Mahabharat – names of 100 Kauravas

It was indeed tough for Dhritrashtra and Gandhari to name their hundred sons. Beside this, they had a daughter as well. Following are the names of them.

  1. Duryodhana
  2. Dussaasana
  3. Dussaha
  4. Dussalan
  5. Jalagandha
  6. Sama
  7. Saha
  8. Vindha
  9. Anuvindha
  10. Durdharsha
  11. Subaahu
  12. Dushpradharsha
  13. Durmarshana
  14. Durmukha
  15. Dushkarna
  16. Vikarna
  17. Sala
  18. Sathwan
  19. Sulochan
  20. Chithra
  21. Upachithra
  22. Chithraaksha
  23. Chaaruchithra
  24. Saraasana
  25. Durmada
  26. Durvigaaha
  27. Vivilsu
  28. Vikatinanda
  29. Oornanaabha
  30. Sunaabha
  31. Nanda
  32. Upananda
  33. Chithrabaana
  34. Chithravarma
  35. Suvarma
  36. Durvimocha
  37. Ayobaahu
  38. Mahabaahu
  39. Chithraamga
  40. Chithrakundala
  41. Bheemavega
  42. Bheemabela
  43. Vaalaky
  44. Belavardhana
  45. Ugraayudha
  46. Sushena
  47. Kundhaadhara
  48. Mahodara
  49. Chithraayudha
  50. Nishamgy
  51. Paasy
  52. Vrindaaraka
  53. Dridhavarma
  54. Dridhakshathra
  55. Somakeerthy
  56. Anthudara
  57. Dridhasandha
  58. Jaraasandha
  59. Sathyasandha
  60. Sadaasuvaak
  61. Ugrasravas
  62. Ugrasena
  63. Senaany
  64. Dushparaaja
  65. Aparaajitha
  66. Kundhasaai
  67. Visaalaaksha
  68. Duraadhara
  69. Dridhahastha
  70. Suhastha
  71. Vaathavega
  72. Suvarcha
  73. Aadithyakethu
  74. Bahwaasy
  75. Naagadatha
  76. Ugrasaai
  77. Kavachy
  78. Kradhana
  79. Kundhy
  80. Bheemavikra
  81. Dhanurdhara
  82. Veerabaahu
  83. Alolupa
  84. Abhaya
  85. Dhridhakarmaavu
  86. Dhridharathaasraya
  87. Anaadhrushya
  88. Kundhabhedy
  89. Viraavy
  90. Chithrakundala
  91. Pradhama
  92. Amapramaadhy
  93. Deerkharoma
  94. Suveeryavaan
  95. Dheerkhabaahu
  96. Sujaatha
  97. Kaanchanadhwaja
  98. Kundhaasy
  99. Virajass
  100. Yuyutsu
  101. Dussala (Daughter)

Stories of Boon in Indian mythology

 Stories of Boons from Indian Mythology

In Indian mythology, especially in times of Mahabharat and The Ramayana, we find many interesting stories related to boons. These boons were awarded by gods and sages to their devotees.  The devotees  performed penance so that they can be granted boons. Following are the narratives of some of the famous boons.

 The boon (or curse) of Ashwaththama

 It is believed that Ashwaththama had a boon from his father Drona, that he would not die. Another account say that he was cursed by Shri Krishna to live in seclusion till the end of Kalyuga. This is because he targeted Parikshit in an attempt to render the Pandavas heirless.

Ashwaththama firing the dreaded weapon

In Mahabharat war, Ashwaththama using the powerful weeapon – Brahmashira

The boon of Bhishma

Bhishma had a similar boon to choose his own death. His father Shantanu bestowed this boon to him after he declared that he will never marry, so that Satyavati’s sons can become the ruler of the kingdom. Before that, he also forgone the throne, which was rightfully his.

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Bhishma taking oath for being unmarried – Bhishma Pratigya

The boon (or curse) of Kumbhakarna

 Kumbhakarna pleased Brahma and intended to ask the throne of Indra as a boon. But Indra asked Saraswati to help him. So instead of asking “Indraasana” (seat of Indra), he asked for “Nidraasana” (bed for sleeping). It is also said he intended to ask for Nirdevatvam (annihilation of the Devas), and instead asked for Nidravatvam (sleep). His request was granted. But his brother Ravana asked Brahma to undo this boon as it was in reality a curse. So Kumbhakarna slept, and was awake for six months, when he ate everything in the vicinity, including humans.

