By Swami Harshananda
Narakāsura is said to have been born out of a drop of sweat that fell on the earth or Bhudevī from the body of Varāha. Hence he was known as Bhaumāsura also. Due to the prayer of Bhudevi, Viṣṇu gave Narakāsura, the weapon called Vaiṣṇavāstra. Becoming invincible by the possession of this formidable weapon, Narakāsura became a terror to the whole world. He took away the royal umbrella of Indra, the earrings of Aditi and also many other things from heaven.
When Indra placed his problems before Śrī Kṛṣṇa and begged for his intervention, the latter invaded Prāg-jyotiṣapura, the capital of Narakāsura and killed him and his chief assistant Murāsura. He then restored all the valuable things that the demon had looted, to their rightful owners. At the request of Bhumidevī, he gave protection to Bhagadatta, son of Narakāsura, and crowned him as the king. The day on which Narakāsura was killed, is observed as the Narakacaturdaśī festival.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore