Sunday, 30 December 2018

Five golden arrows

As Kaurawas were losing the battle of Mahabharata, Duryodhana approached Bhisma one night and accused him of not fighting the Mahabharata war to his full strength because of his affection for Pandavas. Bhisma greatly angered, immediately picked up 5 golden arrows and chanted mantras declaring tomorrow he will kill 5 pandavas with the 5 golden arrows. Duryodhana not having faith in his words asked Bhisma to give custody of 5 golden arrows saying that he will keep them and will return them next morning.

Long back before the Mahabharata war, Pandavas were living in exile in a forest. Duryodhana placed his camp on the opposite side of the pond where Pandavas were staying. Once while Duryodhana was taking bath in that pond, the heavenly prince Gandharvas came to take bath Duryodhana could not tolerate this and had a fight in which Gandharva captured him. On request of Yudhisthir, Arjuna saved Duryodhana and set him free. Duryodhana was ashamed but being a kshatriya, asked Arjuna what benediction of boon would he like Arjuna replied he would ask for the honour gift later when he needed it. It was during that night of Mahabharata war, when Krishna reminded Arjuna of his unsatisfied boon and told him to go to Duryodhana and ask for 5 golden arrows. When Arjuna asked for the arrows Duryodhana was shocked being a kshatriya and bound by his promise he had to give those golden arrows. He asked who told you about golden arrows, Arjuna replied who else other than Lord Krishna.

Duryodhana again went to Bhisma and requested for another five golden arrows. To this Bhisma laughed and replied this is not possible and will of Lord is Supreme and undeniable and whatever happens tomorrow in the Mahabharat war is written long before.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ugrayudha Paurava

Obtaining a Chakra

Ugrayudha of Panchala obtained a blazing chakra. This chakra was really powerful. It was invincible and couldn’t be pacified. This chakra was like a Shakti, it could only be used once.

Kuru-Panchala War

When Shantanu (king of Hastinapura) died, Ugrayudha saw this as an opportunity to reunite the lines of Panchala and Kuru and rule Kuru. But he knew that Bhishma would declare war if he said that. He sent a message to Bhishma.

The message read, “O Bhishma. O bull among the Kuru lineage! You illustrious mother, Gandhakali (Satyavati), is a jewel among women. As a wife, bestow her on me now. There is no doubt that this kingdom is prosperous with armies and all the jewels that the earth possesses. I will give you whatever you wish for. If you desire your kingdom, your life or your lineage, obey my instructions. Otherwise, you will not find any peace.” Ugrayudha only told Bhishma that he wanted to marry Satyavati. He hid his true intention of conquering Kuru.

When Bhishma read the message, he suspected a trap in the proposal. He soon realized that Ugrayudha wanted to rule Kuru. Bhishma was infuriated because he had promised the throne of Hastinapura to Satyavati’s young children. He ordered all his commanders to prepare the army. But his advisors told him to do differently. They told him that first he should purify himself with donation and and conciliation. After that, Bhishma should march to Panchala and slay Ugrayudha.

After the period of purification, Bhishma proceded towards North Panchala. In the following war, the princes of the Neepa Vansha (another Panchala lineage) led by Janamejaya (not the grandson of Ugrayudha) also joined Ugrayudha. A terrible battle occurred between Bhishma and Ugrayudha. In the end, Ugrayudha didn’t have the chance to use his shakti and was slain by Bhishma. Bhishma also killed the princes of the Neepa Vansha. After that, Bhishma killed the entire next generation of Srinjaya Panchalas. He only let Somaka, Prishata, and Durmukha live. This war resulted in North Panchala getting conquered by Kuru.

Harivamsha(Harivamsha Parva XX.50-73) Bhishma tells Yudhishthira that

After Shantanu’s death, during the period of mourning, he received a demand from the usurper of Panchala, Ugrayudha Paurava, to hand over Gandhakali in return for considerable wealth.

The ministers did not allow the affronted Bhishma to attack Ugrayudha, invincible because of his dazzling discus, and tried to put him off peacefully. When this failed, at the end of the mourning period Bhishma attacked and killed Ugrayudha whose discus had, in the meantime, lost its power because of his lusting after another’s wife.

Friday, 12 January 2018


"Bhishma said, 'O holy one, O god of all gods, O thou that art worshipped by all the deities and Asuras, O thou that didst cover the three worlds with three steps of thine, salutations to thee, O wielder of the conch, the discus, and the mace! Thou art Vasudeva, thou art of golden body, thou art the one Purusha (or active agent), thou art the creator (of the universe), thou art of vast proportions. Thou art Jiva. Thou art subtle. Thou art the Supreme and eternal Soul. Do thou, O lotus-eyed one, rescue me, O foremost of all beings! Do thou, give me permission, O Krishna, to depart from this world, O thou that art Supreme felicity, O foremost of all beings! The sons of Pandu should ever be protected by thee. Thou art, indeed, already their sole refuge. Formerly, I spoke to the foolish Duryodhana of wicked understanding that thither is Righteousness where Krishna is, and that there is victory where Righteousness is. I further counselled him that relying on Vasudeva as his refuge, he should make peace with the Pandavas. Indeed, I repeatedly told him, 'This is the fittest time for thee to make peace! The foolish Duryodhana of wicked understanding, however, did not do my bidding. Having caused a great havoc on earth, at last, he himself laid down his life. Thee, O illustrious one, I know to be that ancient and best of Rishis who dwelt for many years in the company of Nara, in the retreat of Vadari. The celestial Rishi Narada told me this, as also Vyasa of austere penances. Even they have said unto me that. Thyself and Arjuna are the old Rishis Narayana and Nara born among men. Do thou, O Krishna, grant me leave, I shall cast off my body. Permitted by thee, I shall attain to the highest end!'

"Vasudeva said, 'I give thee leave, O Bhishma! Do thou, O king, attain to the status of the Vasus, O thou of great splendour, thou hast not been guilty of a single transgression in this world. O royal sage, thou art devoted to thy sire. Thou art, therefore, like a second Markandeya! It is for that reason that death depends upon thy pleasure even as thy slave expectant of reading thy pleasure!'