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Banasura Charitra: Inner Meanings

There are many leelAs of sriman nArAyaNa which highlight several different kalyAna gunams and contain important tattvArthams. These include Draupadi VastrApaharanam, Gajendra Moksham, KAkAsura VriddhAntham, PAndava Dhoothan, etc.
One such incident is BAnAsura Charithram. This episode highlights the veeryam of sriman nArAyaNa in addition to his kalyAna gunams of swAmithvam (ruler of all), parathvam (the supreme), soulabhyam (ease of accessibility) and rakshagatvam (protection).

In this war, there is no devas = good and asuras = evil. Everyone, devas and asuras who fought against bhagavAn were overcome by the ajnAna of prakrti and hence, in tamo gunA.
In this war, Rudra directly fought against Vishnu, as he was overcome by tamo gunam despite his lofty position and unable to differentiate between sAmAnya dharma and viSesha dharma. The victory of course, went to Sarveswara, Sriman nArAyaNan, the antaryAmin of all these asurAs and devAs.
It is easy to notice that each and every conversation as well as action contained in that tale had an inner meaning that goes with the arthams given by sampradAyam. Reading this, one could realise the true greatness of our achAryAs had conveyed the attvArthas in such a lucid manner, and extracted all the meanings from the shAstrAs so well that every line of vedA, purAna, ithihAsA, etc resounded with these truths. This makes us understand the importance of an acharya.
The greatness of the achAryAs and their mercy in communicating to us such meanings cannot be measured in words. Thus, with the grace of srI rAmAnuja and the pUrvAchAryAs, I will embark on such an explanation. The first half of this posting will be a summary of the charithra, while the second half will elaborate on the tattvas embedded here.
Note: The translations of slokas from harivamsa are taken straight from the internet. I haven’t had time to translate them myself. So, while the general meaning may be correct, it is possible that the slokas themselves require a deeper translation. But the superficial translation (with some minor changes by me here and there) is sufficient to convey the point.
THE FOUR VYUHAS
The incident involves Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumnan, who in turn is the son of vAsudEva, who has sankarshaNan (balarAman) as his brother. These are the 4 vyUhas. Otherwise, if we consider SrI Krishna as sAkshAt paravAsudeva, one can say there are 3 vyUhas accompanied by paramapadam.
This is directly mapped by srI Vaishnava acharyas to the mAndUkya – vaiSvAnara, taijasa, prajna and tUrIya. These are the 4 states of bhakti yOga or upAsaNa each presided by one of the vyUhAs. The vaiSvAnara or waking state is presided by Aniruddha, the Taijasa or dreaming state is presided by Pradyumna, the Prajna or deep sleep state is presided by Sankarshana and the final stage is mOksha sthAna, presided by para-vAsudevan himself, ie, srI krishNa.
Note that it was Aniruddha who was captured by Bana. The inner meaning is thus – the jivA in its waking state, is attracted to objects of enjoyment and is captured in samsAra.
Also note that just as balarama is the eldest next to krishNa, the prajna state is the penultimate stage of bhakti yOga presided by Sankarshana, following which is only turIya or para vAsudEva.
SHONITAPURAM IS SAMSARA
Bana’s city is Shonitapura, which is prakrti mandalam or samsAra. The various asurAs who guard the city can be seen to be representations of the dangers in prakrtI mandalam, as well as the associates/relatives who are described as hindrances to bhagavad bhakti.
Usha, Bana’s daughter, represents the object of enjoyment in samsara. The palace of bAnAsura is the body of the jivAtmA and bAnAsuran himself, who traps Aniruddhan due to his attachment with Usha, represents the ego or ahaMkAra that traps the jivAtmA in samsArA. Just as bAna refused to yield to krishNa, so does our ego refuse to accept bhagavAn as the para-devata.
In reality, Aniruddha is Bhagavan, but since he presides over the waking state, he is said to be trapped by virtue of inseparable association; but he is ever unaffected and merely represents the Jiva.
Shiva, who aids bAnasura, is the mind that aids the ego. Shiva, though capable of sattvic actions, was overcome by tamas to aid Bana. Similarly, the mind can be our friend, but when engaged in material enjoyments, it becomes our enemy.
Skanda represents the senses associated with passion or rajas born of the mind (shiva) that again, goes against bhagavAn. This also aids the ego (Bana).
In a nutshell, Shonitapuram = Samsara, the Palace = Body, Aniruddha = Jiva in waking state, Usha = Objects of Enjoyments, Bana = Ego, Shiva = Mind, Skanda = Senses associated with anger.
From all these inner meanings, it can be clearly seen that the literal meaning also lends itself to the interpretation that neither Shiva nor Skanda come out as anything other than jivAs.
THE WAR IS THE EFFORT OF PARAMATMA TO SAVE THE CHETANA
srI krishNa’s arrival at ShonitApuram along with his associates is equivalent to his taking avatAram along with azhwars/achAryAs in prakrti mandalam. He sounded the mighty pAnchajanyA upon his arrival, which made the asurAs and devas opposing him shake with fear. Similarly, the sound of pAnchajanyA will chase away our ajnAna and make our intellect blossom. His war with the residents of bAnA's city represents the efforts undertaken by paramAtmA to rescue the jivAtmA from samsArA. Among these enemies, bAnA himself was the biggest enemy. Similarly, the ego is the biggest obstacle to the jivAtmA as it prevents the Jiva from surrendering to Bhagavan.
ANIRUDDHA AS AN ACHARYA ABHIMANI AND NARADA AS THE ACHARYA
If the war is the effort of paramAtmA SrI KrishnA, then what did the chetanA (Aniruddha) do as sAdhaNa?
When Aniruddha was captured by bAnA and bound by serpents, he remained calm and composed. He knew that he could not do anything by himself. His thoughts are given in Harivamsha as follows:
sa gatvA nAradastatra sha~NkhachakragadAdharam |j~nApayiShyati tattvena imamarthaM na saMshayaH ||
Meaning: (Aniruddha said:) There is no need for doubt. SrI nAradA, acting on my behalf, will definitely go to dwArakA and inform the One who holds the conch, chakra and mace.
This shows the conviction he had in his guru (Narada). Hence, the Acharya is required to meditate on our behalf. The reference to bhagavan’s weapons is to highlight that he possesses those weapons to save us, and they never fail.
na saMshayaH” – Never doubt the infallibility of my  Acharya (nArada in this case). He will bring me all auspiciousness and through him, I will attain Brahman.
He then told Usha the following out loud:
kimidaM rudyate bhIru mA bhaistvaM mR^igalochane |pashya sushroNi saMprAptaM matkR^ite madhusUdanam ||
Meaning: (Aniruddha said:) Why are you crying, my dear (Usha), you of such beautiful hair and with eyes like a deer? See that I will be rescued by Madhusudhana, who will be here for me.
The usage of “madhusUdhana” is pertinent as he is the slayer of “madhu” which also means passion or attachment to samsAra.
Similarly, the Jivatma trapped in the coils of samsArA places his conviction in the Acharya and is confident Bhagavan will rescue him. This is AchArya AbhimAnam and chaitanya kAryam as elucidated in SrI vachana bhUshanam.
LAKSHMI'S MEDIATORSHIP
Meanwhile, in Dwaraka, BhagavAn was sorrowing over the disappearance of aniruddhA. This is similar to the paravAsudeva in sri vaikunta distressing himself about the baddha jivAs in samsara. The sruti vAkya is to be remembered - sa ekAki na ramEtha – he does not like being alone during sriShti as he sorrows over the fact that jivAs are unliberated.
Seeing his sorrow, the residents of Dwaraka started to encourage him with strong words, praising his strength and valor. But even though the dwAraka-vAsIs implored him, but bhagavAn did not answer them. Not until they finished speaking. And how did they finish speaking? Their last sentence was this:
kimevaM chintayAviShTo na ki~nchidapi bhAshase ||chintAM kartuM vR^ithA deva na tvamarhasi mAdhavA
Why are you so silent, immersed in your own thoughts? Effulgent Lord (Deva)! You do not ever think in vain. Do not be like this, Madhava!
It was only after this sentence, that bhagavAn started speaking and planning a course of action. There is a reason  why he didn’t speak earlier.
The answer is simple. First and foremost is the usage of the name, “Madhava”. Prior to this, the dwarakAvAsIs had been speaking about his valor and strength, but he had not spoken or acknowledged them. Now, they addressed him finally as “Madhava”, the consort of Lakshmi. Hence, it was lakshmi’s purushakAratvam that made him speak.
"You do not ever think in vain" signifies his satya sankalpathvam. This gunaM gives him the ability to accomplish anything, ie, rescuing the baddha jivA. The name `Deva' is significant as shruti says that the Lord gets his devatva from Lakshmi (shraddhAya devo devatvam asnute).
The dwArakavAsIs represent the bhAgavatas, the Vaishnavas, who urge BhagavAn to take care of the baddhAs by requesting Lakshmi to intervene for them as well.
So now, with the recommendation of the nitya sUrIs and Lakshmi, Bhagavan is ready to descend to samsArA and help the jivA. But he still needs to know that the jivA is mentally ready to accept his anugraham. How is this possible?  It is possible when an AchAryan from samsAra mandalam conveys the plight of the jivAtmA to Bhagavan. That AchAryan here is nArada maharishi.

