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Birthplace: satsring, HIMVAAN, INDIA, Himachal Pradesh, India
Death: Died in Himalayas
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Great grand father of tomar clane : Arjun one of the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. Arjuna is a central figure in Hindu religion whose name means 'bright', 'shining', 'white' or 'silver' (cf. Latin argentum). Arjuna is thus "The Peerless Archer". The third of the five Pandava brothers, Arjuna was one of the children borne by Kunti, the first wife of Pandu. He is sometimes referred to as the 'fourth Krishna' of the Mahabharata.

Life Of Great Arjun one of the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. Arjuna is a central figure in Hindu religion whose name means 'bright', 'shining', 'white' or 'silver' (cf. Latin argentum). Arjuna is thus "The Peerless Archer". The third of the five Pandava brothers, Arjuna was one of the children borne by Kunti, the first wife of Pandu. He is sometimes referred to as the 'fourth Krishna' of the Mahabharata.

Life Of Great Arjun

ARJUNA or Partha was a master archer and played a central role in the conflict between the Pandavas and their adversaries, the sons of Dhritarashtra known as the Kauravas. To begin with, Arjuna was reluctant to take part in battle because of the slaughter he knew he would cause in the enemy ranks, which included many of his own relatives. He was persuaded by his charioteer and close friend Lord Krishna, to change his mind. Their dialogue about issues involved in war—courage, a warrior’s duty, the nature of human life and the soul, and the role of Gods—forms the subject of the Bhagavad Gita, one of the key episodes in the epic Mahābhārata. He also played the key role in killing Karna, his arch-rival, in reality an unknown brother, on the side of the Kauravas.

It is asserted by some sources that the legend of "Ārash, the Parthian Archer" in Persian mythology bears some resemblance to that of Arjuna; this is cited by some as being reminiscent of a shared Indo-Iranian heritage. However, Arjun is an integral part of the Mahābhārata and one of its lead characters. The other central characters in the story are not mentioned in the story of Arash. Lastly, Indian scientists have discovered what they claim to be Dwaraka, or Krishna's city, indicating that the Mahābhārata may indeed have a link to actual events in Indian history, as opposed to being a mythological tale. [1]

He bears a total of ten names: Arjun, Phalgun, Jishnu, Kiriti, Shwetvaahan, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Pārth, Savyasachinn (also referred as Sabyasachi), and Dhananjay. When he is asked to say his ten names as a proof of his identity:

"My ten names are - Arjun, Phalgunan, Jishnu, Keeriti, Shwetvaahan, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Parth, Savyashachee and Dhananjaya. I was called Dhanajaya when I conquered all the kings at the time of Rājsooya Yajna and collected wealth from all of them. I always fight till the end and I always win, that is why I am called Vijaya. My horses which were given to me by Agni Dev are white, that is why I am called Shwetavāhana. My father Indra gave me a beautiful crown when I was with Him, that is why I am called Kiriti. I have never fought by unfair means in any battle that is why I am called Jishnu. I never frighten my enemies by meanness, I can use my both hands when I shoot my arrows, that is why I am called Savyashachee. My complexion is unique like the Arjun tree, and my name is stainless, that is why I am named Arjun. I was born on the slopes of Himvaan in a place called Satsring on a day when the Nakshatra Uttara Phalgunī was in ascent, that is why my name is Phaalgun. I am called Vibhatsu because I am terrible when I am angry. My mother's name is Prithaa, so I am also called Paarth. I have taken an oath that I will destroy that person (and his kinsmen) who hurts my brother Yudhishthira and spills his blood on Earth. I cannot be defeated by anyone." (Mahabharat)

Pandu was unable to sire a child. His first wife Kunti had, in her maiden days, received a boon from sage Durvasa, which enabled her to invoke any deity of her choice and beget a child by such deity. Pandu and Kunti decided to make use of this boon; Kunti invoked in turn Yama Dharmaraja, Vayu and Indra and gave birth to three sons. Arjuna was the third son, born of Indra, king of the demi gods (devas).

Arjun is depicted as a wholesome and well-rounded personality, a healthy mind in a healthy body, a person whom any mother, wife and friend would cherish and be proud of. The son of Indra, Arjun is said to have been well-built and extremely handsome; he married four times, as detailed here. Arjuna was also true and loyal to his friends (his best friend was the great warrior Satyaki); he enjoyed a life-long rapport with his cousin and brother-in-law, Sri Krishna. He was also sensitive and thoughtful, as demonstrated by his misgivings about the Kurukshetra war, which caused Sri Krishna to impart the Gita to him. His sense of duty was acute; he once chose to go into exile rather than refuse to help abrahmin subject, a story detailed elsewhere.

It is as a warrior that Arjun is best known. The foundation for his career as a warrior was laid young; Arjun was an outstanding and diligent student, learning everything that his guru Dronacharyacould teach him, and early attaining the status of "Maharathi" or outstanding warrior. Guru Dronacharya once decided to test his students. He hung a wooden bird from the branch of a tree and then summoned his students. One by one, he asked his students to aim for the eye of the wooden bird and be ready to shoot; then, when they were ready, he would ask the student to describe all that he was able to see. The students generally described the garden, the tree, flowers, the branch from which the bird was suspended and the bird itself. Guru Dronacharya then asked them to step aside. When asked what he could see, Arjuna told his Guru that he could only see the bird's eye. Another story says that Arjuna once noticed brother Bheema, who was a voracious eater, eating in the dark as though it was daylight, and realized that if he could practice archery in the dark he would become vastly more proficient.

The character of Arjuna is described as one whose mind is spotless and clean of all impurities. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita refers to Arjuna as Anagha, which means pure of heart or sinless. On the 17th day of the Great War when Karna is trying to extricate his chariot from the mud, Arjuna (in spite of all the cruelty and unchivalrous acts previously meted out by Karna to the Pandavas) hesitates to kill Karna. He does so only at the behest of Krishna. This reveals his restrain and self-control. Arjuna's nobility is manifested in his magnanimity in victory and compassion towards adversaries. He bears all the injustice of the Kauravas with stoicism and yet hesitates to kill them just before the war. As Nara of Nara Narayana (an avatar of Vishnu), Arjuna embodies Kshatriya manhood. Krishna being Narayana of the Nara Narayana avatar, symbolizes the atman, and hence the two are inseparable. Arjuna was chosen by Krishna to be his dearest friend and disciple. In the great epic, on several occasions, Krishna reveals his great and eternal love for Arjuna. Krishna states that no one in the world is dearer to him that Arjuna and that there is nothing in the world that he wouldn’t give his friend. In the epic, when Arjuna takes a vow to either kill Jayadratha before sunset or else immolate himself, Krishna remarks to his charioteer, Daruka, that neither his wives nor friends nor kinsmen nor relatives nor any other is dearer to him than Arjuna. He further states that he is unable to live in a world deprived of Arjuna for even a moment. Krishna refers to Arjuna as Purusharshva, which translates to best of men.

