naikathyatisayad yad vad darpanam bimbavad bhavet
abhyasatisayat tadvat te sahankaratam gatah (29/6)
Having said thus, the creator Brahma vanished.
The gods rested in their abodes for a while, in preparation for a fresh onslaught on the demons.
The renewed fighting between the armies of the gods and the demons was even more fierce than the previous one.
There was terrible destruction everywhere.
This continued involvement in fighting generated in the three demon-leaders the basic notion of 'I am'.
Even as a mirror reflects an object held close to it, one's behaviour reflects as the ego-sense in one's consciousness.
However, if this behaviour is 'held at a distance' from consciousness and there is no identification with such behaviour, the ego-sense does not arise.
Once this ego-sense arose, there quickly followed the desire for the prolongation of life in the body, acquisition of wealth, health, pleasure, etc.
These desires greatly debilitated their personality.
Then there arose confusion in their minds, which in turn gave rise to feelings of 'This is mine' and 'This is my body'.
All these inevitably resulted in inefficiency and inability to do their own work.
They were greatly attached to eating and drinking.
Objects gave them feelings of pleasure and thus robbed them of their freedom.
With the loss of freedom, their courage also went and they experienced fear.
They were terribly worried at the very thought, "We shall die in this war".
The gods took advantage of this situation and began to attack these demons.
The three demons who were possessed by fear of death fled.
When the demon-army saw that their invincible protectors had fled before the invading gods, they were thoroughly demoralised; the demons fell by the thousands.
When the demon Sambara heard that his army had been routed by the gods, he was furious.
Referring to the three invincible demons, Dama, Vyala and Kata, he demanded:
"Where have they gone?"
Afraid of his wrath, these three demons took refuge in the nethermost world.
There, the servants of the god of death, Yama, gave them refuge and also three girls to marry.
They lived in the netherworld for a long time.
One day they were visited by Yama himself, without his paraphernalia.
They failed to recognise and honour him.
Angered, Yama despatched them to the most dreadful hells.
After suffering there and after a number of incarnations in different subhuman species, they now live as fish in a lake in Kashmir.