One of the epic battles known in the history is the battle of Kurukshetra. Fought between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, it was undoubtedly one of the bloodiest wars ever fought for the throne of Hastinapur. Millions of lives were lost in those fierce 17 days. One of the most ferocious, enigmatic and vindictive battles fought; here are some interesting facts about the Kurukshetra war.
Shakuni was the youngest child of the 100 siblings of his mother. According to astrology, it was foreseen that his mother’s husband would not have a long life. Thus, she was initially married to a goat and it was killed. After a few years, when Dhritirashtra came to know about the Gandhara’s family secret; he imprisoned the entire family and king Subala and his 100 sons with just a cup of meal. It was decided that all their food would be given to one person and make him strong so that he can avenge the death of his poor siblings and father who died of hunger. Before dying, Subala instructed him to make a powerful magic dice out of back bone or thigh which would spin the destiny of his clan. Thus, in this way, Shakuni was responsible for the downfall of the Kauravas.
Known to have written the largest epic in the world, Vyasa wrote nothing but the story of his sons, grandsons and his great grandsons. The story of Vyasa is that he is the son of Satyavati who was a daughter of a celestial nymph named Adrika. It is believed that she was cut open from the stomach of her mother who swallowed the semen of the king Vasu dropped by an eagle. She was named Kali and was taken care by a fisherman. With time, she earned the name of Satyavati (the truthful). It so happened that one day, she was ferrying a sage called Parashara across the river when he asked her to satisfy his lust. On the other side of the bank, she agreed for she feared his curse. After repeated efforts of denial, she gave in. Yet, he promised her virginity back. She conceived on the same day and was called Krishna (due to his complexion) who quickly grew into youth and promised her to meet whenever she called for. He would later be known as the compiler of all the Vedas or the Veda Vyasa.
Known to be one the greatest kings on the Earth, Pandu, and the father of the Pandavas died of his long preserved curse. The story says that, Pandu in his early rule had gone hunting and killed a sage called Kindama who was making with his wife as deer in the jungle. Pandu, who had two wives; Kunti and Madri would die immediately if he made love with either of his wives because of the curse. Thus, Pandu never made love with his wives and the wives had the Pandavas with a boon. Yudhishtir, the son of Dharma, Bheem, the son of wind, Arjun, the son of fire, Nakul and Sahadev were born out of the Aswamedhyaga (sacrifice of horses). It was after the Pandavas along with their beloved wife left for exile, Pandu made love with his wife Madri and thus, that resulted in his death.
The age old stories narrates that once a sage called Mandivya was accused of sheltering thieves in his Ashram whereas Mandivya was in deep meditation and had no clue of the refuge. Yet, he was accused by the king of the land and was sentenced to Impailation. When he died of great pain, he asked Dharma, the reason for his painful death for which he was told that, in his childhood, he accumulated bad karma for having piercing sharp objects in the insects and derived pleasure out of it. A livid Mandivya had no account of his childhood actions yet, he was persecuted. Thus, in his fury, he cursed Dharma that he would be born as a human who will possess all the qualities of a king but will not become one. Thus, Dharma was re-born as Vidur.
Another interesting and remarkable aspect of Sahadev, apart from his excellent war tactics, he is said to been the greatest astrologer of his time who prognosticated forthcoming events. Post his death, Pandu wishes that his five sons eat his flesh so that they can gather all his knowledge and experiences. Sahadev was the only one who ate three pieces and was enlightened and could foresee the future and had known everything in the history but was stopped by God. Thus, from then he was a blessed astrologer of all times.
It is believed that Abhimanyu was actually the soul of a demon named Kalyavana. Krishna, earlier burnt Kalyavana to death and captured his soul in the knot of his upper cloth. In Dwaraka, he made sure to stuff it into a cupboard and Subhadra (Arjun’s wife) accidentally opened the wardrobe when this light entered her womb and made her unconscious. This is one of the main reasons why Arjun reveals only half the secret of Chakravyuh (how to enter the Chakravyuh) to Abhimanyu but does not tell him how to exit which was the cause of his death.
Known to be the most typical and complicated character, without his help, Pandavas were sure to lose in the initial days itself. Krishna narrates the duties of mankind and his Dash-avatar to Arjun for it is believed that Krishna is the reincarnation of Vishnu and Arjun; Narad. It is also believed that Krishna knew that his sister Subhadra and Arjun were in love and also, he asked Arjun to kidnap Subhadra against Balaram and other siblings’ and marry for it is the quality of a Kshatriya king. He has played a number of tantrums and misled the plot of the battlefield.
As the famous story of teacher-student relationship goes, it is believed that Ekalavya was the son of Devashrava (brother of Vasudeva) i.e.; Krishna’s cousin who got lost in the forest. After surrendering to Drona, his teacher; he died protecting his father in Rukmini Swayamvar. Epic says that he was killed by Krishna after granting him a boon to avenge his teacher’s death in the next life. Ekalavya was re-born as Drishtadyumna who finally killed Drona on false pretence of having killed his son.
Draupadi known as Indrasena was the wife of the sage Moudgalya. Due to Leprosy, her husband died at a young age. In order to satisfy her desires, she prayed Lord Shiva and when he appeared, in a state of confusion and under the influence of utter sexual desires, she asked she asked him for five times, ‘I want a husband’ and thus, she was granted in her next life for every life, she is expected to be a loyal wife.
This story of the tyrant king is that while he once walked in a lake, he witnessed a swan bird surrounded by hundred cygnets. For his pleasure, he ordered his servants to blind the swan and kill all the hundred cygnets. For his accumulated karma, he was cursed to have to be re-born as a blind king and all his hundred sons were killed in the war.