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

51 facts – Mahabharata

Krishna and Arjuna - Nar and Narayan

 Mahabharata – facts

In the epic Mahabharata, there are numerous facts which fascinates us. This is also known as pancham veda or fifth veda. Few people know that the entire epic was narrated as a flashback at the Sarpa Yagna being conducted by Janmejaya, the son of Parikshit (Abhimanyu’s son). There are interesting stories which narrate why the Sarpa Yagna had to be conducted, and who were all the people acting as catalysts for the Yagna.

Following are the 51 facts, which will surely entertain you.

Read 51 facts on the Ramayana

1. Kauravas had one sister. Her name was Dushala. She was later married to Jayadratha, who was killed by Arjuna to revenge the death of his son, Abhimanyu.

2. Abhimanyu’s wife was Uttara. His son Parikshit later on became the king.

3. Satyawati smelled like a fish. Her name was Matsyagandha. By the boon of sage Parashar, she smelled like a flower. She was also a mother of Sage Vyasa. Satyavati was the daughter of a cursed apsara named Adrika.

4. Drona was born in a vessel. He was sage Bhardwaj’s son.

5. Jarasandh was born in two halves. These two halves were fused by a rakshasi Jara, hence his name Jarasandh. Jarasandh was killed by Bheema.

Jarasandh Vadha - Bheema in Mahabharat
Jarasandh Vadha – Bheema in Mahabharat

6. Arjuna defeated the kauravas after the agyaatvaas, which included Drona, Karna and Bhishma. Uttar was his charioteer.

7.  By a boon of Gandhari, Duryodhana’s body became impregnable, save for his thighs, where, he, on advice of Shri Krishna, wore a loin cloth.

8. Bhima could only kill Duryodhana because of stroke of the genius, Shri Krishna. See this link for details. 

9. Shri Krishna did  not fight the Mahabharata war. His army Narayani vahini, was on Kaurava’s side. Duryodhan and Arjun both went to Dwarka to meet Lord Krishna to seek his support for the war. Duryodhan was first to reach Dwarka. Satyaki informed that Krishna was asleep. Both Arjun and Duryodhan entered Krishna’s room. Duryodhan who entered the room first, sat on Krishna’s bed besides his head. Arjun went to the foot of the bed and stood there with his hands folded. When Krishna woke up he saw Arjun first. But Duryodhan said that since he came first if was only fair for Krishna to support the Kauravas. However, Krishna smiled and said that since he saw Arjun first so it would only be fair if he supported both the sides. So, on one hand was his famous Narayani army and on the other hand was he alone without any weapon. Naive Duryodhana thought that Shri Krishna would not be of use and he decided to have the Narayani Army.

10. Sahadeva (the youngest Pandava) was an excellent astrologer. He knew everything about the future. He knew that a war was going to occur, but he kept silent because he was under a curse that if he revealed anything to anybody he would die. There is also a story of him being a great astrologer. Pandu (Father of Pandavas) wished his sons must eat his flesh post death so that all the knowledge may transfer to them which he had collected after so many years. Only Sahadeva ate a piece; the moment he ate, he was able to see future but stopped by God.

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11. Draupadi kept her hair untied after the cheerharan. She vowed that she will tie her hair with Dushashana’s blood. Bheem did the needful.

12. Dhritrashtra crushed the iron statue of Bheema with bare hands. Duryodhana used to practice with the replica. Shri Krishna knew that he would like to kill Bheem, so he switched their places.

13. Pandavas hid their weapons on Sami tree during the agyaatvaas.

14. Ved Vyasa was the father of Dhritrashtra, Pandu and Vidura.

15. Bhishma’s real name was Devvrata. This is because of the vow he took so that his father can marry Satyavati, he was called Bhishma.

16. Arjuna was really a eunuch during the agyaatvaas. He was known as Brihannala. Thanks to a curse from Urvashi. In Indralok, Arjun was propositioned by Urvashi, but he used to address her as ‘mother’ as she had was married to his ancestor, Pururva. Annoyed with Arjun’s rejection, Urvashi cursed him to become a eunuch.

