SB 10.62: The Meeting of Ūṣā and Aniruddha
This chapter recounts the meeting of Aniruddha and Ūṣā, and also Aniruddha’s battle with Bāṇāsura.
Of the one hundred sons of King Bali, the oldest was Bāṇāsura. He was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, who favored Bāṇa so much that even demigods like Indra would serve him. Bāṇāsura once satisfied Śiva by playing musical instruments with his one thousand hands while Śiva danced his tāṇḍava-nṛtya. In response, Śiva offered Bāṇa whatever benediction he chose, and Bāṇa asked Śiva to become the guardian of his city.
One day when Bāṇa was feeling an urge to do battle, he told Lord Śiva: “Except for you, in the whole world there is no warrior strong enough to fight me. Therefore these thousand arms you’ve given me are merely a heavy burden.” Angered by these words, Lord Śiva replied, “Your pride will be crushed in battle when you meet my equal. Indeed, your chariot flag will fall to the ground, broken.”
Bāṇāsura’s daughter, Ūṣā, once had an encounter with a lover in her sleep. Several nights in a row this occurred, until one night she failed to see Him in her dreams. She suddenly awoke, speaking aloud to Him in a state of agitation, but when she noticed her maidservants around her, she felt embarrassed. Ūṣā’s companion Citralekhā asked her who she had been addressing, and Ūṣā told her everything. Hearing of Ūṣā’s dreamlover, Citralekhā tried to relieve her friend’s distress by drawing pictures of Gandharvas and other celestial personalities, as well as various men of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty. Citralekhā asked Ūṣā to pick out the man she had seen in her dreams, and Ūṣā pointed to the picture of Aniruddha. Citralekhā, who had mystic powers, knew at once that the young man her friend had pointed out was Lord Kṛṣṇa’s grandson Aniruddha. Then, using her mystic powers, Citralekhā flew through the sky to Dvārakā, found Aniruddha and brought Him back with her to Śoṇitapura, Bāṇāsura’s capital. There she presented Him to Ūṣā.
Having obtained the man of her desires, Ūṣā began serving Him very affectionately within her private quarters, which were supposed to be strictly off limits to men. After some time the female guards of the inner palace noticed symptoms of sexual activity on Ūṣā’s person, and they went to Bāṇāsura to inform him. Greatly disturbed, Bāṇāsura rushed to his daughter’s apartments with many armed guards and, to his great surprise, saw Aniruddha there. As the guards attacked Him, Aniruddha took up His club and succeeded in killing a few before the powerful Bāṇa could capture Him with his mystic nāga-pāśa ropes, filling Ūṣā with lamentation.
tatra yuddham abhūd ghoraṁ
etat sarvaṁ mahā-yogin
samākhyātuṁ tvam arhasi
baler āsīn mahātmanaḥ
haraye ’dāyi medinī
mānyo vadānyo dhīmāṁś ca
śoṇitākhye pure ramye
sa rājyam akarot purā
kiṅkarā iva te ’marāḥ
tāṇdave ’toṣayan mṛḍam
vareṇa chandayām āsa
sa taṁ vavre purādhipam
lokānāṁ gurum īśvaram
paraṁ bhārāya me ’bhavat
na labhe tvad ṛte samam
According to the ācāryas, Bāṇāsura’s subtle implication here is this: “And so when I have defeated you, Lord Śiva, my world conquest will be complete and my desire for battle satisfied.”
yuyutsur dig-gajān aham
ādyāyāṁ cūrṇayann adrīn
bhītās te ’pi pradudruvuḥ
ketus te bhajyate yadā
tvad-darpa-ghnaṁ bhaven mūḍha
saṁyugaṁ mat-samena te
Lord Śiva could have immediately chastised Bāṇāsura and personally destroyed his pride, but since Bāṇāsura had been such a faithful servant of his, Śiva did not do so.
sva-gṛhaṁ prāviśan nṛpa
Here Bāṇāsura is described as ku-dhī (“having bad intelligence”) and ku-mati (“foolish”) because he completely misunderstood the actual situation. This demon was so arrogant that he was convinced no one could defeat him. He was delighted to hear that someone as powerful as Lord Śiva would come to fight with him and satisfy his itching for battle. Even though Śiva had said that this person would break Bāṇa’s flag and destroy his prowess, the demon was too foolish to take this statement seriously and eagerly awaited the fight.
At the present moment materialistic people are delighted by the many unprecedented facilities for sense gratification. Although it is clear that death, both individual and collective, is quickly approaching them, modern sense gratifiers are oblivious to their inevitable destruction. As stated in the Bhāgavatam (2.1.4), paśyann api na paśyati: Even though their imminent destruction is apparent, they are too blind to see it, being intoxicated by sex enjoyment and family attachment. Similarly, Bāṇāsura was intoxicated with his material prowess and could not believe that he was about to be cut down to size.
svapne prādyumninā ratim
prāg adṛṣṭa-śrutena sā
The incidents now described will lead up to the fight predicted by Lord Śiva. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura quotes the following verses from the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, which explain Ūṣā’s dream:
ūṣā bāṇa-sutā vipra
pārvatīm śambhunā saha
spṛhāṁ cakre tad-āśrayām
“O brāhmaṇa, when Ūṣā, the daughter of Bāṇa, happened to see Pārvatī playing with her husband, Lord Śambhu, Ūṣā intensely desired to experience the same feelings.”
