When the four months of the rainy season passed and Aniruddha had still not returned home, all the members of the Yadu family became much perturbed. They could not understand how the boy was missing. Fortunately, one day the great sage Nārada came and informed the family about Aniruddha’s disappearance from the palace. He explained how Aniruddha had been carried to the city of Śoṇitapura, the capital of Bāṇāsura’s empire, and how Bāṇāsura had arrested him with the nāga-pāśa, even though Aniruddha had defeated his soldiers. This news was given in detail by Nārada, and the whole story was disclosed. Then the members of the Yadu dynasty, all of whom had great affection for Kṛṣṇa, prepared to attack the city of Śoṇitapura. Practically all the leaders of the family, including Pradyumna, Sātyaki, Gada, Sāmba, Sāraṇa, Nanda, Upananda and Bhadra, combined together and gathered eighteen akṣauhiṇī military divisions into phalanxes. Then they all went to Śoṇitapura and surrounded it with soldiers, elephants, horses and chariots.
Bāṇāsura heard that the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty were attacking the whole city, tearing down various walls, gates and nearby gardens. Becoming very angry, he immediately ordered his soldiers, who were of equal caliber, to go and face them. Lord Śiva was so kind to Bāṇāsura that he personally came as the commander in chief of the military force, assisted by his heroic sons Kārttikeya and Gaṇapati. Nandīśvara, Lord Śiva, seated on his favorite bull, led the fighting against Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. We can simply imagine how fierce the fighting was—Lord Śiva with his valiant sons on one side, and Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His elder brother, Śrī Balarāmajī, on the other. The fighting was so fierce that those who saw the battle were struck with wonder, and the hairs on their bodies stood up. Lord Śiva was engaged in fighting directly with Lord Kṛṣṇa, Pradyumna was engaged with Kārttikeya, and Lord Balarāma was engaged with Bāṇāsura’s commander in chief, Kumbhāṇḍa, who was assisted by Kūpakarṇa. Sāmba, the son of Kṛṣṇa, fought the son of Bāṇāsura, and Bāṇāsura fought Sātyaki, commander in chief of the Yadu dynasty. In this way the fighting was waged.
News of the fighting spread all over the universe. Demigods such as Lord Brahmā, from higher planetary systems, along with great sages and saintly persons, Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Gandharvas—all being very curious to see the fight between Lord Śiva and Lord Kṛṣṇa and their assistants—hovered over the battlefield in their airplanes. Lord Śiva is called Bhūta-nātha because he is assisted by various types of powerful ghosts and denizens of the inferno—Bhūtas, Pretas, Pramathas, Guhyakas, Ḍākinīs, Piśācas, Kuṣmāṇḍas, Vetālas, Vināyakas and Brahma-rākṣasas. (Of all kinds of ghosts, the Brahma-rākṣasas are very powerful. They are brāhmaṇas who after death have entered the ghostly species of life.)
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, simply drove all these ghosts away from the battlefield with the arrows from His celebrated bow, Śārṅga-dhanur. Lord Śiva then began to release all his selected weapons against the Personality of Godhead. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, without any difficulty, counteracted all these weapons with counterweapons. He counteracted the brahmāstra, similar to the atomic bomb, with another brahmāstra, and an air weapon with a mountain weapon. When Lord Śiva released a particular weapon bringing about a violent hurricane on the battlefield, Lord Kṛṣṇa presented just the opposing element, a mountain weapon, which checked the hurricane on the spot. Similarly when Lord Śiva released his weapon of devastating fire, Kṛṣṇa counteracted it with torrents of rain.