The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “dalliance of usha and aniruddha” 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 53 - The dalliance of Ūṣā and Aniruddha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. The infuriated Asura Bāṇa went there and saw Aniruddha who was in the fresh years of youth and who seemed to have been born especially for divine sports.

2. The infuriated Bāṇa, very efficient in war, was a bit surprised on seeing him and wondered why he had done like that and therefore said mockingly.

3. “Oh this man is really handsome, bold and daring. Who can this unfortunate deluded person be? His death is imminent.

4. O angry ones, with terrible weapons immediately kill the fellow who has outraged the traditional purity of my family and defiled my dear daughter.

5. O heroic ones, bind the terrible fellow of evil conduct. Put him in a frightful prison for a long time”.

6. After saying this, the Asura Bāṇa thought within himself intelligently. “It is not known who this fearless fellow is. Certainly he is a man of terrible exploit”. Thinking thus Bāṇa hesitated to act.

7. Then gradually the evil-minded Daitya ordered ten thousand men from his army for slaying him.

8. Commanded by him those heroic terrible fellows encircled the harem saying. “Cut him, pierce him”.

9-10. On seeing the army of the enemy, Aniruddha the scion of the Yādava family, roared. He seized the big iron club from the harem-gate and came out of the apartment like the god of death armed with thunderbolt. With that iron club he killed the servants and returned to the harem.

11. O excellent sage, thus Aniruddha strengthened by Śiva’s splendour, with eyes turned red by anger, killed all the ten thousand men of the army.

12-14. With the sword captured in the course of the battle he killed ten thousands of horses and charioteers of the lord of Daityas. When a hundred thousand soldiers had been killed, the Asura Bāṇa furiously entered the fray taking with him Kumbhāṇḍa, expert in war. He then challenged Aniruddha for a duel in the course of that war—Aniruddha the highly intelligent son of Pradyumna, of refulgent body and protected by Śiva’s brilliance.

15. Aniruddha then seized a spear blazing like the fire of death, for killing him and hit him with that.

16. Bāṇa was hit with the spear even as he was seated in a chariot. In a trice the heroic demon vanished along with his horse.

17. When he vanished, Aniruddha, the unvanquished son of Pradyumna, stood steady like a mountain observing all the quarters.

18. Remaining invisible, that Dānava Bāṇa, practising deceptive fight, hit him again and again with thousands of weapons.

19. That powerful son of Bali, the heroic devotee of Śiva, the Asura Bāṇa deceitfully bound him with Serpent-nooses.[1]

20. After binding him and putting him in a cage he stopped the battle. The infuriated Bāṇa then spoke to the very powerful son of the charioteer.

The Asura Bāṇa said:—

21. O son of the charioteer, cut off the head of this wicked fellow who has defiled my family.

22. After chopping off the limbs, give them to the Rākṣasas. Or let the beasts of prey swallow his flesh and blood.

23. Or kill this sinner and put him in a grassy well. O son of the charioteer, what more shall I say? By all means he must be slain.

Sanatkumāra said:—

24. On hearing his words, the Asura Kumbhāṇḍa, the most excellent of the ministers and righteous in thought, spoke to Bāṇa.

Kumbhāṇḍa said:—

25. O lord, this is not a proper thing to do. Please consider. I think by killing him we will be killing ourselves.

26. O lord, he seems to be equal to Viṣṇu in exploits. His strength has been increased by the brilliance of the moon-crested lord, your favourite.

27. Moreover, in daring he is equal to the moon-crested lord; though he is reduced to this plight he maintains his manliness.

28. It is by the grace of Śiva that he, the grandson of Kṛṣṇa, considers us insignificant as the blades of grass. Although he is bitten by serpents cruelly he is still very strong.

Sanatkumāra said:—

29. After saying thus to Bāṇa, the Dānava, the most excellent among statesmen, spoke to Aniruddha.

Kumbhāṇḍa said:—

30. “O hero, who are you? Whose son are you? Tell us the truth. O meanest of men, of evil conduct, by whom have you been brought here?

31. Repeat piteously ‘I am vanquished’. Eulogise the heroic lord of the Daityas. Join your palms in reverence and bow to him.

32. If you do like this, you may get release. Otherwise this captivity and tortures will continue”. On hearing this Aniruddha replied.

Aniruddha said:—

33. O friend of the basest of Daityas, O you that sustain yourself with the balls of rice offered in the hands, O demon of evil conduct, you do not know the laws of adversaries.

34. I think that for the valorous person humble supplications and running away from the battlefield are worse than death. These are adverse and painful to him like a dart.

35. For a Kṣatriya, death while fighting face to face with the enemy is commendable rather than joining the palms in reverence like a man in humble condition professing to be valorous.

Sanatkumāra said:—

36. These and many other heroic words he uttered, on hearing which Bāṇa was surprised and angry too.

37. Then a celestial voice was heard for the pacification of Bāṇa which all the heroes, Aniruddha and the minister, stood listening to.

The celestial voice said:—

38. “O Bāṇa, O great hero, you shall not be angry. “O devotee of Śiva, O intelligent one, you are the son of Bali. Ponder over this.

39. Śiva, the lord of all, the supreme lord, is the witness of all activities. This entire universe including the mobile and immobile beings is subservient to him.

40. He alone is the creator, maintainer and the destroyer of the worlds, always taking up the attributes of Rajas, Sattva and Tamas in the form of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva.

41. The lord is omnipresent. He is the inducer, greater than all. He is free from aberrations, unchanging, eternal, the lord of illusion and devoid of attributes.

42. Even a weak person becomes strong, thanks to his will, O excellent son of Bali. O intelligent one, realise this in your mind, be normal and complacent.

43. The lord who quells pride, who is an expert in various sports and who is favourably disposed to his devotees will destroy your arrogance.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

44. O great sage, having spoken thus, the celestial voice stopped. On hearing these words the Asura Bāṇa did not kill Aniruddha.

45. Then he went to his harem and drank excellent beverages. His intellect was adversely affected, he forgot those words and began to sport.

46. Aniruddha was bound by serpentine bodies emitting poison powerfully. His passion for his beloved had not been satiated fully. He remembered Durgā then.

Aniruddha said:—

47. O goddess, you are worthy of being resorted to. I have been bound by serpents. O goddess bestowing fame, O goddess of fierce fury, come and save me.

48. O great goddess, devotee of Śiva, O cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution, there is no other saviour except you. O Śivā, save me.

Sanatkumāra said:—

49. Propitiated by him, Kālī, lustrous like the split collyrium, arrived there in the dark night of the fourteenth day in the dark half of the month Jyeṣṭha.

50-51. With the heavy blows of her fists she broke the cage. She reduced the serpentine arrows to ashes. She released Aniruddha and let him enter the harem and then vanished from the scene.

52. O great sage, thus, thanks to the grace of the goddess—the Energy of Śiva, Aniruddha got rid of the difficulty, became free from pain and obtained happiness.

53. Securing success by means of Śiva’s Energy, Aniruddha the son of Pradyumna gained access to his beloved, the daughter of Bāṇa and rejoiced.

54. In the company of his beloved—the daughter of Bāṇa, he carried on dalliance and was happy drinking the beverages till his eyes became red.

Footnotes and references:


Nāgapāśa was a sort of magical noose used in battle to entangle an enemy. Formerly it was the exclusive weapon of Asura Varuṇa.

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