Banasura battles with Krishna
Bana (also called Banasura) was a Hindu mythological figure. Bana was a thousand-armed Asura king, and the son of Bali. Banasura is believed to have ruled the present-day central Assam with his capital at Sonitpur (present-day Tezpur, Assam). According to the legend, Banasura was an aboriginal king. Some other sources say that since Banasura, son of Asura King Mahabali who is believed to be central character in mythology and culture of Kerala, inherits his kingdom from his father and is believed to have ruled from Kerala. There is a hill named "Banasura hill"  and a dam, "Banasura Sagar Dam" dedicated to the memory of their great ruler's son Bana.
Banasura, a mighty asura, once ruled over a large kingdom. His influence was so strong and fierce that all the kings - and even some of the devas - shuddered in front of him. Banasura used to worship a Rasalingam given to him by Vishvakarman, on instruction from Vishnu. An ardent devotee of Shiva, he used his thousand arms to play the Mridanga when Shiva was performing the tandava dance. Shiva gave Banasura a boon and the latter requested Shiva to be his protector: therefore, Banasura became invincible. As time passed, he became even more cruel and arrogant. He locked up his daughter, Ushas, in a fortress called Agnigarh because many young suitors had come to him asking for her hand. One day, Ushas saw a young man in her dream and fell in love with him. Chitraleka was a friend of Ushas and daughter of Kumbhanda, Minister of Banasura. Chitralekha was a talented artist who helped Ushas to identify the young man seen in her dream by sketching various portraits. She had dreamt of Aniruddha, the grandson of Krishna. Chitralekha, through supernatural powers, abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Ushas., which led to a fight between Krishna and Banasura. Shiva came to rescue his devotee, but after Krishna pleaded his cause Shiva allowed him to continue. Thereafter, Krishna started severing the arms of Banasura and cut off all of them except for two. Shiva requested Krishna to spare his devotee's life. Banasura too apologized to Krishna and he was forgiven. Aniruddha was then married to Ushas.
The genealogy of Banasura is as follows:
- Brahma's son was Marichi
- Marichi's son was Kashyapa,
- Kashyapa's sons were Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha,
- Hiranyakashipu's son was Prahlada,
- Prahlada's son was Virochana,
- Virochana's son was Bali,
- Bali's son was Banasura
Media and literature
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Banasura's story has been narrated in Indian epic Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana. His story as the rejected suitor for goddess Shakti is present in Tamil Sangam literary works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru; Bhattavataar's Banasura Katha. The tale of Banasura is narrated in the 15th century epic-poem Ushabhilasa of Shishu Shankara Dasa in the Odia language.
Usha Parinayam (the marriage of Usha-daughter of Banasura) was a Telugu film directed by Kadaru Nagabhushanam under Rajarajeswari films in 1961. Legendary Telugu actor S. V. Ranga Rao played the role of Banasura.
The name "Banasura" was also used in the 2014 Ubisoft game Far Cry 4 as "Banashur", to depict a God in the fictional mythology of the game's setting - Kyrat. He is described as the "God of Gods" and the source of all creation. Although, Hindu mythology depicts him as an asura, here his identity is alternatively used as the identity of a fictional God.
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