MAHA BHARAT UDYOGA PARVA
Beholding his brothers and Sri Krishna, Dharmaja said: "We got seven akshouhini strong army.We have to find out a warrior who can command our mighty army. We have to find out a valiant personality who can attack Bhishma in the war. Such person must be our CommanDer-in-Chief. Tell me who is that valiant warrior." asked Dharmaja.
"Brother Dharmaja! The Matsya King, Virata, is a great warrior with great strength. He is followed by his brothers, sons and grand sons who are also great warriors. If he is our Commander-in-Chief, victory is ours" said Sahadeva.
"Brother Dharmaja! King Drupada, king of panchala, got high vigour and valour, name and fame and good strength. We can have him as our Commander-in-Chief." said Nakula.
"In my view, Dhrushtadhumna, son of King Drupada, will be our Commander-in-chief. He was born with bow and arrows from the sacred fire, only with the object of killing Drona. He is a valiant warrior. None else can attack Bhishma in the war front. Besides that, his brother, Sikhandi, was also born to kill Bhishma. Viewing from any angle, Dhrushtadyumna will be the best choice tobe our Commander-in-Chief." said Arjuna.
Then, Dharmaja addressed Krishna: "OKrishna! you know everything. We are waiting for your opinion. You also select warriors who can command each Akshouhini." prayed Dharmaja.
"O Dharmaja! As spoken to by Arjuna, Dhrushtadyumna will be our Commander-in-Chief for our Seven Ashouhini strong army. Instal him in that position in a formal ceremony.
I will tell the names of the warriors who will be in charge of each Akshouhini. (1) Pancala King, Drupada, (2) Matsya King, Virata, (3) Yadava King Satyaki (4) Sahadeva son of Jarasandha (5) Yadava King, Cekitana, (6) Dhrushta Ketu son of Sisupala (7) Sikhandi, son of King of Drupada, will be incharge of each Ashouhini army. Instal them as Commanders of each Akshouhini in a formal ceremony. Now you can formally declare war." said Sri Krishna.
Accordingly, Dharmaja proclaimed in open assembly "We
declare war against Kouravas. We are at War" said Dharmaja.
Pandavas have gone to Droupati and took leave from her for war. They worshipped Brahmins and got their blessings. Krishna occupied the seat of charioteer of Arjuna. Arjuna with his Gandeeva boarded the chariot. The flag with Hanuman emblem (Kapidhwaja) was flying on his chariot. Krishna and Arjuna blew their respective conches, Panchajanya and Devadatta. The entire army proceeded to Kurukshetra as if they were proceeding for a marriage function.
Dhrushtadyumna was proceeding in the forefront, followed by Dharmaja, his brothers, the Kings and their army. The entire army reached Kurukshetra. On the banks of River Hiranvati, at a plain place, they erected tents and the entire army stayed there, awaiting war.
Having come to know that Pandavas are staying at Kurukshetra, Suyodhana, pretending innocence, addressed the Kuru assembly thus:
"Krishna is bearing grudge upon us becsause we did not heed his words. He may provoke Pandavas to fight against us. Pandavas will certainly wage war. War is imminent. Therefore, let us also declare war against Pandavas and proceed to Kurukshetra. Dussaasana! Yourself, Karna and Sakuni should make arrangements for war." ordered Suyodhana. As per the orders of Suyodhana, Dussasana declared war against Pandavas.
Next day, in the open assembly, Suyodhana proclaimed the names of the Commanders of his Eleven Akshouhini Army. They are Drona, Karna, Asvathaama, Bahlika, Salya, Kupaacharya, Bhoorisrava, Sakuni, King Kambhoja, and Saindhava.
Accompanied by the Eleven Commanders, Suyodhana went to Bhishma and said:
"O My beloved Grand Father, these are the commanders of our Eleven Akshouhini Army. They belong to different kingdoms with different temperments. Now the burden is upon your shoulders to command them in the war. Hence I request you to be the Commander-in-Chief of our entire Army" requested Suyodhana
"Suyodhana! Kouravas and Pandavas are equal to me. Because I am staying with you, I will certainly fight for you. I am accepting your request and I will command the entire army. Only Arjuna can attack me in the war and none else. I will kill all our enemies except Pandavas because they are my grandsons. I think they also will not fight against me.
