The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya. My question is about Pillai Lokacharya. In his Prapanna Paritrana, Pillai Lokacharya discusses the importance of Sharanagati or complete surrender to Vishnu, because he is the only adequate protector in the Universe. Pillai Lokacharya explains why Devas are not adequate protectors:

But what about Indra, Brahma and Rudra? an objector may ask. The answer is: it is too true that Indra is the ruler of the three regions, and yet it is too well-known how he is in constant fear of losing this high estate. He is often curse-stricken, pays the penalty, by suffering for Brahmicide, is bound as a captive by Indrajit and allows his sway to get into the hands of such beings as Mahabali. Such then is Indra, weeping and crawling in the dust.

Brahma is no better, for he is assailed by such evil genii as Madhu and Kaitabha, and is deprived of his Vedas which to him are his "eyes and treasure". And his head he allows to be ripped by Rudra.

Nor again is Rudra any better. For he is to begin with the Destroyer par excellence. Water is wished for by the thirsty, but Rudra of the fire-colour offers himself to such thirsty (worshippers of his) as fire! He exacts horrid offerings from his devotees, by saying: "Kill for me, roast for me." Banasura was his votary - so much so that Rudra pledged himself to guard him so that even "the flower he wore on his head should not fade." But when Krishna was hacking Bana's arms as if they were so many cactus-stems, the boasted guardian Rudra shut his eyes and slipped away from his ward, uttering: "If life is spared, I can live by selling salt." Again he, a sinner, cut the throat of Brahma, the guide of the worlds, his own father; and wandered about after such acts of treason in his own house, with the skull of his victim fast clinging to his hand, from door to door, in search of a saviour.

Most of these incidents are recognizable; there's Indra killing Vritrasura, Indra being captured by Indrajit, Indra losing his kingdom to Mahabali, Brahma getting the Vedas stolen by Madhu and Kaitabha, Shiva carrying Brahma's head as Kala Bhairava, and Krishna and Shiva fighting in the story of Banasura. But I'm interested in the part in bold. My question is, what scriptures describe Shiva discussing living by selling salt while Krishna was cutting off Banasura's thousand arms?

Are these words mentioned in either the Bhagavatam or the Harivamsa? And what do they mean, anyway? Why salt of all things?

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    Whoa Pillai Lokacharya is not polite – Surya Apr 25 '18 at 4:09
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    I think it is a metaphor. – Sarvabhouma Apr 25 '18 at 4:37
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    @Surya Haha, that's just due to the depth of his devotion. It's also worth noting that the principle of Nahi Ninda Nyaya is applicable here. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 25 '18 at 6:55
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    @Keshav But Nahi ninda nyaya involves glorification without derogation of the other means. Here there is clearly some sort of criticism involved. – Surya Apr 25 '18 at 10:08
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    To term this question as "off-topic" is to take a very narrow view of Hinduism. As any student of history would know that during the early centuries of CE - hinduism was relegated to a secondary religion due to widespread preaching of the gospel of Mahavira and Buddha. It was only in the 7th century CE and later that Hindu revivalism occurred. And at that time the two sects Shaivism and Vaishnavism was at each others throat. Pillai Lokacharya was a product of his time and one should look at his sayings dispassionately. Keshav's question is valid and pertains to Hinduism. – Suresh Ramaswamy Apr 26 '18 at 1:57

I found the answer in this commentary on the Prapanna Paritrana:

In the end, Banasuran's hands were cut by Krishna. Krishna purposefully left few heads and hands for him so that he can perform his pitru karma. Also, he had already promised to Prahlada that he will not kill anyone in his vamsa. This act of cutting the hands was compared by Swamy Pillai Lokachayar to cutting down the cactus plant. Looking at the situation of the asura, rudran and his relatives ran for their life so that they could enjoy some pleasure by being alive. Even during the escape time, rudran wanted to hide his third eye with the thought that none could recognise him.

So it's not that Shiva mentioned something about salt. Rather, Pillai Lokacharyan is using that example as a way of illustrating Shiva's motivation.

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