Seven little known facts of Bhima

Bhima – a wise person

Contray to belief that he was strong and could be easily provoked, few of  know that he was a level headed person and he had a good sense of good and bad. Following are the few stories which uncover a part of him, which is sensitive. Read on.

Airavat – The vehicle of Indra danced to the tunes of Bhima

One of the exploits of Bhima was to bring Airavat, the vehicle of Indra from heaven. Once, a ritual was to be performed by Kunti and Gandhari, which required Airavat to be present.

Airawat - The vehicle of Indra
Airawat – The vehicle of Indra

Kauravas made the elephant out of mud and performed the ritual but Bhima brought original Airawat to do the ritual. Arjuna facilitated by making a path of arrows from heaven to earth.
Bhima then starts his way and fights with the elephant and brings it down to earth. Kunti, thus performed the ritual with grandeur as compared to kauravas.

Humble Bhima

Perhaps the strongest person in the world at that point of time, but he was humility personified. When Shri Krishna asked them to provide an account of their powers, Bhima was most modest. Shri Krishna later told him that actually he was thousand times more accomplished than what he thinks of himself.

The greatest praise to him comes from Duryodhana. He names Bhima, Balarama, Keechaka and Shalya as the best warriors and the strongest. He named Bhima as the first person.

The righteous Bhima

He was not only the strongest person on earth, he had the measure of good and bad and was never afraid of saying the right things. During the game of dice, Bhima is the one who opposed the whole incident.

Yudhishthira playing Dice game
Yudhishthira playing Dice game

He rebukes Yudhishthira for getting into the game by suggesting that his hands should be burnt. When Arjuna tells him that he cannot do that to his older brother, Bhima reveals to everyone the Dharma that when elders commit mistakes, younger ones have to make it known and that mere mentioning of a punishment is enough and actual execution is not required. Thus Bhima punishes Yudhishthira for wrong doing, which is commendable and shows that he had an astute mind. He later on vowed to break Duryodhana’s thighs and drink blood from Dushashana’s heart.

Escape from Lakshagriha would not have possible without him

While Pandavas were trying to escape Lakshagriha, there was a long tunnel made which connected the palace to the outer world. The path was long and could have tired all the Pandavas while escaping. The mighty Bhima, carried all pandavas and his mother on his soldiers and took them to safety. His strength and power indeed came handy while escaping Lakshagriha.

Pandavas escaping from Lakshagriha
Pandavas escaping from Lakshagriha

He left his wife for his brothers and mother

While Pandavas escaped the fire of Lakshagriha, they were spending time in a forest. That forest was the abode of demon Hidimb and his sister, Hidimba. When Hidimb came to know about the five brothers and their mother, He ordered Hidimba to make kill the pandavas as they will become his food. As Bhima was guarding Pandavas, Hidimba could not do as instructed. Enraged, Hidimb himself ventured out in quest of human flesh, but was duly killed by Bhima.
After killing Hidimb, Bhima wanted to kill Hidimba too as he thought that she might want to avenge her brother’s death. But the almighty has other ideas. Hidimba was attracted to Bhima and wanted to marry, but he declines, as he did not want to be away from his brothers. Hidimba then begged Kunti to allow Bhima to marry her as she was deeply in love with him and also because she was all alone now. After pondering for a while, Kunti ordered Bhima to marry Hidimba. Bhima reluctantly agreed on the condition that he could leave her once she bore a child with him. She agreed and they got married. Within a year, Hidimba gave birth to a son and Bhima left her to be with his brothers.

 

Kichaka’s, the mighty warrior punished for untowards advances towards Draupadi

Another deed of Bhima was of killinh of Kichaka. Kichaka was the commander of Matsya desh, where pandavas were hiding in agyaatvaas. Once he rteurns fromthe war and gets attracted to Draupadi, who eas acting as sairandhri. Against the advise of queen. he starts to make improper advances towrds her. In dire need of help, Bhimasena comes to her rescue. Draupadi calls Kichaka in a forest there Bhima was waiting for him.. Afetr a great fight. kichaka was killed by Bhima. He had 105 brothers, who wanted to burn Draupadi alongwith their brother, they also met the same fate as of Kichaka.

