Bana, also referred to as Banasura (Sanskrit: बाणासुर, romanizedBāṇāsura), is an asura king in Hindu mythology, ruling from the city of Śoṇitapura. He is described to be the son of Mahabali.[1][2] His tale of battling Krishna is described in the Bhagavata Purana.

Banasura begs mercy from Krishna
AffiliationAsura, Shaivism
TextsBhagavata Purana
Personal information

Legend edit

A mighty asura, Bana once ruled over a large kingdom, Śoṇitapura. His influence was so strong and fierce that all the kings – and even some of the devas – shuddered in front of him. Banasura used to worship a rasalingam given to him by Vishvakarman, on instruction from Vishnu. As an ardent devotee of Shiva, he used his thousand arms to play the mridangam when Shiva was performing the tandavam dance. When Shiva offered Banasura a boon, the latter requested Shiva to be his city's guardian: therefore, Banasura became invincible. As time passed, he became even more cruel and arrogant. One day, Banasura's daughter, Usha, saw a young man in her dream, made love to him, and fell in love with him. [3] Chitralekha, a friend of Usha and a talented artist, helped Usha to identify the young man seen in her dream by sketching various portraits of the Vrishnis. Usha realised that she had dreamt of Aniruddha, the grandson of Krishna. Chitralekha, through her yogic powers, abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Śoṇitapura.[4][5][6][7][8]

Usha worshipped her lover and furnished him with priceless garments, garlands, fragrances, lamps, and with beverages, dishes, and words. Breaking her vow of chastity with him, she kept him hidden in her maiden quarters, and the lovers lost track of the days. Catching wind of his daughter's activities, Banasura rushed to her chambers to find her playing dice with Aniruddha. Even as the prince fended off the guards, Banasura subdued him with the mystical ropes of Varuna. Usha was overwhelmed with sorrow due to this incident. Aniruddha was held captive by Banasura for a month, until Narada informed the Yadus in Dvaraka, who were searching for Aniruddha.[9]

The Yadus' army attacked Banasura in a great battle. The Yadu princes and their army besieged his kingdom with 12 akshauhinis, surrounding it completely. Banasura staged a fierce counterattack. During the war, Shiva appeared on the battlefield, riding on Nandi, to protect his devotee, Banasura. Balarama fought against Banasura's commander, while Samba fought against Banasura's son. To bear witness, the leaders of the godly souls headed by Brahma came in their celestial vehicles, as also did the sages, the perfected souls, and the venerable personalities, the singers and apsaras of heaven, and the yakshinis. Krishna and Shiva faced each other. Krishna used a brahmastra against Shiva's brahmastra, a mountain weapon against a wind weapon, a rain weapon against a fire weapon, and his narayanastra against Shiva's pashupatastra. Kartikeya, assaulted by Pradyumna's arrows, fled the battlefield on his peacock. After duelling with Satyaki, Bana took up arms against Krishna. However, Krishna blew his conch and instantly, Banasura's charioteer was killed and his chariot broken and shattered. When Shiva's forces had been defeated, Jvara, the embodiment of Shiva's fever, bearing three heads and three feet, attacked Krishna with scorching heat. Krishna produced his own Jvara of frigid coldness, and the two fought each other. Overwhelmed by Vishnu's fever, Shiva's Jvara offered its surrender and obeisance to Krishna and departed.

Meanwhile, Balarama defeated Banasura's commander. Bana rode forth upon his chariot to fight with Krishna, and the latter fought back with his Sudarshana Chakra. When Krishna started chopping Banasura's arms, Shiva returned to his senses and extolled the glories of Krishna, requested him not to kill Banasura, whom he had bestowed with fearlessness. Obliging, Krishna replied that he had never intended to kill Banasura, since he was the son of Bali and the grandson of the devout Prahlada. Vishnu had promised Bali not to kill any member of his family, and therefore would not slay him. However, Krishna severed Banasura's extra arms to destroy the latter's pride, leaving Banasura with only four arms.

Banasura realised his mistake and bowed his head before Krishna, arranging for a chariot to seat Aniruddha and Usha for their wedding in Dvaraka.[10]

Family edit

Krishna defeats Banasura.

The genealogy of Banasura is as follows:[11]

Banasura's story has been narrated in Indian epic Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana. His story as the rejected suitor for goddess Shakti is present in Tamil Sangam literary works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru; Bhattavataar's Banasura Katha.[12]

In popular culture edit

  • According to Assamese belief, the Agnigarh hillock was built by Banasura to keep his daughter Usha in isolation.[13]
  • Mahabhairav Temple is believed to have been established by king Bana with a Siva lingam. Formerly, this temple was built of stone but the present one is built of concrete. During the later years, the Ahom kings donated devottar[what language is this?] land for the Temple and Pujaris and Paiks were appointed to look after the temple.[14]
  • To the east of Tezpur town, on the bank of river Brahmaputra a temple call Rudrapada is situated. It is believed that Rudra (Shiva ) had left the print of his left foot (pada) on a stone found in the temple. It is believed that Mahadeva showed his real self to king Bana here.[15]
  • Banasura Sagar Dam is named after Banasura because he was the son of Mahabali and as per local belief, Mahabali is a very respected king in Kerala.[citation needed]

References edit

  1. ^ – Glossary description
  2. ^ Kumar, Anu (30 November 2012). Banasura: The Thousand-Armed Asura. Hachette India. ISBN 978-93-5009-537-9.
  3. ^ "The Story of Usha and Aniruddha". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  4. ^ M. Padmanabhan; Meera Ravi Shankar (1 August 2004). Tales of Krishna from Mahabharatha. Sura Books. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-81-7478-417-9.
  5. ^ Vanamali (2012). The Complete Life of Krishna. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1594776908.
  6. ^ Stephen Knapp (January 0101). Krishna Deities and Their Miracles. Prabhat Prakashan.
  7. ^ Krishna. Har Anand Publications. 2009. p. 68. ISBN 978-8124114223.
  8. ^ Chandra Sekhar Singh (8 December 2016). The Purans volume-02. ISBN 978-1365593277.
  9. ^ "Srimad Bhagavatam: Canto 10 - Chapter 62". Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Srimad Bhagavatam: Canto 10 - Chapter 63". Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  11. ^ Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005
  12. ^ Kalla, Krishan Lal. The Literary Heritage of Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir (India): Mittal Publications. p. 11.
  13. ^ "Agnigarh | Sonitpur District | Government Of Assam, India". Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Mahabhairab Temple | Sonitpur District | Government Of Assam, India". Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Rudrapada Temple | Sonitpur District | Government Of Assam, India". Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2020.

Sources edit