When lord Indra came to know about the curse, he told Arjun that this curse is going to serve as a boon during the one year stay in hiding and after spending that period, he would regain his masculinity. This proved to be true  in Agyaatvaas. After spending twelve years in forest, Pandavas spent the 13th year of exile in cognito, in the court of King Virat.  Arjuna used his curse and lived as a eunuch named Brihannala and remain undetected as required by the condition of anonymity.

17. Shri Krishna forgave Shishupala hundred times before killing him.

18. Karna’s teacher was Parshurama.

Parshurama sleeping in Karna's lap
Parshurama sleeping in Karna’s lap

19. Babhruvahana killed Arjuna, his father. Arjuna’s life was restored with the help of a gem, given by Uloopi.

Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him
Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him

20. Subhadra, Chitrangada and Uloopi were wives of Arjuna. Subhadra was the sister of Shri Krishna.

Reading suggestion: Unknown facts from Mahabharata about Karna

21. Karna and Bhishma never fought together. Because Bhishma treated Karna very lowly.

22. Ghatotkacha was killed by Karna with ekaghni.

23. Karna was born with Kavach and Kundala.

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal
Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

24. Draupadi was the daughter of King Drupada. Drupada was a friend of Drona. Panadavas defeated and imprisoned Drupada.

25. Drupada desired a son who could kill Drona who had humiliated him in battle and taken half his kingdom. Dhristdyumna killed Drona in Mahabharata war.

26. Ashwaththama killed Dhristdyumna, Shikhandi and sons of Pandavas with help of Kritvarma and Kripacharya on the last night of Mahabharata war.

27. Shri Krishna cursed Ashwaththama  to be alive because of his act of cowardice.

28. Of the 100 brothers of kaurava, only Yuyutsu survived the Mahabharata war.

29. Yuyutsu had fought from Pandavas side.

30. Bheema killed all 99 brother of Kauravas.

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31. Bhishma himself told Yudhishthir that he can be defeated by a woman. Then Shikhandi came to rescue of Pandavas.

 

Bhishma Pitamah - Mahabharat - Indian mythology story
Bhishma pitamah – on bed of arrows

 

32. Drona killed Drupada.

33. Shalya was killed by Yudhishthir.

34. Shalya wanted to fight the war from Panadavas side, but Duryodhana tricked him to join the war from Kauravas. He finally became the commander, but popularly known as the sarathi of Karna.

35. Due to a boon given by Lord Shiva, Jayadratha was able to keep Pandavas away for a day. This became the reason of Abhimanyu’s demise.

36. Mahabharat war lasted for 18 days.

37. Pandavas rule was followed by their grandson, Parikshit. Pandavas son were killed by Ashwaththama during the Mahabharat war.

38. Abhimanyu learnt the trick of entering Chakravyuha, in his mother, Subhadra’s womb. Arjuna realised that she was asleep. So he did not explain the method of coming out from Chakravyuha, a skill which Abhimanyu could not learn.

39. Bhim killed Hidimb after escaping from Lakshagriha. He later married his sister, Hidimba.

40. Bhim also killed Vakasur, who ate large amount of grains and buffaloes everyday.

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41. Vidura helped Pandavas to escape from Lakshagriha.

42.  Barbari  was the grandson of Bhim. Krishna asked for his head as a gurudakshina, as it was feared that Pandavas would not be able to fulfill their vows, if he fought the Mahabharata war.

43. The Mahabharata has eighteen parvas or chapters.

44. Early life and Draupadi swayambar is written in Adi Parva.

Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat
Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat

45. The thirteenth parva of Mahabharat is Anushashana parva, where Bhishma tells Yushishthir how to conduct governance.

46. Jarasandha was killed in the same way he born, in two halves. He was killed by Bhima.

47. Kichak, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, was the brother of queen Sudeshna of King Virata, the king of Matsya. Kichak was slain by Bhima during one year of incognito exile spent by Pandavas at the court of king Virata. King Virata was killed by Drona during the great war.