Boon of fragrance to Satyavati by Parashar

Satyavati, the mother of author of Mahabharat, Ved Vyasa smelled like a fish. Sage Parashar saw her once and got smitten by her beauty and proposed her. Satyavati put forth couple of conditions, one of them was that she should get rid of the smell from her body. Parashar told her that this would be fulfilled and instead of the smell, a fragrance will emanate from her body which can be sensed miles away.

Vyasa boon to Gandhari for hundred sons.
Ved vyasa has told Gandhari that she would be a mother of hundred sons. These sons were born from a lump of mass which gandhari gave birth to after pregnancy of two years. Ved Vyasa cut them into pieces and put them into jars. With time they came out as sons of gandhari thus making his boon true.

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Gandhari mourning the death of her son – Mahabharat

The boon of Vali
Vali was famous for the boon from lord Shiva, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight when Vali was doing his regular Sandhyavandanam. He took Ravana in his tail and took him around all the world. He was killed by Rama, when Sugriva was fighting with him.

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Battle between Vali and Sugriva – Rama about to kill Vali

The boon of Jayadratha

Jayadratha had been enslaved by the Pandavas as a punishment for trying to kidnap Draupadi. Enraged, Jayadratha had performed penances to please Lord Shiva who granted him the boon that he would be able to overpower all the Pandavas except Arjuna on one day in battle. Abhimanyu entered the Chakravyuha and the Pandavas tried to follow him but Jayadratha single handedly held them all back and Abhimanyu, unaided, was killed in the Chakravyuha.

The boon of Bhasmasur

Bhasmasur obtained a boon from Lord Shiva that anything will turn into ashes, if he put his hand. He tried to test his boon on Lord Shiva only. Lord Vishnu came to his rescue and saved Lord Shiva from Bhasmasur.

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Danveer Karna – indian mythology – Mahabharata

Stories related to Danveer Karna  from Mahabharata

Karna is known for his helping nature and he never turned anyone back when someone asked for anything from him. Following are the incidents which reflect upon this virtue of him and fittingly, he is also known as Danveer Karna.

Kavach and Kundal

He was born with Kavach and Kundal and thus was impregnable. There was no way he could be parted with these things. Before the war of Mahabharata, Indra thought of a way to do that. Indra was the father of Arjuna. He knew that eventually, there would be a battle between Arjuna and Karna. He could not be defeated with Kavach and Kundal on. So Indra disguised himself as a Brahmin and asked for Kavach and Kundal as alms. Though he was forwarned by Surya. Still, he happily gave away the things which was asked of him. In return, Indra gave him the “ekaghni”, which has the power to kill anyone.

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

He eventually had to use this weapon on Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkahca, the son of Bhima, was proving too much for Kauravas. Shri Krishna summoned him to fight the Mahabharata war. Thus, we can see that Arjuna’s safety was ensured by Indra and Shri Krishna while the eldest son of Kunti was fighting this all alone. In way, this virtue of Danveer proved to be his undoing.

Karna with Kavach and Kundal - Mahabharat story

Karna with Kavach and Kundal – Mahabharat story

 

 Teeth of gold

While he was dying, Lord Indra and Lord Surya had a fight that whether he was the real Danveer at all. They went to him and asked for alms. Karna said that I am dying and do not have anything to give this to you. Indra and Surya have mentioned that he has teeth of gold. Hearing this, he promptly took out the gold and given to the Brahmins.

Gift of Sons

Perhaps this will not be realized in first hand, but Kunti was given four sons as a Dan by Danveer Karna. Karna promised Kunti that she will have five sons, as after the mahabharat war, either him or Arjuna will be alive. This promise was observed by him as he had a chance to kill four pandavas but he let them go.  He was indeed a real Danveer!!!

Seven interesting death stories – Indian mythology

Death stories from Mahabharata and The Ramayana – Indian Mythology

Though this topic seems a bit unusual, but there are enough incidents in Indian mythology, especially in Mahabharat and in the Ramayana, which compel me to write an article on the matter. These are a bit peculiar, so they warrant your attention. Interested? Read on…

Death of Ravana

Ravana's  - A character from the Ramayana

Ravana’s – A character from the Ramayana

This is the story from the period of the Ramayana.  Ravana has obtained a boon from Lord Shiva that he shall not be slain by the Devas, the divine beings, Gandharvas, the Yakshas or by the Rakshasas. He did not include human beings into the list. Lord Vishnu took birth as a human in the form of Rama, and thus Ravana could be killed.

Jayadrath

Jayadrath was brother in law of Kauravas. He had a boon from Lord Shiva that he can stop all Pandavas for a day in a battle except Arjuna. He did so on thirteenth day of the Mahabharata war and did not allow pandavas to come into the chakravyuha. Arjuna’s son knew to enter the chakravyuha and he was trapped there as Pandavas could not follow him. Abhimanyu died a glorious death while defending Yudhishthira.

