Mahabharat: Jayadratha Vadha Parva

Jayadrathavadha Parva is the sixty-ninth Upa parva included in the seventh Maha parva named as Drona parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

Who was Jayadratha?

Jayadratha was the cousin brother of Duryodhana and the husband of Dushala. He was the king of Sindhu kingdom. His father was usually referred to by the name Saindhava. In his old age, Saindhava had crowned Jayadratha and left for penance. The place called Samanta Panchaka near Kurukshetra was a sacred one and he selected it for his penance.

Saindhava was not bothered about the Mahabharata war and continued his penance there on the river bank. Except for Krishna, nobody knew about it. Krishna had utilized this secret fact to kill Jayadratha. Being an incarnation of God, he desired to bestow Moksha on Saindhava. 

Slaying of Jayadratha by Arjuna
Jayadratha Vadha by Arjuna

After Drona assumed as commander-in-chief for Duryodhana’s army in consultation with Duryodhana, Drona had rearranged the war protocols. Only one-third of the total strength was brought for the active war in action, and sixteen hours per day were declared at the liberty of the soldiers. The dead animals like elephants and horses, the broken chariots and poisonous arrows were cleared from the leading path of the soldiers. The wooden pieces from the broken chariots were heaped up to create fires.

Some demons, the children of very cruel Asuras like Jatasura (the past enemies of Pandavas) were recruited to Duryodhana’s army to ensure success over Pandavas. The demon Alambala was one of them. Son of Bhima, Ghatotkacha was assigned as the killing target for Alambala. But Alambala requested the help of Karna, so Karna was allowed to protect Alambala in war.

What was the difference in the war protocol of Drona as compared to Bhishma?

Defeating and capturing war prisoners was the aim of Drona. Killing was not mandatory as Bhishma had done. This was the major difference in their protocol.  

Who died first, Drona or Jayadratha?

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Mahabharat: Pratijna Parva

Pratijna Parva is the sixty-eighth Upa parva included in the seventh Maha parva named as Drona parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

Why was Duryodhana happy with Drona after the eleventh day of war?

Duryodhana was happy with Drona after the eleventh day of the war because, on that day, Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna was killed in action. But Abhimanyu had died happily since he had killed Lakshmana, the son of Duryodhana in action.  

Why Arjuna had taken a vow to fight against Jayadratha as an enemy? 

Arjuna had taken a vow on the true name of ‘Narayana’ to fight with Jayadratha and kill him before the next day’s sunset. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna was killed with the help of Chakravyuha formed by the troops of Jayadratha under the army command of Drona. Abhimanyu was trapped and Karna had stabbed him from his back with a shaft ultimately killing Abhimanyu. Arjuna pleaded for the help of Krishna to fulfil his vow. 

ध्रुवं वै ब्राह्मणे सत्यं ध्रुवा साधुषु सन्नतिः । 
श्रीर्ध्रुवा चापि दक्षेषु ध्रुवो नारायणे जयः ॥

Certainly, truth is the power for a Brahmin. The righteous people upgrade in life due to abiding with truthfulness always. Wealth increases in honest people due to truth. Narayana favors truth and success is certainly bestowed on Narayana’s side.  

अर्जुनेन प्रतिज्ञाते पांचजन्यं जनार्दनः ।
प्रदध्मौ तत्र संक्रुद्धो देवदत्तं धनंजयः ॥ 

Arjuna had celebrated by blowing his conch named Devadatta loudly. To satisfy Arjuna, Krishna had also blown his conch named Panchajanya loudly. It was in the late night of the twelfth night. All the soldiers in the army camps on the side of Pandavas also celebrated by making loud voices with drum beatings. Then, the soldiers of the Kaurava side observed the strange behaviour of the soldiers of the Pandavas side. Ultimately, the news of the vow by Arjuna had reached the ears of Jayadratha.

Arjuna aiming his arrow
Arjuna aiming his arrow

What Jayadratha had done on the twelfth day night?

Jayadratha was very much afraid of Arjuna. Instead of weeping after the death of Abhimanyu, Arjuna had taken a vow and celebrated in the army camps. Jayadratha had conducted penance for many years and had obtained a boon from God Shiva. Except for Arjuna, nobody in this world of human beings could defeat Jayadratha in war.

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Mahabharat: Abhimanyu Parva

Abhimanyu Parva is the sixty-seventh Upa parva included in the seventh Maha parva named Drona parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

How did the war continue on the eleventh day after Dronabhisheka?

Since Bhishma had fallen, Duryodhana had ordered Drona not to stop attacking in the evening but to continue the war until all the Pandavas were killed. Drona had replied to Duryodhana that he would try to capture the Pandavas and oblige them to surrender alive under the Kaurava army, and the later actions would be decided by Duryodhana. Karna was ordered to defeat Satyaki. Jayadratha was happy to protect Drona on the eleventh day of the war. Drona had ordered to form Chakravyuha to satisfy Duryodhana and the Kaurava soldiers.    

How did Drona try to satisfy Duryodhana and make him happier?

To satisfy Duryodhana, Drona assured him he would be forming the most challenging type of alignment of regiments on that day. To make him happier, he announced before Duryodhana that one of the great Pandava warriors would be killed that day. But Drona put a condition on the Samasaptakas. Samasptakas or the Trigarta warriors should be engaged with Arjuna and divert far away from Drona. 