Bhima killing Kichaka
Bhima killing Kichaka

Bhima’s family and wives

Besides Draupadi, Bhima had two more wives. One was the demon Hidimba, who had a son called Ghatotkacha. He played an important role in the Kurukshetra war. From Draupadi, he begotten a son called Sutasoma. Third of his wives was Balandhara, who was the daughter of ruler of Kashi. His name was Satsoma. He later became the King of Kashi. This is notable that he did not ascend to the throne after Yudhishthira despite being elder to Parikshit. Ghatotkacha and Sutasoma have both died in the war of Mahabharata.

Eighteen days of Mahabharata war

Shri Krishna challenging Bhishma in the war of Kurukshetra

 Mahabharata war which lasted eighteen days

In the context of Mahabharata, eighteen is an important number. Duryodhana had 11 akshouhini soldiers and Pandavas had 7, making a total of eigtheen. There are eighteen chapters in the epic and last but not the least, the war has lasted for exactly eighteen days.

 

Mahabharata war
Mahabharata war

Day One and Two – The Grandsire’s amazing skills on display

Uttara and Sweta, sons of Virata, were killed on day one of Mahabharata war. Shalya killed Uttara and Bhishma killed Sweta. This day belonged to Kauravas. Second day belonged to Pandavas and Satyaki killed Bhishma’s charioteer. Bhishma dazzled in kurukshetra and Yudhishthira was forced to thinking that how would they conquer this army which has warriors like Bhishma.

Uttara - prince of Virata
Uttara – prince of Virata

Day Three – Day Eight (Bhima kills few Kauravas)

On day three, Bhishma killed many soldiers of Pandava army.  On fourth day, Bhima killed eight brothers of Duryodhana. Day eight spelled some misery for pandavas, as Arjuna’s son Iravan was killed.

Day Ten (Bhishma’s downfall)

On ninth day, Shri Krishna lost his patience and intended to attack Bhishma. Bhishma so far was proving too much for pandavas army, but Arjuna pacified him. He devises a strategy to cause Bhishma’s downfall. Interestingly, the secret of his downfall was given by Bhishma only. This was made possible by Shikhandi facing him and Arjuna using Shikhandi as shield. (Tenth day). Pandava’s chances only improved after Bhishma was removed from the equation.

Indian mythology story from Mahabharat
Bhishma on his death bed
Bhishma downfall
Bhishma’s  downfall

Day Twelve and Thirteen – Chakravyuha formation and death of Abhimanyu

On Twelfth day, Susharma engaged Arjuna. Susharma was part of the Duryodhana’s plan to capture Yudhishthir to win the war. On thirteenth day, while Arjuna was fighting Bhagdatta and Susharma, Drona made Chakravyuha formation. Nobody in pandavas knew the key to this apart from Arjuna. Abhimanyu knew how to enter but did not know how to come out of it. Once he entered, Jayadrath ensured that no pandava could follow him. Trapped, Abhimanyu fought valiantly before dying in hands of son of Dushasana, Durmashana.

 

Abhimanyu in Mahabharata war, he was killed on thirteenth day
Abhimanyu fought valiantly

Abhimanyu killed Brihadbala. He also defeated Duryodhana but let him live because Bhima was under oath to kill him. Seeing this, Karna snaps Abhimanyu’s bow from behind while Drona kills Abhimanyu’s horses and charioteer from the front. Then all Kauravas attacked him simultaneously. Dushasana’s son crushed his skull with a mace. However, Abhimanyu killed him with his own mace before dying. He also killed more than half akshouhini’s of Kaurava’s that day.

Jayadratha killed by Arjuna
Jayadratha killed by Arjuna

Day Fourteen and Fifteen – When Arjuna was close to death and Yudhishthrira spoke a half lie

Next day (fourteenth), Arjuna kills 5 Akshouhini’s of Kauravas and Jayadrath after coming to touching distance of death. This could have doomed pandava’s chances of winning the battle had Krishna not intervened. Karna kills Ghatotkacha with Indrastra, this again ensures that one more factor of  Arjuna’s death is taken care of. Satyaki killed Bhurisravas.

on Day fifteen, Drupad and Virata were killed by Drona. This was indeed Drona’s day, as he was decimating pandava’s army with the help of brahmadanda. Bhima killed an elephant, named Ashwaththama, and claimed that Drona’s son was killed. Drona dropped his arms after Yudhishthira confirmed this and was killed by Dhristdyumna.

