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!”