But you have to decide one thing. Whether I have to fight first or will Karna fight first . Unless that matter is settled, I wont accept this responsibility." said Bhishma.
"Suyodhana! It need not again be discussed here. I already told you that whenever Bhishma falls down in war, I will enter the war. Even now I will stand by my word." said Karna.
"Suyodhana! It will certainly happen. I am accepting your request" said Bhishma.
With the permission of Drona, Krupa and other eldlers, Suyodhana installed Bhishma as Commander-in-Chief of the entire eleven akshouhini kuru army. Suyodhana introduced all the Commanders of each Akshouhini to Bhishma. After taking permission from his father and mother, Suyodhana along with his entire army proceeded to Kurukshetra and stayed there.
In this manner, both Pandavas and Kouravas arrived at Kurukshetra and stayed there waiting for war.
On hearing the news of war, Balarama, elder brother of Sri Krishna felt unhappy. He immediately proceeded to Dharmaja. Dharmaja, his brothers, Sri Krishna received Balarama with due honors.
"Dharmaja! I heard that Kouravas and Pandavas have decided to fight with each other and cause hardship to all the kings on this earth. Is it proper on your part? I do not like war. I told Sri Krishna to convince both of you and settle the matter amicably. But he failed to do so. Instead, he proked both of you to wage war. Suyodhana is an idiot. He does not know how to talk. While dealing with such persons, Krishna would have used some tact. But Sri Krishna made a mess of the entire issue by speaking with Suyodhana in an angry mood. Both Pandavas and Kouravas are equally related to Sri Krishna. But he likes Arjuna more than all. That is why he made all of you to dance to his tunes. Whatever it may be, you will win the war. It is certain. I was the teacher for both Suyodhana and Bhimasena, in the art of fighting with mace. Now they are going to fight with each other. How can I tolerate this! Hence I am proceeding to the banks of River Sarasvati to spend the rest of my life in meditation of God." said Balarama and proceeded to river Sarasvati. Krishna and Dharmaja gave him warm sendoff.
Krishna married Rukmini the sister of Rukmi. He was the King of Kundina City. Rukmi came down to Dharmaja and told Arjuna. "Arjuna! if you are afraid of war, tell me. I will jump into action. None can beat me in war on the face of earth." Rukmi boasted himself.
Arjuna smiled at him and said: "While I was fighting with Gandharvas and releasing Suyodhana, and also while I was fighting with Kouravas and recaptured our cows, where were you. We dont want your help. You can help those who are in need of your help. For the present, Krishna is by my side. I am not afraid of war. You would have come only on invitation, when I am afraid of war. Even if I am afraid of war, there are many to help me. We do not want your help." said Arjuna bluntly.
Unale to do anything, King Rukmi approached Suyodhana and repeated the same words. Suyodhana also refused to receive his help. Having been refused by both sides, Rukmi returned back to Kundina.
In this manner, except Balarama, brother of Krishna and Rukmi, brother- in- law of Krishna, all other kings on earth participated in War.
One day, Dhrutarashtra called Sanjaya to his apartment. "Sanjaya! what is destined to happen, that will happen. Nothing is in our hands. It is better for Kshatriya to die in war. You told me that both Pandavas and Kouravas are staying at Kurukshetra and waiting for war. Now what are the further developments in Kurushetra. Please tell me." asked Dhrutarashtra.
Sanjaya spoke thus: "O King! Your son, Suyodhana and his followers, Dussasana, Karna and Sakuni conspired together and called Ulooka, son of Sakuni and sent him as an emissary to Dharmaja. While Dharmaja was sitting in the assembly, Ulooked arrived there and said thus:
"Dharmaja! Suyodhana told me a few words of his own and asked me repeat them as it is. If you do not get angry, I will tell those words" said Ulooka. "Ulookaa! you are at liberty to speak as you like You are safe at my hands." said Dharmaja.
