The Shiva Purana (English translation)

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “story of usha (2)” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Chapter 52 - The story of Ūṣā (2)

Sanatkumāra said:—

l. Listen to another story of Śiva the great soul which bestows the highest pleasure and wherein his endearment to his devotees can be seen.

2-3. Formerly the Asura Bāṇa had pleased Śiva by performing the Tāṇḍava dance. By adverse fate he became haughty. On realising that Śiva, the lover of Pārvatī, was delighted in mind, the Asura Bāṇa joined his palms in reverence, bent his shoulders and spoke.

Bāṇa said:—

4. O great god, lord of the gods and crest-jewel of all the gods, I am very strong, thanks to your favour.

5. A thousand hands have been given to me by you. They are only a burden to me, since except you I do not find any match to oppose me having an equal strength.

6. O bull-bannered lord, what can I do with these thousand mountain-like hands without a fight.

7. When my hands itch for war I desire to fight the elephants of the quarters. By hitting the cities and mountains I reduced them to powder. Being frightened they fled away.

8. Yama has been made a combatant with me and the great fire-god too, similarly. Varuṇa has been made a cowherd looking after my cows.

9. Kubera has been made the in-charge of couches, Nirṛti a chaperon. Indra has been defeated and forced to pay tribute.

10-11. Please suggest a fight unto me wherein my hands may fall shattered by the weapons hurled by the enemy or cause him to fall in thousand pieces. O lord Śiva, please fulfil this desire of mine.

Sanatkumāra said:—

12. Becoming furious on hearing that, Śiva laughed boisterously and in a wonderful manner; Śiva the remover of the distress of devotees became very angry and said.

Śiva said

13. Fie upon you, O haughty base Daitya, such a talk as this does not behove the son of Bali and a devotee.

14. Very soon, you will meet a terrible challenge to your bluff by fighting a great battle against person equal to me in strength. The battle will be sudden.

15. Therein your mountain-like hands will be cut off by weapons and missiles. They will fall off like reeds or stumps of plantain trees.

16-18. “O wicked soul, when this flagstaff of yours, with the emblem of a peacock with a human head, which is installed in your armoury, falls without being blown off by a gust of wind, you can decide within your mind that a terrible battle is at hand. Go to that terrible war accompanied by all your generals. Now return to your abode where Śiva is present.

19. O wicked one, you will see the great evil portents.” After saying this, the lord who is favourably disposed to the devotees and is the dispeller of pride stopped.

Sanatkumāra said:—

20. After hearing that, Bāṇa worshiped Śiva with palms joined in reverence in the form of buds and bowed to lord Śiva. He then went to his abode.

21. On being asked, the delighted Asura mentioned everything to Kumbhāṇḍa in the manner it had happened. The Asura Bāṇa awaited the particular conjunction of circumstances eagerly.

22. Once, by chance he saw the flagstaff broken and fallen. On seeing it, he was delighted and he set out for war.

23-24. He called together his entire army. He was accompanied by his eight lieutenants. He performed the sacrifice for success in war. He surveyed the wine[1] prepared for use in the course of war. He observed the auspicious signs in the quarters and set off. He, the son of Bali,[2] the heroic warrior capable of fighting with ten thousand persons, was very enthusiastic.

25-26. He thought within himself—“Who can be that warrior fond of battle, a master of the art of using weapons and missiles who will cut off my thousand hands like reeds or whom I shall cut into hundred pieces?”

27-28. In the meantime, in the month of Vaiśākha after her monthly course, the daughter of Bāṇa had her auspicious bath and auspicious rites after worshipping lord Śiva. At night she lay asleep in the well-guarded harem. It was then that Kāma entered the place with lord Śiva.

29-30. She was seized by Kṛṣṇa’s grandson[3] sent by Pārvatī of divine Māyā. She began to cry helplessly. He enjoyed her forcibly. Within a moment he was carried to Dvārakā[4] by Pārvatī’s attendants by means of their divine Yogic power.

31. Rubbed and squeezed thus, she got up crying. She mumbled various words to her female attendants. She even decided to give up her life.

32. O Vyāsa, she was then reminded by her friend of the fault she had committed previously. She then came to realise the entire incident that had occurred formerly.

33. O sage, Ūṣā, daughter of Bāṇa, spoke sweetly to Citralekhā, daughter of Kumbhāṇḍa.

Ūṣā said:—

34. “Dear friend, if he is the person ordained as my husband by Pārvatī, how can I obtain him duly?