1 Etymology and other names 2 Birth and early years 3 Arjuna’s Tirtha-yatra 3.1 Meeting Ulupi 3.2 Chitrangadaa at Manipura 3.3 Reaching Dwarka and Subhadra 4 Burning of Khandava Vana 4.1 Saving Mayasura 5 Conquest for Rajasuya 6 Exile 6.1 Penance for Pashupatastra 6.2 Urvashi’s curse 6.3 Trial with Devastras : Slaying Rakshasas at heaven 6.4 Eunuch at Virata’s Kingdom 7 Kurukshetra War 7.1 Bhagavad Gita 7.2 Battles fought at Kurukshetra 8 Conquest for Ashvamedha 9 Death 10 Character of Arjuna 11 Modern references 12 Notes [edit]Etymology and other names

The Mahabharata refers to Arjuna by ten different names. The names and their meanings are as follows.[2][3][4] Arjuna - one of taintless fame and glow like silver (Argentum) Phalguna - one born on the star of Phalguna Jishnu - conqueror of enemies Kiriti - one who wears the celestial diadem, Kiriti, presented by Indra Swetavahana - one with white horses mounted to his chariot Bibhatsu - one who always fights wars in a fair manner Vijaya - victorious warrior Partha - Son of Pritha or Kunti Savyasachi - Skillful in using both arms, ambidextrous Dhananjaya - one who conquers riches Gudakesa - Conqueror of sleep [edit]Birth and early years

Pandu Shoots the Ascetic Kindama Once, a Brahmin rishi named Kindama and his wife were making love in the forest when Arjuna's father Pandu accidentally shot at them, mistaking them for deer. Before dying, Kindama cursed the king to die when he engages in intercourse. Due to this curse, Pandu was unable to father children. As an additional penance for the murder, Pandu abdicated the throne of Hastinapura and his blind brother Dhritarashtra took over the reins of the kingdom.[5] After Pandu's disability, the Pandavas were conceived in an unusual way. His mother, Queen Kunti, had in her youth been granted the power to invoke the Devas by Rishi Durvasa. Each Deva, when invoked, would bless her with a child. Urged by Pandu to use her boons, Kunti gave birth to Arjuna by invoking the Lord of Heaven, Indra. King Pandu and Kunti purified themselves by severe austerities to Indra for one year before he was born. No other birth in the Mahabharata except Krishna's was celebrated by the devas, sages and apsaras. Along with other Pandava brothers, Arjuna was trained in religion, science, administration and military arts by the Kuru preceptors, Kripa and Drona. Specifically, he became a master in using the bow and the arrow. Arjuna’s strength lay in his extraordinary levels of concentration. In a famous incident under Drona’s tutelage, Drona deemed none of his students other than Arjuna had the steadfast focus to shoot a bird on a tree and was proved right by Arjuna.[6] [edit]Arjuna’s Tirtha-yatra

the Swayamvara of Panchala's princess, Draupadi The Pandavas attended the Swayamvara of Panchala's princess, Draupadi, disguised as Brahamans. Among all great kings and other Kaurava princes, Arjuna was the only one to shoot the arrows to break a fish doll, as demanded by the Panchala King Draupada. As per Kunti's wish, along with his brothers, Arjuna was married to Draupadi, who gave birth to a son, Srutakriti.[7] The brothers followed Narada’s advice on a sharing arrangement with regard to Draupadi: each brother will have exclusive rights over her for a year, after which the mantle will shift to the next brother. Moreover any brother intruding on the privacy of the couple will have to go on a 12 year Tirtha-yatra (pilgrimage). However during a freak incident involving chasing out some bandits, Arjuna was forced to enter into the private space of Yudhistira and Draupadi. He accepted the punishment agreed with Narada and set off on a 12-year pilgrimage. [edit]Meeting Ulupi

Uluchi meets Arujana Arjuna started his pilgrimage by visiting the source of river Ganga. It was here that he accidentally met the Naga princess, Ulupi. She was deeply infatuated by him and the couple were drawn into days of passionate love-making. Before departing, Ulupi granted him the boon of invincibility in water bodies. Iravan was Arjuna’s son with Ulupi.[8][9] [edit]Chitrangadaa at Manipura Arjuna roamed around other Tirthas in India, including Kalinga and the ashrams of the Saptarishis, Agastya, Vasishta and Bhrigu. Finally he reached the palace of Manipura. Here he was seduced by the king Chitravahana’s daughter, Chitrangadaa. He fell in love with her and requested the king for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The king readily agreed when he knew about Arjuna’s real identity, but sought a promise from Arjuna that their son would remain in Manipura and take over the reins of the kingdom succeeding him. Arjuna agreed, and later spent time in the palace till the birth of his son, Babruvahana.[10][11] [edit]Reaching Dwarka and Subhadra

Arjuna and Subhadra. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma. Arjuna moved to other Tirthas, including the southern regions in Kerala. Finally he reached Dwarka, the place where his cousin Krishna resided. Arjuna had, in his childhood, heard about Krishna’s ravishing sister, Subhadra. Now he was in Dwarka, he felt an intense longing to see her. Krishna knew of Arjuna’s yearning and devised a plan to arrange their meet. Accordingly Arjuna disguised himself as a “yati” and stayed at Subhadra’s palace. Soon the couple managed to fall in love. They spent a year together in Dwarka. Later they moved to a small ashram in Pushkara where they stayed for another year, before moving to Indraprastha. After a few years Abhimanyu was born to Arjuna and Subhadra.[12][13] [edit]Burning of Khandava Vana

Srikrishna offer to build a palace, to mayasura Once when roaming in the Khandava Vana, Arjuna and Krishna met the God of Fire, Agni. Agni was in great hunger and needed to burn down the entire Khandava Vana to quench his hunger. But Takshaka, the serpent-king lived in the same forest and was a friend of Indra’s. So the latter brought down heavy rains to thwart Agni’s plans to burn the woods. Agni requested Krishna and Arjuna to help him realize his goal.[14] The three of them then invoked Varuna, the God of the oceans, who blessed them with the Gandiva – the moon bow created by Brahma. Agni also gave Arjuna an incandescent chariot with four horses yoked and bearing a flag of Hanuman.[15] Arjuna uses the weapon and chariot to fight the Kurukshetra War during the later parts of the epic. Agni presented Krishna with the Sudarshana Chakra.[16] Together with these weapons, Arjuna and Krishna waged a successful battle against Indra and helped Agni burn down the entire Khandava Vana including all its demons and evil spirits. [edit]Saving Mayasura In their demolition of Khandava Krishna and Arjuna had saved one demon, Mayasura.[17] Mayasura was a great architect who soon constructed the Maya assembly hall – a gigantic palace for the Pandavas in Indraprastha.[18] [edit]Conquest for Rajasuya