Ulooka said thus: These are the words of Suyodhana. "Dharmaja! You spoke too much with Sanjaya. Taking advantage of the insult meted out by Droupadi and loss of your kingdom in dice game, you gathered some of your friends and relatives and waged war against me. Now you cannot escape. You will taste the sharpness of the arrows of Bheeshma and Drona. Your Arjuna will never survive in the fight with Bheeshma. You are thinking that Krishna is on your side and He will save you. It seems Bheema boasted that he will break the chest of Dussaasana and taste his blood. Let him come. Why late. Bheemasena! you are like a frog in a well. You do not know the prowess of others. You cannot escape without receiving our blows. Hey Arjuna! we know that you are having a bow like a palm tree and Krishna by your side. We are never afraid of you. We will never part with any part of our kngdom, having afraid of your bow and Krishna. Let it be. Where were your Gandeeva and Mace while Dussaasana was dragging Droupadi, holding her tuft, to the open assembly. Have you forgotten those insults. Dont boast yourself. Having spent shameless days in the Court of Virata as a cook and impotent, are you still in need of kingdom. Is it your prowess or yout strengh. Tell me. Your Krishna might have done many magics and gimmics and you might have boasted yourself, I do not care. Even if fifty thousand Bhimas and Arjunas fight in the war, we will attack you. We never part with our kingdom. You better know this fact." said Ulooka as the words of Suyodhana.
On hearing these words, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were burning with anger. Krishna stopped them and said:
"Ulookaa! We have heard all the words of Suyodhana conveyed by you. You also go back to Suyodhana and convey my words, as it is, to Suyodhana, to the hearing of all elders in the assembly"
"Suyodhana! Tomorrow is the war. If you are a warrior, come and die in the war. The chariot of Arjuna, driven by me, will follow you whereever you go. You cannot escape us. In your very presence, Bheemasena will break the chest of Dussasana and swallow his blood. You are boasting as if you got many warriors on your side. You entered the war, with their help. We will see their prowess tomorrow. Unnecessarily, you made, Bheeshma, eldest of all, to fight, at this old age. Your intention is to kill him in the war. Will you win the war simply because Bheeshma is on your side? Suyodhana! you want to save your self behind Bheeshma. But the first prey of Arjuna is Bheeshma. Next Drona, and then Karna will be the targets of Arjuna. Then only the greediness of Suyodhana will come to an end.
Will Suyodhana, atleast, repent about his misdeeds, when he beholds the death of his brothers, sons and relatives in the war, or atleast when he himself rolls on the earth with the blows of the mace of Bheema on his lap. Therefore, proceed immediately and ask Suyodhana to be ready for war." said Krishna.
Ulooka left that place, went to Suyodhana and conveyed what has been told by Krishna. Next day, both sides declared war." said Sanjaya to Dhrutarashtra.
"Sanjaya! tell me whether Bheeshma can overpower Arjuna. What was the reaction of the elders in the Kuru assembly, on hearing the words of Ulooka. Tell me" asked Dhrutarashra.
Sanjaya told Dhrutarashtra thus:
"On hearing the words of Ulooka, Bheeshma told Suyodhana: "Suyodhana! dont fear. I am here. I was never afraid of Gandharvas, Kinneras, or for that matter, Danavas. After all, Pandavas are nothing before me. I will command the entire army. Victory is yours." said Bheeshma.
"O Grand Father! when yourself and our Guru, Drona, are on our side, why should I fear. Kindly, categorise the warriors on our side." asked Suyodhana.
Then Bheeshma said thus: "Suyodhana, you are Athi Radha. All your brothers are Sama Radhas. You know about me. I need not tell. Kritavarma, Salya, Bhoorishrava are Athi Radhas. Saindhava is Maha Radha. Sudakshina, King of Kambhoja is Sama Radha. Neela, king of Mahashmati, is Ardha Radha. Vinda and Anuvinda, kings of Avanthi are Ardha Radhas.The five kings of Trigartha, are Maha Radhas. Your son Lakshmana is Samaradha. Brihadbala is Sama Radha. King Dandadhara is Artha Ratha. Your Gurus, Drona Acharya and Kripacharya, both are best of Maha Radhas. Sakuni is Sama Radha. Asvathaama is Ati Radha, He is equivalent to Arjuna. We cannot say he is Brahmin. King Bahlika and his son Somadatta are Athi Radhas. Alambas is Sama Radha. King Bhaga Datta is Sama Radha. Vriksha, king of Gandhara and Achala are Sama Radhas. Karna is Ardha Radha. I will give reasons. He lost his Kavacha and Kundala which were attached to his body while he was born. Half of his strength was lost. Though he learnt archery skills from veteran Parasurama, he is suffering with a curse from the said Prasurama. His entire power and strength were smashed by that curse. He will never remember any Astra learnt by him, whenever it is necessary. Therefore, he cannot face Arjuna in war." said Bheeshma.