NARADA'S (ACHARYA'S) PRAYER FOR ANIRUDDHA (JIVATMA):
In the rAmAyaNam, SrI Hanuman went on behalf of srI rAghavan to Sita. Here, it represents BhagavAn sending the AchAryan to rescue the jivAtmA from samsArA. Then, SrI AnjanEya brings news of sIta to srI rAmA.
In bAnAsura yuddham, nAradA journeys to Dwakara to convey to SrI Krishna the plight of AniruddhA. Here nAradA, as the AchAryan, takes it upon himself to inform bhagavAn about the jivA (aniruddhA).
ataH prabhAte vimale prAdurbhUte divAkare |pravivesha sabhAmeko nAradaH prahasanniva |dR^iShTvA tu yAdavAnsarvAnkR^iShNena saha sa~NgatAn |tataH sa jayashabdena mAdhavaM pratyapUjayat ||
Meaning: Then, during the clear morning, with the rising of the sun, Narada entered the hall, smiling. Seeing the Yadavas gathered together with Krishna, he worshipped mAdhavA with “Jaya” or “Victory”.
The clear morning symbolises the vanishing of anxiety for bhagavAn, who despite being omniscient, is concerned about the chEtana in samsArA as he will now hear news from an AchAryA. Although bhagavAn is avApta samastha kAman (all desires satisified), he still sorrows over the jivA as sorrow over others’ plight is not his defect, rather it is a pleasing guNa of his. It is not sorrow brought about by karma.
The rising of the Sun symbolises a new life for the jivAtmA and an auspicious moment when the AchAryan recommends the chEtana for protection by bhagavAn.
The presence of the Yadavas with Krishna means that the Vaishnavas who are Bhagavatas are willing to help BhagavAn rescue the chEtana.
Narada address bhagavAn first of all as “Madhava”, which is an appeal to Lakshmi for purushakAram and follows it up with mangalasasanams for his well-being (jaya shabdENa). The terms jitantE, jaya, svasti are all synonyms and are mangalAsAsanams to divya dampathI. This is the protocol for worshipping bhagavAn in shAstra.
Following this, nArada tells SrI Krishna of AniruddhA's plight and where he is, upon which he takes action.
nAradA after appealing to divya dampathi through usage of the name “Madhava” and performing mangalAsAsanams now states his desire and urges bhagavAn to summon garudA to go into battle.
BHAGAVAN AS UDARAH - ONE WHO PRAISES HIS DEVOTEES
As BhagavAn got ready for battle, he called GarudA for help and praised the latter with the following stutI. Here are a few slOkas from that stuti (not all is given):
mayA saha samAgamya tasminkAle mahAbhuja…abhavanme dhvajashchaiva tvadbhaktAH sarvavR^iShNayaH …. sakhitvaM mAnayasvAdya bhaktiM cha patageshvara… tava vegasamo nAsti pakShiNo na cha te samAH |suparNa sukR^itena tvAM shape pannaganAshana ||… sakhitvaM mAnayasvAdya bhaktiM cha patageshvara ||… tava vegasamo nAsti pakShiNo na cha te samAH |suparNa sukR^itena tvAM shape pannaganAshana….. atyasandha mahAbhAga vainateya mahAdyute |aniruddhe kShaNenAdya sAhAyyamupakalpyatAm ||
Meaning: (Krishna praises Garuda:)…………mahAbAhO (addressing GarudA)! During those days, you have stayed on my flag as well. All the vrishnis are your devotees!............O master of birds! Today, honour our friendship as well as devotion. There is none equal to you in speed and among birds. There is none equal to you among birds. Destroyer of serpents! Due to the result of righteous deeds (Bhagavad/BhAgavata kaimkaryam), I speak to you………Protector of the truth! Illustrious one!MahA tejasvI! O the son of vinatA! Today you should help quickly in the case of aniruddha..
(Note: this is not the whole stutI. Condensed version to provide a general idea).
This incident indicates the magnanimity of BhagavAn. While other devas treat their devotees like slaves according to the chAndOgya (“there, the gods eat him” ~ Ch.Up, panchAgnI vidyA prakaraNa), BhagavAn praises his devotees even if they have done nothing by themselves and raises them above himself.
This is also the manner in which bhagavAn praises devas like Shiva. Thus, just because bhagavAn composes stutIs on other entities do not make those entities more powerful than him. It is just an act of generosity by bhagavAn. And even in these stutIs, bhagavAn only addresses the antaryAmin of these deities (as seen in the article “sri krishNa’s prayers to shiva”) and bhagavAn as such, never bows to these deities.
The vishNu sahasranAma refers to this guNa of praising others as “stota” in the section stavyaH stave prIya stuti stOtAraNa priya:”. SrI parAsara bhattar interprets “stota” as – He whose nature is to praise those who praise him. Bhattar gives in particular the example of srI krishNa praising (the antaryAmin) of shiva. Since shiva constantly meditates on the tAraka mantra of bhagavAn, thus shiva becomes worthy of praise by bhagavAn himself. BhagavAn himself says in harivamSha – “One who praises me becomes praiseworthy”.
And the fact that it refers to the antaryAmin and not to the devata does not detract from the idea that the deity is the medium or vessel of the antaryAmin and hence, is of great merit to warrant such praise. So, such stutIs of bhagavAn to the antaryAmin of shiva gives the status of mahAtma to shiva himself.
To continue, GarudA, astounded by this kalyAna gunA, spoke the following before praising BhagavAn with a stuti of his own (once again, this is not the full stuti):
dhanyo.asmyanugR^ihIto.asmi saMstavAnmadhusUdana |stotavyastvaM mayA kR^iShNa stauShi mAM tvaM mahAbhuja || vedAdhyakShaH surAdhyakShaH sarvakAmaprado bhavAn |amoghadarshanastvaM hi varArtInAM varapradaH ||….
Meaning: (Garuda says:) I am fortunate, showered by your anugrahams, Madhusudhana, in form of your praise. Hey Krishna! you are the one to be praised by me. But, mahAbAhO! I am praised by you! You are the Master of the Veda, you are the Master of the Nitya Suris, You fulfill all the desires of devotees. Your sight is fruitful to devotees. You are the provider of boons to those who seek boons…..(Note: Not the full stutI)
This incident, thus, represents the magnanimity of Bhagavan and the bhakti of his devotees.
BALARAMA, THE SHIVA JVARA AND KRISHNA
Upon entry into battle, Balarama expressed his desire to fight with the following words.
kR^iShNa kR^iShNa mahAbAho yadetaddR^ishyate balaM |etaiH saha raNe yoddhumichChAmi puruShottama ||
Meaning: Krishna! Krishna! mahAbAhO! I desire to fight the army that I see here, purushOttamA!
Krishna replied,
mamApyeShaiva sa~njAtA buddhirityabravIchcha tam |ebhiH saha raNe yoddhumichCheyaM yodhasattamaiH ||
Meaning: Best of warriors! I want to tell you that I also have the same intention. I also wish to fight with these warriors.
At first glance, this conversation appears fairly innocuous. But there are a wealth of meanings here.
There are two ways to attain bhagavAn – by your own efforts with bhagavAn as the indirect means (bhakti yOga or upAsaNa), or by self-surrender which entrusts bhagavAn to undertake the effort on behalf of the jIvAtma (prapatti).
Here, balarAmA had the desire to fight, ie, he wanted to use his own effort, but sought permission from krishNa, which signifies bhakti yoga with the Lord as the indirect means. The analogy here is this – the goal is kaimkaryam or service to bhagavAn (by fighting). The means chosen by balarAma is that he wants to fight unaided, although under the flag of BhagavAn. Hence, it symbolises the Jiva who wants to attain the goal by self-effort of bhakti yOga.
So, Balarama here plays the role of a jivAtmA who tries to attain kaimkarya prapti by self effort. The reply of BhagavAn shows that Ishvara gives permission to the jivAtmA to do what it wants in the first step. This is the pratama pravrtti enunciated by AchArya rAmAnuja in srI bhAshyam.
During the battle, a fever created by Rudra, the Shiva jvArA, came to fight. When the ashes of the jvArA fell on BalarAmA, he was affected by fever.
This is similar to how the Jiva performing upAsaNa gets affected by samsArA. Both Gajendra and Draupadi felt they were powerless as long as they kept using their self-efforts. The same case with Balarama, who delighting in his own power initially, was soon overwhelmed in the battle.
So, for the Jiva who performs bhakti yOga, he will be swallowed by the attachments of samsArA again due the ego arising from his self-effort, coupled with the fact that his strength will never be adequate to overcome the karma-vAsaNas.
Realising this, Balarama wisely performed saranAgati:
tato haladharo bhagnaH kR^iShNamAha vichetanaH |kR^iShNa kR^iShNa mahAbAho pratIto.asmyabhayaM kuru ||ahyAmi sarvatastAta kathaM shAntirbhavenmama |ityevamukte vachanaM balenAmitatejasA ||
Meaning: Losing his composure (being affected by the shiva jvAram), the wielder of the plough (balarAmA) cried – Krishna! Krishna! mahAbAhO! I have fallen. Give me shelter! My body burns all over. When will I become calm again?
BalarAma is called “halAyudhaH” or wielder of the plough. He had the immense strength to perform upAsaNa. Even such a mighty one failed in that upAsaNa requires the help of krishNa as the direct means to succeed.
The “Fever” is nothing but attachments to samsAra that disturb the yOgi. The rishis like Vishwamitra being seduced by women and devas fighting against bhagavAn, despite their prowess at upAsaNa are examples.
Similarly, jivAs like Shiva, no matter how mighty they are or have been described as such in the shAstra, are like fireflies compared to bhagavAn’s tejas. They cannot overcome samsAra by themselves and require bhagavAn’s help to succeed in yOga.
(Note: BalarAma is also an avatAra of adi sesha and amsavatAra of bhagavAn as stated by vishNu purAna and this was play acting on his part. The same cannot be said of deities like Shiva who are not equated with paramAtma anywhere).
BhagavAn then did the following:
prahasya vachanaM prAha kR^iShNaH praharatAM varaH |na bhetavyamitItyuktvA pariShvakto halAyudhaH || kR^iShNena paramasnehAttato dAhAtpramuchyata |mokShayitvA balaM tatra dAhAttu madhusUdanaH ||
Meaning: The best among subduers, kR^iShNa, spoke these words, laughing: “Do not fear”. Speaking thus, kR^iShNa embraced the one having plough as weapon (balarAma). As kR^iShNa embraced him thus with great love, balarAma was released from the burning. The slayer of madhu released balarAma from burning.
Note the following –
  1. BhagavAn laughed showing how happy he was that the Jiva (balarAmA) had given up self-efforts of upAsaNa and resorted to him (Krishna) for sharanAgati. He is also laughing as he is amused by the fact that it took so long for this realization to occur, when he’s always been so close to the jIvAtma as its antaryAmin.