Possible route taken by Arjuna for the Rajasuya sacrifice. Arjuna was sent north by Yudhisthira to subjugate kingdoms for the Rajasuya Yagya, after crowning as the Emperor of Indraprastha. The Mahabharata mentions several kingdoms to the east of Indraprastha which were conquered by Arjuna. Some of them are as under.[19] Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha, Dhananjaya Vrihanta, the king of Uluka Modapura, Vamadeva, Sudaman, Susankula, the Northern Ulukas, and the kings of those countries and peoples Devaprastha, the city of Senavindu Viswagaswa of Puru's race Seven tribes called Utsava-sanketa Kshatriyas of Kashmira and also king Lohita along with ten minor chiefs Trigartas, the Daravas, the Kokonadas, and various other Kshatriyas town of Avisari Rochamana ruling in Uraga Singhapura Regions Suhma and Sumala Valhikas Daradas along with the Kambojas Robber tribes that dwelt in the north-eastern regions Lohas, the eastern Kambojas, and northern Rishikas country of the Limpurushas ruled by Durmaputra Harataka Various lakes and tanks sacred to the Rishis regions ruled by the Gandharvas that lay around the Harataka territories. Here the conqueror took, as tribute from the country, numerous excellent horses called Tittiri, Kalmasha, Manduka. North Harivarsha city of Sakraprastha [edit]Exile

After Yudhisthira succumbed to Shakuni's challenge in the game of dice, the Pandavas were forced to be in exile for 13 years, which included one year in anonymity. [edit]Penance for Pashupatastra

Kiratarjuniya Indra had promised Arjuna to give all his weapons before the eventual war with the Kauravas, but on the condition that he would receive the Pashupatastra from Lord Shiva. Sage Vyasa advised Arjuna to go on a tapasya to fetch this divine weapon. Arjuna left his brothers for a penance. Arjuna travelled for a while before reaching the mountain Indrakila. Here he sat in meditation of the name of Lord Shiva. Shiva appeared soon enough in the guise of a hunter. Shiva challenged Arjuna for a fight and although he defeated Arjuna, Shiva was very pleased with bravery and prowess of the prince. Consequently, Shiva transformed himself to show his real avatar and blessed Arjuna with the Pashupatastra. Other Devas like Kubera, Yama, Varuna and Indra followed suit and blessed each of their potent weapons to Arjuna. Indra also invited his son to his palace in the Heaven. Arjuna was amazed at the splendor of his father’s palace at Amaravathi. Dancers like Urvashi, Tilottama, Rambha and Menaka entertained him. There was a huge banquet serving different varieties of tasty and heavenly dishes. Arjuna learnt song and dance from the Gandharva, Chitrasena. Indra himself taught him to wield the divine astras, and also gifted him with his own Vajra. [edit]Urvashi’s curse

Urvashi’s curse Indra had noted the passionate glances exchanged between Arjuna and Urvashi during his stay. He commanded Urvashi to spend a night with Arjuna. However Arjuna did not have any sexual attraction for Urvashi, and so called her a mother, equal in respect to Kunti.[20] Urvashi was annoyed and cursed him that he will become a eunuch who will live among women, singing and dancing. On Indra’s request, Urvashi reduced her curse to a period of one year, the thirteenth year of Pandavas’ exile. [edit]Trial with Devastras : Slaying Rakshasas at heaven Arjuna got the opportunity to test his skills with the divine weapons at Indra’s palace itself. Arjuna was taken to the palace of the Nivatakavachas, a tribe of Rakshasas who had a magnificent palace under the oceans. Arjuna used the mohini astra and the madhava astra to demolish these asuras. He was also taken to Hiranyapuri, a palace in the sky created by a witch Puloma and his asura tribe of the Kaalakeyas. Here Arjuna used the Pashupatastra and annihilated the demons. [edit]Eunuch at Virata’s Kingdom

Brihannala - Eunuch at Virata’s Kingdom Main article: Brihannala Along with his brothers, Arjuna spent his last year of exile in the kingdom of Virata. Urvashi’s curse came true and he became a eunuch and called himself Brihannala (within themselves Pandavas called him Vijaya).[21] He taught song and dance, qualities he had learnt from Chitrasena, to the king's daughter, Uttarā_(Mahabharata). Later Arjuna arranged for Uttara to become his daughter-in-law by marrying his son Abhimanyu to her. At Virata, a host of Kaurava warriors that included Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Ashwattama and Duryodhana attacked Virata. Arjuna single handedly defeated this great host of Kaurava warriors with only the prince of Virata (who was only a mere boy) for a charioteer. [edit]Kurukshetra War

[edit]Bhagavad Gita

A statue of Arjuna and Lord Krishna, with Krishna as the sarathi or charioteer Main article: Bhagavad Gita As the battle nears, Arjuna was overcome with self-doubts about the righteousness of the war against his own kith and kin. He was aggrieved at having to fight his dear teacher, Drona and the fatherlike Bhishma. It was then that Krishna took charge and explained the necessity and inevitability of the war to Arjuna. This conversation is a key part of the Mahabharata and is considered as a holy scripture of Hinduism. [edit]Battles fought at Kurukshetra Arjuna was a key Pandava warrior and played a huge role in the Kurukshetra war. His flag bore the symbol of Hanuman.[22] Some of the crucial battles fought by Arjuna are as follows:

Defeat of Jayadratha Defeat of Jayadratha: Arjuna held Jayadratha responsible for Abhimanyu's death on the thirteenth day of the war. He vowed to kill him the very next day before sunset, failing which he would kill himself by jumping in a pyre. The Kauravas smartly hid Jayadratha from Arjuna, in a back-handed way to kill Arjuna. However Krishna created an artificial eclipse by using his Sudarshana Chakra to hide the sun, forcing Kauravas to believe the day was over and Arjuna’s death was imminent. Presently Jayadratha reappeared in joy, even as the sun emerged from the eclipse. Arjuna promptly used his most powerful weapon, Pashupatastra to slaughter Jayadratha.