"What Bheeshma said is correct. I observed Karna many times. He will be first to flee away from war field. He is always absent minded. Therefore, he is Ardha Radha" supported Drona.
On hearing the words of Bheeshma and Drona, Karna grew angry. His face became red.
"Being elders, you cannot speak like this, sprinkling
hatredness upon me. What would you gain by belittling me. Gangeya! you
spoke much ill about me even in the Kuru Assembly. Because of Suyodhana,
I am tolerating all these things. Now I will tell. In my considered view,
you are Ardha Radha" said Karna.
"Karna! What do you mean! Am I old and rotten. About my archery skills and prowess, better you enquire your Guru, Parasurama. Everybody knows what had happened to a person who attacked me in war. Arjuna will decide about my old age and your youthfulness. O Son of Sutha, because of you, I told something about myself. Now I will tell. Because of your wickedness and adamant attitude, Suyodhana landed in such deep troubles, leading to this mass massacre. Our strength is not sufficient to set right these evil events. If you are a real hero, come on, jump into the war and exhibit your prowess and strength. For the present, you may escape war, on the pretext of my presence in war, but even after my fall at the hands of Arjuna, you cannot escape. Then Suyodhana will certainly know about your vigour and valour. Suyodhana trusted me and made me Commander-in-Chief. Hence I tolerated your words so far. Better shut up and get out" said Bheeshma.
"O my Grand Father! At this critical time, can you get angry upon Karna. Kindly pardon him for my sake" said Duyodhana.
"Karna! Now, It is the time for you and Bheeshma to work together shoulder the responsibility together but not to quarrel with each other. Plese control yourself" Suyodhana pacified Karna.
"O my dear Grand Father Bheeshma! kindly tell me about the great warriors on the side of Pandavas" asked Suyodhana.
"Suyodhana! If I praise the prowess of the warriors on the side of Pandavas, Karna may feel bad. I do not know how you feel. Why should I be blamed? It is better not to talk about it." said Bheeshma.
But Suyodhana repeatedly asked Bheeshma about this. Unable to refuse his request, Bheeshma said thus:
"Suyodhana! Dharmaja is Athi Radha. Bheema is best of all Athi Radhas. Nakula and Sahadeva are Sama Radhas. I cannot say about Arjuna. There are none on this earth to match him. Now Krishna is helping him. Arjuna himself can defend his army and also vanish our enire army.
The five sons of Droupadi are Maha Radhas. Uttara is equivalent to them. Abhimanya is the best of all Athi Radhas. He is equivalent to Arjuna. Satyaki is Athi Radha. Drupada, Virata are Maha Radhas. Sikhandi is Maha Radha. His brother, Drushtadyumna is Athi Radha. Dhruta Varma, son of Drushta Dyumna is Ardha Radha. Uttamouja, Yudhaamanyu, Kshatradeva, Jayanta, Amitouja, Virata, Satyajit are Maha Radhas. The five brothers of Kekaya Kingdom are Maha Radhas. Kaaseesa, Neela, Sooryadattaa, Madiraaksha, Sankha, are Maharadhas. Citraayudha, CEkitaanaa, Chandra datta, Vyaaghradattaa, are Maha Radhas, Sena Bindu, Pandya king are Athi Radhas. Kaasya is Samaradha. Kuntibhoja is Athi radha. Ghatotkacha, son of Bheema is Athi Radha. However powerful they may be, I will kill all of them except Sikhandi." said Bheeshma.
Suyodhana wondered. "O Grand father! what is the reason for not killing Sikhandi. Is he so powerful?" asked Suyodhana.
"Suyodhana! there is a strong reason for not killing Sikhandi. I will tell you" Bheeshma continued to say:
"You know that for the sake of my father, I renounced my right over the kingdom and also took a vow to remain unmarried throughout my life. After the death of my father, Santana, I installed Chitrangada, my younger brother, on the throne as the King of Kuru Dynasty. Chitrangada was very harsh and cruel. He picked up quarrels with each and every one. Once he fought with a Gandharva King and died.
