41.
The warriors engaged in battle after the dhols, trumpets and
kettledrums were sounded.
With fury in her mind, Durga remembered the goddess Kalee81.
78 This is a reference to the Punjabi winter. There is usually heavy
fog in the winter months. Like the fog covers the sky in the winter,
swords were covering the battlefield.
79 Sranvat Beej’s blood was generating countless demons in his
80 The Sarasvatee river is one of the holy rivers of the Hindus. The
goddesses was covered in blood and it seemed as though they had
just bathed in a river.
81 Kalee is the black goddess of death. She is the consort of Shiva.
She drinks blood and is a vicious warrior. She is usually pictured
having tusks and wearing a necklace of skulls.
Kalee burst forth from Durga’s forehead as if the kettledrum of
victory had been struck82.
Kalee83 was born like Bhudar had been born from Shiva84.
She (Kalee) surrounded the army like a roaring lion prowls.
(The demon kingdom) had itself now become pained after exhibiting
their anger to the three worlds85.
In great fury, Durga grabbed a beautiful chakar86 in one hand and a
khanda in the other.
Before her, the enraged demons released a downpour of arrows and
Kalee went into the demon army, took hold of the demons and
She grabbed many by their hair and threw them to the ground with
great force, (thus killing them); this created great tumult amongst
them (the demons).
Giant warriors were chosen, strung in her bow and sent flying87.
The goddess Kalee was doing battle in great fury. 41.
Duhaa kandhaaraa(n) muhi jurhay anheeaaraa choeeaa(n).
Dhoohi kirpaanaa(n) tikheeaa(n) naal lohoo dhoeeaa(n).
Hooraa(n) Sranhvat-Beej noo(n) ghat ghayr khaloeeaa(n).
Laarhaa daykhanh laarheeaa(n) chougirday hoeeaa(n). 42.
As both armies were locked in battle, the sharp blades caused
streams (of blood to run).
The warriors pulled out their sharp swords and washed them in
The upright swords surrounded Sranvat Beej88(like)
A crowd of women gathers to see a bride groom, encompassing him
on all four sides89. 42.
82 Kalee appeared ready to do battle. She was ready to conquer the
83 Literally, the word here is fire. Kalee is the embodiment of fire.
She was born out of Durga’s rage.
84 Bhudar was a great warrior and he appeared from Shiva’s
forehead to destroy the troublesome god Dak.
85 After inflicting pain upon the three worlds, they were now in a
position of being terrified.
86 A chakar is a sharp throwing disc, which is used as a weapon.
87 This line’s translation is based upon the interpretation of the
word “kotee”. Kotee has been defined by Sant Teja Singh MA as
the hair of the head and by Bhai Ka hn Singh Nabha as the “angle of
a bow”. Therefore, another translation of this line could be, Durga
grabbed the massive and brave warriors by their hair and was
throwing them aside. Durga’s bow was so strong and strung so
tightly, that she could send mas sive soldiers flying after catching
88 Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha and Pandit Narain Singh define Hooree
as a nymph. According to Muslim beliefs, those who die fighting
upon the battlefield receive the company hand maidens in the
afterlife (paradise). Bhai Kahn Singh suggests that because of
Sranvat Beej’s bravery, these hand maidens of paradise are
surrounding him. The translation I believe is more accurate is that
of Sant Teja Singh M. A. who believes Hooree refers to sword.
89 In Punjab, the bridegroom is mobbed by the women of a family so
they can see his face and learn about his personality. There is
usually the accompanying banter and teasing.
Chobee dhousaa paaeeaa(n) dalaa(n) mukaablaa.
Dastee dhooh nachaaeeaa(n) taygaa(n) nangeeaa(n).
Sooriaa(n) day tan laaeeaa(n) gosht gidheeaa(n).
Bidhanhraatee aaeeaa(n) mardaa(n) ghorhiaa(n).
Jognheeaa(n) mil dhaaeeaa(n) lohoo bhukhnhaa.
Foujaa(n) maar hataaeeaa(n) dayvaa(n) daanvaa(n).
Bhajdee kathaa sonhaaeeaa(n) rajay Sunbh thai.
Bhuee(n) n pounhai paaeeaa(n) boondaa(n) rakat deeaa(n).
