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The Meeting of Ūṣā and Aniruddha

The meeting of Aniruddha and Ūṣā, which caused a great fight between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Śiva, is very mysterious and interesting. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was eager to hear the whole story from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and thus Śukadeva narrated it. “My dear king, you must have heard the name of King Bali. He was a great devotee who gave away in charity all that he had – namely, the whole world – to Lord Vāmana, the incarnation of Viṣṇu as a dwarf brāhmaṇa. King Bali had one hundred sons, and the eldest of all of them was Bāṇāsura.”

This great hero Bāṇāsura, born of Mahārāja Bali, was a great devotee of Lord Śiva and was always ready to render service unto him. Because of his devotion, Bāṇāsura achieved a great position in society, and he was honored in every respect. Actually, he was very intelligent and liberal also, and his activities are all praiseworthy because he never deviated from his promise and word of honor; he was very truthful and fixed in his vow. In those days, he was ruling over the city of Śoṇitapura. By the grace of Lord Śiva, Bāṇāsura had one thousand arms, and he became so powerful that even demigods like King Indra were serving him most obediently.

Long ago, when Lord Śiva was dancing in his celebrated fashion, called tāṇḍava-nṛtya, for which he is known as Naṭarāja, Bāṇāsura helped Lord Śiva in his dancing by rhythmically beating drums with his one thousand hands. Lord Śiva is well known as Āśutoṣa (“very easily pleased”), and he is also very affectionate to his devotees. He is a great protector for persons who take shelter of him and is the master of all living entities in this material world. Being pleased with Bāṇāsura, he said, “Whatever you desire you can have from me, for I am very much pleased with you.” Bāṇāsura replied, “My dear lord, if you please, you can remain in my city just to protect me from the hands of my enemies.”

Once upon a time, Bāṇāsura came to offer his respects to Lord Śiva. By touching the lotus feet of Lord Śiva with his helmet, which was shining like the sun globe, he offered his obeisances unto him. While offering his respectful obeisances, Bāṇāsura said, “My dear lord, anyone who has not fulfilled his ambition will be able to do so by taking shelter of your lotus feet, which are just like a desire tree, from which one can take anything he desires. My dear lord, you have given me one thousand arms, but I do not know what to do with them. They are simply a burden; I cannot use them properly in fighting, since I cannot find anyone competent to fight with me except Your Lordship, the original father of the material world. Sometimes I feel a great tendency to fight with my arms, and I go out to find a suitable warrior. Unfortunately, everyone flees, knowing my extraordinary power. Being baffled at not finding a match, I satisfy the itching of my arms by beating them against the mountains. In this way, I tear many great mountains to pieces.”

Lord Śiva realized that his benediction had become troublesome for Bāṇāsura and addressed him, “You rascal! You are very eager to fight, but since you have no one to fight with, you are distressed. Although you think that there is no one in the world to oppose you except me, I say that you will eventually find such a competent person. At that time your days will come to an end, and your flag of victory will no longer fly. Then you will see your false prestige smashed to pieces!”

After hearing Lord Śiva’s statement, Bāṇāsura, who was very much puffed up with his power, became elated that he would meet someone able to smash him to pieces. Bāṇāsura then returned home with great pleasure, and he always waited for the day when the suitable fighter would come to cut down his strength. He was such a foolish demon. It appears that foolish, demoniac human beings, when unnecessarily overpowered with material opulences, want to exhibit these opulences, and such foolish people feel satisfaction when these opulences are exhausted. The idea is that they do not know how to expend their energy for right causes, being unaware of the benefit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Actually, there are two classes of men – one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, the other is non –Kṛṣṇa conscious. The non–Kṛṣṇa conscious men are generally devoted to the demigods, whereas the Kṛṣṇa conscious men are devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa conscious persons utilize everything for the service of the Lord. The non-Kṛṣṇa conscious persons utilize everything for sense gratification, and Bāṇāsura is a perfect example of such a person. For his own satisfaction, he was very eager to utilize his extraordinary power to fight. Not finding any combatant, he struck his powerful arms against the mountains, breaking them to pieces. In contrast to this, Arjuna also possessed extraordinary powers for fighting, but he utilized them only for Kṛṣṇa.