Arjuna Slays Karna, page from a copy of the Razmnama, Mughal period Defeat of Karna: Karna and Arjuna were sworn enemies in the epic, each having taken an oath to kill the other in the battle. On the seventeenth day of battle the two foes faced each other once more. This battle between Arjuna and Karna is perhaps the most cataclysmic and awesome of the great epic. The warriors on the battlefield and the Devas in Swarga watched the battle in speechless amazement and terrified admiration of the strength and skill of these greatest of warriors. The epic states that initially the battle was even between the two foes but then Karna's chariot wheel gets stuck in the mud. Further, owing to a curse Karna received from his guru Parasurama, Karna forgets the mantra to invoke the Brahmastra. The epic states that Arjuna, always righteous, hesitates to attack his foe at this juncture but Krishna commands Arjuna to attack Karna and reminds Arjuna of all the atrocities that Karna committed against the Pandavas, such as, his instigation and participation of their wife Draupadi's public humiliation and disrobing, and his participation in the treacherous and cowardly killing of Arjuna's son Abhimanyu. Krishna reminds Arjuna that Karna sided with adharma (unrighteousness) and had no right at this point in his life to invoke dharma (righteousness). Arjuna hence kills Karna using the Anjalika weapon to decapitate him. [edit]Conquest for Ashvamedha

After the conclusion of the war, the Pandavas take charge of Hastinapura, the undivided realm of their ancestors. Yudhishira appointed Arjuna as the in-charge for the army and security forces of Hastinapura.[23] Yudhisthira decided to hold the Ashvamedha Yagna, or "horse sacrifice", to grant them the title of Chakravarti ("Emperor"). Arjuna led the armed forces which followed the horse around its random wanderings. He received the submission of many kings, either without or following an armed confrontation. He was thus instrumental in the expansion of the Pandava domains. Some of the campaigns are as under: Uttarapatha, including those of Pragjyotisha, Uluka, Modapura, Vamadeva, Sudaman, Susankula, Northern Uluka, Puru kingdom of Viswagaswa, Utsava-Sanketa, Lohita, Trigarta, Darava, Abhisara, Kokonada, Ursa, Simhapura, Suhma, Sumala, Balhika, Darada, Kamboja. Transoxiana region (Sakadvipa or Scythia), the Lohas, Parama Kambojas, Northern Rishikas (or Parama Rishikas), Limpurushas, Haratakas, Gandharvas and the Uttarakurus. Trigarta: Ketuvarman and Dhritavarman King Vajradatta, son of Bhagadatta Saindhava Manipura and death by Babruvahana:

Arjuna is killed by his son Babhruvahana in battle - a composite Razmnama illustration circa 1616 Arjuna went to Manipura, where the king was Babruvahana, his own son with Chitrangadaa. Seeing his father Babruvahana came all the way to receive Arjuna. Arjuna was very upset that Babruvahana did not respect the duties worthy of a King and did not ask for war. He cursed his son as a coward and asked him to prepare for war. In the fight between father and son Babruvahana killed Arjuna, but Ulupi, the snake-princess used the Mritasanjivani, a boon from Ganga Devi to bring Arjuna back to life. It is later stated that the defeat was because of Arjuna’s using Shikhandi to plot Bhishma’s death.[24] Magadha, Rajagriha and King Meghasandhi Chedi and other kingdoms Kasi, Anga, Kosala, Kirata and Tanga kingdoms. Arjuna accepted due honors from respective rulers. Dakarna Nishada: Arjuna was able to defeat the Nishada King, the son of Eklavya. Andhra people led by Mahishaksha, tribes of Kolwa hills Saurashtra, Gokarn city and Prabhaska Dwarvati and Vrishni race Punjab Gandhara [edit]Death

Upon the onset of the Kali yuga and the death of Krishna, Bhima and other Pandavas retired, leaving the throne to their only descendant to survive the war of Kurukshetra, Arjuna's grandson Parikshit. Giving up all their belongings and ties, the Pandavas, accompanied by a dog, made their final journey of pilgrimage to the Himalayas. It is also to be noted that the listener of the Mahabharata is Janamejaya, a son in the lineage of Arjuna. [edit]Character of Arjuna

Arjuna meets Sri Krishma at Prabhasa teertha The character of Arjuna is described as one whose mind is spotless and clean of all impurities. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita refers to Arjuna as Anagha, which means pure of heart or sinless. On the 17th day of the Great War when Karna is trying to extricate his chariot from the mud, Arjuna (in spite of all the cruelty and unchivalrous acts previously meted out by Karna to the Pandavas) hesitates to kill Karna. He does so only at the behest of Krishna. This reveals his restrain and self-control. Arjuna's nobility is manifested in his magnanimity in victory and compassion towards adversaries. He bears all the injustice of the Kauravas with stoicism and yet hesitates to kill them just before the war. As Nara of Nara Narayana (an avatar of Vishnu), Arjuna embodies Kshatriya manhood. Krishna being Narayana of the Nara Narayana avatar, symbolizes the atman, and hence the two are inseparable. Arjuna was chosen by Krishna to be his dearest friend and disciple. In the great epic, on several occasions, Krishna reveals his great and eternal love for Arjuna. Krishna states that no one in the world is dearer to him that Arjuna and that there is nothing in the world that he wouldn’t give his friend. In the epic, when Arjuna takes a vow to either kill Jayadratha before sunset or else immolate himself, Krishna remarks to his charioteer, Daruka, that neither his wives nor friends nor kinsmen nor relatives nor any other is dearer to him than Arjuna. He further states that he is unable to live in a world deprived of Arjuna for even a moment. Krishna refers to Arjuna as Purusharshva, which translates to best of men.