Kalee khayt khapaaeeaa(n) sabhay soorta(n).
Bahutee siree bihaaeeaa(n) gharheeaa(n) kaal keeaa.
Jaanh n jaa-ay maaeeaa(n) joojhay soormay. 43.
The drummer struck the kettledrum and the armies engaged in battle.
(The warriors) pulled out their naked swords and made them dance
in their hands.
Those carnivorous90 swords drove into the bodies of the brave
Upon the soldiers and horses descended the (dark) night of pain.
The Joganees91 gathered and ran (onto the battlefield) to drink
The gods moved the army of the demons aside with their lethal
They (the demon army) recounted to King Sunbh, the story of how
they had run away.
“Drops of Sranvat Beej’s blood did not fall to the ground.”92
Kalee destroyed all the images (of Sranvat Beej).
Upon many did the time of death descend.
The warriors fought as though they had no mothers 93. 43.
Sunbh sunhee karhaalee Sranhvat-Beej dee.
Ranh vich kinai n jhaalee Durgaa aa(n)vdee.
Bahutay beer jataalee outhay aakhkai.
Chotaa paan tabaalee jaasan judh noo(n).
Thar thar prithmee chaalee dalaa(n) charhandiaa(n).
Naou jivay hai haalee sh-hudreeaaou vich.
Dhoorh otaahaa(n) ghaalee chharhee torangmaa(n).
Jaanh pukaaroo chaalee dhartee Indar thai. 44.
Sunbh heard the terrible news of Sranvat Beej ’s death.
“No one could stop the approaching Durga on the battlefield.”
(After hearing this) Many brave demons with dreadlocks stood up
“Beat the kettledrums. We are prepared to go to war.”
The earth began to quake when the army marched.
90 Meat eating i.e. blood thirsty
91 Joganees are the companions of Durga and Kalee. According to
the Kaalika Puraan, there are 52-53 Joganees in which Kalee is
included. They are horrible and black goddesses who feast upon
the dead and drink blood. In this case, the Joganees are upon the
battlefield, drinking all the spilled blood.
92 Rakat is in this translated as blood, not Rakat Beej. No blood
could fall to the ground because the Joganees, along with Kalee
drank it as it was shed. This of course prevented any further
demons from being created.
93 The warriors fought so brutally and intensely that they did not
seem to be human or born of women (mothers).
The quaking of the earth was like that of a ship’s tumult upon a
The horses’ hooves sent dust into the sky.
It seemed as if the earth was ascending to make a request before
Aahar miliaa aahreeaa(n) sainh sooriaa(n) saajee.
Chulay souhay Durgshaah janh Kaabai haajee.
Teeree taygee jamdharhee ranh vandee bhaajee.
Ik ghaaial ghooman soormay janh maktab kaajee.
Ik beer parotay barchheeay jiou jhuk poun nivaajee.
Ik Durgaa souhay khunskai khunsaaian taajee.
Ik dhaavan Durgaa saamnhay jiou bhukhiaa-ay paajee.
Kaday n rujay jujh tay raj hoay raajee. 45.
The diligent demons received their duties and thus the brave
warriors assembled an army.
They began to march before (towards) Durga like Haajees journey
to the Kaabaa95.
The arrows, swords and kataars were the bhajee96 of the battle.
The wounded were swaying like a Kazee in a school97.
The warriors pierced by spears were like bowing (Muslims)
performing the namaaz98
Others, were in anger, exciting and inciting their Arabian horses
Others were pouncing upon Durga like a hungry man (jumps at)
Those whose appetite for battle could not be satisfied, had their fill
and were content. 45.
Bujay sangleeaalay sanghar doharay.
Dahay ju khayt jataalay haataa(n) jorhikai.
Nayjay banbleeaalay disan orarhay.
Chulay jaanh jataalay naavanh Gang noo(n). 46.
Both armies beat their paired kettledrums bound with chains.
94 Indar is the king of the heavens. It seemed as if the earth (dust)
was heading into the heavens.
95 It is the duty of each Muslim to make the pilgrimage once in his
life time to the Kaabaa in Mecca. Mecca is the birthplace of the
prophet Mohammed. Muslim pilgrims go to Mecca in droves and in
great groups. The pilgrimage is called the Haaj, and the pilgrims,
96 Bhajee vandanhee is a term used to describe the distribution of
sweets after a joyous occasion. After a wedding, sweets would be
distributed to all relatives and friends. On the battlefield, the bhajee
being given out for this occasion are arrows, swords and kataars.
