The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “banasura attains the position of shiva’s gana” 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 56 - Bāṇāsura attains the position of Śiva’s Gaṇa

Nārada said:—

1. O great sage, when Kṛṣṇa left for Dvārakā along with Aniruddha and his wife, what did Bāṇa do? Please narrate the same to me.

Sanatkumāra said:—

2. When Kṛṣṇa left for Dvārakā with Aniruddha and his wife, Bāṇa was distressed thinking on his previous ignorance.

3. Then Nandin, a gaṇa of Śiva, spoke to the grief-stricken Daitya Bāṇa whose limbs were smeared with blood and who repented repeatedly.

Nandiśvara said:—

4. O Bāṇa, devotee of Śiva, do not repent. Śiva is compassionate towards his devotees. Hence he is called Bhaktavatsala (i.e. favourably disposed to the devotees).

5. O foremost among devotees, whatever has happened, has happened at his will. Consider this and remember Śiva again and again.

6. Fixing your mind in the primordial being, Śiva who is compassionate towards the devotees, you celebrate his festival again and again.

7. At the suggestion of Nandin, Bāṇa who had been like Rāhu unto his enemies immediately went to Śiva’s temple with lofty mind and great courage.

8. After going there he bowed to the lord and lamented in great agitation. Bāṇa who had been divested of his haughtiness became overwhelmed with love and devotion.

9-10. He eulogised him with various hymns, He bowed to the lord in the course of his worship. With proper steps and gestures of hands he performed the Tāṇḍava dance assuming various poses and postures—Pratyālīdha, Sthānaka, Ālīḍha[1] being the chief among them.

11-14. He produced thousands of gestures through his mouth. He knit and bent his brows and shook his head in various ways. He kept thousands of attendants in rows. He showed various gestures gradually. Much of his blood was shed on the ground. By all these means be propitiated the trident-bearing moon-crested lord. Bāṇāsura the great devotee of Śiva forgot himself and his activities in the course of his worship. Śiva who is fond of dance and music and is favourably disposed to his devotees spoke to Bāṇa.

Śiva said:—

15. “Dear Bāṇa, son of Bali, I am delighted by your dance. O lord of Daityas, you choose the boon whatever be in your mind”.

Sanatkumāra said:—

16-20. O sage, on hearing the words of śiva, Bāṇa the lord of Daityas asked for the healing of wounds, the skill in duels, everlasting position of Gaṇahood, the kingship for Uṣā’s (Ūṣā’s?) son at the city of Śoṇita, absence of enmity with the gods and Viṣṇu in particular, absence of rebirth as a Daitya defiled by the attributes Rajas and Tamas, special devotion to Śiva without any aberration for ever, friendship with the devotees of Śiva and kindness to all living beings. After requesting for these boons, the son of Bali, the great Asura joined his palms in reverence and eulogised Śiva with tears of love in his eyes.

Bāṇa said:—

21. O great lord, lord of the gods, favourably disposed to those who seek refuge in you, O great lord, I bow to you, O kinsman of the distressed, O storehouse of mercy.

22. O Śiva, O ocean of sympathy, you have taken pity on me. O lord, being delighted with me you have removed my arrogance.

23. You are Brahman, the great soul, the all-pervading lord. _ Your body is the whole cosmos. You are Ugra, Īśa, Virāṭ, the great, accompanied by everything.

24. O lord, your navel is the sky, mouth is the fire, semen is the water, ear the quarters, head the heaven, foot the earth and mind the moon.

25. Your eye is the sun, the stomach the ocean, the arm Indra, and the intellect Brahmā. Your excretion is Prajāpati and your heart is Dharma.

26. O lord, your hairs are the herbs and plants, your tresses the clouds, your eyes the three attributes. You are the Puruṣa, the soul of all.

27. They call Brāhmaṇa your mouth, Kṣatriya your arms, Vaiśya your thighs and Śūdra your feet.[2]

28. O lord Śiva, you alone deserve to be adored by all living beings. A person worshipping you certainly derives liberation.

29. O lord, the man who forsakes you, the favourite Ātman, for the adverse objects of sense, swallows poison forsaking nectar.

30. Viṣṇu, Brahmā, the gods and the sages of pure mind, in every respect resort to you, the favourite lord.

Sanatkumāra said:—

31. After saying this, the Asura Bāṇa, son of Bali stopped with all the limbs blooming with love and bowed to lord Śiva.

32. On hearing the request of his devotee Bāṇa, lord Śiva said “You will get everything” and vanished there itself.

33. Then through the grace of Śiva, Bāṇa attained the immortality of the eternal time and becoming one of the attendants of Śiva he rejoiced much.

34. Thus I have narrated by means of words pleasing to the ears, the excellent story of the trident-bearing lord Śiva, who is the preceptor of the preceptors and who sports about always in the middle of the worlds. His story includes his activities in relation to Bāṇa.

Footnotes and references:


Ālīḍha is a kind of pose in dance, with the right foot advanced and the left retracted. The opposite of this is the pose of Pratyālīḍha in which the left foot is advanced and the right is drawn back. Sthānaka is a particular attitude of the body in dance.


It refers to the fourfold classification of ancient Indian society as mentioned in the Puruṣasūkta of the Ṛgveda.