Arjuna vowed that the next day, he will kill Jayadrath or set himself on fire. The next day, Shri Krishna has to resort to his exploits when he made the sun to disappear using his Sudarshan chakra. Seeing this, Jayadratha came out of hiding to celebrate  Arjuna’s defeat. At this point of time, Shri Krishna withdrew the chakra and told Arjuna – Here is the Sun and here is Jayadrath, so kill him. Arjuna duly obliged and thus Jayadrath was killed in the Mahabharata war.

Jayadrath (Mahabharata)

Here is another story, Jayadrath was granted a boon by his father, sage Vridhakshtra that whosoever causes Jayadrath’s head to fall, his head will be burst in 100 pieces.  Shri Krishna directed Arjuna to cut his head in such a way that it falls in the lap of his father. You know what could have happened next?

Jayadratha killed by Arjuna

Jayadratha killed by Arjuna

Hiranyakashyap

Hirankashyap had a boon from Brahma that “I should die neither in the morning nor in the evening, neither inside of my house not outside of my house, neither n earth nor in sky, not by any creature created by you and not by any weapon.”

Narsingh Avatar of Lord Vishnu - Dashavatar of Vishnu

Narsingh Avatar of Lord Vishnu – Dashavatar of Vishnu

Lord Vishnu took the form of Narasingh avatar and killed him in a place and at a time which fulfilled above prophecy. Bhagwan Narsingh’s  head was of a lion and his body was of a human being (He was not the creature created by Lord Brahma). He immediately attacked Hiranyakashyap and fought with him. He fought till it was evening (neither day nor night). At that time he picked him up, took him to the door (neither inside the house nor outside the house), kept his body on his lap (neither on Prithvi nor in the sky) and ripped his stomach with his nails (not with any kind of weapon).

Bhasmasur

Bhasmasur obtained a boon from Shiva that any person who is touched by Bhasmasur on his head, will burn into ashes immediately. After obtaining this, he tried to test this on Shiva. Shiva had to flee and he sought Bhagwan Vishnu’s help in this. He soon appeared before him in a form of beautiful lady, Mohini. Mohini asked Bhasmasur to match him while dancing and she will marry him. During the competition, she put a hand on her head, Bhasmasur obliged and immediately turned into Ashes.

bhasmasura-indian-mythology-death-story

How Bhasmasur was killed?

Pandu

 Pandu had a curse from Sage Kindam. Kindam died when he was spending time with his wife in the guise of deer. Pandu was hunting and he accidentally killed the couple. They cursed him that he will die similarly. Later, a day in forest, Pandu was with his wife Madri and forgot about the curse. Soon, both of them died as a result of the curse. This story is from the days of Mahabharat.

Jarasandh

Fight between Bhima and Jarasandh while Krishna watches

Fight between Bhima and Jarasandh while Krishna watches

This story is from Mahabharat period. Jarasandh was killed in the same way he was born, in two pieces. Mighty Bhima, one of the Pandavas, fought a one to one battle with him and torn him in two pieces and threw them in opposite directions. Jarasandh was born in two halves after his father distributed the divine fruit to two of his wives. He was immensely powerful and was planning to become immortal when Krishna intervened. The fight between Bhima and Jarasandh reached and end only after Shri Krishna advised Bhima to throw the two halves of Jarasandh in opposite directions. Shri Krishna, the central character of Mahabharat, has been instrumental in many such incidents.

Sri Krishna, Bheema and Arjuna visit Jarasandh

Death of Bali or Vali

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Rama killed Vali in the period of the Ramayana

In the period of the ramayana, bali and sugriva were two brothers. Bali has the boon that he will get the half strength of his opponent in any battle. Thus it was impossible to beat him by fighting with him. Bali has also done injustice to his brother Sugriva. Ram, decided to help him and asked Sugriva to fight with his brother with a garland. Thus Rama identified Sugriva and killed Bali with an arrow from hiding. Sugriva, later helped Rama when he searched his wife, Sita and his vaanar sena helped in fighting the war with Ravana.

Love stories from Mahabharata

Mahabharat is full of love stories. It was not only about battle between good and evil.  Mahabharat was lot more than this. We find examples of revenges as well. But you might get surprised seeing the incidents of love. Yes, you heard me right. There are numerous incidents of love as in the great epic of Mahabharat .  Read on.