Bāṇāsura had a very beautiful daughter, whose name was Ūṣā. When she had attained the age of marriage and was sleeping amongst her many girlfriends, she dreamt one night that Aniruddha was by her side and that she was enjoying a conjugal relationship with him, although she had never actually seen him or heard of him before. She awoke from her dream exclaiming very loudly, “My dear beloved, where are you?” Being exposed to her friends in this way, she became a little bit ashamed. One of Ūṣā’s girlfriends was Citralekhā, who was the daughter of Bāṇāsura’s prime minister. Citralekhā and Ūṣā were intimate friends, and out of great curiosity Citralekhā asked, “My dear beautiful princess, as of yet you are not married to any young boy, nor have you seen any boys until now; so I am surprised that you are exclaiming like this. Who are you searching after? Who is your suitable match?”

On hearing Citralekhā’s inquiries, Ūṣā replied, “My dear friend, in my dream I saw a nice young man who is very, very beautiful. His complexion is swarthy, his eyes are just like lotus petals, and he is dressed in yellow garments. His arms are very long, and his general bodily features are so pleasing that any young girl would be attracted. I feel much pride in saying that this beautiful young man was kissing me, and I was very much enjoying the nectar of his kissing. But I am sorry to inform you that just after this he disappeared, and I have been thrown into the whirlpool of disappointment. My dear friend, I am very anxious to find this wonderful young man, the desired lord of my heart.”

After hearing Ūṣā’s words, Citralekhā immediately replied, “I can understand your bereavement, and I assure you that if this boy is within these three worlds – the upper, middle and lower planetary systems – I must find him for your satisfaction. If you can identify him from your dream, I shall bring you peace of mind. Now, let me draw some pictures for you to inspect, and as soon as you find the picture of your desired husband, let me know. It doesn’t matter where he is; I know the art of bringing him here. So, as soon as you identify him, I shall immediately arrange for it.”

Citralekhā, while talking, began to draw many pictures of the demigods inhabiting the higher planetary systems, then pictures of the Gandharvas, Siddhas, Cāraṇas, Pannagas, Daityas, Vidyādharas and Yakṣas, as well as many pictures of human beings. (The statements of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Vedic literatures prove definitely that on each and every planet there are living entities of different varieties. Therefore, it is foolish to assert that there are no living entities but those on this earth.) Citralekhā drew many pictures. Among the human beings she drew were the members of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, including Vasudeva, the father of Kṛṣṇa; Śūrasena, the grandfather of Kṛṣṇa; Śrī Balarāmajī; Lord Kṛṣṇa; and many others. When Ūṣā saw the picture of Pradyumna, she became a little bashful, but when she saw the picture of Aniruddha, she became so bashful that she immediately lowered her head and smiled, having found the man she was seeking. She identified the picture to Citralekhā as that of the man who had stolen her heart.

Citralekhā was a great mystic yoginī, and as soon as Ūṣā identified the picture, Citralekhā could immediately understand that it was of Aniruddha, a grandson of Kṛṣṇa’s, although neither she nor Ūṣā had previously known his name or ever seen him. That very night, she traveled in outer space and within a very short time reached the city of Dvārakā, which was well protected by Lord Kṛṣṇa. She entered the palace and found Aniruddha sleeping in his bedroom on a very opulent bed. Citralekhā, by her mystic power, immediately brought Aniruddha, in that sleeping condition, to the city of Śoṇitapura so that Ūṣā might see her desired husband. Ūṣā immediately bloomed in happiness and began to enjoy the company of Aniruddha with great satisfaction.