  1. Gita -bahunAm janmanAm ante jnAnavAn mam prapadyantE”. It means “after many auspicious births (of upAsaNa or bhakti yoga), the yogi performs sharanAgati (realizing that this alone is the true means and not bhakti yoga)”

  1. “Do not Fear” – “mA sucha:”. After discarding all dharmAs which are the means undertaken by self-effort, the jIvAtma surrenders to bhagavAn considering him alone as the means (“mAm ekam saranam vraja”)

  1. It was BhagavAn who embraced balarAmA. The latter did not do any action other than admitting his weakness and accept krishNa’s aid. This shows that BhagavAn is the one doing the sAdhanam – ie, he is the upAyam and all we do is accept his upAyatvam.

  1. He embraced balarAmA with great love. The love he has for us is greater than whatever we can do to attain him, ie, the upAyam will never equal the upEyam in value. That being the case, can we even think that “I do this to earn Bhagavan’s favor” with respect to moksha? There is nothing we can do that will be equivalent to the reward.

  1. Furthermore, the reference to bhagavAn's love indicates him alone being the means.

  1. BhagavAn is described as the best among subduers. He is the best upAyam to subdue the fever of samsArA. No other, be it Brahma, Rudra, Indra, etc or our own self-effort.
SHARANAGATI OF THE SHIVA JVARA
BhagavAn was unaffected by the ashes of the Shiva Jvara and also defeated it in a fight. Realising that it could not win the battle head on, the jvara entered the body of Krishna. Initially, BhagavAn staggered, feeling feverish. Then he created a Vishnu jvara which defeated the Siva Jvara and expelled it from his body. He then was about to kill the Siva Jvara when it performed saranAgati.
kR^iShNasyapAdayormUrdhnAsharaNaMso.agamajjvaraH|evamuktohR^iShIkeshaMjvarovAkyamathAbravIt ||
Meaning: The Siva Jvara, bowing with its head at the feet of krishNa, sought refuge. The jvAra who was released thus, spoke these words to hRishikEsha.
Firstly, the efficacy of prapatti is firmly established. The jvara belongs in the same category as kAkAsura. While kAkAsura tried to hurt Sita, the jvara tried to hurt Krishna. Both were saved by saranAgati. But kAkAsura lost an eye, probably because apachAra to Lakshmi is greater than apachAra to BhagavAn!
Secondly, the usage of the name `Hrishikesha is pertinent. Because initially, when the jvArA entered the body of Bhagavan, the text states that he was seized by a feverish burning and staggered. Considering that his mere touch had cured Balarama, is it not clear that Bhagavan feeling feverish was just a play, acting as though he had been affected? Therefore, “Hrishikesha” is specifically used to convey that he is the controller of the senses of all and hence can never be affected by any fever of Shiva!
The svarUpa of the Jiva, which is the goal of saranAgati is revealed by the words of the siva jvara to BhagavAn as follows,
ahamasurakulapramAthinAtripurahareNahareNanirmitaH|raNashirasivinirjitastvayAprabhurasi deva tavAsmiki~NkaraH ||
Meaning: I was created by Hara, the destroyer of TripurA. Now I have been conquered by you. You, DevA, are now my master and I am your servant!
Note the specific mention of `Hara, who destroyed Tripura'.
The shvEtAsvatAra Upanishad refers to the jivAtma as “amrtAksharam hara:” – One who indulges  the objects of prakrti (hara denotes the jivA here). The triple cities refer to sattva, rajas and tamas.
So “Hara” is the jIvA with attachments to prakrti that destroyed the triguNas by upAsaNa or bhakti yOga. It also signifies Shiva is a Jivatma.
So, by saying “I was created by Hara the destroyer of tripurA”, the siva jvAra is essentiallu saying this:
”I was created by that one (Hara/Shiva, who is a Jiva indulging in objects of prakrti), who performed bhakti yOga. I acknowledge that my creator, Hara, had attained ahamkAra owing to the self-efforts of his bhakti yOga (and hence dares to go against you). The failure of my creator as well as the means adopted by him caused my imperfections and hence I now perform perform saranAgati to you, Krishna, (Deva) who are full of vAtsalyam by virtue of association with mahAlakshmi, who are my true and natural master (prabhu).  I am by nature your servant.”
The svarUpam of jivAtmA as a kaimkaryapAra (sesha) of bhagavAn is also mentioned here.
BATTLE BETWEEN RUDRA AND KRISHNA
andhakArIkR^ite loke pradIpte tryambake tathA |
na nandI nApi cha ratho na rudraH pratyadR^ishyata ||2-125-1
dviguNaM dIptadehastu roSheNa cha bAlena cha |
tripurAntakaro bANaM jagrAha cha chaturmukhaM ||2-125-2
Meaning: Vaishampayana said:(O janamejaya!) As the world was immersed in darkness, as the knower of the 3 vedas (Tryambaka) dazzled, Nandi, the chariot as well as Rudra were not seen. The destroyer of Tripura-s, who dazzled twice due to anger as well as power, took up a four faced arrow.
Note the word “dviguNaM” in this shloka. Rudra has 2 guNas here – One is “rOsha” or anger which is tamo guNa. The other is “balaM” or strength which is a metaphor for knowledge. Thus, he is one who has the knowledge of Brahman, but is overcome by tamO guNa. His body shines with the attributes of both and to highlight this contradiction, this is mentioned.
Thus, he is called “Tryambaka” signifying he knows the 3 Vedas and is a jnAni. He is called “Rudra” as he cried on birth due to his pApa karmas, signifying his tamo guNa.
He is called “tripurAntaka”  as he performed upAsaNa to destroy the effects of the triguNas signified by the three cities. However, that upAsaNa made him arrogant and possessed of ego, which in turn caused tamO guNa to envelop him again.
The arrow that Rudra is intending to use against the Lord is called “chaturmukhaM” – of four faces. “mukhaM” also means “mind”. The four types of disposition of the mind antagonistic to the Lord are: mUDhaH, narAdhamaH, mAyaya-apahrta jnAna and AsuraM as described in Gita 7.15.
The idea is that, Rudra currently embodied the mindset of all these 4 types and wished to act against the Lord.
saMdadhatkArmukaM chaiva kSheptukAmastrilochanaH |
vij~nAto vAsudevena chittaj~nena mahAtmana ||2-125-3
Meaning: As Rudra, the one who is the eye of the three worlds (Trilochana) placed the arrow on the bow for shooting, the great soul, the son of vasudeva (kR^iShNa), the one who knows the thoughts (of others), came to know.
Note the adjectives again. This shloka describes that despite Rudra acting against the Lord, the latter wanted to bestow his mercy and prevent Rudra from going on the wrong path. As follows:
Rudra is “Trilochana”. He is the eye of the 3 worlds, meaning, he provides jnAna to all people in the 3 worlds in general despite his current tAmasic disposition. So, he is worthy of being pardoned and brought back to his senses, rather than being destroyed by krishNa.
The Lord is the son of Vasudeva, and the latter was renowned for being established in truth and dharma. Thus, it means, bhagavAn always adheres to dharma, like his father. The dharma here is to protect jIvAs, even wayward ones like Rudra. He is “mahAtma”, or the great self worthy of worship on account of this guNa of his. He knows the thoughts of all, thus knows all their sufferings and hence can alleviate their sufferings.
jR^imbhaNaM nAma so.apyastraM jagrAha puruShottamaH |
haraM saMjR^imbhayAmAsa kShiprakArI mahAbalaH |
Meaning: The Lord who is superior to the bound and liberated selves (puruShottama) took up an arrow named jR^imbhaNaM. The one with great power,  the one who does things quickly, made Hara yawn.
What does bhagavAn do when the jIvAs keep acting against them? He either destroys the jagat and puts them in slumber so that they don’t have the power to act anymore or he gives them a birth like being born inside a stone or inanimate object so that again, they can’t have the power of action. Their dharma-bhUta-jnAna (attributive knowledge) is nearly reduced to nil. This is an act of mercy, because if the Lord kept allowing him to act, he would be amassing more and more sins.
This is signified by Rudra being made to yawn. As the wayward jIva acting against bhagavAn, he is rendered incapable of action during pralaya.  “Hara” – one who captures, ie, one who indulges in the objects of prakrti. This signifies Rudra is a jIva ensnared by the objects of enjoyment due to the senses. His power and station have given him ego.
Bhagavan has great power and thus he can initiate pralaya to put the jIvAs like rudra in slumber. He does things quickly, meaning, he quickly stops the Jiva from committing further offences by rendering it inactive.
sasharaM sadhanuShkaM cha dR^iShTvAtmAnaM vijR^imbhitam ||2-125-5
balonmatto.atha bANo.asau sharvaM chodayate.asakR^it |
Meaning: Seeing that distinguished person (rudra) with arrow as well as the bow yawning, bANa who was excited by his strength, prompted sharva.
tato nanAda bhUtAtmA snigdhagambhIrayA girA ||2-125-6
Meaning: Then the one (Rudra) who has the mind attached to the sense objects (bhUtAtma), made a great sound agreeable and deep (commanding) voice.
These two shlokas consider Rudra as the mind and Bana as the individual self associated with a  body, and accordingly the meaning is derived.
Rudra is clearly referred to as “bhUtAtma” – bhUta Atma yasya sa bhUtAtma – One who has the mind that is connected to the senses (called bhUtA-s).
The meaning of this is – the bound jIva, excited by his strength and intending to indulge in acts against the Lord, prompted the mind which hurts the self by making it attached to sense objects. The mind, being of an evil disposition, is thus friendly to the desires of the bound self, and commands the self by subjugating it to its will.
pradhmApayAmAsa tadA kR^iShNaH sha~NkhaM mahAbalaH |
Meaning: Then the highly powerful kR^iShNa blew his conch.
pA~nchajanyasya ghoSheNA shAr~NgavisphUrjitena cha ||2-125-7
devaM vijR^imbhitaM dR^iShTvA sarvabhUtAni tatrasuH |
Meaning: Due to the sound of pA~nchajanya (kR^iShNa's conch) and the sound of the bow shAr~Nga and seeing the god (Rudra) yawning, all the beings became terrified.
Rudra signifies the mind (devaM – that which shines out external objects). The beings who belonged to bANa’s and Rudra’s retinue signify the various dangers of samsAra.
When the individual self (Bana) is attracted to the attachments caused by the mind (Rudra), the Lord, who is more powerful than the mind (Rudra), comes to the rescue by blowing his pAnchajanya. The conch signifies knowledge, and it eradicates the ignorance brought upon by prakrti-sambandha.
pAnchajanya” – That from which 5 types of knowledge arises – Knowledge of the self, Knowledge of the Lord, Knowledge of the Goal, Knowledge of the means to the Goal, Knowledge of the obstacles to the goal – artha-panchaka jnAna.
The bow shAr~Nga signifies the sense-organs according to the vishNu purANa. Thus, the Lord is hriShikEsa, who controls the senses and prevents them from going astray.
BRAHMA’S WORDS TO RUDRA
When Rudra was finally struck by the jrimbhAnAstrA of Krishna and defeated, Brahma appeared and spoke the following:
Na cha yuddhaM mahAbAho tava kR^iShNena rochate|na cha budhyasi kR^iShNaM tvam AtmAnaM tu dvidhAkR^itam ||