Ganga and Shantanu

King Shantanu was the emperor of Hastinapur, a descendent of King Bharat. He was a powerful monarch and ruled his people with truth, justice and love. In his realm none were sick or poor or without food. All were employed.  One day, Shantanu was riding his chariot along the banks of the Ganga river when he chanced to see a stunningly beautiful maiden sitting on the riverbank. She was dressed in white silk robes and had lustrous black hair and creamy skin. Her eyes were dark and liquid and fathomless. He was fallen in love with her immediately and proposed for an union. Ganga accepted on one condition and that condition proved to be a heart wrenching one for Shantanu. Bhishma Pitamah was born out of this wedlock.

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Ganga and Shantanu – Mahabharat – In
dian mythology

Shri Krishna and his 16,108 wives

Out of 16,108 16000 waited not many years but they reincarnated to get married to Shri Krishna. The Supreme Lord can make everyone happy because he is the only one with the power to love everyone in the way they want to be loved. Others may tell us that they love us but we never really believe them. But Krishna, who we cannot see with our material eyes, loves us and we know it, even if he never tells us. That’s the power of the love of Krishna.

Draupadi and Pandavas 

Draupadi  got married to all five Pandava brothers. She had to maintain commitment towards each of her husband. Not only that, all brothers had to trust Draupadi to do the justice. All six of them went through the adversity of life like living in exile. But, Draupadi always trusted them.

Draupadi could have 14 husbands instead of five

Gandhari and Dhritarashtra

After Vichitravirya’s death, his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Ved Vyasa. According to his mother’s wishes, he visited both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them a son with his yogic powers. When Vyasa visited Ambika (Sister of Amba), she saw his dreadful and forbidding appearance with burning eyes. Frightened, she kept her eyes closed. Hence, Dhritarashtra, her son, was born blind. Ved Vyasa was the person, who wrote Mahabharat.

The love story of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra started after their marriage. Gandhari, on meeting him and realizing that he was blind, decided to deny herself the pleasure of sight that her husband could never relish. She blindfolded herself voluntarily for her whole married life.

Arjuna and Uloopi

Uloopi was Naga princess and she abducted Arjuna when she fell in love with him. She later convinced him for an alliance as the rules of celibacy applied to him with a relationship with Draupadi and not with other women. She later gave him a boon that he cannot be harmed in water.

Note: Arjuna was on an exile of one year during when this happened.

Rukmani and  Shri Krishna

Shri Krishna, the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, abducted Rukmani to marry her against the will of her family. Technically this was not an abduction, as she was in love with Shri Krishna and requested him to marry her.

Arjuna and Chitrangada

Chitrangada was the princess of Manipur. It was on the banks of the river Kaveri that Arjuna visited the kingdom of Manipur, whose king was Chitravahana. He had a very beautiful daughter named Chitrangada, with whom Arjuna fell immediately in love. When Arjuna asked for her hand, her father put forth a condition that their child must be brought up in Manipur and should succeed the throne. Arjuna agreed. After their son Babruvahana was born, Arjuna went back to join his brothers at Indraprastha, leaving behind his wife and son.  After the death of Chitravahana, Babruvahana became the ruler of Manipur. Later, after the Mahabharat war, Arjuna was defeated by his son, Babruvahana.

Arjuna and Subhadra

Arjuna and Subhadra’s brother Gada, have taken training together under Drona. During his exile of one year, when Arjuna reached Dwarka, he was invited at Subhadra’s place and both have fallen in love with each other. Arjuna married Subhadra, half sister of Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna has advised Arjuna to abduct Subhadra, and this was an acceptable behaviour of a Kshatriya. Even Shri Krishna did the same with Rukmani. Though Balram was not happy with this, Shri Krishna persuaded him to accept this alliance. When Subhadra reached Draupadi,  she did not disclose the alliance with her. After an hour or so, when Draupadi was comfortable and happy with her, she told her about the marriage and Draupadi accepted her.

Hidimba and Bhima

Bheema was the son of Kunti. Hidimba was the man eater. She fell in love with Bheema and that
changed every thing for her. After marriage they lived together only for limited period of time, then Bheema left as he have to. Hidimba gave birth to the Great Ghatotkacha and takes care of him alone without regretting anything. Later, Ghatotkacha played an important role in Mahabharat war, as Karna had to use the weapon Ekaghni to kill him, thus saving the life of Arjuna.

Satyavati and Rishi Parashar

Parashar was the well known and respected sage who had acquired many yogic powers through devotion. Satyavati, the daughter of a fisherman, Dashraja, used to take people across the river Yamuna in her boat. One day, she was taking Rishi Parashar in the boat. The sage, smitten by her charm, expressed the desire to make love with her. He told her that she was destined to give birth to a great person from this liaison. Satyavati placed three conditions before him:

No one on shore could see what they were doing.  So, Parashar created an artificial mist around them. Her virginity would remain intact. Parashar assured that after she gave birth she would become a virgin again. She wanted the fishy smell that came from her body to be replaced by an intoxicating fragrance. Parashara said that a divine aroma would emanate out of her, which could be sensed for a distance of nine miles. She gave birth to Ved Vyas, the author of Mahabharat.