Kichak and Draupadi in Mahabharat
Kichak and Draupadi in Mahabharat

48.  Killing of Kichak made Duryodhana to think that Pandavas were hiding at King Virata’s place. After all, there were very few people, who were capable of killing Kichak, Bhima was one of them.

49. After Shri Krishna’s death, Pandavas too lost their interest in life. They started their journey to heaven. All Pandavas have lost their lives during the journey. Only Yudhisthir and a dog made it to heaven. That dog was Dharmaraj.

50. Yudhisthira found his brothers in heaven.  A surprising presence there was that of Duryodhana. Narada explained to Yudhisthira that Duryodhana never showed cowardice, he had been a just and good king, he died a brave’s death that too in the holy place. That’s why he is in heaven. Surprising indeed.

51. The Mahabharat war happened because of a lady. It is believed that Draupadi addressed sons of Dhritrashtra as sons of blind. This made Duryodhana to become a staunch enemy of Pandavas.

Reading suggestion:  Test your knowledge on Mahabharat51 facts – The Ramayana

Books

An excellent book by none other than Anant Pai from Amar Chitra Katha. Third one is dedicated to the battle of Kurukshetra.

Seven little known facts from the Mahabharata (4)

Krishna in Vishwaroopa

Mahabharata, the fifth veda

The epic Mahabharata contains so much of teaching that it is considered to be the fifth veda. Following are some interesting unpopular stories involving mahabharata characters Draupadi, Drona, Karna, Jarasandha, Arjuna and of course, Shri Krishna.

Why was Drona invincible in Mahabharata war?

Drona used a weapon called brahmadanda on fifteenth day of Mahabharata war for the first time in his life. Brahmadanda was Brahmarishi Vashistha’s best weapon and it contained the spiritual powers of the 7 greatest sages (Sapta Rishis). As Drona had not imparted knowledge of this secret weapon to either Arjuna or Ashwaththama, therefore no Pandava, Yadava or Panchala could handle Drona on the 15th day of battle. Therefore the Pandavas were forced to do cheating to kill Drona.

drona-mahabharat-war-fifteenth-day-invincible
Drona on fifteenth day of mahabharat war

 

People who saw Shri Krishna in Vishwaroopa form

According to legend, Hanuman is one of the four people to have heard the Bhagwad Gita from Krishna and seen the Vishvarupa form. Other three being Arjuna, Sanjaya and Barbarika. Barbarika was the son of Ghatotkacha. He had Shri Krishna’s boon so that he could watch the Mahabharata war. When Gita was recited, Hanuman was sitting on Arjuna’s chariot and Arjuna himself, the recipient of Bhagwad Gita. At the same time, Sanjaya was narrating the mahabharata war to Dhritrashtra. He saw the divine form of Shri Krishna

Krishna in Vishwaroopa
Krishna in Vishwaroopa

 

Karna killed by Anjalika weapon

Arjuna used the weapon anjalika to behead Karna. The chariot wheel remained stuck and the curse of Parashurama ensured that Karna could not recall the mantras necessary to unleash the more powerful weapons of mass destruction. Krishna reminds Arjuna of Karna’s ruthlessness against Abhimanyu when Abhimanyu was similarly left without a chariot or weapons. All of Arjuna’s tears, pain and anger swelled up within him as he aimed the fatal shaft Anjalika at a desperate Karna and beheaded him.

Karna killed by Arjuna with weapon anjalika
Karna killed by Arjuna with weapon anjalika

Draupadi remembered her last seven births

Draupadi, one of the panchkanya’s, alongwith Kunti could remember her past lives. In an earlier birth, she made Shiva happy and asked him to grant him a boon so that her husband has fourteen qualities. He said that it is not possible to have all qualities in one fellow. She insisted and her wish was fulfilled in form of Pandavas.