Meaning: MahAbAhO (addressing Rudra)! I do not like your fighting with kR^iShNa. Also you are not understanding kR^iShNa with your intellect as your mind is divided (confused between sAmAnya and viSesha dharma)
Brahma calls Rudra `mahAbAhO' here to highlight that his fight with KrishnA is due to his pride over the strength of his arms. Rudra, after accomplishing tripura samhAra, was filled with ego and became arrogant. This is documented in the shAstra.
The words “budhyasi krishnam tvam AtmAnam tu dvidhakrtam” refer to bhakti yOga. Brahma is exhorting Rudra to know Krishna through meditation. Since Bhagavan hides his true nature during his avatArAs, only Yogis can understand his real supreme nature.
As Rudra is an upAsakA using self-effort, his sadhaNa has been interrupted due to his ego, and thus an impure mind, divided due to confusion between sAmAnya dharma and viSesha dharma. Rudra, who is normally situated in sattva, had succumbed to tamas.
The plight of Rudra is similar to Bhishma here. Both were essentially sAttvic in disposition. However, both were divided in mind – should they protect bAna/dUryodhana as they had given their word (sAmAnya dharma) or should they join Bhagavan/Pandavas (viSheSha dharma)?
If Rudra and Bhishma were truly virtuous, they would have realised that whatever Bhagavan does, that alone is dharma. They should have sided with him. But they didn’t. This is due to their failure as upAsakAs and a preponderance of rajo/tamO guNa in them.
Rudra's mind is clouded because he knows Bana deserves to be killed, but at the same time is protecting him due to sAmAnya dharma. He is unable to see the viSesha dharma (krishnan dharmam sanAtanam) due to tamO gunam.
TATTVA SAKSHATKARA BY RUDRA
Being chastised by Brahma, Rudra finally went into yoga. It is well known that Shiva is a bhakti yOgI par excellence (vaishnavanam yatha shambu). He is said to be in the penultimate stage of bhakti. But as is seen with upAsakAs like Prahlada and Bhishma, the fickle nature of bhakti is such that they sometimes get interrupted and the yOgI becomes attracted to samsAric matters for awhile.
Prahlada once fought against Vishnu and BhishmAchAryA had sided with Kauravas, refusing to aid Draupadi during vastrApaharanam. The same situation had happened with Rudra here.
Note that it is always Brahma who corrects Shiva and puts him on the right path when he errs. And Shiva always obeys Brahma without question. Thus, “brahmAnam isham kamalAsanastham” in the Gita means “Brahma, and Shiva (Isha) who is situated in Brahma (Kamalasana), meaning,  Shiva who always abides by the directions of Brahma”.
It shows Brahma is the father and teacher of Shiva, and superior to the latter.
tataH sharIra yogAddhi bhagavAn avyayaH prabhuH|pravishya pashyate kR^itsnAM strI.NllokAn sa charAcharAn ||
Meaning: Then, Rudra who is the master of embodied beings (prabhu), who is the respected one because of his knowledge (bhagavAn) and whose intellect is uncovered (avyaya), using “sharIra-yOga” or meditation on “sharIrAtma-bhAva” indeed, perceived the (innerself of the) entirety of three worlds along with the movables and immovable, after entering it (the antaryAmin).  
“Bhagavan” is merely an honorific when used for living entities other than bhagavAn according to vishNu purAna. It signifies the 6 qualities only for bhagavAn.
“sharIra-yOga” – Literally means “meditation of the body”. In other words, it means “meditation on the body of Brahman” or “meditation on everything as the body of Brahman”. This is nothing but contemplation of the sharIrAtma bhAva relationship.
Shiva realised through meditation on the inner self or the sarvAntarAtma, that the world, with its asuras and devas, are the body of that inner self. This echoes the upanishadic declaration – “Knowing that by which he knows everything”. By meditating on the true nature of the entire universe with all its’ sentients and non-sentients as the body of that inner self, he realized that all are dependent and subservient to the inner self. And then he knew that this inner self was Krishna.
pravishya pashyate kR^itsnAM strI.NllokAn sa charAcharAn” means, he entered (attained the vision of or experienced) the innerself of the worlds and beings and thus perceived the innerself having these worlds and beings as its’ body. It is the usage of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam to denote the vision of the sarvAntarAtma due to sharIrAtma bhAva, for otherwise there is no purpose of meditation to perceive something like the Universe that can be directly seen.
Note that this is similar to the Atharvasiras statement - “so.antarAdantaraM prAvishat.h dishashchAntaraM prAvishat.h”
avyaya” “na vIyatE” – One who is not covered by ignorance. Alternatively, it also means one who is not impelled by the senses.
pravishya yogaM yogAtmA varAMstAnanuchintayan |
dvAravatyAM yaduktaM cha tadanusmR^itya sarvashaH |
Meaning: Shiva, whose mind is yoked to the auspicious attributes of Brahman (yogAtmA), entered the state of yoga and thought about the boons he (his indwelling Lord) had given earlier (to Bana) and remembered all that he (ie, his indwelling Lord) spoke in Dvaravati.
The previous shloka said that Shiva had entered Yoga and thus perceived everything as the body of Brahman. This shloka is the second stage where he realizes that he too is not independent and is the body of Brahman like everything else.
Thus, by virtue of Yoga, he is seeing himself as the body of Brahman. On account of that, names that denote him, denote Brahman only. So, in the above shloka, “he gave boons” means, “his indwelling Lord, who has him as his body, gave boons to Bana through him. IHe realizes that it is by the power of his antaryAmin that he gives boons.
This is justified by the very next statement, “he remembered all that he spoke in Dvaravati”. In reality, it was Krishna who spoke in Dvaravati that he would defeat Bana, not Rudra. So, basically, “he” means “Rudra’s indwelling Lord”.
Rudra thus realizes that the boons he gave Bana were by Krishna’s grace. He also realizes that Krishna had made up his mind to defeat Bana in Dvaravati itself.
The identity of that supreme self that is the indwelling cause of the Universe, meditated upon by Rudra, is given below.
AtmAnaM kR^iShNa yonisthaM pashyata hyekayonijam|tatoniHsR^it ya rudrastunyastavAdo.abhavanmR^idhe ||
Meaning: He saw (by meditation) himself, in the body of Krishna, as one who is born from the matchless Cause (the inner self of all). After that, Rudra dismissed himself and became silent in battle.
yonisthaM” - “yoni” means abode as in “body”– the idea is, Rudra saw himself in the Lord’s Vishvarupa which can be cognized by bhakti yoga (brahmANam isham kamalAsanastham).
Some readings of the shloka have "kR^iShNadehastham" instead of "kR^iShNayonistham". The meaning does not change as “yoni” means “abode” which can be interpreted as the Lord’s body.
“hyekayonijam” – Here, “yoni” means Cause. “eka” means the matchless Cause, one that is the material, instrumental and efficient by itself. It refers to Bhagavan. Rudra was born of this Cause – he realized that now.
The following pramANa shows that Rudra takes refuge in the right side of the Lord:
“pasyaikAdasa mE rudrAn dakshiNam pArsvamAsrithAn” ~ (Moksha Dharma 167.51, Mahabharata)
Meaning: (Bhagavan says:) See the 11 Rudras who are situated in my right side.
The fact of Rudra having a portion of Bhagavan's right side is also mentioned in the Vishnu Dharma. He takes refuge in the body of the Lord.
Bhagavan has alloted a part of his body to each mukhya devata. Brahma occupies his navel, Lakshmi occupies his chest and Rudra occupies his right side. Nampillai quotes the above shloka and says that it is similar to a minister residing in the court of a King, and then returning to his home -- the places like Satya Loka, Kailasa, etc are like the courts where these devas have to discharge their duty, but when they are tired of samsAra and require shelter, they occupy the Lord's body just as a tired minister returns home from his duties.
So these three shlOkAs have stated that Rudra successively realized: 1) that one self is the antaryAmin of the entire Universe, 2) that same self is the indweller of Rudra, 3) That same self is Krishna, who is standing in front of Rudra.
In other words, Rudra realised himself as not different from the other entities in the Universe, in having srI krishNa as the inner self and the Cause.
With this realisation, Rudra withdrew from the battle. He realised it was not only futile, but also against his essential nature to oppose bhagavAn. His mind became clear.
(Note: There is an interpolation in the Harivamsha by some shaivas here in the form of a “hari-hara stuti”. Even though this stuti does not pose a problem and can be interpreted as that of vishNu, this is clearly an interpolation since no acharya has quoted it. In addition, it disrupts the continuity of the battle, is riddled with absurd errors and even contradicts the above slOkas. The stuti is also clearly modelled after appayya dikShita’s works, which shows it is of later period. This has already been addressed in the article on interpolations in the mahAbhArata).
SKANDA’S BATTLE WITH KRISHNA
kuMbhANDasaMgR^ihIte tu rathe tiShThanguhastatdA |
abhidudrAva kR^iShNaM cha balaM pradyumnameva cha ||2-126-2
Meaning: VaishampAyana continued: (O janamejaya!) Then guha (kArtikeya), mounted on a chariot driven by kumbhANDa, ran and confronted kR^iShNa, balarAma as well as pradyumna.
The son of Shiva is called “guha”. gUhati iti guha – that which covers or conceals – this refers to the anger or attachments that hide our true nature. It is well known. Thus, Skanda here signifies the senses (indrIyAs) that are associated with anger or attachments that conceals knowledge of the self.
Skanda is born of Rudra. Similarly, the senses are subservient to the mind, which is their master.
This Skanda is driven in a chariot by “kumbhANDa” – A rough translation would be “oval shaped water pot”. Water refers to the senses made of subtle elements, which drives the body (chariot) that houses anger or attachments to sense objects (Skanda).
Thus, Skanda confronted the three vyUhas  – aniruddha (krishNa), sankarshaNa (balarAma) and pradyumna.  krishNa, it is to be remembered, is a vibhava avatAra of the vyUha aniruddha and hence can represent either turiya vAsudeva or aniruddha.  
When aniruddha, his grandson is there, krishNa is to be understood as para-vAsudeva to complete the quartet. However, in this situation, krishNa signifies aniruddha vyUha.
The idea is that the three vyUhAs are avatArAs of the Lord that actively try to rescue the jIvAs from samsAric attachments.
sharasaMvR^itagAtrAste trayastraya ivAgnayaH |
shoNitaughaplutairgAtraiH prAyudhyanta guhaM tataH ||2-126-4
Meaning: Then, those three (kR^iShNa, balarAma and pardyumna), with blood flowing from their bodies covered by arrows, fought like three fires with Guha (kArtikeya).
Anger is like fire because it is rajO guNa. The Lord is like the fire that extinguishes the fire of rajo guNa. As the Upanishads and Thiruppavai say, our sins will be burnt like cotton upon rememberance of him.
tataste yuddhamArgaj~nAstrayastribhiranuttamaiH |