gaurī tām aha bhāvinīm
bhartrā tvam api raṁsyase
“At that time Goddess Gaurī [Pārvatī], who knows everyone’s heart, told the sensitive young girl, ‘Don’t be so disturbed! You will have a chance to enjoy with your own husband.’”
ity uktā sā tadā cakre
kadeti matim ātmanaḥ
ko vā bhartā mamety enāṁ
punar apy āha pārvatī
“Hearing this, Ūṣā thought to herself, ‘But when? And who will my husband be?’ In response, Pārvatī addressed her once more.”
svapne yo ’bhibhavaṁ tava
kariṣyati sa te bhartā
“‘The man who approaches you in your dream on the twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Vaiśākha will become your husband, O princess.’”
kvāsi kānteti vādinī
sakhīnāṁ madhya uttasthau
vihvalā vrīḍitā bhṛśam
Coming to her senses and remembering that she was surrounded by her girlfriends, Ūṣā was naturally very embarrassed to have cried out in that way. At the same time she was disturbed by attachment to the beloved man who had appeared in her dream.
citralekhā ca tat-sutā
sakhy apṛcchat sakhīm ūṣāṁ
kīdṛśas te manorathaḥ
hasta-grāhaṁ na te ’dyāpi
kvāpi yātaḥ spṛhayatīṁ
kṣiptvā māṁ vṛjinārṇave
tri-lokyāṁ yadi bhāvyate
tam āneṣye varaṁ yas te
mano-hartā tam ādiśa
Interestingly, the name Citralekhā indicates a person skilled in the art of drawing or painting. Citra means “excellent” or “variegated,” and lekhā means “the art of drawing or painting.” Citralekhā, as described in the following verse, will now utilize the talent indicated by her name.
manujāṁś ca yathālikhat
vyalikhad rāma-kṛṣṇau ca
pradyumnaṁ vīkṣya lajjitā
so ’sāv asāv iti prāha
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī gives this further insight: When Ūṣā saw the picture of Pradyumna, she became bashful because she thought, “This is my father-in-law.” Then she saw the picture of her lover, Aniruddha, and cried out in joy.
pautraṁ kṛṣṇasya yoginī
yayau vihāyasā rājan
prādyumniṁ yogam āsthitā
sakhyai priyam adarśayat
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments as follows on this verse: “It is stated here that Citralekhā resorted to mystic power (yogam āsthitā). As explained in the Hari-vaṁśa and other literatures, she needed to employ her powers because when she arrived at Dvārakā she found herself unable to enter Lord Kṛṣṇa’s city. At that time Śrī Nārada Muni instructed her in the mystic art of entering. Some authorities also say that Citralekhā is herself an expansion of Yoga-māyā.”
duṣprekṣye sva-gṛhe pumbhī
reme prādyumninā samam
nāhar-gaṇān sa bubudhe
hetubhir lakṣayāṁ cakrur
rājaṁs te duhitur vayam
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī has defined the word bhaṭāḥ as “female guards,” whereas Jīva Gosvāmī defines it as “eunuchs and others.” Grammatically, the word can function both ways.
The guards feared that if Bāṇāsura found out about Ūṣā’s activities from some other source, he would severely punish them, and thus they personally informed him that his young daughter was no longer innocent.
guptāyāś ca gṛhe prabho
kanyāyā dūṣaṇaṁ pumbhir
duṣprekṣyāyā na vidmahe
The ācāryas explain that the word anapāyibhiḥ can mean either “never going away” or “never deluded.” Also, if we take the alternate reading duṣpreṣyāyāḥ instead of duṣprekṣyāyāḥ, the guards refer to Ūṣā as “she whose wicked girlfriend has been sent on a mission.”
prāpto ’drākṣīd yadūdvaham
śyāmaṁ piśaṅgāmbaram ambujekṣaṇam
smitāvalokena ca maṇḍitānanam
bāhvor dadhānaṁ madhu-mallikāśritāṁ
tasyāgra āsīnam avekṣya vismitaḥ
Bāṇāsura was amazed at Aniruddha’s boldness: the prince was calmly sitting in the young girl’s quarters, playing with Bāṇa’s supposedly unmarried daughter! In the context of the strict Vedic culture, this was an unbelievable thing to witness.
bhaṭair anīkair avalokya mādhavaḥ
udyamya maurvaṁ parighaṁ vyavasthito
yathāntako daṇḍa-dharo jighāṁsayā
The club was not made of ordinary iron but of a special kind called muru.
śuno yathā śūkara-yūthapo ’hanat
te hanyamānā bhavanād vinirgatā
ghnantaṁ sva-sainyaṁ kupito babandha ha
ūṣā bhṛśaṁ śoka-viṣāda-vihvalā
baddhaṁ niśamyāśru-kalākṣy arautsīt
The ācāryas explain that Bāṇāsura could not actually capture the powerful grandson of Lord Kṛṣṇa. However, the Lord’s līla-śakti, or pastime potency, allowed this to happen so that the events described in the next chapter could take place.
Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda to the Tenth Canto, Sixty-second Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Meeting of Ūṣā and Aniruddha.”