Sri Arjuna In Three Genders In Vedic narratives Sri Arjuna manifests all three genders—male, female, and hermaphrodite. He is most popularly known in his male form as the heroic warrior of the Mahabharata, the disciple of Sri Krsna in Bhagavad Gita and the husband of Draupadi. He is very, very dear to Lord Krsna. It is said that when Krsna first met Arjuna tears came to His eyes and He embraced Arjuna wholeheartedly—this was because Arjuna reminded Krsna of His intimate cowherd friend in Vraja of the same name. Krsna and Arjuna became instant companions and spent many years together in deep friendship. In the Mahabharata (Sauptika Parva, XII), Krsna states, “I have no dearer friend on earth than Arjuna, and there is nothing that I cannot give to him including my wives and children.” In the Drona Parva of the same text, Krsna reiterates, “O Daruka, I shall not be able to cast my eyes, even for a single moment, on the earth bereft of Arjuna…Know that Arjuna is half of my body.” Once, when Krsna had to leave Hastinapura for Dvaraka, He quickly hurried to the apartments of Arjuna and spent the entire night with him in happy slumber, even at the risk of upsetting His temperamental wife, Satyabhama. As inseparable friends, Arjuna and Krsna are said to be nondifferent from the two Vedic sages of the Himalayas, Nara and Narayana. In a lesser-known narrative from the Padma Purana (5.74.60-198), Arjuna is transformed into a female—the beautiful cowherd maiden Arjuni. After continuously expressing his desire to know all about Krsna’s divine sporting affairs, Krsna finally relents. He instructs Arjuna to bathe in a sacred lake, wherefrom he arises as a beautiful, youthful maiden. Worshiping Sri Radha, the maiden Arjuni is granted permission to sport with Krsna. However, upon seeing Krsna and His beautiful male features, Arjuni becomes wonderstruck and overwhelmed with love, exhibiting all types of ecstatic symptoms and then fainting. Seeing her overcome with desire, Krsna takes Arjuni’s hand and guides her into His pleasure forest where He sports with her secretly and at will. After some time Krsna returns Arjuni to Radha, who then instructs her to again bathe in the lake. Arjuna thus regains his male form but is left depressed and heartbroken. Krsna reassures Arjuna and, by touching him, restores his male awareness and nature. One of the most popular narratives of Arjuna is his appearance as the male-to-female transgender, Brihannala. When Arjuna refuses the advances of the celestial courtesan, Urvasi, she curses him to become a shandha—an effeminate man who dresses and behaves like a woman. Indra reduces the curse to one year, and this turns out to be a blessing in disguise—Arjuna is able to use the so-called curse to his advantage during his exile in the capital city of Virata. Arjuna enters the city as Brihannala, a most unusual transgender woman with masculine features but an exceedingly effeminate gait, manner of speech, and attire. Brihannala is donned in a woman’s blouse and draped in red silk. Wearing numerous bangles, earrings and necklaces, she enters the royal palace with the gait of a broad-hipped woman. After Brihannala requests the king, Maharaja Virata, for employment, he grants her service in the lady’s chamber as a teacher of dancing, singing, music, and hairdressing—typical occupations for people of the third sex during Vedic times. It is also said that during this one-year period, Brihannala performed all of the traditional duties of the shandha by dancing and offering blessings at wedding and birth ceremonies.

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November 18, -3112
HIMVAAN, INDIA, Himachal Pradesh, India
- -3093
Age 18
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India




- -3081
Age 18
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Military academy of Drona
Hastinapura the capital of Kuru kingdom was the center of military education during the period ofMahabharata. Drona was the foremost of the preceptors in all modes of warfare. Drona himself learned the science of warfare from his father Bharadwaja and the great warrior of the age viz Bhargava Rama.Bhishma, who was the foremost of the Kuru warriors, also was a disciple of Bhargava Rama. Kripawas another preceptor of arms. Under the guidance of all these scions of military science, the Pandavas and Kauravas became highly skilled in warfare. This military academy was the reason for the dominance of Kauravas and Pandavas among the kingdoms of ancient India. In the academy, Drona taught his disciples skills such as archery, mace fighting, sword fighting, and javelin fighting, among other weaponry skills, and these in permutation with the modes of warfare on foot, on horse, on a chariot, and on a war-elephant. He also taught his students how to form military formations, how to strategize the military moves and how to ride chariots. Drona's specialty was archery, particularly in the situation where the bowman was moving in a chariot. Arjuna was the foremost among his disciples as a bowman. Bhima and Duryodhana excelled in mace-fight; Dhristadyumna, Nakula and Sahadeva excelled in sword-fight.
Even Dhristadyumna, the prince from the Panchala Kingdom who was closest competitor of the Kurus for dominance in Aryavarta, came to study the science of warfare under Drona, in his military academy at Hastinapura, the capital of Kurus (1,169). Others who came to Hastinapura seeking military science were Ekalavya the prince of Nishada Kingdom (1,134) and Karna the prince from Anga Kingdom, ruled by Suta tribes.

- -3091
Age 19
Ekachakra, Birbhum, West Bengal, India


The ministers began to praise the beauty of Varanavata in the hearing of the Pandavas and made mention of the fact that a great festival in honor of Siva would be conducted there with all pomp and splendor.
The unsuspecting Pandavas were easily persuaded, especially when Dhritarashtra also told them in tones of great affection that they should certainly go and witness the festivities, not only because they were worth seeing but because the people of the place were eager to welcome them.
The Pandavas took leave of Bhishma and other elders and went to Varanavata. Duryodhana was elated. He plotted with Karna and Sakuni to kill Kunti and her sons at Varanavata. They sent for Purochana, a minister, and gave him secret instructions which he bound himself to carry out faithfully.
Every convenience was furnished for the Pandavas to dwell in the city without fear, until the palace was built. When the Pandavas had settled down in the wax house, the idea was to set fire to it at night when they were sound asleep.
This was meant to indicate to Yudhishthira and to him alone, Duryodhana's hideous plot and the means of escape from danger. Yudhishthira answered that he had grasped Vidura's meaning, and later he communicated it to Kuntidevi.
Henceforward the miner worked for many days in secret, unknown to Purochana, and completed a subterranean egress from the wax house right under and across the walls and the moat, which ran round the precincts.
The Pandavas marched on, suffering many hardships and overcoming many dangers. Part of the way, they would carry their mother to make better speed. Sometimes, tired beyond even heroic endurance, they would pause and rest. Sometimes, full of life and the glorious strength of youth, they would race with each other.
They met Bhagavan Vyasa on the way. All of them bowed before him and received encouragement and wise counsel from him.
Then they put on the garb of brahmanas, as advised by Vyasa, went to the city of Ekachakra and stayed there in a brahmana's house, waiting for better days.
Then they put on the garb of brahmanas, as advised by Vyasa, went to the city of Ekachakra and stayed there in a brahmana's house, waiting for better days.
Kuntidevi replied: "Dear sons, we have lived happily for many years in the house of this brahmana. Duty, nay, man's highest virtue, is to repay the benefit he has enjoyed by doing good in his turn. I know the heroism of Bhima and have no fears. Remember who carried us from Varanavata and who killed the demon Hidimba. It is our duty to be of service to this brahmana family."
After a fierce battle, the Rakshasa Bakasura was slain by Bhima who pretended to bring him a cartload of food.