vAyavyAgneyapArjanyairbibhidurdIptatejasaH ||2-126-5
Meaning: Then, the three experts (kR^iShNa, balarAma and pradyumna) of the methods of war, blazing with splendor, shot three best arrows, vAyavya (belong to the deity of wind), Agneya (belonging to the deity of fire) and pArjanya (belonging to the deity of rain).
The three avatArAs of the Lord are experts at destroying the actions of the mind and senses.
“vAyavya” – The arrow associated with vAyu or swiftness. The Lord is swifter than thought itself in implementing actions to purify his devotees.
“Agneya” – The arrow associated with Agni, or the quality of leading. The Lord leads us out of samsAra that is associated with sense-gratification.
pArjanya” – The arrow associated with Parjanya. The Lord ensures that the highest knowledge arises in the self (para-janya).
[tAnastrAntribhirevAstrairvinivArya sa pAvakiH] |
shailavAruNasAvitraistAnsa vivyAdha kopavAn |
Meaning: The one who is born from fire (guha, kArtikeya), becoming angry, by shooting three arrows, shaila, vAruNa (belonging to the deity of ocean) and sAvitra (belonging to the deity of sun), blocked the three arrows.
However, the indrIyAs which are wayward always resists the grace of the Lord. Thus kArtikeya fired 3 arrows:
“Shaila” – Associated with stone, or something immovable/rigid. Thus, the self with anger is not receptive to the Lord’s grace and remains rigid in its attachments. This is a counter to the Lord’s vAyavya.
vAruNa” – Associated with varuNa, or the quality of enveloping. Senses associated with anger or attachments conceal knowledge of the self. This is a counter to the Lord’s Agneya.
sAvitra” – Associated with sAvitr or the prompter. Thus, senses associated with anger prompts or incites the self to further delusion, distancing it from the Lord and acting against him. This is a counter to pArjanya.
tasya dIptasharaughasya dIptachApadharasya cha ||2-126-6
sharaughAnastramAyAbhirgrasanti sma mahAtmanaH |
Meaning: The great souls (kR^iShNa, balarAma and pardyumna), using the wondrous arrows, removed the fierce (hot) group of arrows shot by the one (guha, kArtikeya) blazing with a bow.
The arrows of Skanda are “ugra” or fierce, ie, blazing with rajas or passion. The Lord disposed of these arrows with his own wondrous arrows that can overcome anything.
The bow of Skanda signifies sense organs that are used to satisfy anger or attachments.
yadA tadA guhaH kruddhaH prajvalanniva tejasA ||2-126-7
astraM brahmashiro nAma kAlakalpAM durAsadam |
saMdaShTauShThapuTaH sa~Nkhye jagR^ihe pAvakiH prabhuH ||2-126-8
Meaning: At this time, then guha (kArtikeya), the lord born from fire, angry and blazing with splendor, bit his lips in the battle field and took up an arrow named brahmashira, difficult to defeat like the god of death.
Guha born from fire is self explanatory – signifies rajo guNa.
brahmashira” – The crest or head of “brahma”. The root “bRah” means to grow, to increase. Thus, “brahma” here refers to prakrti that expands into gross forms.  “brahmashira” is thus the crest or foremost of prakrti, which is the mind. Because higher than the mind, only the intellect and the self exist, the mind is the foremost of all things made of prakrti.
The anger or rajo guNa of the jIva (signified by kArtikEya) thus uses the biggest weapon that is most difficult to overcome, as admitted even by the Lord in the gIta – the mind (brahmashira) which is an enemy to the jIva.
prayukte brahmashirasi sahasrAMshusamaprabhe |
ugre paramadurdharShe lokakShayakare tathA ||2-126-9
Meaning: As guha (kArtikeya) shot the arrow brahmashira, equal in splendor with a thousand suns, terrible, most difficult to overcome, capable of causing the decline of the world.
(All these adjectives describe the mind as its’ inner meaning).
hAhAbhUteShu sarveShu pradhAvatsu samantataH |
[astratejaHpramUDhe tu viShaNNe jagati prabhuH] |
Meaning: As all the beings ran here and there, lamenting hA, hA, confounded by the splendor of that weapon, all were affected in the world.
The mind is a terrible enemy, as we know from the gIta.
keshavaH keshimathanashchakraM jagrAha vIryavAn ||2-126-10
Meaning: Then the valiant keshava (kR^iShNa), the oppressor of keshi took up his chakra.
Keshi” was a horse. “Keshi” also refers to rays of light. Thus, it signifies the collective of indrIyAs and mind which are untameable like a horse and shine out external objects. The Lord is the oppressor of the mind and senses which are like wild horses.
kEshava” – He is the Lord of Brahma (ka) and Rudra (Isha). Thus, he can overcome Skanda easily.
sarveShAmastravIryANAM vAraNaM ghAtanaM tathA |
chakramapratichakrasya loke khyAtaM mahAtmanaH ||2-126-11
Meaning: The chakra of the one (kR^iShNa) who removes the splendor of all arrows as well as destroys them, the chakra of the great self (kR^iShNa) which does not have any counter weapon, is famous in the world.
(The tAmasa stories of Vishnu getting the Chakra from Shiva bite the dust with this shloka).
astraM brahmashirastena niShprabhaM kR^itamojasA |
ghanairivAtapApAye saviturmaNDalaM yathA ||2-126-12
Meaning: The chakra made the weapon brahmashira, brightless and made it lose its splendor, like the rain clouds make the sun lose its splendor in the rainy season.
The Chakra is named “sudarshaNa” or “auspicious sight (knowledge)”. It nullifies the wayward mind. The Chakra itself stands for the mind which is swift according to the vishNu purANa, thus, it signifies that the Lord can make the mind move towards him in devotion.
tato niShprabhatAM yAte naShTavIrye mahaujasi |
tasminbrahmashirasyastre krodhasaMraktalochanaH ||2-126-13
guhaH prajajvAla raNe haviShevAgnirulbaNaH |
shatrughnIM jvalitAM divyAM shaktiM jagrAha kA~nchanIm ||2-126-14
amoghAM dayitAM ghorAM sarvalokabhayAvahAm] |
Meaning: As the weapon brahmashira lost its brightness and lost its great splendor, guha (kArtikeya) blazed in the battle, with his eyes becoming red, like the fire blazes by the oblations, and took up the blazing divine golden spear shakti, which destroys the enemies, which is priceless, terrible and fearful to the entire world.
Shakti” means power. It also means “ability” or “efficacy”. The power of anger is delusion - krodhAd-bhavati sammohaH (gIta 2.65) . The inability to discriminate between what ought to be done and what should not be done is signified by the weapon of Skanda.
Due to delusion, one considers actions against the Lord as proper and actions done to appease the Lord as improper. Thus, the context fits the meaning.
The spear is golden because it is born of anger (guha) and hence is of the nature of rajas.
tAM pradIptAM maholkAbhAM yugAntAgnisamaprabhAm ||2-126-15
ghaNTAmAlAkulAM divyAM chikShepa ruShito guhaH |
nanAda balavachchApi nAdaM shatrubhaya~Nkaram ||2-126-16
sA cha kShiptA tadA tena brahmaNyena mahAtmanA |
jR^imbhamANeva gagane saMpradIptamukhI tadA ||2-126-17
adhAvata mahAshaktiH kR^iShNasya vadhakA~NkShiNI |
bhR^ishaM viShaNNaH shakro.api sarvAmaragaNairvR^itaH ||2-126-18
shaktiM prajvalitAM dR^iShTvA dagdhaH kR^iShNeti chAbravIt |
Meaning: Guha (kArtikeya), becoming angry, threw the blazing divine spear, burning like a great meteor having brightness equal to the fire at the end of the era, decorated by garlands of bells. That spear thrown by the great soul, brahmaNya, guha, shouting powerfully and loudly, terrifying the enemies, that great spear, immediately flew, swelling in the sky, with a blazing face desiring to kill kR^iShNa. Shakra (indra), surrounded by all groups of deva-s, was highly distressed seeing the blazing spear. He also said that kR^iShNa is burned.
The spear is decorated by bells. The bell is the mind and the clapper signifies the indrIyAs. The sound of the bells signify experience of objects of enjoyment.
One who loves the Lord forgets his supremacy, indestructibility etc and regards him as someone who is vulnerable and needs to be protected. Thus the devas became concerned about krishNa despite knowing him as paramAtma.
Guha” is one that which covers or conceals – the senses associated with anger or attachments that hide our true nature. “Brahmanya” – One who is beneficial to prakrti known as “Brahman” in terms of being its’ bewildering power.  
tAM samIpamanuprAptAM mahAshaktiM mahAmR^idhe |
hu~NkAreNaiva nirbhartsya pAtayAmAsa bhUtale ||2-126-19
patitAyAM mahAshaktyAM sAdhu sAdhviti sarvashaH |
siMhanAdaM tatashchakruH sarve devAH savAsavAH ||2-126-20
Meaning: When the great spear approached near him in the great battle, kR^iShNa, abusing it with a loud sound of hu~NkAra, felled it on the face of earth. When the great spear was felled on earth, vAsava (indra) and all the other deva-s roared loudly like lions shouting, well done, well done!
This is self-explanatory.
THE PRAYERS OF PARVATI
tato deveShu nardatsu vAsudevaH pratApavAn |
punashchakraM sa jagrAha daityAntakaraNaM raNe ||2-126-21
Meaning: While all the deva-s were praising, the splendorous son of vasudeva (kR^iShNa) again took up his chakra, the destroyer of demons in battle.
Note that the chakra is called the destroyer of Daityas. Though Rudra and kArtikEya are devas by birth, their actions in this incident made them equivalent to asurAs and thus, bhagavAn was ready to use shrI sudarShaNa on them.
After this, an amSha of pArvati appears to save her son. See what krishNa says to her:
apagachChApagachCha tvaM dhiktvAmiti vacho.abravIt |
kimevaM kuruShe vighnaM nishchitasya vadhaM prati ||2-126-25
Meaning: Go away! Go away! Shame! Saying these words, kR^iShNa asked: Why are you creating this obstacle in the killing of one, whose death is decided?
This shows kArtikEya, and hence his father Rudra, can be killed. Thus, they are jIvAs subject to births and deaths. We quote this shloka to clearly highlight this fact, as paramAtma or his amShas cannot be killed.
The purANa now goes on to narrate how Shri Krishna fought and defeated Bana. As it is quite straightforward, we will skip ahead a bit.
During the battle between Krishna and Bana, Shiva sends Parvati to save Bana again. Parvati then eulogizes Shri Krishna as follows:
evamuktA tu kR^iShNena bhUyo devyabravIdidam ||2-126-114
jAne tvAM sarvabhUtAnAM sraShTAraM puruShottamam |
Meaning: The goddess who was told thus by kR^iShNa again spoke as follows: I know that you are the creator of all beings, who is superior to the bound and liberated selves.
As he is the jagat-kAraNa and the Lord of the kshara-akshara puruShAs, he alone can spare the life of bANa if he wills it.
By these names, pArvati means to say, “You are the Creator and Lord of all. If you decide to protect someone, then that person does not need to resort to anyone else, as you are all-powerful. If you decide to not protect someone, then again that person need not resort to anyone else, since no-one else can protect him from your wrath. So, I surrender to you asking for the protection of Bana”.
mahAbhAgaM mahAdevamanantaM lInamavyayam ||2-126-115
padmanAbhaM hR^iShIkeshaM lokAnAmAdisaMbhavam |   
