The Vishnu Purana (abridged)

27,616 words

The Vishnu Purana (Viṣṇu Purāṇa) is a religious Hindu text and one of the (most important) eighteen Mahapuranas. It is also known as Puranaratna ("gem of Puranas"). Presented as a dialogue between Parashara and his disciple Maitreya, the major topics discussed include creation, stories of battles fought between asuras and devas, the Avat...

Usha and Vanasura

Krishna had more than one lakh and eighty thousand sons. But the best of them was Pradyumna and Pradyumna’s son was Aniruddha.

Vali’s son was Vanasura and Vanasura’s daughter was Usha. Usha once met Parvati and Shiva. She asked Parvati who her husband would be. Parvati replied that in the month of Vaishakha a person would appear in Usha’s dreams. And this person would be her husband.

As promised by Parvati, Usha did see a person in her dreams. But she did not know how this person was. She told her friend Chitraleka about this. Chitralekha thought that the only way to find out was to show Usha the protraits of various important personages amongst the devas, gandharvas and asuras. But the required person could not be identified from these portraits. Usha was then shown the portraits of humans and immediately she identified Aniruddha.”

Many years ago, Vanasura had prayed to Mahadeva,” he had said, “please grant me fights. I have ten thousand arms. What will I do with all these arms if I don’t get a chance to fight?”

“Be patient,” replied Mahadeva. “One day you will find your flag lying broken. When that happens, you will get the opportunity to fight as much as you wish.”

At this Vanasura was happy.

Meanwhile, once Aniruddha’s identity had been established, Chitralekha wondered what could be done. She went to Dvaraka and secretly brought Aniruddha to meet Usha. That was the very day on which Vanasura found his flag lying broken. The guards also came and informed him that Aniruddha was with Usha. Vanasura sent his soldiers to fight with Aniruddha, but Aniruddha killed them all with a club.

Then Vanasura himself entered the fray. Initially, he was beaten by Aniruddha. But he used maya to tie Aniruddha up.

Narada went to Dvaraka and told the Yadavas this. So Krishna, Balarama and Pradyumna came to rescue Aniruddha. Many were the soldiers that Krishna killed before entering the city. Also at the gate was a demon known as Jvara, a demon with a huge body, three arms and three legs. This demon had been born out of Mahadeva’s body. The demon was so powerful that it even caused Balarama some discomfort. But Krishna created a demon from his own body which killed the demon Jvara.

Krishna killed many asura soldiers. Vanasura himself came out to fight. Mahadeva and Kartikeya fought on Vana’s side and Vanasura’s chariot was driven by Nandi. Terrible was the war between Krishna and Mahadeva and everyone thought that the world would come to an end. But Krishna tired out Mahadeva. Pradyumna defeated Kartikeya, and Balarama killed many of Vanasura’s soldiers. Krishna and Vanasura shot arrows at each other. Then Krishna took up this sudharshana chakra and sliced of all Vanasura’s arms. But when he was about to kill Vanasura, Mahadeva intervened and begged for Vana’s life. This boon Krishna granted.

At the end of the war, Aniruddha and Usha too returned to Dvaraka with the other Yadavas.

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