Mahabharata - Part 2
The Conspiracy

The Pandavas were superior to the Kauravas in every respect, both in strength and intelligence. They were greatly appreciated for their innate noble qualities. Bheeshma advised Dhritarashtra to declare Yudishthira as the crown prince of Hastinapur since he was the eldest and was endowed with fine qualities of a king.
Duryodhan's jealousy for the Pandavas increased after hearing that Yudishthira would be declared the crown prince. Out of anger, Duryodhan planned to kill the Pandavas so that he can ascend the throne of Hastinapur. One day Duryodhan approached his father, Dhritarashtra, and requested him to send the Pandavas to the annual Pashupati fair in Varnavat, a place far away from Hastinapur. Ignorant of any foul play, Dhritarashtra asked the Pandavas to attend the fair.
Duryodhan, on the other hand, secretly ordered his trusted partner Purochana, to make a special palace, with highly inflammable materials, for the Pandavas. His heinous plan was to burn the Pandavas alive while sleeping. According to the palace and would put it on fire on the following dark night.
However, Vidur, uncle of the Pandavas, and their well wisher, came to know of Duryodhan’s heinous plan and alerted Yudishthira. Yudishthira did not want to make a big deal out of this matter, since the Pandavas were not yet ready to fight back. So he decided to handle this in a clandestine manner. In order to allow the Pandavas to gain time, Vidur sent a miner to Varnavat to secretly dig an escape tunnel from the palace. The tunnel would lead into a nearby dense forest, an area easy enough for the Pandavas to hide.
On the night when the heinous deed was about to be performed, Bheema bolted Purochana’s room from outside and set the house on fire. Then the Pandavas escaped through the tunnel into the forest. At the site of the massive conflagration, the people of Varnavat came rushing to extinguish the fire. However, the highly flammable palace burnt to ashes quickly. Everyone thought that the Pandavas were burnt in the fire. Soon, the news reached Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra and Bheeshma were shocked to hear the news. Duryodhan was elated to hear it, but outwardly acted to be sad .
After many miles of walk through the forest, the Pandava brothers and mother Kunti laid down under a banyan tree, hungry and thirsty. Bheema went to get the water but when he came back, he saw everyone in deep sleep. Bheema stayed awake to guard them.
The forest was a hunting reserve of a fearful demon called Hidimb. He lived with his sister Hidimba on a huge tree, near the place where the Pandavas were resting. As soon as Hidimb smelled the presence of humans, he asked his sister Hidimba to kill them for their dinner. Hidimba reached the place and saw Bheema guarding the Pandavas. After seeing the muscular body of Bheema, she instantaneously fell in love with him. So she transformed herself into a beautiful maiden and approached Bheema. Bheema also fell in love with Hidimba at the first sight. On Hidimba's inquiry Bheema explained the reason for his family to hide in the forest. Hidimba sympathized and promised to help them. In the meantime, Hidimb got impatient and came down from the tree in search of his sister. When he saw his sister making love to his intended prey, he became furious. He attacked Bheema instantly. Bheema pulled him away to a distance so that his family could rest. A terrible fight ensued. Finally Hidimb was killed by Bheema.
When the family of Pandavas got up, Kunti noticed a beautiful maiden standing near Bheema. She inquired and Hidimba explained what had just happened. She further requested Kunti to permit her son Bheema to marry her. Hidimba promised to return Bheema to the Pandavas after the birth of a child. Kunti and her four sons were impressed by Hidimba and agreed to accept her as Bheema’s wife.
Following a short ceremony, Hidimba and Bheema left for the land of beauty. In course of time, a child was born who was named Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkacha grew up in no time and, like his father, became a great warrior. Bheema returned to his family with his son and wife. As promised, Hidimba left with her son after a short visit and Ghatotkacha promised to return to the Pandavas whenever called.
After some time of hiding in the forest, the Pandavas began to plan to leave the forest when Veda Vyas arrived. He consoled the Pandavas and assured them that justice will finally avail. He advised them to have patience and to endure their current hardship. On the advise of Veda Vyas, Kunti and her five sons went to a nearby town, called Ekachakra. They stayed with a Brahmin family, disguised as Brahmins. The Pandavas lived on begging alms and chanting prayers.
One day, while Kunti was resting at noon, she heard wailings inside the Brahmin's house where they were staying. Considering it to be a part of their duty to stand beside their host at the time of adversity, Kunti went to inquire of their misery.
The Brahmin told the horror story that this village was cursed by a demon called Bakasur. When he came into the town of Ekachakra from no where, he was killing people at random and destroying the village. Finally the leader of the town made a deal with Bakasur asking him to stay in the nearby forest. Every day the town will send to him a cartload of food drawn by two buffaloes, driven by a person drawn by lot. Bakasur will eat the food, the buffaloes and the driver. Kunti immediately guessed that it must be the turn of the host-family that day to send a driver. To the surprise of all, Kunti offered her help.
"I have five children and I will send Bheema to meet the demon. He is strong enough to kill the demon and free the town from his clutch forever. The only request that I will make is to keep it a secret and not to reveal our identity."
Bheema met Bakasur and ignoring him began to eat his food in front of him. Bakasur got furious and attacked Bheema. A fearful fight soon ensued and Bakasur was killed. Bheema secretly dragged his body at night to the entrance of the town and left it there for the people to witness.
Next morning, the citizens were surprised to see the dead body of Bakasur. They rejoiced to their heart's content. When they asked the Brahmin, the host of the Pandavas, he only said, "It is all God's will. Let us thank Him for removing the menace for good."
Later on, while at Ekachakra, the Pandavas heard from a traveler that Drupad, the king of Panchal, was holding a swyambara for getting his beautiful daughter Draupadi married to the best of the princes. In those days, swyambara was a royal ceremony where the suitors competed in certain events and the winner got the hand of the princess. The Pandavas knew Drupad whom they humbled before their guru Dronacharya. Drupad did not have any child. He performed a Yagna (fire worship) so devotedly that a boy and a girl sprung out of the fire. The boy was named Dhritasthadyumna and the girl, Draupadi. Draupadi was well known for her stunning beauty and many princes aspired to win her hand. Pandava brothers also decided to attend the swyambara ceremony, disguised as Brahmins.

- -3092
Age 19
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India






April -3091
Age 20
Panchala, Junagadh, Gujarat, India







Arjuna Wins Draupadi Translated from Sanskrit
by Hridayananda Dasa Goswami
Disguised as a brahmana,
Arjuna steps forward to meet the challenge
that has humiliated the powerful young kings.

The sage Vaisampayana is telling the history of the Pandavas to their great-grandson, King Janamejaya. As the Mahabharata continues, the Pandavas, disguised as brahmanas, are attending a ceremony in which Princess Draupadi will choose a husband from among many young kings. Draupadi's father set up a challenge for her suitors: They must string a mighty bow and pierce a difficult target. The other kings having failed, the Pandava Arjuna now steps forward.