Satyavati and Shantanu

The fragrance of Satyavati attracted Shantanu to her. He followed it to its source and found Satyavati sitting in her boat. He stepped in and asked Satyavati to row him across the river. When he reached the other bank he asked her to ferry him back. This continued till dusk that day and continued daily for quite some time. Finally Shantanu asked Satyavati to marry him. Satyavati said that she was willing, but would be bound by her father Dashraj’s decision. It turned out that her father has ambitious plans for her and Shantanu was not able to satisfy them. The son of Ganga and Shantanu, made things easier for him and took some vows because of them he was called as Bhsihma.

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Shantanu and Satyavati – Mahabharat – Indian mythology story

Test your knowledge on Mahabharat

Love story of Urvashi and Pururva

The curse of Ashwaththama – Mahabharat

Seven people apart from five Pandavs survived the Mahabharat war (Kurukshetra). These are Krishna, Kripacharya, Yuyutsu, Kritivarma, Vrishakethu, Satyaki, and Ashwatthama.Ashwatthama , the son of Drona, guru of Pandavas and Kauravas was the great warrior who also commanded the Kauravas army post Drona demise. He is supposed to not die and  this was not as a result of any boon, but rather surprisingly, result of a curse, which was given to him by Sri Krishna, because of his misdeeds during the last days of Mahabharat war. After Drona was killed by Pandavas because of a half-lie, spoken by Yudhisthir, who was the eldest of the Pandavas, Ashwatthama, vowed to kill all Pandavas.

Ashwaththama consoling Duryodhana on his deathbed

Mahabharat - Indian mythology pic where Ashwaththama is sitting close to Duryodhana

One night he saw an owl attacking crows, and in the morning, the situation was reversed, when crows attacked the owl. Inspired by this incident, he attacked the Pandavas during  night and beheaded all Pandavas, but they were Upapandavas, or five sons of Draupadi.
Ashwatthama also used Brahmastra to destroy all pandavas and Arjuna and Krishna intervened. He did not know how to retrieve this, directed this towards the womb of Uttara (wife of Abhimanyu) who was carrying Abhimanyu’s son (Parikshit). This was an attempt to end the lineage of the Pandavas. Krishna used his sudarshan chakra to stop the Brahmastra and save Uttara’s unborn child who later was known as Pariskshit.

Due to above misdeeds, Krishna cursed him to suffer and carry the burden of all people’s sins on his shoulders and will roam alone like a ghost without getting any love and courtesy till the end of Kaliyuga. A gem or mani which was on his forehead was also taken from him. This is believed that Ashwatthama will be freed by Kalki-Avatar, the tenth incarnation of Sri Krishna.

In Hindu mythology or Indian mythology and especially in the epic Mahabharat, we can find many instances of misdeeds, and also see that the power is bestowed to the people who can misuse it. For example, the Brahmastra was in wrong hands. How relevant this is today as we see that nuclear weapons do not necessarily kept by good people only. Similarly we find similar instances in World mythology as well.

Only history will tell who is wrong and who is right as in the case of Ashwatthama, who thought he was avenging the wrong doing of Pandavas, but if we look at the bigger picture, we find that this is not the case. But Lord Krishna knew this, didn’t he?

Karna – the unfortunate who deserved

Karna – The most virtuous warrior from Mahabharata

In Indian mythology, I don’t come across anyone who is as gifted as Karna, and at the same time, most unfortunate as well. He had everything, yet he ended up having nothing. The reasons, one may argue would his deeds, or the company he kept,but at the same time, we must think that he had to accept what he was given to him, god or if we want this to put more correctly, Ved Vyasa, did not give him too many choices.

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Karna

To start with, being the eldest son of Kunti, he should have been the king, but her curiosity proved to be the undoing of this person. The price which he had to pay for his mother’s curiosity is overwhelming. He was the best warrior amongst the all Pandavas, he had the Kavach and Kundal to prtotect him, but even the gods conspired against him.

Sometimes we wonder, why Surya just chose to warn him and not to protect him, as Indra have done for Arjun. Even he had left him to fight against the gods. Here lies the utlimate curse, a mere mortal cannot think to win against the gods, and if he tried too, then there were curses to ensure that he failed. There was one from his teacher, which proved to be undoing of this great man. On the other hand, Drona, made sure that Arjun remained the best archer in the world and went out of way to ask for Eklavya’s thumb.