Then his brother, Vicitra Veerya succeeded to the throne. I made preparations for his marriage. The King of Kasi got three beautiful daughters. He announced "Svayamvara" to all his three daughters. By that time, I do not know that the eldest daughter, Amba, fell in love with King Salva. Even her father also did not know about her love affair. As usual, I went to Svayamvara, picked up all the three girls, Amba, Ambika and Ambaalika by force, and kept them on my chariot, and proceeded to Hastinapura, by overpowering King of Kasi and other Kings assembled there for Svayamvara.
I requested King Vichitra Veerya to marry these three girls. At that time, Amba, the eldest of all, revealed: "O King Bheehsma! I already fell in love with King Salva. He also loved me. You are a virtuous man. I cannot marry a person whom I do not like. Kindly send me to King Salva." requested Amba.
I realised my mistake and immediately sent Amba to Salva, with due honours, accompanied by some elders. But King Salva refused to marry Amba, on the pretext that she was kidnapped by me and stayed with me for some days and hence she might have lost her virginity.
"King Salva! Bheeshma did not abduct me with any evil intention. He took me on his chariot to Hastina only with the honest intention of getting me married to his brother. When I revealed about us, he immediately sent me here. How can you blame me? Besides that, my father did not know about our love affair. Had he known it, he would not have announced Svayamvara to me also. Hence all this had happened. I am not at fault. Bheeshma also performed the marriage of Ambika and Ambalika with his brother Vicitra Veerya and sent me here. What is wrong in this?" requested Amba.
Inspite of her repeated requests and weepings, King Salva did not accept her. King Salva drove her away forcibly. Amba grew angry. She decided to take revenge upon me.
She went to the forest and found some sages and saints and told them her pitying story.
"Amba! This is an affair related to powerful kings. How can we solve it. You are an young girl. You better go back to your father" told those saints.
"No. I cannot go back either to my father or to any relative. I will do penance here only" said Amba.
At that time, Hotravaasa, a Rajarshi arrived there and
heard about Amba. He enquired the saints about her. The saints informed
Hotravaasa what had happened.
In the meanwhile, one Akrutavarna, Sishya of Parasurama arrived there. Hotravaasa enquired Akrutavarna about the whereabouts of Parasurama. Akrutavarna told them Parasurama will be arriving there next day. All were happy. Next day, Parasurama arrived there. All the sages and saints including Hotravaasa received Parasurama with arghyam and padyam. Hotravaasa told Parasurama the story of Amba.
"Ambaa! don't worry. I will put an end to all your sorrows. Two people insulted you. One is Salva. Second is Bheeshma. Whom I have to punish? Tell me." asked Parasurama.
"O Great Saint! Salva will never receive me as his wife. There is no use in punishing him. The root cause for all this calamity is Bheeshma. In fact I have come here to do penance and kill Bheeshma. I am before you." said Amba.
Then Parasurama along with Amba came down to the banks of River Sarasvati and sent information to me about his arrival. I received my Guru Parasurama at his place of stay and offered him arghyam and paadyam and comfortable seat.
"Gangeya! Why you brought this girl by force from her parents. Having brought her, why you refused her. You immediately perform her marriage with your brother. You should not leave her as an orphan." said Parasurama.
"O Guru Parasurama! kindly listen to my words. It is true I brought her from her parents by force. When she informed me that she was in love with Salva, immediately I sent her back to Salva. Now, how can I perform her marriage with my brother." I politely asked my guru.
But he grew angry. "If you do not receive her and perform her marriage, I will kill you and your family members and relatives." said Parasurama.
I tried to pacify him in many ways. But he did not heed my words.
"O Guru! You are my teacher. I learnt archery skills from you. It is not good on your part to be angry against me unnecessarily. You are forcing me to act against Dharma and virtues. Amba fell in love with Salva. How can my brother marry a girl who fell in love with another.. I prefer to face your wrath instead of doing Adharma.
One more word. It was said by elders that if anybody acts with anger, egoism and against prevailing Dharma, he should be punished, even if he is a Guru." I told my guru politely.
The anger of Parasurama knew no bounds. "Gangeya! be ready for war with your guru" roared Parasurama.
"While you were destorying the entire Kahstriya community in past, Bheeshma was not there. Now I am before you. Let us fight." I have given a retart.
