SUDAKSHINA (deceased)

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Sudakshina (Sanskrit: सुदक्षिण) was a king of the Kambojas, mentioned in the Mahābhārata as fighting on the side of the Kauravas and being slain by Arjuna.[1] On the fourteenth day of battle, Arjuna, with his charioteer Krishna, attempts to reach Jayadratha.Dronacharya and Duryodhana throw warriors in Arjuna's path, trying to impede his progress untilsunset. Sudakshina rallies a fleeing Kaurava akshauhini, challenging Arjuna. He throws a spear at Arjuna; the spear connects and Arjuna swoons in his seat, dripping blood. The Kaurava army begins to cheer, thinking Arjuna is dead. However, Arjuna quickly recovers and angrily invokes theIndraastra, which multiplies into many arrows and decimates the Kaurava forces. Sudakshina is beheaded by one of these arrows. It is later remarked that while Sudakshina was a just and good king, he felt obligated to fight for Duryodhana. In the years preceding the war, Karna had conquered the Kamboja army and Sudakshina had bent the knee to Hastinapur. Despite knowing that the Pandavas had dharma on their side, he raised his banners for Duryodhana.

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November 22, -3067
- November 22, -3067
Kurukshetra, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India




Shalya kills Uttara
When the battle commenced, Bhishma went through the Pandava army wreaking havoc wherever he went. Abhimanyu, Arjuna's son, seeing this went straight at Bhishma, defeated his bodyguards and directly attacked the commander of the Kaurava forces. The Pandavas suffered numerous losses and were defeated at the end of the first day. Virata's sons, Uttaraand Sweta, were slain by Shalya and Bhishma. Krishna consoled the distraught Yudhisthira saying that eventually victory would be his.

Kurukshetra War
(Details given are according to the epic Mahabharata)

The position of the Kuru kingdom in Iron Age Vedic India
Date Various dates (6000 BCE – 500 BCE[1])- fought for 18 days.
Location Kurukshetra, modern-day Haryana, India
Result Victory for Pandavas and allies, fall of Kauravas.
Dhritarashtra abdicated the throne of Hastinapura and Yudhisthira succeeded him.
Yuyutsu was appointed as Yudhisthira's subordinate king in Indraprastha.
Various succession took place due to many kings and rulers' deaths in the war: Anga, Chedi, Gandhara, Kalinga, Kosala, Madra, Magadha, Matsya, Panchala, Sindhu, Virata.
The center of power in the Gangetic basin shifted from the Kurus to the Panchalas.
changes Reunification of the Kuru states of Hastinapura and Indraprastha under the Pandavas.
Return of Panchala lands held by Drona to the original Panchala state.
Truce and status quo ante bellum in elsewhere.
Territory-less Pandavas of the Kurus with the support of the mighty Panchala tribe and others. Kauravas (Kuru tribe) with capital at Hastinapura and their allies
Commanders and leaders
Shweta (day 1) †
Dhrishtadyumna (day 2-18) †
Krishna Overlord
Duryodhana †
Bhishma (day 1-10) †
Drona (day 11-15) †
Karna (day 16-17) †
Shalya (day 18) †
Ashwatthama (night raid)
Shakuni †
7 Akshauhinis
(1,530,900 soldiers) 11 Akshauhinis
(2,405,700 soldiers)
Casualties and losses
Almost total,
only 8 known survivors - the five Pandavas, Krishna, Satyaki, Yuyutsu. Normally 7 are recognized, with Yuyutsu excluded. Almost total,
only 4 known survivors - Ashwatthama, Sage Kripa, Kritavarma, Vrishakethu (son of Karna). Normally 3 are recognized, with Vrishakethu excluded.
The Kurukshetra War was, according to the Indian epic poem Mahābhārata, a conflict that arose from a dynastic succession struggle between two groups of cousins of an Indo-Aryan kingdom called Kuru, the Kauravas and Pandavas, for the throne of Hastinapura. It involved a number of ancient kingdoms participating as allies of the rival groups.
The location of the battle was Kurukshetra in the modern state of Haryana in India. The conflict is believed to form an essential component of an ancient work called Jaya and hence the epic Mahābhārata.
Mahābhārata states that the war lasted only eighteen days during which vast armies from all over the Indian Subcontinent fought alongside the two rivals. Despite only referring to these eighteen days, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, suggesting its relative importance within the epic, which overall spans decades of the warring families.
The narrative describes individual battles of various heroes of both sides, battle-field deaths of some of the prominent heroes, military formations employed on each day by both armies, war diplomacy, meetings and discussions among the heroes and commanders before commencement of war on each day and the weapons used. The chapters (parvas) dealing with the war (from chapter six to ten) are considered amongst the oldest in the entire Mahābhārata.[citation needed]
The Kurukshetra War is believed to date variously from 6000 BCE to 500 BCE,[1] based on the astronomical and literary information from Mahābhārata. The history of the Kurukshetra War is also traced to the Battle of the Ten Kings mentioned in Rigveda.[2]
Contents [hide]
1 Historical context
2 Background
3 Combatants
4 Krishna's peace mission
5 War preparations
5.1 Pandava army
5.2 Kaurava army
5.3 Neutral parties
5.4 Army divisions and weaponry
5.5 Military formations
5.6 Rules of engagement
6 Course of war
6.1 Before the battle
6.2 Bhagavad Gita
6.3 Day 1
6.4 Day 2
6.5 Day 3
6.6 Day 4
6.7 Days 5-9
6.8 Day 10
6.9 Day 11
6.10 Day 12
6.11 Day 13
6.12 Day 14
6.13 Day 15
6.14 Day 16
6.15 Day 17
6.16 Day 18
6.17 Aftermath
7 Gallery
8 References
9 External links