Even in the battlefield, his charioteer Shalya, use to praise his opponent Arjun, where do you heard such kind of odds against a man.

The only person who probably have recognized Karna’s prowess correctly was Shri Krishna, and he did salute him in the battlefield, much to the amusement of Arjun. Nevertheless, Karna comes across with a character which is hard to find. I would say that he did not die for his weaknesses, but paid for other’s fallacies. Who says that this earth is a great place to live?

Curses on Arjuna (Mahabharata – Indian mythology)

Curses on Arjuna

Mahabharata is full of incidents of curses, yet when curses are mentioned with reference to Mahabharata in Indian mythology, we would normally associate Karna, but Arjuna also had some curses. But this can be argued that though these have been curses, Arjuna was able to use them to his and Pandava’s advantage.

Curse of Vasus

Chitrangada, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, is one of Arjuna’s wives. Arjuna  travelled through India during his term of exile of twelve years. His visited Manipur in the eastern Himalayas, an almost mystic kingdom renowned for its natural beauty. There, he met Chitrangada, the daughter of the king of Manipur, and was moved to seek her hand in marriage.

Her father demurred on the plea that, according to the matrilineal customs of his people, the children born of Chitrangada were heir to Manipur; he could not allow his heirs to be taken away from Manipur by their father. Arjuna agreed to the stipulation that he would take away neither his wife Chitrangada nor any children borne by her from Manipur and wedded the princess on this premise. A son, whom they named Babruvahana, was soon born to the couple.

Babruvahana would succeed his grandfather as king of Manipur. Long after the battle of Kurukshetra, Yudhishthira decided to conduct the Aswamedha Yaga. The yaga horse enters the dominion of Manipur, where Arjuna challenges their King Babruvahana for a fight. Babruvahana kills his father in the ensuing battle.  However Arjuna’s snake-wife Uloopi resuscitates him to life by using the magical mritasanjivani gem owned bythe Nagas.

Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him

Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him

 

Arjuna’s death in the battle is also attributed to the curse of the Ashta-Vasus. The Vasus, enraged by Arjuna’s deceptive tactic of using Shikandi as a shield to kill Bhishma (an incarnation of one of the eight Vasus), cursed Arjuna that he would be slain by his own son. This curse comes to pass during the battle between Arjuna and Babruvahana.


Arjuna from bali

Curse of Urvashi

 Arjuna was received with all love and affection by his father Indra. Arjuna spent some very pleasant time going around and seeing the world of Indra. Capital of Indra was called Amaravati. In the court of Indra all the Gandharva’s sang divine songs and all the beautiful apsaras gave dancing recitals. All the apsaras, Rambha Urvashi, Menaka, Tilottama were there Arjuna watched all there performance and was very much fascinated. He kept looking at Urvashi. She also noticed Arjuna’s interest in her and the fire of love was kindled in her. Urvashi fell in love with Arjuna. Urvashi could not sleep in the night. She was constantly thinking about

Arjuna. She became too overpowered by her desire for Arjuna. She stole in to Arjuna’s chamber. Arjuna welcomed her with love, courtesy and honour. Urvashi expressed her desire for Arjuna. A surprised Arjuna told her that he had heard about the great romance between her and his ancestor Pururva. That was the reason he was kept watching her in Indra’s court as a child looks at her mother whom he had never seen. He only regarded her as the beloved of his ancestor. She was like a mother to him. Any other relationship was impossible even to contemplate.

Arjuna and Urvashi

Arjuna and Urvashi

Urvashi was very much mistaken,she thought Arjuna was interested in her as an admirer. Urvashi became furious with rage. She took it as a great insult to be turned down by a mere mortal. She said it was not proper to refuse a woman, her desire. Arjuna, by doing so has insulted her. Therefore, she declared, Arjuna, shall never be able to enjoy a woman’s company. He will become a eunuch. Arjuna was dumb with the injustice done to him by Urvashi. In the morning he told these things to a Gandharva, Chitrasena who he had befriended. Indra, being informed about Arjuna’s curse, came to him to console him. Indra said that he would request Urvashi to reduce her curse for a period of one year. The Urvashi curse will be of great help to Arjuna during the period of one year when they were to live in disguise. Arjuna stayed in Amravati for sometime. Indra gave him all the divine astras. Then he came back to earth but before that he learnt the art of dancing and singing from his friend Chitrasena and he became quite an expert in these fine arts.

Thus we see, such is the beauty of mythology stories from Mahabharata, where every incident serves a purpose and fits impeccably in the bigger scheme of things. Everytime I hear these stories, I wonder about the master story teller. A priceless contribution to world mythology.