Immediately I went to my mother, Satyavati and got her
blessings. In the meanwhile, River Ganga, in human form, came down there
and tried to pacify me and Parasurama and avert the fight. We both were
stubborn. She went away. We both boarded our chariots. Akrutavarna was
his charioteer. I bowed before my guru, Parasurama. We both started to
fight with each other.
I launched the great Astra, Sakti. Parasurama fainted. He gained consciousness and killed my charioteer and hit me with his arrows. I fell down on my chariot and lost consciousness.
At that time, eight Brahmins with whilte clothes came down and treated me. My mother, Ganga, was driving the chariot. I regained consciousness and bowed before my mother, Ganga. Handing over reins to me, she went disappeared.
On that night, those eight Brahmins appeared in my dream and gave me a powerful Astra, called Mohanaastra. I woke up.
Next day, when I appeared in the battle field, Parasurama heckled me saying "Yesterday, You left half dead. Why you have come again? Today I will finish you". So saying he showered arrows upon me. I broke those arrows in the middle and I launched Shakti aiming his chest. Parasurama fell unconscious. His charioteer Akrutavarna drove the chariot out of the battle field.
After regaining consciousness, Parasurama launched Brahmaastra upon me. I too retaliated with the same Brahmaastra. Both the Brahmastras were attacking each other and causing great havoc in the cosmos.
I tried to launch Mohanastra on Parasurama. At that time, Saint Narada came running to me and averted me from launching Mohanastra. The eight brahmins who were appearing now and then (later I came to know that they are Ashta Vasuvulu, my brothers) also requested me not to launch Mohanastra. I stopped the launching of Mohanastra.
Jamadagni, father of Parasurama and other heavenly bodies appeared before parasurama and said: "Parasurama! He is not an ordinary human being. He is one of the Vasuvu. Nobody on earth can conquer him. To kill him, Nara will take birth as Arjuna. You are a Brahmin. Why you are involved in this unnecessary war and wasting your power."
They later came to me and also tried to pacify me. I was so stubborn. I did not heed their words. My, mother, Ganga also came down to me and requested me to stop the war against my Guru. At last, they succeeded in stopping the fight between us. We retrieved our Brahmastras.
The eight brahmins who appeared in my dream again made their appearance and said: "Gangeya! Your Guru, Parasurama, is a great saint and also great warrior. First you go to him and take his blessings."
Narada and other heavenly bodies went to Parasurama and said "O Bhargava Rama! Devavrata is your student. Is it proper to fight with him. He has no grudge against you. Only for the sake of Amba he involved in this fight. Please excuse him" .
I immediately went to my Guru parasurama and prostrated before him touching his feet. He blessed me and hugged me.
"Amba! I have done what all I can do. Now you can
seek your own remedy." said Parasurama toAmba.
Some years have elapsed. One day Saint Narada came to me. I enquired him about Amba. He told me thus:
"Gangeya! After leaving us, Amba went to the banks of River Yamuna and did penance with great devotion.
One day your mother Ganga went to her and asked her : "O Amba! Being a lady, why you are doing this penance?"
"To kill Bheeshma" Amba replied.
Your mother, Ganga, grew angry. "You will become a river and flow on this earth" cursed her.
Amba smiled at your mother. She did not care for the words of your mother, Ganga. She went to Matsya kingdom and continued her penance even more vigorously.
She spent half of her power acquired by doing penance and transformed into a river and flowed in Matsya land. With the remaining power, she retained her humanbody as it is, and continued her penance.
Lord Siva appeared before her. Amba prayed Lord Siva a boon to kill Beeshma.
"It will be done" Siva replied.
"How?" Amba questioned Siva.
"You will leave this body and enter the womb of Drupada queesn and take birth as her daughter. Later you will transform into male in the name of Sikhandi. You will become a great hero with great prowess. In the war with Bheeshma, you will kill him." said Sive and disappeared.
Amba collected some dry branches and leaves and heaped them into a pyre, lit fire, and jumped into it saying repeatedly "I should kill Bheeshma-- I should Bheeshma" and consigned herself to flames.