Mahabharata: The Great War and World History
By Jahnava Nitai Das | Published on 11-11-2011 in Spiritual Articles

The topic of this issue is the Mahabharata war in relation to world history and culture. We will begin the topic with a question we received sometime back:

"In the Mahabharata, the war seemed to have affected the whole world. We don’t find so many references to such of a huge event in other cultures. Why are there no references to a great world event?"

There is reference to a great war both in the Mayan culture and in old Chinese traditions. They speak about a huge war that happened long, long ago; but they give no details. They only knew that such a war had occurred.

After any war two things happen. In certain regions, nothing develops for a long time; and in certain other regions everything expands very rapidly. The same thing has happened after the Kurukshetra war. In some places everything just stopped; there was no communication. These places became completely isolated from the rest of the world.

You can imagine the situation of those other kingdoms which were working under the fifty-four kingdoms, the Aryan empire. When a huge war like this is waged on the other side of the globe, and none of the kings ever returned, and their armies also didn’t come back, what would be the state of communication?

These kingdoms would have become completely alien to everything. No one would have known what happened. The king with his entire army went to fight in the great war, and that's it. They just disappeared, never to be heard from again. The agents from the ruling kingdoms no longer came to collect taxes, no information was being sent from the world capital. Suddenly these former colonies are isolated and free. They don't have to pay taxes anymore, nor do they have to be subservient.

Naturally the new king would try to make a lot of indigenous effort to put forth their own culture. And if there were any texts left that said his grand father was a slave of Kaikeya, he would just burn it. They wouldn't want to keep such information.

The same thing happened in the modern World War, which was actually just a war around the world. But the Mahabharata war was one massacre at one single place, and nobody went back. None of the kings or soldiers returned to tell what happened.

It is described that the cremations were done there and the rituals were also done there. Even the widows of the other kings were adopted there by the capital, Hastinapura. Seven different types of cremations were done, like mass cremations, individual cremations, etc. After the cremations, the widows were all adopted by Hastinapura there itself. There was practically no one going back to their own countries, hardly a single channel of communication.

We can imagine if we were a distant country ruling under one of these fifty-four kings, the Aryan empire, and we see no one is returning from the battle, no communication is coming from the battle; what would we do? Immediately we would destroy the old information, that showed us as slaves to these Aryan kings, and emerge as a great self-manifesting empire like Egypt. This is exactly what they did.

The destruction caused by the war was not only external. The destruction of the war was also in the minds of the people. After those heavy astras were used, in the minds of the people anything subtle, anything delicate, anything perfectional was completely burnt out. It is just like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, till today you find the children are disabled. How many years has it been? It was only two primitive bombs. They were so gross and physical, but the radioactivity of that is still being seen today.

Then we can understand, according to the descriptions within the Mahabharata, what was the destruction of the Brahmastras used in the war. What was the Agni-astras they were using? What was the power of the wind in the Vayu-astra? It was not only blowing in Kurukshetra, it was blowing all over the planet. What would have happened to the people’s minds because of the diffusion of all these energies?

Everything became lost. Naturally people would not even be able to think that they were serving, or they had been paying tax to the Aryan kings of such and such countries. The whole thing had no meaning any more.

