To escape this trap, Mahishasura discarded the buffalo and assumed the form of a lion. Durga beheaded the lion, and the demon escaped in the form of a man. Without hesitation, Durga dispatched the man with a flight of sharp arrows. Yet again the demon escaped, and this time took the formidable shape of a huge elephant, which battered Durga's lion with a tusk. With her sword Durga hacked at the tusk until it too was broken.
Weakened, the demon reverted once more to his own form the wild buffalo. He retreated into the mountains where he hurled boulders at Durga with his horns. The Mother of the Universe drank the divine nectar, gift of Kuvera. She jumped on Mahishasura pushing him to the ground with her left leg. She grasped his head in one hand, pierced him with her sharp spear held in another, and with yet another of her ten hands she wielded her bright sword, beheading him. At last he fell dead, and the scattered surviving remnants of his once invincible army fled in terror.
The gods returned to heaven, and along with the sages of the earth, they sang praises to the Goddess Durga. Henceforth, and to this day, the Goddess Durga is worshipped by all the gods in heaven, and all human beings on earth. As he requested, Mahishasura is there too--frozen in his moment of final defeat, impaled by Durga's spear and prostrate beneath her left foot.
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