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Along with his demons Mahishasura inflicted innumerable atrocities on gods and their devotees. To protect them even Gods-Trio fought against these demons but they could not face Mahishasura and fled away from battlefield. He even captured Heaven and ousted all gods from there. After several centuries had passed, all gods approached Mahavishnu to redeem them from Mahishasura. Now Mahavishnu disclosed all about the boon of Mahishasura and that the demon could only be eliminated by a female power. He suggested that if gods created with their power and glory a woman warrior and endowed her with all their might and weapons, she would assassinate the demon. Before Mahavishnu had finished, there issued forth from Brahma's face a female figure with dazzling effulgence. The figure radiated from her person beams of light, which were partly cool and partly warm. Vishnu and Shiva looked at her in amazement. But, meanwhile, similar figures, embodying the specific powers and qualities of Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Kubera, Varuna and all other gods, emanated from them. The next moment all these figures merged into a single form of a woman endowed with celestial beauty. She had eighteen arms. The gods supplied her with jewels, ornaments and gorgeous clothes and all their weapons and other attributes.
This miniature renders the event most effectively. There stand around the emerging figure various gods, Brahma with Vedas and the ghata, Shiva with his trident, Kala with his sword and shield, Himavana with his lion, Varuna with his conch, Kuber with his pot, Vishnu, Indra, Sun, Maruta, Moon, Agni, Twilight, Yama, Shesh and rishis and munis in devotion and amazement. The transmission of power and glory from their beings into the being of the created figure has been depicted by the rays of light radiating from them and terminating into her. She has eighteen arms, except one which already has a bell, held out to receive gods' weapons. As prescribed in texts, she has been rendered as an unparalleled beauty with long hair, large eyes, long arms, fine fingers, prominent breasts, slender waist, thin slanting figure and is clad in brilliant clothes and gorgeous rich jewels. Her forehead is adorned with Shiva's third eye and her crown with three crests endows her with the cosmic attributes of the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.