97 The wounded warriors were swaying in pain like a Kazee who is
reading the Koran in a religious school. It can be observed that
when Muslims are reading the Koran, they sway backwards and
98 The namaaz is the Muslim prayer. Five namaazs are offered daily
at different times in the day. The namaaz involves bowing down in
the direction of Mecca. The wounded soldiers were bent over in
pain, like Muslims performing the namaaz.
99 The demons were making the horses run about and neigh and
become excited in anger.
The demons with dreadlocks fell into lines on the battlefield and
began to combat.
The spears bound with ribbons that had gathered,
Seemed like (sadhoos) with long matted hair going off to bathe in
the river Ganges100. 46.
Durgaa atai daanvee sool hoeeaa(n) kangaa(n).
Vaachharh ghutee sooriaa(n) vich khayt khatangaa(n).
Dhoohi kripaanhaa tikheeaa(n) bad laahan angaa(n).
Pahilaa dalaa(n) milandiaa(n) bhayrh piyaa nihangaa(n). 47.
Both Durga’s and the demons’ armoured soldiers became worried.
The brave soldiers released a rain of arrows upon the battlefield.
They pulled out their sharp swords and began to cut off limbs (of
First, as both armies converged, the battle of swords commenced101.
Orarh foujaa(n) aaeeaa(n) beer charhay kandhaaree.
Sarhak miaano kadeeaa(n) tikheeaa(n) tarvaaree.
Karhak outhay ranh muchiaa vaday hankaaree.
Sir dharh baahaa(n) ganlay ful jayhay baarhee.
Jaapay kutay baadeeaa(n) rukh chandan aaree. 48.
The armies rose up; the brave soldiers formed lines and started
The sharp swords were unsheathed with hisses102.
The great, pride filled, warriors rose up with a roar and the battle
Pieces of severed legs, torsos and arms were scattered (upon the
battlefield) like flowers scattered throughout a garden.
(The scattered corpses) looked like carpenters had cut down
sandalwood trees with their saws103. 48.
Duhaa(n) kandhaaraa(n) muhi jorhay jaa sut paiee kharvaar kuou.
Tak tak kaibar Durgshaah tak maaray bhalay jujhaar kuou.
Paidal maaray haatheeaa(n) sang rath giray asvaar kuou.
Sohan sanjaa baagrhaa janh lugay ful anaar kuou.
Gusay aaee Kaalkaa hath sujay lai tarvaar kuou.
Aydoo parou oat paar Harinaaksh kayee hazaar kuou.
Jinh ikaa rahee kandhaar kuou.
Sad rahmat tayray vaar kuou. 49.
100 The Ganges (Ganga) river is a Hindu place of pilgrimage. The
thousands of spears, which had ribbons tied to them looked like
sadhoos with wild hair going in droves on a pilgrimage to the
101 This can be interpreted: “The battle between the soldiers
wielding swords commenced.” Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, however,
translates this line “The battle between the soldiers who had no fear
of death commenced.”
102 Sarh sarh is an onomatopoeia. It can be equated with hiss.
103 The sandalwood tree has a beautiful scent. It is very expensive
because of this property. The young, brave warriors were cut to
pieces like carpenters cut beautiful sandalwood trees to pieces.
Both armies engaged each other in battle when the kettledrum made
of the flesh was struck.
Queen Durga took aim and fired her arrows at the finest brave
The foot soldiers were killed; those on elephants and those riding
in chariots were all felled.
The ends of arrows protruding from the (soldiers’) beautiful armour
seemed like flowers upon a pomegranate tree.104
Kalee became enraged and took a sword in her right hand.
She went from one end of the army to the other and killed many
thousands of demons who were like Harinaaksh105.
She alone achieved victory over the enemy ranks.
There is forever praise of your attack (blow). 49.
Duhaa(n) kandhaaraa(n) muhi sut paiee jamdhaanh kuou.
Tad Khing Nasunbh nachaayaa daal oupar bargstaanh kuou.
Farhee biland mangaaios furmaais kar Multaan kuou.