The palace in which Ūṣā and Citralekhā lived was so well fortified that it was impossible for any male to either enter or see inside. Ūṣā and Aniruddha lived together in the palace, and day after day Ūṣā’s love for Aniruddha grew four times upon four. Ūṣā pleased Aniruddha with valuable garments, flowers, garlands, scents and incense. By his bedside sitting place were other paraphernalia for residential purposes – nice drinks such as milk and sherbet and nice eatables which could be chewed or swallowed. Above all, she pleased him with sweet words and very obliging service. Ūṣā worshiped Aniruddha as if he were the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By her excellent service, Ūṣā made Aniruddha forget all other things and was able to draw his attention and love to her without deviation. In such an atmosphere of love and service, Aniruddha practically forgot himself and could not recall how many days he had been away from his real home.

In due course of time, Ūṣā exhibited some bodily symptoms by which it could be understood that she was having intercourse with a male friend. The symptoms were so prominent that her actions could no longer be concealed from anyone. Ūṣā was always cheerful in the association of Aniruddha, and she did not know the bounds of her satisfaction. The housekeeper and the guards of the palace could guess very easily that she was having relations with a male friend, and without waiting for further developments, all of them informed their master, Bāṇāsura. In the Vedic culture, an unmarried girl having association with a male is the greatest disgrace to the family, and so the caretakers cautiously informed their master that Ūṣā was showing symptoms indicating a disgraceful association. The servants informed their master that they were not at all neglectful in guarding the house, being alert day and night against any young man who might enter. They were so careful that a male could not even see what was going on there, and so they were surprised that she had become contaminated. Since they could not trace out the reason for it, they submitted the whole situation before their master.

Bāṇāsura was shocked to understand that his daughter Ūṣā was no longer a virgin maiden. This weighed heavily on his heart, and without delay he rushed toward the palace where Ūṣā was living. There he saw that Ūṣā and Aniruddha were sitting together and talking. They looked very beautiful together, Aniruddha being the son of Pradyumna, who was Cupid himself. Bāṇāsura saw his daughter and Aniruddha as a suitable match, yet for family prestige he did not like the combination at all. Bāṇāsura could not understand who the boy actually was. He appreciated the fact that Ūṣā could not have selected anyone in the three worlds more beautiful. Aniruddha’s complexion was brilliant and swarthy. He was dressed in yellow garments and had eyes just like lotus petals. His arms were very long, and he had nice, curling, bluish hair. The glaring rays of his glittering earrings and the beautiful smile on his lips were certainly captivating. Still, Bāṇāsura was very angry.

When Bāṇāsura saw him, Aniruddha was engaged in playing with Ūṣā. Aniruddha was nicely dressed, and Ūṣā had garlanded him with various beautiful flowers. The reddish kuṅkuma powder put on the breasts of women was spotted here and there on the garland, indicating that Ūṣā had embraced him. Bāṇāsura was struck with wonder that, even in his presence, Aniruddha was peacefully sitting in front of Ūṣā. Aniruddha knew, however, that his would-be father-in-law was not at all pleased and that he was gathering many soldiers in the palace to attack him.

Thus, not finding any other weapon, Aniruddha took hold of a big iron rod and stood up before Bāṇāsura and his soldiers. He firmly took a posture indicating that if attacked he would strike all of the soldiers down to the ground with the iron rod. Bāṇāsura and his company of soldiers saw that the boy was standing before them just like the superintendent of death with his invincible rod. Now, under the order of Bāṇāsura, the soldiers from all sides attempted to capture and arrest him. When they dared to come before him, Aniruddha struck them with the rod, breaking their heads, legs, arms and thighs, and one after another they fell to the ground. He killed them just as the leader of a pack of boars kills barking dogs one after another. In this way, Aniruddha was able to escape the palace.

Bāṇāsura knew various arts of fighting, and by the grace of Lord Śiva he knew how to arrest his enemy by the use of a nāga-pāśa, snake-noose, and thus he seized Aniruddha as he came out of the palace. When Ūṣā received the news that her father had arrested Aniruddha, she was overwhelmed with grief and confusion. Tears glided down from her eyes, and being unable to check herself, she began to cry very loudly.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the sixty-second chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “The Meeting of Ūṣā and Aniruddha.”

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