King Drupada, king of Panchala, was issueless. For some reason or other, King Drupada bore grudge against Bheeshma. King Drupada did penance with an intention to kill Bheeshma. Lord Siva appeared before him and asked him "What do you want?" Drupada prayed for a son who can kill Beeshma. Lord Shiva blessed him with a daughter who will transform into son in later years and kill Bheeshma in war. Then Lord Shiva disappeared.
With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Drupada begot a daughter. But King Drupada and his wife revelaed to the outside world that a son was born to them. They brought up their daughter as a son. He was named as Sikhandi. Sikhandi learnt archery under the guidance of Drona.
Sikhandi attained marriageable age. King Drupada was very much annoyed as Sikhandi so far has not attained manliness as per the blessings of Lord Siva. Instead, Sikhandi attained puberty. They wanted to perform the marriage of Sikhandi with another female, with the fond hope that Sikhandi will attain manliness. They strongly believe that the blessings of Lord Shiva will not go in vain.
.King Drupada fixed the marriage of Sikhandi with the daughter of King Hema Varma, king of Dasaarna. The marriage was performed. The daughter in law set her foot in the palace of Sikhandi. She suspected the strange behaviour of Sikhandi. Atlast, she could come to know that Sikhandi was a woman but not a man. She pretended innocence as if she does not know anything.
Unable to keept it as secret, she revealed this to her maid servant. That servant maid faithfully carried the same to King Dasarna. King Dasarna sent a mediator to King Drupada to tell him thus:
"King Drupada! you performed the marriage of your daughter with my daughter, concealing the fact that your son, Sikhandi, is female.. You cheated us. What you have gained by this, except insults and insinuations. Our King Hema Varma is a great warriar and valiant hero. Atleast you fight with him and prove your manliness." conveyed the mediator.
"What is this? Who told you that my son is a female. Will it happen like this anywhere? You tell your king that it is all false and he is mistaken." said Drupada.
The mediator went back and told the same to Hema Varma.
Hema Varma grew grew. He proceeded towards Pancala with his armed forces
and surrounded it. Sikhandi could not bear this insult. One mid night
he went into a nearby forest for committing suicide.
"O lady! who are you? Why you entered this forest, not caring even for your life? " asked Sthoola Karna.
"I am a lady. My name is Sikhandi. As per the blessings of Lord Siva, I have to transform into a male. With that hope, I married another lady. Now I want to prove myself as man. I want manliness. Otherwise, I will die." said Sikhandi her entire story.
"It is not at all a problem. I will give my manliness to you but on one condition. You prove yourself as a man before Hema Varma and your wife. Enjoy the life as a man for ten days. Then you should return back my manliness and become a lady." said Sthoola Karna.
Sikhandi gladly agreed for that. Sikhandi attained manliness
and Sthoola Karna transformed into a lady. Sikhandi went back to his palace
and proved himself as a man before his parents. They also felt happy.
Two days later, Kubera, the Yaksha King visited the place of Sthoola Karna. Sthoola karna did not come out to receive Kubera but remained inside with shyness. Kubera forced him to come out. Sthoola Karna, in the form of a lady, came out and told Kubera what had happened. Kubera realised everything.
"Sthoola Karna! it is nothing but divine act. You cannot avoid it. You should remain as a lady throughout your life and Sikhandi will retain your manliness. " said Kubera.
Sthoola Karna fell on his feet and prayed for mercy. Kubera blessed him. "Sthoola Karna, dont worry. Sikhandi will remain as Man throughout his life. He will kill Bheeshma in war. Soon after the death of Sikhandi, you will regain your manliness" said Kubera and went away.
On expiry of ten days, Sikhandi came down to Sthoola Karna and offered back his manliness.
"Sikhandi! you are fortunate. Retain my manliness throughout your life. It is a God's gift to you." said Sthoola Karna.
The joy of Sikhandi knew no bounds. He returned back to his city, and informed his parents what had happened. He perfomed many Pojaas and Vratas and worshipped Brahmins, deities and his Gurus. Later Drona gave Sikhandi many Astras and Sastras and made a great hero in archery."
In this manner I came to know about the entire story of Amba and Sikhandi through Saint Narada. Therefore, Suyodhana, Amba, daughter of King Kasi, took birth as Sikhandi with the avowed object of killing me in war.