Meaning: The Lord who has the good fortune of being chosen for service (ie, regarded as their Master) by nILa devi, sixteen thousand celestial damsels, rukmiNi, satyabhAmA, jAmbavati, and others (mahAbhAga), the great one who sports with the other gods who are like his playthings (mahAdeva), the one who is unlimited in auspicious attributes (anantaM), the one who does not send anyone back to samsAra (avyayaM). You are the lord from whose navel, the Lotus carrying Brahma originates (padmanAbhaM), the controller of the sense-organs of all (hRishikEshaM), the one who manifested the Vedas in the beginning (lOkAnAmAdisambhavaM).
1)    “mahAbhAga” - The devIs are those with good qualities of strIs like mEdha, dhriti, kshama etc. Whomsoever they choose as their husband and master, should thus, be as flawless and perfect as them. So, pArvati implies that Shri Krishna is flawless as he has the good fortune of being served by these great devIs of sound judgment, so he should forgive Bana.
2)    “mahAdeva” - He sports with even the great devas like brahma and rudra, so his power is unlimited and he can bestow any favor, like sparing Bana.
3)    “anantaM” – His auspicious attributes like daya, kshama, kripa, etc are unlimited and thus he can be moved to compassion to spare Bana.
4)    “avyayaM” – He never sends back the liberated selves to samsAra, as he loves them. As he has this reputation, thus, he should not turn away pArvati when she appeals to him to save Bana.
5)    “padmanAbhaH” – As even brahma appeared from your navel, you are the Lord of all beings and their leader. So, you always appear to establish dharma, to lead them. Hence, follow your dharma which is to heed my (Parvati’s) request.
6)    “hRishikEsha” – You control the senses of all the gods like brahma, rudra, etc. Therefore, you, being the innerself of all, definitely possess the power to spare the life of Bana.
7)    “lOkAnAmAdisambhavaM” – “lOkAnAm” refers to the Vedas. As the svEtAsvatAra says, the Lord created brahma and propagated the Vedas in the beginning for the sake of protection of all beings and establishing dharma. Thus, he has a compassionate nature and is well-disposed to all, so pArvati beseeches him for sparing bANa.
nArhase deva hantuM vai bANamapratimaM raNe ||2-126-116
prayachCha hyabhayaM bANe jIvaputrItvameva cha |
mayA dattavaro hyeSha bhUyashcha parirakShyate ||2-126-117
na me mithyA samudyogaM kartumarhasi mAdhava |
Meaning: O deva! Do not kill bANa who fought against you in the battle. Provide refuge to Bana as also the status as my living son. By giving a boon, I have again protected him. O mAdhava! Do not make my efforts in vain.
Note that pArvati ends her request by calling him “mAdhava”, meaning, the Lord of shrI. Thus, she invokes the meditation of shrI mahAlakshmi, only after which the Lord relents. Nothing can be fulfilled without the purushakAratvaM of shrI mahAlakshmi.
“deva” – “shraddhayA devo devatvaM ashnute” says the shruti – he becomes known as “deva” due to his association with shrI lakshmI.
evamukte tu vachane devyA parapura~njayaH ||2-126-118
kR^iShNaH prabhAShate vAkyaM shR^iNu satyaM tu bhAmini |
bANo bAhusahasreNa nardate darpamAshritaH ||2-126-119
eteShAM chChedanaM tvadya kartavyaM nAtra saMshayaH |
dvibAhunA cha bANena jIvaputrI bhaviShyasi ||2-126-120
AsuraM darpamAshritya na cha mAM saMshrayishyati |
dvibAhunA cha bANena jIvaputrI bhaviShyasi ||2-126-120
AsuraM darpamAshritya na cha mAM saMshrayishyati |
Meaning: When the goddess spoke these words, the conqueror of other's cities, kR^iShNa, spoke these words: O beautiful woman! Hear the truth. Bana with thousand arms shouts aloud due to pride. All these arms should be cut today. There is no doubt. With Bana having two arms you will become the one with a living son. He will not depend on me due to his demonic pride. When kR^iShNa, the one who does difficult tasks spoke these words, the goddess said: “Let this bANa become the one given by the lord (to me)”.
The key point to note is that shrI krishNa commits Bana to the care of shiva and pArvati by declaring that as Bana is an asura, he will not take refuge of the Lord. This shows that shiva is resorted to by those inclined towards tamO guNa. That is the reason why the tAmasa shAstras exist.
After this, shrI krishNa cuts off bANa’s arms. But in the heat of battle, the Lord presumably forgets his promise to pArvati and proceeded to kill bANa.  
NARADA’S HAPPINESS ON THE DEFEAT OF BANA
TaMdR^iShTvAmUrchChitaMbANaMprahAraparipIDitam|prAsAdavarashR^i~NgasthonAradomunipu~NgavaH||utthAyApashyatatadAkakShyAsphoTanatatparaH |vAdayAnonakhAMshchaivadiShTyAdiShTyetichAbravIt||ahome suphalaMjanmajIvitaM cha sujIvitam |dR^iShTaM me yadidaMchitraMdAmodaraparAkramam||jayabANaMmahAbAhodaiteyaMdevakilbiSham |yadarthamavatIrNo.asitatkarmasaphalIkuru||
Meaning: The greatest among rishIs, srI nAradA, standing atop the tower of a building, saw Bana  fall unconscious. Getting up, clapping and rubbing his nails, he exclaimed, "Auspicious! auspicious! I have seen the parAkrama of Damodara in person. My life has become meaningful. I have attained janma sAbalyam.  Hey mahAbAho (Krishna)! Defeat Bana and do that for which you were born (sAdhuparitrAnam).
The meaning is self-evident. A devotee feels he is truly “born” only when he has experienced bhagavAn. Just like akrurA, nArada felt that his life had attained purpose now, upon witnessing the incredible leela of the Lord.
Alternatively, we can say nArada is playing the role of the Acharya who is striving to save the bound selves (Aniruddha) from samsAra. Thus, when the Acharya sees bhagavAn rescuing that jIva by breaking the ego of the Jiva (signified by Bana), he feels that his life has attained purpose. The Acharya cannot sustain himself without helping the jIvAs. The joy of the Acharya and the love he has for the baddha jIvAs is indeed greater than that of bhagavAn himself!
SHIVA’S PRAYERS TO KRISHNA
Shiva finally regained his state of sattva and to save Bana, he (Shiva) reminded BhagavAn that he was the descendant of Prahlada. In other words, even though Bana was evil, he had a link with someone who was a great devotee. That should be enough to redeem Bana in the eyes of the Lord. Shiva is now assuming the role of Acharya for Bana here.
Similarly, even the greatest sinner will get a chance to be pardoned from all offenses if he has a link with an AchArya or a bhAgavata. The importance of bhagavata/AchArya sambandham is mentioned here.
tamupetya mahAdevaH kumArasahito.abravIt ||2-126-134
Meaning: Then the mahAdeva (shiva) along with kumara (guha, kArtikeya) reached there and said:
Ishvara uvAcha   
kR^iShNa kR^iShNa mahAbAho jAne tvAM puruShottamam |
madhukaiTabhahantAraM devadevaM sanAtanam ||2-126-135
Meaning: Ishvara (shiva) said: kR^iShNa! O kR^iShNa! the one with great arms! I know you as superior to the bound and liberated selves (purushOttama), the one who helps his devotees to restrain their sense-organs (madhusUdhana), the eternal one who possesses auspicious attributes superior to all gods (devadevaM sanAtanaM).
While pArvati prayed earlier for Bana’s pardon, Rudra now prays to the Lord for his own pardon. Rudra knows that if Shri Krishna kills Bana, the living beings would never respect his (rudra’s) words again – for Rudra has promised protection to Bana and if that goes in vain, there would be no respect for his boons.
Thus, he apologises to shrI krishNa. Note that the purANa refers to him as “mahAdeva” and “Ishvara”, epithets that describe him as a jnAni. That indicates his change of heart and the reversal to a sAttvika disposition now.
  1. mahAbAho” – You have great arms to protect your devotees. So, I recognize that I am not the protector and you alone are the sole protector, who can protect me.
  2. puruShottama” – I recognize that you are the Lord of kshara and akshara puruShAs and hence, my master as well. If you choose to protect anyone, that person need not resort to others. If you do not wish to protect someone, then that person need not resort to others as no-one can protect him from their wrath. So, I resort to you, the Supreme Being, for protection.
  3. madhusUdhana” – You help your devotees to restrain their sense-organs termed “madhu”. I am your devotee, and I fought against you because of  being misled by my senses. So, offer me your protection by restraining my senses and keeping me fixed in sattva!
  4. devadevaM sanAtanaM” – You possess not only all the auspicious attributes of the gods, but also innumerable other auspicious attributes that they do not possess. You are eternal, ie, unlike me, you are not affected by changes.  Therefore, as you are of this nature of possessing all auspicious attributes and devoid of blemishes, give me your protection
lokAnAM tvaM gatirdeva tvatprasUtamidaM jagat |
ajeyastvaM tribhirlokaiH sasurAsurapannagaiH ||2-126-136
Meaning: O Deva! You are the goal of the Vedas. This world is created by you. You cannot be conquered by all the three worlds, along with deva-s, asura-s and serpents.
The implication is: The Vedas declare you to be the goal to be attained. I realized that I was fighting against the very goal I should be attaining by my sAdhana, and hence, stopped, seeking your protection. You created everything. Thus, you are superior to all and cannot be conquered by anyone, including me. This too, I realized and hence stopped fighting to seek your portection.
tasmAtsaMhara divyaM tvamidaM chakraM samudyatam |
anivAryamasaMhAryaM raNe shatrubhaya~Nkaram ||2-126-137
Meaning: Hence please refrain from releasing this divine chakra, which is terrible for enemies, which cannot be avoided and restrained in battle.
Does this seem like the words of a person who gave the chakra to Krishna? Thus, the tAmasa stories are fit to be discarded.
bANasyAsyAbhayaM dattaM mayA keshiniShUdana |
tanme na syAdvR^ithA vAkyamatastvAM shAmayAmyaham ||2-126-138
Meaning: O the slayer of keshi (kR^iShNa)! I have given refuge to bANa. Do not let my words become useless. I request your consent for this.
“Slayer of kEShi” as in, “he who killed the asura in the form of the horse”. As mentioned earlier, the horse signifies indrIyAs/mind. Krishna has thus restrained Rudra’s senses as well and corrected him.
shrIkR^iShNa uvAcha
jIvatAM deva bANo.ayametatchchakraM nivartitam |
mAnyastvaM devadevAnAmasurANAM cha sarvashaH ||2-126-139
Meaning: The lord kR^iShNa said: O Deva! Let bANa live. I have restrained the chakra. You are respectable for all the deva-s and the asura-s (and so I won’t reduce your stature by violating your boon).
namaste.astu gamiShyAmi yatkAryaM tanmaheshvara |
na tAvatkR^iyate tasmAnmAmanuj~nAtumarhasi ||2-126-140
Meaning: I salute you. I am leaving. O mahEshvara (shiva)! I will not do the work which I intended. Hence please give me your permission to leave.
This last shloka is a bit of sarcasm on the Lord’s part. When we are frustrated with someone who acts like an intelligent person but is actually wrong in many aspects, we often say, “My pranams to your great knowledge! Now, kindly let me go” – this is said in sarcasm and exasperation.
Similarly, the Lord is still annoyed at the fact that Rudra had acted against him, and therefore, he is being sarcastic. He is saying, “You, after all, are called “mahEshvara” by everyone, so you are indeed of great intellect. I give you my “namaskArams”. Let me leave now with your kind consent”.