Seven little known facts from the Mahabharata (2)

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.

Untold incidents from Mahabharata Pandavas exile

Pandavas were sent to exile after they were defeated in the game of dice. They have undergone lot of hardship during this time.

Lord Krishna had played a vital role in shaping the fortunes of Pandavas.  Following interesting incidents are taken from Mahabharata which are related to the period when Pandavs were exiled after their elder brother, Yudhishthira lost a game of chausar to Shakuni, Duryodhana’s uncle.

Bhima and Python

One day while the pandavas were in exile, Bhima went in search of food for all of them. looking around in the forest, he saw a cave and entered it. A massive python was sitting near the entrance of the cave. When it saw Bhima, it attacked him and coiled itself round the body. Bhima was helpless and struggled hard to free himself from the python’s grip but his attempt to save himself seemed ineffective. Finally, he got tired and gave up.

Then he asked the python, “Who are you and why have you entangled me without any reason? I have not caused you any harm.” The python replied, “I am your ancestor. In my previous birth I had insulted a sage and was cursed to be a python now I will eat you if you will not answer my questions correctly.”

Meanwhile, back at their hut, rest of the Pandavas began to worry since Bhima had not returned and it was getting dark. Since Bhima was very strong and powerful, they had never imagined that any harm could come to him.

Anxious, they went out to search for him. On the way, they saw many dead animals and their anxiety grew. Finally they reached the mouth of the cave, they saw Bhima struggling to free himself from the python’s grip.

Yudhisthira, who was known to be very wise and answered all questions correctly and freed Bhima from his clutches. Even python was freed from his curse and he thanked Pandavas and ascended to heaven. Above is an interesting incident and not much is mentioned about this. This incident is similar to the Yaksha incident where Yamaraj took a examination of all Pandavas.

Once upon a time, the python was a king called Nahusa, who was punished for his pride and cursed by Sage Agastya. It was because of the curse that he had become a python. Agastya had told Nahusa that when a man answered the questions which Nahusa put to him, Nahusa would regain his original form. In fact, Nahusa had been born in the same family as Yudishthira and was therefore one of his ancestors. Yudishthira, by answering Nahusa’s questions, rids him of the curse.

This incident is available In the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata.

Pandavas saved Duryodhana

Duryodhana came to the forest where Pandavas were spending their years in exile. He put up his tent near the Pandava’s hut and made fun of them. One day Duryodhana and his companions went to lake for bathing. At that time, Chitrasen , the king of the gandharvas also came to the lake.

There was a fight between Chitrasen and Duryodhana. Chitrasen used his sammohanastra to make Duryodhan motionless and captured him. On hearing this, Yudhisthira sent Arjuna to rescue Duryodhan. Arjuna defeated Chitrasen’s soldiers and rescued Duryodhana. Duryodhana felt very humiliated because his most hated enemies , the Pandavas ,  saved his life. However, he owed his life to Pandavas and promised them to do whatever Pandavas asked. In the war of Mahabaharata, Arjuna used this opportunity and asked for five arrows of Bhishma which were intended to kill Pandavas.

Wise Yudhisthira and Yaksha

Once a strange incident occurred with pandavas. One day, a Brahmin came to them and said, ‘’I hang the sticks by which I produce fire for my yajnas on a tree. This morning a stag came and rubbed its horns against the tree. My sticks fell and got stuck in the stag’s horns and the stag ran away with them. I want you to get my sticks back.’’

Yaksha and Yudhishthira

The Pandavas agreed and went in search of stag. They found it but before they could shoot, it ran away. By now pandavas were very tired and thirsty. hey decided to rest in the shade of the tree. Nakula climbed up the tree to see if there was water around. He saw a pool of water. Yudhisthira asked him to bring water for all of them. Nakula went to the pool, but as he tried to take some water he heard a voice, ‘’This pool belongs to me. Before taking water you will have to answer my questions.’’ Nakula was very thirsty and ignored the warning and as soon as he touched the water he fainted.

After some time, Yudhisthir sent Sahdev to look for him Sahdev came to the pool and found Nakul unconscious. He decided to sprinkle some water on his face to awaken him. But as he tried to take water, he heard the same warning. He too ignored the warning and became unconscious. Then Arjuna came in search of his brothers. He reached the pool and was very angry to see the state of his brother. He too ignored the warning so fainted.

When Arjuna did not return Yudhisthira sent Bhima, who met with the same fate. Yudhisthira was getting worried, so went himself to look for his brothers. When he reached the pool he was very sad to see his brothers lying unconscious. He also tried to take some water from the pool and heard the same voice.