But I got my own principles. I will never fight with ladies, or persons with the names of ladies or a person who was born as a lady and later transformed into a male. I will abide by my principles under any circumstances, even at the risk of my life." said Bheeshma to Suyodhana.
Suyodhana was very much pleased in his mind with the
manliness and principles of his grandfather, Bheeshma.
"Suyodhana! you are trying to assess our strength, ability and prowess. It is good. As far as I am concerned, I will kill one thousand Radhikas per day. Till I fall down on earth with the arrows of Arjuna, I will fight. I got the capacity of killing ten thousand warriors per day. Therefore, I can kill the entire Seven Akshouhini army within one month. You ask others about their capacity." said Bheeshma.
Then Suyodhana turned to Drona and others and asked them about their capacity to kill the army of the enemy.
"O King Suyodhana! I am an aged person. I will also take one month to kill the entire Pandava Army" said Drona.
Krupacharya said that he will take two months. Asvathaama
with greatest pride said that he can kill the entire Pandava army within
one month. Karna boasted himself that he can kill the Seven Akshouhini
army within five days.
In the camp of Pandavas, Dharmaja also was assessing the fighting capacity of each and every warrior. In the meanwhile he received the entire information from the camp of Suyodhana, through his spies.
"Arjuna! just now I received valuable information from the camp of Kouravas. Bheeshma said that he will kill our entire army within one month. Similarly Drona said that he will do it within one month and Krupacharya within two months, Asvathaama in ten days and Karna in five days. Tell me in how many days you can kill the entire eleven Akshouhini kourava army? What is your capacity?" asked Dharmaja.
Arjuna smiled and said: "Brother Dharmaja! Bheeshma and Drona are great warriors, Maha Radhas. Nothing wrong in their telling like that. Words are different from deeds. You know my vigor and valour. I can tell that I can smash the entire Kuru army in a minute with the help of Sri Krishna. I fought with Lord Siva and got Pasupatha Astra. Either Bheeshma, or Drona, Karna and Asvathaama, does not know about its power. It will destroy the entire earth in no time. Not even a single being will remain alive. But I will never use it. I cannot belittle my prowess.
I will get name and fame if I fight with my own strength and prowess. You need not worry about it. On our side, Bheema, Nakula, Sahadeva, Abhimanyu, sons of Droupadi, Satyaki, Virata, Drupada, Dhrushtadyumna, Sikhandi, Uttamouja, Yudhaamanyu, Ghatotkacha, and other Athi Radhas and Maha Radhas are there.
You do not know how powerful you are. If you get angry, you can smash the entire Kuru army in no time. Therefore, victory is ours. You need not worry." said Arjuna.
In this manner, Sanjaya told Dhrutarashtra about the preparations for war.
Saint Vaisampaayana continued to tell the story of Maha Bharata to Janamejaya.
I could complete Adi Panchakam
We have so far read in Maha Bharata, many stories relating to several kings. Those kings belong to TwoVamsas. They are Soorya Vamsa and ChandraVamsa. Some of us do not know the origin of these twoVamsas. Let is examine the geneological tree of these twoVamsas.
Because all the above kings descended from the origin,Soorya (Sun), it is called Soorya Vamsa. As far as we know, in Soorya Vamsa, the last king in Tretayuga, was Sreerama Chandra. Later,in Dvaapara Yuga, there were Pandavas,Kouravas, Sri Krishna etc. Kings. They belong to Chandra Vamsa Kings. Let us examine the geneological tree of Chandra Vamsa Kings.
Nahusha' son – Yayaati.
The descendants of Yadu are called Yadus or Yadavas.
The descendants of Kuru are called Kouravas.
As seen above, King Soonasena's eldest son was Vasudeva and eldest daughter was Prudha.
Soorasena gave his eldest daughter Prudha to his friend, King Kunti Bhoja as gift. Prudha was brougut up by Kuntibhoja. Hence she was called Kunti.
As Prudha was the sister of Vasudeva, Sri Krishna calls her as "paternal aunt" (atta).
Sruthasravasa was the sister of Prudha (Kunti). Her son was Sisupaala. Hence Sisupala was the paternal aunt's son of Sri Krishna.
This is the geneogolical tree of the Kings of Soorya Vamsa and Chandra Vamsa.
The story of Maha Bharata was narrated by Saint Vaisampaayana to King Janamejaya.