ANIRUDDHA – the most handsome man on earth
Other names: Aniruddh, Jhashanka
Pradyumna, in the Swayamvar (choice of her husband made by a princess in a public ceremony) of Sundari (sister of Rukmani), wore the garland by her hands and got married to her ceremoniously. With the marriage of Pradyumna and Sundari, Aniruddha was born.
Aniruddha was very handsome. He had become famous everywhere because of his charm. Once, Banasur’s daughter Usha saw Aniruddha in her dreams. She was fascinated by his looks. Day and night, she started obsessing about him. Usha had a friend named Chitralekha, who was an expert in drawing. On describing a person’s looks, she could make a sketch of him. Usha described to Chitralekha, the person she saw in her dreams. Chitralekha made a sketch that looked exactly like Aniruddha. Usha was overjoyed seeing this and screamed, “Yes, he is the one.”
Chitralekha flew like a bird and went to the palace of Aniruddha when he was sleeping. She picked him up right from there and brought him in his sleep to Usha’s palace.
When Aniruddha opened his eyes, he saw Usha leaning over him. He also started loving her and stayed back in Usha’s palace. By her excellent service, Usha made Aniruddha forget all other things and was able to draw his attention and love upon her without deviation. In such an atmosphere of love and service, Aniruddha practically forgot himself and could not recall how many days he had been away from his real home.
When Banasur came to know about their love, he was very angry and put Aniruddha in the prison. When Narad came to know about this, he informed Shri Krishna.
Banasur was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and had 1,000 arms as a result of which no one even attempted to fight with him. Once out of pride and ego he asked Lord Shiva to give him a chance to fight with someone as strong as himself. Lord Shiva then cursed him to get defeated in war by another powerful warrior i.e. Lord Krishna.
Shri Krishna came to Banasur’s city Shantipur with the army of the Yadavas and a great battle was fought.
Both Shiva Mahapuran and Vishnupuran, tell tales of how Lord Krishna’s and Lord Shiva’s armies fought against each other but there was no outcome of the war. Both Krishna and Shiva remained invincible. The war ended peacefully with Shiva and Krishna showing the Hari-Hara (Shiv-Vishnu) unity by giving a message that both are one and united with each other and Shiva cannot win without Krishna and Krishna cannot win without Shiva. Both are incomplete without each other and both are each other’s Lord. Both gave due respect to each other and offered prayers to each other and said that the lesson to be learnt is “Shiva is Krishna and Krishna is Shiva.”
Banasur was defeated, but his life was spared at the intercession of Shiva, Banasur apologized to Krishna. Finally, Banasur got Usha married to Aniruddha ceremoniously and Lord Krishna returned to Dwarka with his grandson and grand daughter-in-law.
Aniruddha is also called Jhashanka and Ushapati. Aniruddha had a son named Vajra.