Read the whole story here.

Brahma’s boon to Hanumana

Brahma givena a boon to Hanuman: “Nobody will be able to kill you with any weapon in war.” This happened when Lord Vayu decided to let people suffer in absence of air after Indra hit him with Vajra astra while Hanuman was approaching to eat sun.

Shishupala was Hiranyakashyap and Ravana in his past lives

He was killed by Dashavataras of Lord Vishnu in past lives and thus fuelling hatred for Lord. During Rajya sooya yagya, he insulted Shri Krishna. He kept silent because he has promised that he will forgive Shishupala’s hundred sins. However, as soon as the count of hundred completed, Lord killed him with the Sudarshan chakra, his favourite weapon.

Shishupala killed by shri Krishna with sudarshan chakra in mahabharat

 

Fate of Five great warriors

It is said that Bheema, Duryodhana, Keechaka, Jarasandha and Hidimbasura were born in the same cosmic phase. The five great warriors Bakasura, Bheema, Keechaka, Jarasandha and Duryodhana are all born with their fate mingled with each other. As a result of that, the first amongst the five to kill the another,will eventually kill the other three. This secret was known to Krishna alone. This is why he ensured that Bheema kills bakasura on first available opportunity. Bheema ended up killing every other warrior in Mahabharata war.

Jarasandh Vadha - Bheema in Mahabharat
Jarasandh Vadha – Bheema in Mahabharat

Kichak was making undue advances towards Draupadi and killed by Bheem in the kingdom of Virat.

kichak-draupadi-mahabharat-indian-mythology-story
Kichak and Draupadi in Mahabharata

 

Suggested reading: [button url=”http://ritsin.com/seven-unknown-facts-about-mahabharat-indian-mythology-story.html/” ]Unknown facts – 1[/button]

 

 

Interesting birth stories from Indian mythology

Birth of Rama, Pandavas, Jarasandh and others

Indian or hindu mythology talk about interesting stories of  births as well. We find instances where great characters came to earth in different way. One common way is that eating dessert or fruit results in birth of a child.
We find this once in the period of The Ramayana and once in the period of Mahabharata.

Birth of Rama (An incarnation of Vishnu Dashavatar)

Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya, has three queens but he was deprived of children. He resorted to penance and after a dedicated worship and havana, messenger of Brahma offered him divine dessert, which was supposed to give sons to Dasharatha. He distributed the dessert to his queens and they soon became pregnant and later became the proud mothers of Ram, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan. This is how, one of the dashavatars of Vishnu, Rama was born.

Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god
Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god

 

Birth of Jarasandh

Jarasandha was the king of Magadha.  Jarasandh’s father has done severe penance to get a son.  His father got a Magical mango from a sage. It was told that the his queen will get pregnant upon eating the fruit. He distributed the fruit in two halves and gave each half to his two wives. Both delivered a half of a baby , born dead.The king ordered the two halves to be thrown. A demon called Jara was wandering nearby and she noticed the pieces and joined them into one. The baby came alive. It was named as Jarasandh in the honour of the rakshasi. The boy became a very strong man. He defeated and captured 86 kings and kept them prisoner, intending to execute all of them in a sacrifice, once the number reached hundred. This will make him invincible and the ruler of world. For the success of Rajasooya yagya, Krishna, Arjuna and Bheema, went to him disguised as Brahmins and asked him to choose one of them to fight him. He rejected Shri Krishna saying that he was of inferior birth. He also denied Arjuna for a fight because he thought he was a child. He chose Bheema as he appeared suitable for a fight. The fight lasted a long time, thirteen days. Finally, acting upon Krishna’s advise, Bheema tore Jarasandha into two pieces, and tossed the pieces (cut lengthwise) facing opposite directions. This is how Jarasandha was killed in the same way he was born. Thus, as a result of killing of ruler of Magadh, Jarasandh, the path of
Rajsooya yagya was cleared. Yudhishthira later completed the Rajsooya yagya. This story is from the times of Mahabharata.