This is known as the "dark period" after the Mahabharata war. Kathacharit-sagara has stories about this dark time. In the Tamil literature also it discusses this period. There was a dark period in between where no one knew what happened. Only the thieves, either through ship or through land, were ruling the world. In Tamil it is known as "kalapirar kalam" which means the time of the unknown kings, unknown rulers. The Tamil literature gives 3,000 years for it. And then the Cheras, Cholas and Pandiyas came to power. In between it was completely dark. And these Cheras, Cholas and Pandiyas were actually descendants of the original Cheras, Cholas and Pandiyas who took part in the Mahabharata war.

The Chola king was the one who ran the kitchen for the Pandavas. That is there in the Tamil literature. Those people who ran the kitchen, they were not just cooks; they were all soldiers. They went to help in the war and when the division of work was given, they were given the kitchen. So they were cooking. There are hundreds of Tamil verses glorifying that king who cooked for the Pandavas during the Mahabharata war. It is there in the Tamil literature.

If this war never happened, if Kurushetra was only symbolic of the body, mind and senses; why would this Aryan king have spent twenty years of his ruling time in the North cooking for someone else. These are clear proofs. There was a dark time in between. The dark time was nothing but the reactions of the war. After the dark time, those who emerged powerful were not all the authentic rulers. Some were descendants, but most were just those who utilized this opportunity to gain power. This is why it is not mentioned in other cultures, it is not recorded. A great war is mentioned, but no details are given.

Even in the mythology of the Greeks it is there, only the time is looking different. The time frame does not look like it is the Mahabharata war, but the great Achilles fighting and other such stories of Greek mythology have a very close similarity to stories from the Kurushetra war. In Greek mythology some of these stories are internally dated much before the time of the Kurushetra war. The reason is because they wanted to have a separate identity, therefore they told it as though it happened at a much more ancient time. It may sound like mythology, but its just the histories which have been handed down from the Kurushetra war by the bards and entertainers.

The bards and entertainers were not killed. This is an important point in understanding how this history has spread. At that time, war meant that during every evening they had theater, they had dance, they had jokers, etc. They had all varieties of entertainment, and none of these entertainers were killed. That was the rule according to dharma-shastra, they were not supposed to be killed. Everyone died on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, but all of these bards, poets and entertainers lived. This is how the stories were spread.

The people who did street dances and folk dances, poetry and songs, they all went back. But because the armies and kings were not there, they did not reach as far as they had come from. These entertainers had traveled along with the armies and kings, from distant lands. When the battle was finished, they had no king or army to take them back to their homeland, which in some cases was on the other side of the world. They traveled on their own, alone, and managed to reach some distance, somewhere. They did not make it home to their own countries, but they traveled as far as they could go alone. And when they stopped, unable to go any further, there they would have searched for some patron to perform for.

They must have been highly impressed with this war. Whatever had happened, whatever they saw, the battles between the heroes on both sides; it had impressed them so much. Naturally they would dramatize this and make stories of wars, of great battles, of what they had just witnessed.

In this Great war, who would have come back? Only the entertainers; the nandis, vandis and mahatis; those people who woke up the king’s everyday. They are the one's who lived to spread these stories. When their kings died they would leave. This was the tradition. The king goes to the battle with a full entourage . If the king is killed in the second day of the battle, the king who killed him takes his army. This was the system in those days. This was not the case for those who made a pact; like Dhristadyumna was in a pact with the Pandavas. His army would not go to Duryodhana. But those individual kings who came to the help the Pandavas, if the king is killed then everything that he has, including his ornaments, dress and animals, belongs to the king who killed him. Actually his country also belongs to that king. That was how the war was fought. Everything including the ornaments he was wearing, his armor, they belong to the winner. Only his astras won't be taken, because astras won’t serve one unless you have done the proper upasana. The astras will go back to the rishi or the deva who has given them. This was the rule of war.

Once their king was killed, what would the entertainers do? They would not continue sitting there glorifying their dead king while the war was still continuing. As soon as their king died, they would leave the battle field. So for them, the outcome of the war was not even known. But when they left they had nothing, no escort, no entourage; they were alone. So they would travel as far as they could and as quickly as they could, until they reached whatever place they could find. They would be looking for a new patron. And if they found one, the first thing they will say is, "Have you heard? There was a war!" Once they have found a patron they will start performing. But the war was still running, and they would not want to be involved in politics, so to protect themselves they will begin, "Long, long ago..." And that would begin the dramatization of the Great War. This is how the information spread. You can find in every ethnic culture in the world, without fail, there is discussion of a Great War. How does that come about? It may not go by the name Mahabharata, but the great war is there, everywhere.