Gosay aaee saamhnhay ranh andar ghutanh ghaanh kuou.
Agai tayg vagaaee Durgshaah budh Sunbhn bahee palaanh kuou.
Rarhkee jai kai dharat kou budh paakhar bud kikaanh kuou.
Beer palaanho digiaa kar sijdaa Sunbh sujaanh kou.
Shaabaash salonhay khaan kuou.
Sadaa shaabaash tayray taanh kuou.
Tareefaa(n) paan chabaanh kuou.
Sad rahmat kaifaa(n) khaanh kuou.
Sad rahmat turay nachaanh kuou. 50.
Both armies engaged each other as the kettledrum was struck.
Then Nisunbh put armour upon his spotted horse and made it
He was clutching a massive bow that he had specially sent for from
Durga came forward in rage, to wreak havoc upon the battlefield.
Queen Durga came before Nisunbh and attacked with her sword,
cutting straight through him, down to his saddle.
It finally hit the ground after cutting through the horse’s armour and
even the horse.
The brave warrior (Nisunbh) fell from his saddle to the ground as
though he were bowing107 down to the learned (respected) Sunbh.
104 The flowers of a pomegranate tree are pink in colour. The ends
arrows protruding through the armour of the soldiers look like these
flowers (probably blood stained and thus also pink) and the soldiers
are as strong and tall as trees.
105 Harinaaksh was a gate keeper of the heavens and a courtier of
Vishnu, but was cursed to take birth as a demon. He became the
king of Multan in his demon birth. Harinaaksh then meditated upon
God and received four blessings: his kingdom would be the regions
of the Universe; he could not be killed by any being of the
Universe; his death would not occur in day or night, inside or
outside; on the earth or in the sky nor on land or air; and finally, no
existing weapon could harm him. Indar was his enemy and at one
point, before the blessings, conquered Multan. Only Vishnu, in the
form of a Narsingh (human-lion) could kill him and fulfil all the
conditions of his death.
106 Multan is a city in present day Pakistan. It was once know for its
Praise be to that beautiful warrior.108
May there be eternal praise of your power.
Praises of your responsibility and leadership109.
There is eternal praise of your intoxication110.
There is everlasting praise of your power to make horses dance111.
Durgaa atai daanvee gah sanghar kuthay.
Orarh outhay soormay aa daahay muthay.
Kut tufangee kaibree dal gaahi nikuthay.
Daykhan jang farayshtay asmaano luthay. 51.
The glorious Durga and the demons began to roam the battlefield
The brave warriors rose up with great excitement and went head to
head (engaged the enemy).
Cutting through muskets with arrows, they rose up to thrash the
To see the battle, angels descended from the sky. 52.
Duhaa(n) kandhaaraa(n) muh jurhay dal ghuray nagaaray.
Orarh aa-ay soormay sirdaar ranhiaaray.
Lai kai taygaa(n) barchheeaa(n) hathiaar oubhaaray.
Toap pataylaa paakhraa(n) gal sanj savaaray.
Lai kay barchhee boh daanav maaray.
Charhay rathee gaj ghorhiee maar bhuei tay daaray.
Jaanh halvaaee seekh naal vinh varhay outaaray. 52.
The kettledrums rumbled and both armies were locked in battle.
The combative warriors and commanders rose up with excitement to
They rose up, taking swords spears and other weapons (in their
They wore metal helmets and masks of chain mail , horses dressed
in armour and (the soldiers) had armour set around their necks.
Queen Durga took a spear and killed many demons.
Those that were atop of chariots, elephants and horses were thrown
to the ground
Like a sweet maker takes a poker, pierces the varhay112 and lowers
Duhaa(n) kandhaaraa(n) muhi jurhay naal dhousaa bhaaree.
107 The Indian mode of bowing, entails falling to the knees and
putting one’s forehead to the ground. Nisunbh crumpled to the
ground as if he were bowing down to King Sunbh.
108 According to Pandit Narain Singh, this line and the following
were called out by someone upon the field.
109 Literally, Paan chabaanh kuo means chewing the betel leaf but is
a term used to indicate exercising responsibility and leadership.
110 The type of intoxication referred to here is that of power and
passion. He was intoxicated with his desire to fight. Literally
translated, this line reads praise be to your use of strong