THEREUPON, WHEN ALL the kings had given up their attempt to string the bow, the wise Arjuna rose up from the midst of the brahmanas. Seeing that Arjuna, Prtha's son, shining like the flag of Indra, had set out for the center of the arena, the leading brahmanas cried out and shook their deerskins. Some were unhappy to see a brahmana going to compete with warriors, and others were filled with joy.

The sages were considered experts, and they lived by their intelligence. Some of them said to one another, "The kings of the earth, led by Karna and Salya, mighty monarchs renowned in all the world as masters of the military science, could not bend the bow. How then can a mere brahminical student, frail, lacking stamina, and untrained in weapons, string the bow? The kings will ridicule us brahmanas when this whimsical and thoughtless act comes to nothing.

"Whether out of pride or impulsiveness or unsteadiness in his life as a religious student, he has gone out to string the bow. He must be stopped! For God's sake, don't let him go! We shall not be ridiculed in public so that we are no longer taken seriously. And we shall not risk a conflict with all the kings of the world."

But others disagreed.

"This young man looks very good. He's built like the trunk of the king of elephants. His thighs, arms, and shoulders are bulging with muscles, and he seems as steady and hard to move as the Himalayan mountains.

"We can infer from his bold confidence that the task of stringing the bow and piercing the target is actually possible for him. He has power and great daring. A weak man could not go out there alone as he is doing. And after all, whether among gods, human beings, or lower life the brahmanas can accomplish any task. Eating only water or living on air or collecting fruits in the forest, brahmanas are fixed in their vows. And though apparently weak, by their spiritual power they are very strong. Abrahmana should never be scorned, whether he behaves properly or has committed some fault, whether his work in this world is great or small, and whether his work brings apparent joy or sorrow."

An Easy Task For Arjuna

Coming to the center of the arena, Arjuna, as unmoving as a mountain, simply stood by the bow. Then he respectfully walked around the bow, keeping it to his right, and bowed down, touching his head to the ground.

Then that fiery warrior happily took the bow in his hands. In the wink of an eye Arjuna fastened the cord, took the five arrows in his hands, and shot the target. Pierced by Arjuna's shafts, the target fell suddenly onto the earth.

The heavens burst into sound, and a great roar filled the stadium. Indra, the lord of heaven, showered flowers on the head of Arjuna, the slayer of the wicked. Throughout the stadium people waved their cloths in jubilation. Some cried out in wonder, and others shouted their disapproval, while showers of flowers fell from the sky, covering the land with celestial blossoms. Hundred-piece bands broke into song, reciters began to recite, and bards and historical chroniclers praised the astonishing event with elegant voices and language.

Seeing Arjuna's feat, Drupada, destroyer of the enemy, was well pleased, and he stood ready with his army to help Arjuna.

As the great uproar continued unabated, the most virtuous Yudhisthira quickly returned to his residence with his twin brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva, the finest of men.

Seeing the target pierced, and seeing Arjuna shining with the brilliance of Indra, Draupadi took the white garland meant for the groom and went broadly smiling to Arjuna, the son of Kunti. As the brahmanas praised and honored Arjuna for he had performed an inconceivable deed he took the woman he had won in the arena of heroes. Followed by his new wife, he walked out of the stadium.

The Kings Protest

When King Drupada desired to give his daughter to the great-spirited brahmana who had won her, fury rose among the assembled kings, and they began to look at one another.

"This king passes over all of us, treating the assembled warriors like straw in the gutter, and instead he wants to give Draupadi, the best of women, to a simple brahmana. Let us kill this wicked king who thinks so little of us. He shows by his qualities that he is unworthy of respect or the consideration offered to the elderly. Let us kill this evil-doer and hater of kings, along with his son. First he calls all the rulers to his city and honors them and feeds them sumptuously, and finally he humiliates them.

"Are we to believe that in this gathering of royalty, like unto a council of the gods, he has not found a single ruler worthy of his family? Sages are not entitled to the privilege of choosing a princess. The Vedas declare that a svayamvara is for men of the royal order. On the other hand, if this fair maiden finds not a single one of us worthy of her, then, fellow kings, let us throw her into the fire and go back to our kingdoms.

"Even though the brahmana, out of immaturity or greed, has so displeased us, in no way is he to be killed. Indeed, we rule our kingdoms, spend our wealth, raise our sons and grandsons,' and live our very lives for the sake of the saintly brahmanas. Still, we must avoid the danger that kings henceforth be regularly insulted. We must protect the sacred principles of warriors so that other svayamvaras do not end like this one."

Bhima And Arjuna Protect Drupada

Having thus spoken, those tigerlike kings, bludgeons in hand and bristling with anger, rushed upon Drupada to arrest him. Seeing the furious kings rushing to attack him with bows and arrows at the ready, Drupada fled in terror and sought shelter of thebrahmanas. The kings charged forward in pursuit like maddened elephants. But then two greatly powerful sons of Pandu Bhima and Arjuna, subduers of enemies went forward against them.

The kings could tolerate no more. Weapons raised with armored hands, their only aim now to kill, they flew forward upon Arjuna and Bhimasena, the two sons of the old Kuru king. Bhima, however, was a warrior of astonishing power and deeds. With his great strength he struck with the shock of a thunderbolt. With his bare arms that unique fighter jerked a large tree out of the ground, and like a lordly elephant he clipped off its leaves [so that the foliage would not soften his blow]. Staying close to Arjuna and brandishing his new weapon in his long, wide arms, Bhima, pain of his enemies, stood like the fearsome lord of death wielding his death-dealing rod.

Having first witnessed Arjuna's feat, which required more than human intelligence, and seeing now the inconceivable prowess of Arjuna's brother Bhima, Lord Krsna, known as Damodara, turned and spoke to His fiercely potent brother, Balarama, who was armed with His plow weapon. Lord Krsna said: "My dear Sankarsana, My brother, that one there who moves with the bearing of a maddened bull and who bent the mighty bow that stood as tall as a palm tree he is Arjuna, as indisputably as I am all-pervading Vasudeva. And that one who returned at once when the kings became wild and who so easily tore out a tree he is Bhimasena, playing the part of a human being, for no man on earth has the power to do what he just did here.

"That other one who left earlier fair-skinned, with large eyes like lotus petals, a more slender physique, the gait of a great lion yet a humble demeanor, and a prominent and handsome nose that enhances his face he, O infallible one, is surely the king of virtue, Yudhisthira.

"Those twins who seem like two young gods of war I reckon to be the sons of the Asvin gods. I have heard that the sons of Pandu and their mother Prtha were saved from the burning house of lac."

Trusting in the words of His younger brother Krsna, Lord Balarama, whose complexion is as white as the purest cloud, said to Him, "I am so happy that by the grace of Providence Our father's sister Prtha and her sons, the best of the Kurus, have all been saved."