There is an entire culture whose literature is based around crying, the Sumerian culture. All of their ancient writings are the cries of women who have lost their husbands in the war. Those who can read ancient Tamil will see that their script is almost identical, it is similar to the Dravida alphabets; and even the meanings of the sentences can be understood, it is so similar.

Their texts are saying the same thing as the Mahabharata. A city was built, there was gambling, another city was burnt, a lady was insulted, and because of that there was fire. The order may not be the same, but the elements are identical. After the war, there was crying by the widows. And this crying is the substance of the Sumerian writings. Each song is a cry. It is the same thing as found in the Mahabharata. There is a chapter in the Mahabharata, "the crying of the queens in the war after the kings died". It is identical. Everyone is talking about this same great war.

Even in regards to geography, the ancient cultures are speaking the same thing. There is always mention of a river that is running on four sides of a mountain. They may make the map based on their own idea of how the river is coming down from the mountain, but the substance is the same. They may not understand that it is referring to the four branches of the Ganga which go to the four different levels of the universe, but they have the basic concept. In China it is there. In the Maya culture it is there. This is the same concept as found in the Bhagavatam and other Vedic texts.

There are many other parallels between the world cultures, pointing to a common source. Symbolically the Swastika is found all over the world - in Native American tribes, in Europe, in ancient India. Hitler was trying to revive the old Germanic and Norse tales of the Aryan kings, but he failed to understand the entire tradition. The Swastika represents life, but he chose to reverse it, thus signifying death. Even linguistically, the Indo-European languages, such as Sanskrit, Latin, Greek and their many derivatives, have countless similarities. This all points out that there was originally one culture, one civilization. The Great War described throughout the world is the Mahabharata war.

One may ask, "Why don't the other countries present it in the exact same way?" It is because they were countries working under the fifty-four kings. They were subservient to the Aryan empire, and this war made them free. It was their chance to rewrite the history, to make their civilization the center of time.

The rulers in Hastinapura allowed it to happen by their negligence. Parikshit Maharaja did not function as an emperor of the world for a long time, and as a result there was no unification of the countries done under him. And after him, Janamejaya spent his whole life trying to kill the snakes, until finally he became sick of everything and left the kingdom. Because of this the Aryan kings became weak.

According to Kathacharit-sagara, after the dark period it was Bhima’s grandsons who sprung to power from Ujjain and other places. It was in their line that Vikramaditya later came. In Arjuna's line there was no powerful descendant, although there were some in Kundinapura. But their line quickly became diffused. The Indonesian city, Yogyakarta, previously known as Yajna-karta, was ruled by Bhima’s grandson. It was there that he performed one thousand yajnas, and that is how the city was named. That was much after the war.

In some places the remnants of Vedic culture are more powerful. Their presence is felt more directly. But in other places the remnants are faint and more difficult to perceive. Just like the Sun worshippers of Japan. Previously it was part of a huge land mass in the pacific, but by the movement of the land and the sea it has become a tiny island. In that ancient land, they were worshippers of the Sun god. It was the same with the Lemurian land mass that was between Africa and India. The Tamil literatures describe a massive land going towards the west from the present Indian coast.

After every Yuga there is a change of land and sea. There is one chapter on this in the pratisarga parva of the Bhavishya Purana. It speaks about how the land and sea change by the influence of time. This is how the flood of Noah described in the bible occurred. It was taken as a big dissolution, as a pralaya, but it was just the change of yugas. When Noah built the Arc, He was under the mountain Tuhinachala. Today the Tuhinachala is now a desert. It is no longer a mountain.

There is another case from Bhima’s time, when he went for collection for the Rajasuya sacrifice. He went from Puri to Burma by chariot by crossing two mountains. There was no Bay of Bengal. And now that there is a bay of Bengal, we see two tiny islands, Andaman and Nicobar. They were the mountains that Bhima crossed, today they are just small islands.

It is the same situation with New Zealand. They were not islands, but the peaks of mountains. They belonged to a giant land mass that connected to what was the Kimpurusha Varsha. But today they are also islands because of the land changes that occurred when the yugas changed.

So, with all this - the Great War followed by massive changes in the earth's geography - the civilizations were heavily affected. Vyasadeva describes this war by saying, “There had not been a war as heavy as this at any time in all the lands.” He describes it this way because all of the demons and all of the devas took part in this war at one place - Kurukshetra. It was the heaviest war in the history, fought between universal powers. Thus its effects were felt in all places throughout the world.