Dhrishtdyumna killing Drona (The Teacher) in the battle of Mahabharat
Dhrishtdyumna killing Drona (The teacher of princes) in the battle of Mahabharat on day fifteen

Day Sixteen and Seventeen

On sixteenth day, Dushashana was killed by Bhima. Bhima tore his arm and drank the blood from his heart. Draupadi could finally tie her hairs with the blood from Dushashana’s heart.

Day seventeenth saw the demise of Karna in hands of Arjuna. He was killed in the same way as Abhimanyu, helpless. Earlier that day, Karna spared Sahdev and Arjuna. Nakula, the most handsome of kuru clan, killed Shakuni’s son Uluka. He took this oath during the gambling loss of killing Uluka. Nakula also killed three of Karna sons, Chitrasena, Sushena and Satyasena. Shalya became the commander of Kaurava’s army on seventeenth day of Mahabharat war.

Karna's chariot stuck in mud
Karna’s chariot stuck in mud

Final Day – Eighteenth day of Mahabharata war

On final (eighteenth) day, Shalya,  who acted as the charioteer of Karna, was killed by Yudhishthir.  There was a strange ability to him that he would grew more stronger in a battle as the aggression of his enemies grew. Only Yudhishthir could kill the powerful warrior because the eldest Pandava was not a man of aggression. Sahdev killed Shakuni to avenge the events which followed dice game. Seeing his eminent defeat, Duryodhana sought refuge in a lake. Pandavas found him there and Yudhisthira made a mistake. He offered Duryodhana to pick any of the Pandavas for a duel. Duryodhana chose Bhima. Balrama also watched this great duel between strength and agility. Bhima finally breaks Duryodhana thighs which enrages Balrama as this was against the rules of the war. Incidentally, Bhima vowed after the dice game that he would break Duryodhana’s thighs.

Bhima and Duryodhana - Mahabharata (eighteenth day)
Bhima and Duryodhana – Mahabharata (eighteenth day)

The night of shame – Ashwaththama’s misdeeds

Later in the night, Ashwaththama slays sons of Pandavas while they were sleeping. He also kills Shikhandi and Dhrishtadyumna. Dhrishtadyumna was the commander of Pandavas that day. He also attempted to kill unborn son of Abhimanyu who was saved by Shri Krishna. Ashwaththama was later cursed by Shri Krishna. Ashwaththama was supported by Kritvarma and Kripacharya.

Draupadi’s secret longing for another man

Mahabharata  stories

A tale of two brothers – Bhima and Hanumana

 When Bhima was humbled

There is an interesting story from Mahabharata about Bhima and Hanumana. This may sound strange but Bhima and Lord Hanumana can be termed as brothers, as they both are born to Lord Pawan, the god of winds. While Hanumana was a constant companion of Lord Rama in treta yuga, Shri Krishna was in company of Arjuna, Bhima’s brother, in the Mahabharata.

When Arjuna was away

Arjuna, the third pandava, had gone to the Himalayas in quest of great weapons from Indra. In case of a war, he would have to face great warriors like Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Karna  many more. And it was necessary to acquire more skill and power. The other four pandavas and Draupadi found life devoid of joy in his absence. Desiring a change in life, they moved in search of  a more peaceful place.
At last they came to the Narayanasrama forest. They decided to take rest and stay there for some time.

The flower and request to Bhima by Draupadi

One day, the wind placed a flower near Draupadi. The sweet scent of the flower mesmerized Draupadi. Draupadi felt a deep desire to possess that flower known as Saugandhika. She requested Bhima to get her that flower.  Bhima agreed to to satisfy her desire. He set out in the direction from which  the  fragrance came.

Bhima meets the monkey

On way to the flower, Bhima found an old monkey resting on the path. He asked the monkey to give him way as he was obstructing his path. In reply, the monkey politely declines saying that he was old and weak. Bhima got angry and said that he was talking the greatest mace warrior and possesses great power.  The monkey replies that if he has such strength, why don’t he himself make way by moving the monkey.
Bhima and Hanumana
Bhima and Hanumana

Bhima humbled

Bhima, out of pride and confidence,  Bhima tried  to pull the monkey’s tail aside .But he could  not move it even  a little bit. He put all his might in the endeavor, but to no avail. He was all perspiration. In spite of his best efforts,  he  could not move the tail. As such the question of challenging this monkey for a show of strength did not arise. He felt very humiliated and subdued. He told  the monkey “You are no ordinary monkey. Please tell me who you are. I accept defeat  and bow to you”.