35. In what family is he born who has fascinated my mind thus?” On hearing the words of Ūṣā, the friend told her then.

Citralekhā said:—

36. “O gentle lady, how shall I bring that man who was seen by you in the dream and whom I do not know.”

37. Thus said by her, the daughter of the Daitya blinded by passion was ready to end her life. She was saved thus by her friend on the first day.

38. O excellent sage, again that daughter of Kumbhāṇḍa, Citralekhā, of great intellect spoke to Ūṣā the daughter of Bāṇa.

39. I can dispel your grief if such a man could be anywhere in the three worlds. I shall bring him who has captivated your mind. Please mention the details of his features.

Sanatkumāra said:—

40. After saying this, she painted all the gods on a canvas together with the Daityas, Dānavas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Nāgas, Yakṣas and others.

41. Similarly she painted men, the Vṛṣṇis among them, the heroic Ānakadundubhi, Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa and Pradyumna the excellent among men.

42. On seeing Aniruddha the son of Pradyumna painted, she became bashful. Ūṣā’s heart was filled with delight. She stood with downcast face.

Ūṣā said

43. “O, this is the thief who has stolen my heart. This is the man whom I secured in the night.

44. By his very contact I became fascinated. I wish to know about him. O beautiful woman, mention everything to me.

45. In whose family is he born? What is his name? On being thus asked by her, the lady, expert in yogic practice, mentioned the name of the family.

46. O excellent sage, on hearing about his family, tḥe eager and passionate daughter of Bāṇa said.

Ūṣā said

47-48. O my friend, ascertain some means lovingly so that I shall regain my beloved husband in a trice. Without him, my friend, I am not at all eager to live even for a moment. Please bring him here strenuously. O my friend, make me happy.

Sanatkumāra said:—

49. On being thus requested by the daughter of Bāṇa, O excellent sage, the daughter of the minister was surprised and began to think seriously.

50. Then taking leave of her friend, and knowing him to be the grandson of Kṛṣṇa, Citralekhā got ready to go to Dvārakā with the velocity of the mind.

51-53. When the third day after the fourteenth day in the dark half of the month of Jyeṣṭha elapsed, a Muhūrta before the dawn, she reached the city of Dvārakā within a moment by the aerial path because she was a Yoginī. Then in the park of the harem the son of Pradyumna was seen by her playing with women and drinking wine. He was dark-complexioned but beautiful in every limb, smiling and in the prime of youth.

54-55. When he lay on the cot she encompassed him with the shroud of darkness by employing her Tāmasa Yoga. Thereafter she carried the cot on her head and within a moment reached the city of śoṇita where the daughter of Bāṇa eagerly awaited her.

56. Passionate that she was, she made various mad pranks displaying her emotions. On seeing that he was actually brought she became frightened too.

57. When they began their sexual dalliance in that fresh contact in the well-guarded harem, it became known to all in a moment.

58-59. The man with a divine body who carried on illegitimate affairs with a virgin was found out by the persons appointed at the doorway to the harem with cane-sticks in their old and emaciated hands, by means of gestures and inferences. They understood that he was a young man, very comely in features, daring and fond of battle.

60. On seeing him, the heroic men who guarded the harem went and told Bāṇa, son of Bali, everything.

The gatekeepers said:—

61. O lord, no one knows how this was done. Indra has entered your harem in secret and forcibly. He has outraged the modesty of your daughter by seizing her himself.

62. O lord of Dānavas, of great arms, see, see him here. Do whatever is proper. We are not at fault.

Sanatkumāra said:—

63. O excellent sage, on hearing their words, on hearing of the defilement of his daughter, the lord of Dānavas of great strength, became surprised.

Footnotes and references:


Cp. Note 277 P. 963.


Bāṇa was the son of Bali also called Mahābali. He ruled at Śoṇitapura while his father’s capital was Mahābalipura. We can construct the ancestry of Bāṇa from Śivapurāṇa: Hiraṇyakaśipu—Prahlāda—Virocana—Bali—Bāṇa.


Aniruddha was the son of Pradyumna and grandson of Kṛṣṇa.


There were two Dvārakās connected with Kṛṣṇa. The one was situated near Kodinar on the sea-shore between the mouths of the rivers: Somat and Siṅgāvara. Kṛṣṇa is said to have resided here and later on transferred himself to Dvārakā in Okhā-maṇḍala in Kathiawar.