The idea is, Rudra has ego regarding his knowledge but has acted in a manner completely opposite to it. It is unbecoming for someone of Rudra’s stature. This is the cause of shrI krishNa’s frustration.
WORSHIP OF OTHER DEITIES IS TO BE DISCARDED
In the final episode of this entire incident, Bana was defeated and humbled. He had lost limbs, and dripped blood all over. He was feeling unbearable pain. At that moment, Nandi told him to dance in front of Shiva, to appease him and attain a deva sarIram. BAnA did this and became a part of Shiva's retinue.
bAna bANa pranR^ityasva shreyastava bhaviShyati |
eSha devo mahAdevaH prasAdasumukhastava ||2-126-145
Meaning: (Nandi says:) Bana! O Bana! Perform a dance! That will be auspicious and good for you. Here the god, mahAdeva is having a pleased face.
shoNitaughaplutairgAtrairnandivAkyaprachoditaH |
jIvitArthI tato bANaH pramukhe sha~Nkarasya vai ||2-126-146
anR^ityadbhayasaMvigno dAnavaH sa vichetanaH |
Meaning: Then Bana, the demon, terrified with fear, losing his mind and wishing for his life, immediately danced in front of sha~Nkara (shiva), prompted by the words of nandI, with blood flowing out from his body.
taM dR^iShTvA cha pranR^ityantaM bahyodvignaM punaH punaH ||2-126-147
nandivAkyaprajavitaM bhaktAnugrahakR^idbhavaH |
karuNAvashamApanno mahAdevo.abravIdvachaH ||2-126-148
Meaning: Seeing Bana, agitated and confused, dancing again and again, charged by the words of nandI, Bhava (shiva), the one who blesses the devotees, became kind. mahAdeva said these words:
Ishvara uvAcha
varaM vR^iNIShva bANa tvaM manasA yadabhIpsasi |
prasAdasumukhaste.ahaM priyo.asi mama dAnava ||2-126-149
Meaning: Ishvara (Shiva) said: O Bana! Ask for a boon that you wish in your mind! Demon! I am pleased with you.  
bANa receives some boons and becomes part of Shiva’s retinue. This is in keeping with what shrI krishNa said earlier, that bANa is of an Asuric disposition and hence is under the care of Shiva.
This incident shows one thing. BhagavAn praises his devotees, like he praised GarudA. He, along with lakshmi, is always sorrowful if his devotees are in trouble andwill go to great trouble to help them. But other deities treat their devotees like slaves.
Even though bAnA was clearly in pain and bleeding, he had to dance awkwardly with severed limbs in order to appease his master. Thus, worship of anyadevatA is far more difficult and yields perishable results unlike the worship of bhagavAn. Neither is slavery to other gods favourable. Whereas, slavery to bhagavAn gives us bliss, and Bhagavan elevates the devotees even above himself!
In the panchAgni vidyA prakaraNam of the ChAndOgya Upanishad, it is stated that thosewho perform meritorious deeds and attain deva sarIram reach the devalOka, wherethey are `eaten by the devas'. This phrase, `the devas eat him' means that they treat such a one like a donkey. He who attains deva sarIram by worshipping a kshudradevata like brahma, rudra, indra, chandra etc will become a slave of that devatA. As manu smriti states, seshatva is a dog's life. The only seshatva that is pleasurable is that which is directed to bhagavAn, who exists only for his devotees. The devas are to be worshipped only in nitya naimittika karmas as providers of knowledge of vishNu and not as individually supreme beings.
This concludes the notes on bAnAsura charitra.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FROM VISHNU PURANA
We have noticed that time and again, some fools and Veerashaivas quote the Banasura incident from shrI vishNu purANa as though it supports their position. So, we will interpret that section here as well. After defeating Shiva in the war against Banasura, Shri Krishna tells Shiva the following (according to the Vishnu Purana):
bhagavān uvāca:
yo 'haṃ sa tvaṃ jagac cedaṃ sadevāsuramānuṣam // ViP_5,33.48ab //
Some who are unlearned in every aspect of Vedanta, actually think this refers to some sort of identity between Krishna and Shiva. What a pity their brains cannot digest the simplest of tattvas!
Let me explain this from the beginning.
If you actually see what happens in this war, Bhagavan defeats Shiva, who then realizes that Shri Krishna is sAkshAt paramAtma, and that he, out of his tamo guNa, had fought him, not knowing his true nature. Thus, Shiva first eulogizes shrI Krishna prior to this as follows:
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa jagannātha jāne tvāṃ puruṣottamam /
pareśaṃ paramātmānam anādinidhanaṃ param // ViP_5,33.41 //
Meaning: (Shiva says:) Krishna! Krishna! I know you as the Lord of the Universe, as the “purushottama” or the One superior to the baddhas, muktas and nityas, as the Supreme Ruler, the Supreme Self, the highest one without a beginning and end.
The idea is that Shiva, until now, had been deluded by the mAya of the Lord, and had forgotten Krishna’s true identity. He now tells Krishna, “I am now aware that you are neither a simple cowherd, nor the mere King of Dwaraka. I recognize you verily as that Supreme Being, Sriman Narayana eulogized in the Shruti”.
devatiryaṅmanuṣyeṣu śarīragrahaṇātmikā /
līleyaṃ sarvabhūtasya tava ceṣṭopalakṣaṇā // ViP_5,33.42 //
Meaning:  This sport of you, who is the form of all i.e. inner self of all, has you taking various forms among god, animals, and men in which you assume bodies similar to them, (like Vishnu, Varaha, Narasimha Rama, Krishna etc), and is endowed with your divine actions.
Shiva here is saying, “Deluded by my tamo guNa, I had thought you were a mere mortal and had forgotten that this is merely your sport of descending amongst us out of your infinite mercy and desire to mingle with us”.
“tava sarvabhUtasya” - Sriman Narayana is of the form of all as everything is his body and he is their inner self.
tat prasīdābhayaṃ dattaṃ bāṇasyāsya mayā prabho /
tat tvayā nānṛtaṃ kāryaṃ yan mayā vyāhṛtaṃ vacaḥ // ViP_5,33.43 //
asmatsaṃśrayavṛddho 'yaṃ nāparādhyas tavāvyaya /
mayā dattavaro daityas tatas tvāṃ kṣamayāmy aham // ViP_5,33.44 //
Meaning: “Be gracious therefore, O Master, to me (on account of such qualities). I have given Bana the assurance of safety; do not falsify that which I have spoken. He has become great by resorting to me, let him not incur your displeasure (as that would result in loss of all merit he has earned). The Daitya has received a boon from me, and therefore I seek your forbearance."
Shiva is saying here, “You do not consider the faults of beings like gods, animals, men etc when you descend and assume their forms, mingling with them. That being the case,please ignore the transgressions of Bana and myself. Bana has earned merit by resorting to me, and if you deem that he has acted against you, he loses all that merit ((since your mere displeasure is enough to cause the downfall of anyone). Therefore, I request you to forgive him”.
Readers can ask themselves now, are the words of Shiva that of a supreme deity or a subordinate one? Some people lack basic common sense, it would seem.
parāśara uvāca:
ity uktaḥ prāha govindaḥ śūlapāṇim umāpatim /
prasannavadano bhūtvā gatāmarṣo 'suraṃ prati // ViP_5,33.45 //
Meaning: Upon speaking thus, Govinda (the protector of the world), losing his anger with the Asura (Bana), looked graciously on the consort of Uma, the wielder of the trident, and said to him:
The Lord is Govinda, the protector of the worlds. Thus he protects Shiva and Banasura even when they act against him, as protection is natural for him. Shiva is Umapati, the consort of Uma who is renowned for her jnAna, and he is the wielder of the trident which implies he has transcended the triguNAs. It signifies Shiva is an upAsaka and a jnAni. He merits the Lord’s favor.
bhagavān uvāca:
yuṣmaddattavaro bāṇo jīvatām eṣa śaṃkara /
tvadvākyagauravād etan mayā cakraṃ nivartitam // ViP_5,33.46 //
Meaning: Since you, Shankara, have given a boon to Bana, let him live. Owing to the regard I have for your words (you being a knower of Brahman), my Sudarshana Chakra is averted.
As Rudra is well-known as a knower of Brahman, Bhagavan respects his words and promises. So this shloka implies that Bhagavan ensures that his devotee will never perish, as he says in the Gita. Since Shankara has earned merit by his penances and thus is respected by the world,  Bhagavan ensures that that respect is upheld even despite minor transgressions. For if Bhagavan renders the boon of Shiva as futile, nobody in the world would respect his boons henceforth.
tvayā yad abhayaṃ dattaṃ tad dattam akhilaṃ mayā /
matto 'vibhinnam ātmānaṃ draṣṭum arhasi śaṃkara // ViP_5,33.47 //
yo 'haṃ sa tvaṃ jagac cedaṃ sadevāsuramānuṣam // ViP_5,33.48ab
Meaning: That promise of safety which was granted by you, is granted by me. Know Shankara, that you are not separate from me (like the body is inseparably associated with the self). That which is you (ie, your innerself), that I am, and so is this (innerself of) the Universe with the devas and asuras.
A point to note here. Were Bhagavan implying identity with Shiva, would he say, “you are me, and so is this Universe with devas and asuras” – then, that implies even the asuras are identical to bhagavAn. So what goes on in the minds of these vishNu-dvEshis to take it as identity?
It is actually the opposite. Bhagavan is actually scolding Shiva here. He is saying,  
“Whatever boon you grant, I grant as well. You know why? It is because you are not independent as you thought when you fought against me. You are inseparable from me, in the same manner as the body is inseparably associated with the Atman. This relationship between us is “aprthak-siddhi” or inseparability. Just as the body is supported and nourished by the self, and exists solely for the sake of serving the self, similarly you are nourished and supported by me, your antayAmin, and the purpose of your existence is to serve me. Hence, do not forget your dependence on me”.
Finally, Bhagavan then says,
“Since you are my body and I am your self, names that denote you denote me as well. This is because names that denote the body denote the self and vice-versa.  
So, You are me. Meaning, “you” denotes your antaryAmin who has you (shiva) as his body. Realize that antaryAmin as me (Krishna), who am standing before you in the guise of a human being and do not be deluded thinking I am someone different to that. And just as your antaryAmin is me, so is the antaryAmin of the Jagat with the devas and asuras. That is to say, the Jagat, Devas and Asuras are my bodies as well, and their names, which extend down to their antaryAmin, denote me.”
In a nutshell, “That which you are, that I am” means “That which is your innerself, is verily me the son of devaki and vasudeva.”  And the sentence “so is this Universe consisting of devas and asuras” means “I am the innerself of the Universe, devas and asuras as well”. There is no distinction in the antaryAmin (neha nAnAsti kinchana).
This is the sAmAnAdhikaraNya on account of sharIrAtma bhAva (body-soul analogy).
I think this should clarify things abundantly well. There is zero identity implied here and Shiva is clearly mentioned to be subordinate to Krishna.
This write-up is concluded.