Yudhisthira said, ’’You seem to be a divine being . Please ask me the questions. I will try to answer them.’’ The strange voice asked many questions about religion and Yudhisthira answered them carefully and correctly. In the end voice said I am very pleased with your wisdom. I will bring any one of your brother back to his senses you can choose one of your brother.

Yudhisthira said we are sons of two mother Kundi and Madri. I am Kunti’s son so please bring one of Madri’s son back to his senses. Hearing this reply the voice said you have again pleased me with your impartial judgement. Suddenly, Yama the God of death appeared and brought all the four Pandavas back to their senses.

The magic bowl

During exile, one day. Sun god gave a bowl of plenty (Akshaypatra) and said, ‘’Give this to Draupadi. Once a day, she can take out as much food as she wants until she herself has eaten. Till then, this bowl will not run empty.

One day, sage Durvasa and his disciples were passing through the forest . they came to the hut and asked Dsraupadi fro some food. Draupadi had already eaten and she knew that the bowl would not yield any more food.

Draupadi did not want to turn away the holy sages without food and prayed to Krishna, who came and said “Give me some food.”

Draupadi said, “This is no time for jokes, please help me feed the guests.” Krishna said, “That is why I asked for food.” One grain of rice was left in the bowl, which she gave to Krishna. Krishna was satisfied and surprisingly., the guests too were satisfied. They left without asking for food. Shri Krishna, among the hindu gods of mythology, have helped pandavas in every enterprise. Here , he treated Draupadi as his sister, how could he let her suffer?

Arjuna, Kirata and Pashupatastra

When Pandavas were in exile,sage Vyas told them, “After your exile, you will have a war with Kauravas. Arjuna should pray Shiva for divine weapons.” Arjuna went to mount Kailash and started worshiping Shiva.

Pleased, Shiva disguised himself as a hunter and came to test Arjuna. Just then a demon, Mooka, attacked Arjuna in form of wild boar. Arjuna shot an arrow and killed it, but he saw another arrow in the body of the boar. He said, ‘’who dare shoot my pray?’’. Shiva in the hunter form said,’’ I shot the arrow. This is my prey’’. A long fight followed between two and Arjuna became tired. He said, “I’ll fight after my prayers”.

Arjuna made a shivling and put a garland around it, but to his dismay, he found the garland around the hunter’s neck. he understood that the hunter was Shiva. Shiva came to his real form and gave him Pashupatastra. After this other gods also blessed Arjuna with many more divine weapons. Varuna , god of wind gave him varunapash; Yama, god of death gave him dandastra; Kuber gave him antardhyanastra; Indra gave him vajrastra. Here we see that various gods of mythology have helped Arjuna, which helped Pandavas. This teaches us that we should follow the advise of those who are respectful.

Lord Shiva giving Pashupata astra to Arjuna - Mahabharat
Lord Shiva giving Pashupata astra to Arjuna – Mahabharata

Arjuna made a shivling and put a garland around it, but to his dismay, he found the garland around the hunter’s neck. he understood that the hunter was Shiva. Shiva came to his real form and gave him Pashupatastra. After this other gods also blessed Arjuna with many more divine weapons. Varuna , god of wind gave him varunapash; Yama, god of death gave him dandastra; Kuber gave him antardhyanastra; Indra gave him vajrastra. Here we see that various gods of mythology have helped Arjuna, which helped Pandavas. This teaches us that we should follow the advise of those who are respectful.

Arjuna and the Crocodile

During exile Arjun went to an ashram where the sages told him,’’There are five pools of water nere by, where we bathed. But now there is one crocodile in each. The crocodile eats whoever goes in the pools.’’ Arjuna has received a boon from Ulupi, the daughter of king of snakes, that no creature of water could defeat him. Arjuna fearlessly went to the pool and pulled the crocodile to the shore.Immediately it turned into a beautiful women and said,’’I am Varga, a fairy in Kuber’s court. One day along with four other fairies tried to disturb a sage who was meditating. He cursed us to become crocodiles. He said when a brave warrior will pulled us out of water, the curse would end. Thus all fairies were freed by Arjuna and they thanked him.

Arjuna and Angaparna

During exile, once pandavas were crossing the river, a warrior came riding in his chariot and shouted,’’ I am Angarparna, a heavenly being. This part of the forest belong to me. You can’t cross the river here.’’ Arjuna said, ‘’Sacred river Ganga is nobody’s property.’’ After this Arjuna and Angarparna had a great fight, and then Arjuna threw a burning torch on Angarparna’s chariot.  Angarparna jumped out of his chariot and fainted. When he came to his senses he begged for forgiveness. He then presented Chakshushi, a divine sight by which pandavas could see any thing at any place at any time.