The monkey tells about himself

Now, smilingly, the old monkey tells that he is Hanuman, his brother, who crossed the ocean in search of Sita. He said –I am your brother. Your path  ahead is perilous. It is the path of the gods and is not safe for men. So I came to  caution  you. I knew you have come to collect the  Saugandhika flower. I shall show you the pond, where this  flower grows. You can  collect as many as you want and go back. Bhima was happy. He bowed to Hanumana and requested him  to show his huge form in which he jumped over the sea, one hundred yojanas wide, to land on Lanka.

Lord Hanumana shows his virata form

Hanumana increased his size till he seemed to occupy  the whole landscape, like a hill.  His form was dazzlingly white, so Bhima had to cover his eyes . Resuming his normal form, Hanuman embraced  Bhima and blessed him. He also assured him  “When you roar like a lion on the battle field, my voice shall join yours and strike terror in the hearts of your enemies. I will be there on the flag of the chariot of Arjuna .You will be victorious”. With Hanuman’s embrace, Bhima’s strength also increased. Hanuman wanted to free his brother Bhima from his ego and to give him greater  strength to fight his enemies.
Hanuman shows his true form
Hanuman shows his true form

 

 

Hanumanchatti
Hanumanchatti

Marriage of Bhima and Hidimba – The Mahabharata

 Hidimba and Bhima

After Pandavas fled from the fire of Lakshagriha, the came to a forest. After walking for hours, they came to the part of the forest where a demon named Hidimb and his sister Hidimba lived.

The forest

Hidimb was a ferocious demon with a great appetite for human flesh. He sensed very soon that Pandavas were available for a great feast. He sent her sister ahead to Pandavas.

Hidimba and Bhima
Hidimba and Bhima

Hidimb sends Hidimba

Pandavas were sleeping and Bhima was awake looking for any troubles. Hidimba comes along and forgets immediately about the work assigned to her.

She fells in love with Bhima and she assumed the form of a very beautiful lady, approached Bhima and expressed her desire to marry him. She also revealed her true identity and her brother’s intentions.

Fight between Bhima and Hidimb

When Hidimba did not return for a long time, Hidimb went looking for her and saw her talking to Bhima. “I sent you to kill the human and you are talking to him. I will kill him myself.” Saying so, he attacked Bhima. A fierce fight followed and ended with Bhima killing Hidimb.

fight between hidimb and bhima
fight between hidimb and bhima

Proposal of marriage

After the death of her brother, Hidimba wanted to marry Bhima. Bhima refused and wanted to kill Hidimba as well, but Kunti interfered.

Condition by Kunti

 

kunti and hidimba
kunti and hidimba

Kunti’s acceded to Hidimba’s proposal, but on one condition. Once She had a child from Bhima, She must allow Bhima to leave her and join Pandavas.

Bhima’s condition

Bhima agrees to marry her, on one condition. “I will spend my time with you during the day, but I must return to my mother and brothers at nightfall. You may join us in our journey

Marriage of Bhima and Hidimba

Hidimbi happily agrees and they marry immediately. True to his word, Bhima spends every day with Hidimbi. She takes him wherever he desires and they have a wonderful, magical time together. Promptly at dusk, Bhima returns to the rest of the Pandava clan to spend the hours of the night.

Birth of Ghatotkacha

Within a year, Hidimbi gives birth to a huge half-rakshasa son, who is named Ghatotkacha, because his bald head looks like a pot. Ghatotkacha greatly loves the Pandavas and they are enamored with him.

bhima hidimba and ghatotkacha
bhima hidimba and ghatotkacha

Ghatotkacha went on to become a great warrior and an important figure in the Mahabharata war. A master wizard and sorcerer, Lord Krishna gave him a boon that no one in the world would be able to match his sorcery skills except Krishna himself.

Duryodhana’s moment of greatness or Yudhishthir’s moment of madness

Weakness of Yudhishthira in mahabharata

Probably Yudhishthira had a tendency to blow it all when he was very close to achieving. He first blew it for Pandavas when he agreed to play the dice, A game which he did not know how to play. Again, there was a moment on eighteenth day of Mahabharata war, when Yudhishthira offered Duryodhana to chose any of the pandavas for one on one.