4 comments :

  1. Here is a new journal on the bAnAsura charitra. We will publish these journal articles inbetween the major Ishvara Gita chapter publications occasionally.

    This article was actually written by us 4 years ago. Only now did we get to publishing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Additionally, the "fools and Veerashaivas" comment in the article was aimed at our resident ignoramus extraordinaire who with the help of other fools was text torturing these vishNu purANa shlokas here:

      http://creative.sulekha.com/remarkable-consistency-between-the-vishnu-and-shiva-puranas_631470_blog

      Where they make a meal out of "only fools contemplate distinctions" verse.

      Well, the vishNu purANa clearly establishes that shri krishNa is the sarvAntaryAmin of all and on account of that, only those who are foolish contemplate distinctions. Thus, Shiva should not consider himself as different from krishNa, meaning, shiva's antaryAmin is non-different from shrI krishNa (neha nAnAsti kinchana). By sAmAnAdhikaraNya, terms like "you", "shiva", "Universe" refer to the antaryAmin due to sharIrAtma bhAva.

      The inability of Shiva to recognize Krishna as his innerself is being chastised by Krishna here and nothing more. That alone suits the context of the fight between Shiva and Krishna, which obviously happened because of Shiva's inability to recognize the Lord as his antaryAmin. Otherwise, you have to consider the Universe also as identical to Krishna since the verse says "That which you are, that I am and so is this Universe". But such simple meanings fly over Veerashaiva's senile dvesham afflicted brain.

      Coming to the Shiva Purana's version, it is tAmasa and naturally is rejected. Not only that, but it is actually hilarious to see how stupidly the purANa desperately tries to inject shiva paratva here ( nothing wrong in saying a purANa written by vyAsa is absurd if it is tAmasa, for even Manu declares they are perverse).

      Take a look at these Shiva Purana verses:

      ततः सुदर्शनेनाशु कृष्णो बाणभुजान्बहून्। 
      चिच्छेद भगवाञ्शम्भुशासनात्परवीरहा॥ ३०॥ 

      Then lord Krsna, the destroyer of heroic armies, at the bidding of Siva, suddenly cut off many arms of Banasura, with the Sudarsana cakra.

      अवशिष्टा भुजास्तस्य चत्वारोऽतीव सुन्दराः। 
      गतव्यथो बभूवाशु शङ्करस्य प्रसादतः॥ ३१॥ 

      By the grace of Siva, only four beautiful arms were left out and soon his misery was over.

      Notice how desperately the purANa randomly inserts "shambhushAsana" and "shankarasya prasAdataH" in each line while describing the event. It is nothing but a desperate attempt to hide the true nature of Krishna and preserve the delusion of Shiva as Supreme that the purANa has to specify in every line "yes, this happened by Shiva's grace....that also happened by Shiva's order... and that!!" It is the insecurity stemming from the fact that Shiva is not supreme, that the purANa chooses to constantly remind that everything happened due to Shiva.

      Reading these verses itself, the absurdity of the tAmasa purANa is clear - "Shiva was defeated by the grace of Shiva!!"

      Remember the words of Manu:

      yā vedabāhyāḥ smṛtayo yāśca kāśca kudṛṣṭayaḥ | 
      sarvāstā niṣphalāḥ pretya tamoniṣṭhā hi tāḥ smṛtāḥ || (~Manu Smriti - 12.95) ||

      Meaning: Those ‘smritis’ (the tAmasa purANAs) that are outside the Veda, and the views that are perverse, are useless, even when carried to perfection; as they have been declared to be founded on ‘tamas.’

      Delete
  2. Dear bhagvata ,is sri comes under jeevatama category ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vadakalai Sri Vaishnavas believe that Lakshmi is Ishvara tattva and hence mokshOpAya. Thenkalai Sri Vaishnavas believe that Lakshmi is a JivAtma and only purushakAra-bhutai but not upAya.

      If you really want our opinion, we need to clarify that we are quite neutral and have respect for both vadakalai and thenkalai vidwans, and thus did not accept anything based on belief or what modern day scholars say. We opted to study our Acharyas' works directly and Vidvans' debates on the issue.

      It is our opinion after perusing the above works that all Acharyas including Shri Vedanta Desikan are of the view that Lakshmi is a Jivatma and PurushakAra-bhutai, who forms the upEya with Bhagavan for mummukshus (oru mithunamE uthEsyam) .

      While this accords with the thenkalai view, I would hasten to clarify that we have no bias in judging either sect. In any case, the view that Lakshmi is Ishvara-tattva is not supported by any of the ithihAsa-purANa-Agama literature -- this is a cold, hard fact. None of the Acharyas have thus stated that she is non-different from Narayana either. She has a special status even among nitya suris on account of her deeds and actions as the Mother of the Universe, and her incomparable compassion for all bound selves.

      Speaking of kalai differences, here's something we could do without:

      https://swarajyamag.com/insta/fight-between-vaishnavas-prompts-madras-hc-to-stop-recital-at-kanchi-temple-until-further-orders

      Basically, modern day squabbles caused by some petty minds undermining the great tradition of Suri Ramanuja. Our courts are influenced by anti-hindu elements. Only Ill can come out of making our disputes public. Guess that's how Kali yuga works.

      Delete

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