Bana solicits siva for war: finds Aniruddha in the palace, and makes him prisoner. Krishna, Balarama, and Pradyumna come to his rescue siva and Skanda aid Bana: the former is disabled; the latter put to flight. Bana encounters Krishna, who cuts off all his arms, and is about to put him to death. siva intercedes, and Krishna a spares his life. Vishnu and siva are the same.
BEFORE this took place, Bana had been engaged in the adoration of the three eyed god, and had thus prayed to him: "I am humiliated, O lord, by the possession of a thousand arms in a state of peace; let some hostilities ensue, in which I may derive some advantage from their possession. Without war, what is the use of these arms? they are but a burden to me." sankara replied, "When thy peacock banner shall be broken, thou shalt have war, the delight of the evil spirits that feast on the flesh of man." Bana, pleased by this promise, proffered his thanks to sambhu, and returned to his palace, where he found his standard broken; at which his joy was increased.
At that time the nymph Chitralekha returned from Dwaraka, and by the exercise of her magic power brought Aniruddha along with her. The guards of the inner apartments discovering him there with Usha, reported it to the king who immediately sent a body of his followers to seize the prince; but the valiant youth, taking up an iron club, slew his assailants: on which Bana mounted his car, advanced against him, and endeavoured to put him to death. Finding, however, that Aniruddha was not to be subdued by prowess, he followed the counsel of his minister, and brought his magical faculties into the conflict, by which he succeeded in capturing the Yadu prince, and binding him in serpent bonds.
When Aniruddha was missed from Dwaravati, and the Yadavas were inquiring of one another whither he had gone, Narada came to them, and told them that he was the prisoner of Bana, having been conveyed by a female, possessed of magic faculties, to sonitapura 1 When they heard
this, they were satisfied; for they had imagined he had been taken away by the gods (in reprisal for the Parijata tree). Krishna therefore immediately summoned Garuda, who came with a wish; and mounting upon him, along with Bala and Pradyumna, he set off for the city of Bana. On their approach to the city they were opposed by the spirits who attend on Rudra, but these were soon destroyed by Hari, and he and his companions reached the vicinity of the town. Here mighty Fever, an emanation from Maheswara, having three feet and three heads 2, fought desperately with Vishnu in defence of Bana. Baladeva, upon whom his ashes were scattered, was seized with burning heat, and his eyelids trembled: but he obtained relief by clinging to the body of Krishna. Contending thus with the divine holder of the bow, the Fever emanating from siva was quickly expelled from the person of Krishna by Fever which he himself engendered. Brahma beholding the impersonated malady bewildered by the beating inflicted by the arms of the deity, entreated the latter to desist; and the foe of Madhu refrained, and absorbed into himself the fever he had created. The rival Fever then departed, saying to Krishna, "Those men who call to memory the combat between us shall be ever exempt from febrile disease."
Next Vishnu overcame and demolished the five fires 3, and with perfect ease annihilated the army of the Danavas. Then the son of Bali Bana(),
with the whole of the Daitya host, assisted by sankara and Kartikeya, fought with sauri. A fierce combat took place between Hari and sankara; all the regions shook, scorched by their flaming weapons, and the celestials felt assured that the end of the universe was at hand. Govinda, with the weapon of yawning, set sankara a gape; and then the demons and the demigods attendant upon siva were destroyed on every side; for Hara, overcome with incessant gaping, sat down in his car, and was unable longer to contend with Krishna, whom no acts affect. The deity of war, Kartikeya, wounded in the arm by Garuda, struck by the weapons of Pradyumna, and disarmed by the shout of Hari, took to flight. Bana, when he saw sankara disabled, the Daityas destroyed, Guha fled, and siva s followers slain, advanced on his vast car, the horses of which were harnessed by Nandisa, to encounter Krishna and his associates Bala and Pradyumna. The valiant Balabhadra, attacking the host of Bana, wounded them in many ways with his arrows, and put them to a shameful rout; and their sovereign beheld them dragged about by Rama with his ploughshare, or beaten by him with his club, or pierced by Krishna with his arrows: he therefore attacked Krishna, and a fight took place between them: they cast at each other fiery shafts, that pierced through their armour; but Krishna intercepted with his arrows those of Bana, and cut them to pieces. Bana nevertheless wounded Kesava, and the wielder of the discus wounded Bana;
and both desirous of victory, and seeking enraged the death of his antagonist, hurled various missiles at each other. When an infinite number of arrows had been cut to pieces, and the weapons began to be exhausted, Krishna resolved to put Bana to death. The destroyer of the demon host therefore took up his discus Sudarsana, blazing with the radiance of a hundred suns. As he was in the act of casting it, the mystical goddess Kotavi, the magic lore of the demons, stood naked before him 4. Seeing her before him, Krishna, with unclosed eyes, cast
[paragraph continues] Sudarsana, to cut off the arms of Bana. The discus, dreaded in its flight by the whole of the weapons of the demons, lopped off successively the numerous arms of the Asura. Beholding Krishna with the discus again in his hand, and preparing to launch it once more, for the total demolition of Bana, the foe of Tripura (siva) respectfully addressed him. The husband of Uma, seeing the blood streaming from the dissevered arms of Bana, approached Govinda, to solicit a suspension of hostilities, and said to him, Krishna", Krishna, lord of the world, I know thee, first of spirits, the supreme lord, infinite felicity, without beginning or end, and beyond all things. This sport of universal being, in which thou takest the persons of god, animals, and men, is a subordinate attribute of thy energy. Be propitious therefore, O lord, unto me. I have given Bana assurance of safety; do not thou falsify that which I have spoken. He has grown old in devotion to me; let him not incur thy displeasure. The Daitya has received a boon from me, and therefore I deprecate thy wrath." When he had concluded, Govinda, dismissing his resentment against the Asura, looked graciously on the lord of Uma, the wielder of the trident, and said to him, "Since you, sankara, have given a boon unto Bana, let him live: from respect to your promises, my discus is arrested: the assurance of safety granted by you is granted also by me. You are fit to apprehend that you are not distinct from me.
which I am, thou art; and that also is this world, with its gods, demons, and mankind. Men contemplate distinctions, because they are stupified by ignorance." So saying, Krishna went to the place where the son of Pradyumna was confined. The snakes that bound him were destroyed, being blasted by the breath of Garuda: and Krishna, placing him, along with his wife, upon the celestial bird, returned with Pradyumna and Rama to Dwaraka 4.