 

Birth of Drona

Drona was born in a vessel. Sage Bhardwaj produced reproductive fluid after seeing an apsara Ghritachi. He preserved this is a vessel (droon). Drona was thus developed from this fluid. Drona would later boast that he had sprung from Bharadwaja without ever having been in a womb. Even Drona’s wife, Kripi, was gestated outside a womb. Kripi and her brother Kripacharya were the children of the great archer, Shardwan. Indra felt threatened by him and sent an apsara to lose his control over his brahmacharya, thus saving his throne. This story is again from the times of Mahabharata.

Dhrishtdyumna-killing-drona-indian-mythology-mahabharat
Drona and Dhrishtdyumna – Mahabharat

 

Birth of Kauravas

Few people know that Kauravas birth was unnatural as well. Gandhari longed for hundred sons, and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. She was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a
hundred and one pieces, and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl, Dushala.

birth-kaurava-gandhari-mahabharat-indian-mythology
Gandhari and Kauravas – birth – Mahabharat – Indian Mythology

 

Birth of Karna and Pandavas

Kunti was the mother of first three pandavas. When she was young, the sage Durvasa told her a mantra with which Kunti could summon any deva and have a child by him. When Kunti asked why he gave her this mantra, he told her that it would be useful to her later in life. Kunti, out of curiosity tried the mantra before her marriage and became the mother of  Karna. She had to let her son go and he was brought up by Adhirath.

Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away
Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away

Later, after marriage, she bore three more sons and shared the mantra with Madri, who became the mother of Nakula and Sahdev.

pandavas-draupadi-mahabaharat-indian-mythology
Pandavas and Draupadi

What Arjuna gave to his teacher as Gurudakshina?

Arjuna’s gurudakshina to his teacher

One wonders that what kind of gurudakshina Arjuna offered to his teacher, Drona. Drona gone to great lengths to ensure that Arjuna becomes  the best archer in the world. We find only one story, and that too was a gurudakhina by all pandavas, when the captured Drupad, once a close friend of Drona. Drona returned his half kingdom and kept half for himself. Probably, the gurudakshina was to fight his teacher in the battle of Mahabharat. Arjuna, after Shri Krishna’s advise, fought with his Guru, Drona alongwith Bhishma and others.

Going back to the question, why was Arjuna so blessed that everyone worked for his cause. We know for sure that Karna was better, but we also know that, he was on the wrong side. But what was the problem with Ekalvya? We don’t know of any wrongdoing done by him, yet Drona, his “teacher”, wanted his thumb.

But why thumb, he could have asked straightaway that Ekalavya should leave archery. Why the poor soul has to loose a limb? Why was Drona so cruel to him? We will never get an answer to this, but one thing is certain, Indian culture may be famous for the pupils showing respect for their teacher, but here we find that teacher has not set a good example.

ekalavya-drona-mahabharat-teacher-gurudakshina-indian-mythology
Ekalavya practicing archery with the idol of Drona in Mahabharat

There is not enough information that what gurudakshina Bheeshma has given to his teachers, Parshuram and Brihaspati, but his character is such that he would not have missed this.

In another incident involving teacher and pupil,  Shri Krishna has asked Barbarik to give his head as gurudakshina, which he promptly obliged. He had three arrows, who had the power to defeat anyone in the world. Before decapitating himself, Barbarik told Krishna of his great desire to view the forthcoming battle and requested him to facilitate the same.

Krishna agreed and placed the head on top of a hill overlooking the battlefield. From the hill, the head of Barbarika watched the entire battle. Barbarik is also known as khatushyam jee. Barbarik is one of the three persons who has watched Shri Krishna in his virat avatar. Others are Sanjay and Arjuna.

barbarika-mahabharat-shri-krishna-indian-mythology-story-gurudakshina-teacher
Barbarika giving his head in Gurudakshina to Shri Krishna in Mahabharat

Shri Krishna was fortunate, as he had the powers to bring back his teacher, Sage Sandipani’s son. Imagine, if he was asked for his finger, then who would have wielded the Sudarshan chakra?