The powerful brahmanas, shaking their deerskins and water vessels, said to King Drupada, "You have nothing to fear! We shall fight the enemy!"

When the sages spoke thus, Arjuna smiled and said to them, "Please, be spectators and stand to the side. Just as one can ward off poisonous snakes with mantras, so I shall stop these furious ksatriyas, dispersing them with hundreds of straight-shooting arrows."

Taking his prize bow, Arjuna stood with his brother Bhima like an unmoving mountain, for he was a maharatha, one who can fight alone against thousands of soldiers. Like fearless bull elephants rushing against a hostile herd, the two courageous brothers flew at the angry warriors, headed by Karna, who had now been roused to full fury.

The monarchs and their men declared, "Even a brahmana may be killed in battle if he desires to fight. So says the law."

Karna Fights With Arjuna

Karna went after Arjuna with tremendous power, like a battle-hungry elephant fighting another bull for the sake of his mate. Salya, the mighty lord of the Madras, attacked Bhimasena. Duryodhana and other kings battled the brahmanas, but gently and without effort.

Strongly bending his bow, Arjuna struck the attacking Karna with three arrows. Radheya [Karna] was stunned by the force of the sharp, sizzling arrows and approached with much caution. As Arjuna and Karna furiously battled each other, the skill and speed of the two fighters was incomparable, and each fought hard for victory. They addressed each other in words meaningful to heroes: "Just see how I countered your move!" and "See the strength of my arms!"

Realizing that the power of Arjuna's bow-wielding arms was unmatched on earth prompted Karna to fight with even greater fury. Counteracting the swift shafts fired off by Arjuna, he roared his battle sound, and his fellow warriors shouted with admiration.

Karna said, "I am satisfied by your performance in battle, O brahmana chief. There is great prowess in your arms, you have learned all the weapons, and you do not become discouraged. O noble sage, are you Dhanur Veda himself, or perhaps even Lord Parasurama? Are you Lord Indra, or possibly the infallible Visnu? To disguise yourself you have assumed the appearance of a brahmana, and using the might of your arms you now fight with me. Once I become angry, no one save Indra himself or the Pandava Arjuna can fight me."

Hearing Karna speak to him thus, Phalguna Arjuna replied, "I am not Dhanur Veda, O Karna, nor am I the powerful Parasurama. Quite simply, I am the best of fighting brahmanas, and I am the most skillful in the use of weapons. By the instructions of my guru I am expert in the brahma weapon and in the device of Purandara Indra. I therefore stand here in battle to conquer you, O heroic warrior. Be resolved!"

At these words Radheya Karna, the great chariot fighter, withdrew from the battle, having decided that the power of a brahmana could not be defeated.

At that very moment, O king, the two mighty warriors Salya and Vrkodara Bhima began to fight one another, each maddened with strength and hungry for victory. Like huge enraged bull elephants they taunted one another. With fist colliding against fist, knee smashing against knee, they dragged each other around the fighting ring. Then, in the midst of their battle, Bhima seized Salya in his arms, lifted him high, and slammed him against the ground. The brahmanas broke into smiles. Having brought down powerful Salya, the mighty Bhimasena, best among men, astonished everyone, for he did not strike and kill his foe.

With Salya now brought down and Karna hesitant, the ksatriyas grew doubtful and surrounded Bhimasena.

"These bull-like brahmanas have done very well indeed!" they said. "We should learn where they were born and where they reside, for who has the power to oppose Karna in battle if not Parasurama or Drona or Krpa, the son of Saradvan? Who has the power to meet Duryodhana in battle but Krsna, the son of Devaki, or the fiery Phalguna Arjuna? Salya, king of the Madras, is the strongest of men. Who could fight him but the heroic Lord Baladeva or the Pandava Vrkodara Bhima? Let us forge a truce and suspend fighting with these brahmanas. After we discover who they are, we shall fight again later."

Carefully watching the activities of Bhima, Sri Krsna believed that Bhima and Arjuna were the sons of Kunti. He therefore convinced all the warriors that Draupadi had indeed been fairly won, and thus He restrained them from fighting on. The noble kings were experienced warriors, and on hearing Lord Krsna's remarks they desisted from battle and returned to their kingdoms in utter amazement.

"The competition was dominated by brahmanas. The princess of Pancala now lives with the brahmanas, for they have chosen her." Thus spoke the kings who had gathered for the festival as they journeyed to their homes.

Meanwhile, surrounded by brahmanas clad in deerskins, Bhimasena and Arjuna could hardly move. Those two heroes of mankind at last broke free of the pressing crowd. While their enemies studied and stared at them, and as Draupadi faithfully followed them, they shone beautifully amid the tumultuous scene.

April -3091
Age 20
Panchal, Bankura, West Bengal, India

WHILE the Pandavas were living in disguise as brahmanas at Ekachakrapura, news of the Swayamvara of Draupadi, the daughter of Drupada, King of Panchala, reached them.
Many brahmanas of Ekachakrapura planned to go to Panchala in the hope of receiving the customary gifts and to see the festivities and pageant of a royal wedding. Kunti, with her motherly instinct, read her sons' desire to go to Panchala and win Draupadi.
So she told Yudhishthira: "We have been in this city so long that it is time to think of going somewhere else. We have seen these hills and dales till we are tired of them.
The alms doled out to us are diminishing and it is not good to outstay your entertain- ment. Let us therefore go to Drupada's kingdom which is reputed to be fair and prosperous." Kunti was second to none in worldly wisdom and sagacity and could gracefully divine her sons' thoughts and spare them the awkwardness of expressing them.

Age 20
Kohima, Kohima, Nagaland, India
Age 20
Panchal, Banswara, Rajasthan, India
Age 20
Manipur, India


The Pandava brothers followed the instructions provided by Krishna (Vyasa in some retellings) for sharing Draupadi equally. Each brother used to stay with Draupadi for a year and then wait for another four years to get the turn again. During this time, none of the others were to go to Draupadi's chamber out of turn. If anyone breaks this rule, then he will have to live in exile.

One day Arjuna entered Draupadi's chamber to retrieve his weapons when she was with Yuddhistira. Arjuna was trying to protect the cattle of a brahmin from some thieves. Then he rightfully accepted the rule of exile. Arjuna gave importance to his Kshatriya dharma (warrior code) over the other family law.

During this exile, Arjuna went to pilgrimage centers. He had a fling with Ulupi (naga woman) and fathered a child called Iravan. Arjuna gradually forgot this as well. Arjuna also married a great warrior woman called Chitrangada in Manipur. He visited Dwaraka and stayed with Shri Krishna for some time.