The depiction of the divine drama of the elimination of the two most powerful demons, Sumbha and Nisumbha by Devi, against a formless monochromatic huge background, using just tiny figures of all three players and Devi's mount lion, is truly an artistic adventure. It seems that artist aimed of underlying how insignificant are all entities: gods, demons, men or animals, against space and time. Devi and one of the two demons fighting in the air look like two big sized birds. Sons of sage Kashyapa by Diti, Sumbha and Nisumbha had from Brahma the boon that no male would ever have the power to kill them. This made them arrogant and ambitious. They subdued Indra and overthrew gods. Knowing from Brahma that his boon granted them immunity against men, not against women, gods invoked Mahadevi. Mahadevi appeared, and as prayed, set out to kill the demons.


  • Title: Devi killing Sumbha and Nisumbha
  • Date: 1880/1890
  • Location: Kangra
  • Physical Dimensions: 28.5x18.5cm
  • Provenance: Pahari School
  • Subject Keywords: Devi
  • Medium: Paper

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