At that point of time, pandavas were the clear winners of Mahabharata, having killed all kauravas except Duryodhana. They have also succesfully neutralized Bhishma, Drona and Karna earlier. Bhima had fulfilled his vow of drinking Dushashna’s blood from his heart. Draupadi has also tied her hair after they were wet with the blood brought by Bhima.

 

Bhima with his mace
Bhima with his mace

 

On the fateful day seeing the eminent defeat, Duryodhana fled from Kurukshetra. He took refuge in a lake called Dwaipayana. Yudhishthira challenged him to come out and be brave. He also offered him to chose any of the brothers for  fight and if he defeats in the duel, then the kingdom is his. Shri Krishna got worried, but luckily for pandavas,  Duryodhana chose Bhima.

Both warriors possessed exceptional physical strength and had trained under Balarama in mace fighting and wrestling to the same level of prowess. Duryodhana was more agile,nimble but Bhima had more strength. After a long and brutal battle, Duryodhana begins to exhaust Bhima.

Duryodhana and Bhima in duel
Duryodhana and Bhima in duel

Duryodhana managed to struck Bhima, which rendered him unconscious. Bhima looked toward Shri Krishna and he pointed towards his thighs. Bhima understood and soon obliged. Balrama became furious as it was against the rules of the  war.Shri Krishna intervenes, but Mahabharata war was practically over by now.

Duryodhana and Krishna
Duryodhana and Krishna

Duryodhana dies slowly, and is cremated by the Pandavas. When Yudhisthira himself ascends to Swarga, he sees Duryodhana there upon a throne. He is angry that Duryodhana is enjoying a place in heaven despite his sins, but Indra explains to him that he had served his time in hell, and had also been a good and powerful king.

Revenges by Pandavas

Revenges in Mahabharata

Revenge has been indeed a common occurence in Mahabharata. We find that all pandavas have some scores to settle. Interestingly, we do not find any incidents of revenge involving Yudhishthira.

Revenge of Draupadi

The incident of Draupadi cheer haran made lot of people opting for revengeful vows. The first and most important is of Draupadi’s, who decided to keep her hairs open until they are washed with blood of Dushashana’s heart. This way, she ensured that this insult is not forgotten with time. Acoordingly, when Bhima kills Dushasana he brings a handful of Dushasana’s blood and colours Draupadi’s hair with it. Bhima killed Dushashana during the battle of Mahabharat and drank his blood. He also brought some of the blood for Draupadi, who finally ties her hair.

Draupadi's untidy hair in Mahabharata
Draupadi’s untidy hair in Mahabharata

Bhima took couple of vows to take revenge from the people who berated Draupadi. His first vow was to drink Dushashana’s blood.

His second vow was to break Duryodhana thighs. Because during the cheer haran, Duryodhana asked to her to sit on his thighs, and Bhima vowed that he would take this revenge by breaking those thighs. This is a fascinating aspect of Mahabharata as this fits perfectly with Duryodhana’s only vulnerability.

Bhima also killed Kichak as he was tormenting Draupadi (Sairandhri).

Duryodhana also made Pandavas to act as his servant. Pandavas took off their upper garments as they have lost their freedom to Duryodhana and became his servant.

Revenge of Sahdev

Sahdev, the youngest of Pandavas, vowed to kill Shakuni after the episode of cheerharan when he cheated them in the game of dice.

Game of dice
Game of dice

He held Shakuni responsible and took his revenge on seventeenth day of Mahabharata war by killing Shakuni.

Sahdev killing Shakuni in Mahabharata
Sahdev killing Shakuni in Mahabharata

Revenge of Arjuna

Following the death of Abhimanyu, Arjuna vowed to kill Jayadratha as he was responsible for holding pandavas back. Kauravas did an excellent job as they protected Jayadrath. This was the sure shot way to victory, as in absence of Arjuna, panadava will be rendered weak. Shri Krishna used his skills to hide the sun and rest is history.

 

Jayadratha killed by Arjuna
Jayadratha killed by Arjuna

Revenge of Shakuni

This may not be a well written fact, but it was true that Shakuni left his kingdom and came to live with his sister for a purpose. Since his sister Gandhari was married to a blind, and she also chose to remain blindfolded, a brother was sure to exact revenge. This was debatable what he wanted, but he surely was instrumental for causing the war of mahabharata.

 

Yudhishthira lost himself and his brothers in the dice game. He also lost Draupadi
Shakuni playing game of dice