Seven little known facts from the Mahabharata (2)

gandhari-mahabharat-indian-mythology

Yudhishthira’s Chariot in Mahabharata war

Yudhishthira has never lied in life save for one incident. Due to this, his chariot always floated a few inches above the ground. At the Mahabharat War, he told a half lie that “aswathama hatha kunjara” which led to Drona’s demise.

Bhima kills Ashwaththama, the elephant
Bhima kills Ashwaththama, the elephant

As a result of this, his feet and chariot, both descended to the ground immediately in the war of Mahabharat. Here one should note, that Yudhisthira could not  tell a lie.  Because, he is a man who has never ever lied in his life.  But on the instructions of Lord Krishna ( Krishna tells Yudhishthira: “Under such circumstances, falsehood is preferable to truth. By telling a lie to save a life, one is not touched by sin” ) he utters a half truth, and no sooner he utters “aswathama hatha kunjara” both  Yudhisthira’s feet and chariot descend to the ground immediately.  But did Yudhisthira utter a false-hood?  Technically no but his convincing Drona was tantamount to telling a lie.  That is why the chariot of Yudhishthra which used to always float in the air and never touch the ground falls to the ground after this lie.

yudhishthira

Birth of Drona

The son of Rishi Bharadwaja, it is widely believed that Drona was not conceived in the womb of any woman, but in the Droon, a vessel made of clay.   In fact the modern day Dehradoon, is closely associated with Drona because it is said that the place where Drona was born, came to be known as Dehradoon. And the land which King Dhritarashtra, donated to Drona, is known as Guru(ka) Gaon- the modern  day Gurgaon. As Drona was not conceived in a womb, there is no mother to him.

Drona and Ekalavya

Brihannala – The eunuch

During their Vanvasa, the pandavas were required to spent one year in disguise. Arjuna spent this period as an eunuch and he was indeed an eunuch during this period. This was due to a curse from and apsara, who became very angry with Arjuna when he was learning Divyastras as he rejected citing her as his mother. After the intervention of Devas, he was allowed to practice this whenever he wanted to practice eunuchness. This helped him in agyatvaas where he spent his time as a eunuch preceding to Mahabharata war.

Arjuna as Brihannala
Arjuna as Brihannala

Danveer Karna

Karna never turned away anyone in his life. He gave his Kavach and Kundal to Indra which ultimately led to his demise despite knowing that the beggar was Lord Indra. He was even tested of this virtue on his death bed when he was asked for alms. His teeth were of gold and he readily given them to the bhagwan who came to him as a beggar. Karna was the most tested character in Mahabharata but he never failed. This is the reason he commands respect.

Five sons of Kunti – Karna’s greatness

This tale tells about Karna’s greatness once again. He promised Kunti before the mahabharata war that she will have five sons. He had the chance to kill all the four pandavas save Arjun. but he let them go because of his promise to Kunti. Eventually he died of when and Arjuna killed him when he was trying to extricate the wheels of his chariot. Thus, the most deserving warrior of Mahabharata met his death.

Bhishma made Krishna break his promise

Shri Krishna vowed that he would not use any weapon and not fight in the battle of Mahabharata. Bheeshma fought with such ferociousness that Krishna got hold of a chariot’s wheel and charged after Bheeshma. Seeing this, Bheeshma put his bow and arrow down and Krishna also realized his mistake.

Karna as ardharathi

Bhishma never liked Karna and used to rebuke him saying that he is an Ardharathi. Karna hence decided not to fight the war under his leadership. Only after when Bhishma was incapacitated, Karna fought the Mahabharata war as Duryodhana’s commander.