Banasura

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Banasura (बाणासुर) or Bana was a thousand-armed Asura and son of Bali. Banasur was a powerful and terrible asura. Non Aryan Kings in that age were termed as Asuras or daityas. All people even the king of earth and Devas of heaven were afraid of him. Bana was a follower of Shiva. Banasura ruled with his capital at Sonitpur. [1]. There is a waterfall and place called Bana Tirtham in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.

Jat Gotras from Banasura

The word Bāṇeya is used for the adherents of Banasura. The present Bana clan may be identified with them. [2]

Legend

There are several legends associated with Banasura. According to a legend, Banasura had obtained a boon from Lord Shiva that he could be vanquished only by a virgin, unable to bear the harassment of the asura king, Shakti, the supreme Goddess was requested by the Devas to destroy Banasura who was creating havoc on the inhabitants of this world. In Shakti appeared as a young virgin girl at Kanyakumari and commenced penance in answer to their Prayers.

Another legend is that Sthanunatha (a form of Shiva) god of Suchindram, a nearby town located 12 km from Kanya Kumari, desired to marry the virgin goddess. Other gods became apprehensive that the marriage would result into the goddess losing her power. Narada schemed to resolve the problem. The marriage was fixed to be solemnized just before the daybreak. When Shiva's procession reached a site by name Vazhukkumpaarai, a rooster crowed, heralding daybreak, and that Shiva assuming that the auspicious hour was past, returned to Suchindram. All the food prepared for the wedding was laid waste and that it turned into the colored sand seen on the southern shores of the subcontinent.

Meanwhile, Banasura heard about the beauty of the girl and came to request her hand in marriage. When Devi rejected the idea, Banasura decided to win her by force. This led to a fierce battle in which the goddess killed Banasura. [3]

The ancient Multan city of Punjab is known by different names, but one of its oldest name according to Cunningham, was Kashyappur [4]. It was founded by Kashyapa. After Kashyapa, his eldest son, Daitya Hiran Kashyapa born from Diti, succeeded him. After him his son Prahlad and later his son Banasura, became the heir of the Kingdom of Kashyapa. At the same time Krishna killed Banasura and later Krishna's son Samba became the king of Kashyapapur. [5]

In Ramayana

The Ramayana Bala Kanda Sarga 70 gives Ikshvaaku's lineage details. It provides in shloka 23 that from the most brilliant and courageous Vikukshi, Bana emerged as son, and the highly refulgent and valinat Anaranya is the son of Bana... [1-70-23]

मनुः प्रजापतिः पूर्वम् इक्ष्वाकुः च मनोः सुतः । तम् इक्ष्वाकुम् अयोध्यायाम् राजानम् विद्धि पूर्वकम् ॥१-७०-२१॥

इक्ष्वाकोः तु सुतः श्रीमान् कुक्षिः इति एव विश्रुतः । कुक्षेः अथ आत्मजः श्रीमान् विकुक्षिः उपपद्यत ॥१-७०-२२॥

विकुक्षेः तु महातेजा बाणः पुत्रः प्रतापवान् । बाणस्य तु महातेजा अनरण्यः प्रतापवान् ॥१-७०-२३॥

Meaning:

21. Manu is the earliest Prajaapati and Ikshvaaku is the son of Manu, and that Ikshvaaku is the first king of Ayodhya... know thus... [1-70-21]

22. The son of Ikshvaaku is the legendary Kukshi, thus he is renowned, and the famous Vikukshi is the son of Kukshi... [1-70-22]

23. From that most brilliant and courageous Vikukshi, Bana emerged as son, and the highly refulgent and valinat Anaranya is the son of Baana... [1-70-23]

In Mahabharata

Banas are descendents of King Banasura. Their capital was at Bayana in Bharatpur. The princess of Bayana was Usha married to Anirudha. There is a temple at Bayana constructed in memory of Usha. Virkvansi Jats and Sinsinwar Jats of Bharatpur later on occupied Bayana.

Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 44 mentions about Bana along with Gaina, hasana and khadaga warriors who came to the ceremony for investing Kartikeya with the status of generalissimo. (Mahabharata IX.44.62)

गायनॊ हसनश चैव बाणः खड्गश च वीर्यवान
वैताली चातिताली च तदा कतिक वातिकौ (Mahabharata IX.44.62)

Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 45 mentions that then Bali's son Bana of great might, getting upon the Kraunca mountain, battled with the celestial host. Possessed of great intelligence, the great generalissimo Skanda rushed against that foe of the gods. From fear of Kartikeya, he took shelter within the Kraunca mountain.


बाणॊ नामाद थैतेयॊ बलेः पुत्रॊ महाबलः
करौञ्चं पर्वतम आसाथ्य थेवसंघान अबाधत (Mahabharata IX.45.71)

Genealogy of Banasura

The genealogy of Banasura is as under:[6]

Brahma's (ब्रह्मा) son was Paricha'

Paricha's (परीच) son was Kashyapa, Kashyapa's (कश्यप) son was Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha,

Hiranyakashipu's (हिरण्यकश्यप) youngest son was Prahlada,

Prahlada's (प्रहलाद) son was Virochana,

Virochana's (विरोचन) son was Bali,

Bali's (बलि) son was Banasura Banasura's wife's name was Kandala (कन्दला).

Usha in love with Aniruddha

Banasura had a beautiful daughter named Usha. When Usha became young, number of proposals came for her marriage but Banasura accepted none. Wary, that Usha might fall in love with men other than his choice, he kept Usha in a formidable fortress called 'Agnigarh 'with her friends. Usha one day saw a young man in her dream and fell in love with him. Chitralekha was a friend of Usha and daughter of Kumbhada, minister of Banasura. She was a talented artist who helped Usha to identify the young man seen in the dream of Usha by painting the portrait. He was Aniruddha, the grandson of Lord Krishna. Chitralekha through supernatural powers abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Usha. Usha and Aniruddha secretly married and lived together as husband and wife in the Agnigarh.

War of Banasura with Krishna

When Banasur came to know about it, He arrested Aniruddha and had him tied with snakes. When Krishna knew it, he came with a huge army and attacked Banasura. This was Krishna's second visit to Assam, the first being when He came to abduct Rukmini, his wife. There was a severe battle. Banasura was a follower of Shiva. In this war Rudra fought with Krishna, Virabhadra with Pradyumna, Kopakarna and Kumbhada with Balarama, Banasur's son with Samba and nandishwar with Garuda. Shiva helped Banasura by spreading bacteria of fever in the army of Krishna, which made his army unable to fight. Krishna in turn created anti-bacteria to kill bacteria spread by Shiva. All soldiers of Krishna’s army got healed up and became ready to fight. The war continued for long without any conclusion. Krishna then approached Shiva and reminded him of his earlier commitment. Shiva advised Krishna to use Jambhastra on him which would lead Shiva to sleep and Krishna could defeat Banasura. This way Banasura was defeated. When Krishna defeated Siva in battle, he spared Bana's life on Shiva's request but cut off all but four of his arms. Shiva got compromised both. Krishna excused Bana. He married Usha with Aniruddha and brought them to dwaraka. Banasura moved to Himalayas and devoted his life in worship of Shiva.

Descendants of Banasura

Bana is a gotra of Jats found in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in India. Banas are descendants of King Banasura. Their capital was at Bayana in Bharatpur. Usha temple, at Bayana, was built during the reign of Raja Laxman Sen, by his wife in memory of Usha. There is mention of Bana Chieftains along with Pallavas and as feudatory of Cholas in Tamil Nadu.

See also

References

  1. See Sanskrit English Dictionary, M. Williams, 1960
  2. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats the Ancient Rulers ( A clan study),
  3. V. Meera:Temples of South India, p. 1-3
  4. Jyoti Prasad Jain, p. 48
  5. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p. 315
  6. Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005