Hence the Trigarta warriors were fighting continuously for two days with Arjuna. Arjuna could not return to his camp on the eleventh day evening but fought with the Samasaptakas day and night continuously for two days, and returned to his camp only after killing all of them on the twelfth day late night. Drona had ordered to form Chakravyuha to satisfy more Kaurava soldiers.    

Abhimanyu battling alone in the centre of the Chakravyuha
Abhimanyu in the centre of the Chakravyuha

What Yudhishtira had instructed Abhimanyu?

Yudhishtira did not know about the Chakravyuha type of war blockade. Abhimanyu knew to unblock and enter inside the Chakravyuha. He was very young but did not know how to escape from it. Abhimanyu was very enthusiastic in war being young and engaged in fighting to protect Yudhishtira. While facing the Chakravyuha, Arjuna was not at hand since he had engaged with the Samasaptakas, fighting elsewhere. Drishtadyuma was also engaged with others.

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Mahabharat: Samasaptaka Parva

Samasaptaka Parva is the sixty sixth Upa parva included in the seventh Maha parva named as Drona parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

How Drona had arranged the Mahabharata war on the twelfth day of war?

Under the commander-in-chief Drona, the Mahabharata war was fought for three days from the eleventh day morning up to the thirteenth day late night. There was rest for the fighting soldiers on the eleventh day night and on the twelfth day night but the war was not stopped.

Initially, Drona had thought the war should be fought by the soldiers in four parts taking shifts like a relay. One third of the soldiers should go for relief or for personal reasons out of the battle field into their war camps but one third should be always fighting with the enemy soldiers.

Sushamra and Trigarta warriors
Sushamra and Trigarta warriors

Karna was helping Drona on war time basis. Drona had arranged all medical facilities for the needy soldiers by order of Duryodhana. Drona had also arranged all kinds of food facilities for the needy soldiers. Pork (pig-meat) was supplied to the interested non-vegetarian soldiers with the choice of alcohol also. Drona had arranged all resting facilities for the needy soldiers in his war camps.

Ashwathama was not allowed by Duryodhana to fight directly in the battle field. He was allotted the risk of army intelligence, timely reporting of the war plans of the opposite side soldiers. So he was reporting to his father or to Duryodhana timely, avoiding his field exposure. Some of the soldiers started from their camp on the eleventh day morning but continued to proceed on fighting on the twelfth day also. The Samasaptaka warriors had not returned to their camps but went on fighting and died on the twelfth day. 

Who were Samasaptakas? Who were Trigarta warriors?

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Mahabharat: Dronabhisheka Parva

Dronabhisheka Parva is the sixty fifth Upa parva included in the seventh Maha parva named as Drona parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

After Bhishma had fallen, who had been suggested to be the commander-in-chief for Duryodhana side army and by whom?

On the eleventh day morning, Karna had visited Duryodhana with his bow and quiver full of arrows along with reserve stock in his chariot, loyally seeking permission to take an active part in the war to satisfy Duryodhana. Duryodhana was very happy and the other soldiers of his regiment also felt overjoyed. So he approached Bhishma for his permissions.

Duryodhana, along with his army approaches Drona
Duryodhana with his army approaches Drona

To his surprise, he found Arjuna prostrating before Bhishma there. Bhishma was lying on the bed of arrows. That site was at the side of Kurukshetra battle ground. Duryodhana had managed to dig the protective trenches around Bhishma to the satisfaction of Bhishma. Then Karna suggested Duryodhana to install Drona as the next commander-in-chief for the Duryodhana side army. It was accomplished by Duryodhana immediately.

What Arjuna had done on the eleventh day morning?

With Yudhishtira and other brothers, Arjuna had visited Bhishma in the early morning. Arjuna prostrated before Bhishma and enquired about his comforts but immediately found Karna also behind him. Bhishma had requested Arjuna for drinking water where he was laid up in the battlefield. Arjuna started to fix his bow with some special arrow with concentration on himself. Karna observed him.

Why Arjuna used Parjanyastra similar to Shree Rama in Tretayuga?

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Karma Siddhanta

Karma in Sanskrit means the works. It has other meanings such as duty or actions also. Siddhanta in Sanskrit means finally proved principle in the end. It has other meaning such as proof or theorem. Hence this subject is the principle of work and its results up on its doer, considering all living creatures on earth including the human species. The complementary idea of this truth is Punarjanma, means rebirth. In the previous article on this website ‘Karma: How it affects future, it is described.

How Punarjanma Siddhanta is complementary with Karma Siddhanta?

Punarjanma Siddhanta means the ‘Principle of Rebirth’ and is the complementary principle to the Karma Siddhanta. Moreover, these two principles are also linked to the Mimamsa Science as already told in this website. These are the subjects of Sanatana Dharma.

According to Indian Karma Siddhanta, there are certain terms or words to be understood initially to think before the Karma Siddhanta. Punya means virtues gained. Papa means sins accumulated to one’s life account. Rebirth means, after death, the living soul energy will be born again according to the credits of virtues and sins taken together in another young child body. The universal soul generally referred as God can create his soul as its own tiny part life beings having own mechanism capable, as discussed in the chapter of Madhvacharya of this website, under the Dvaita and Advaita Siddhantas.

A ceiling decoration from a Jain temple in Ranakpur, Rajasthan where the knots represent the interlinking notion of karma
A ceiling sculpture in Ranakpur, Rajasthan representing the interlinking notion of karma

The unicellular organ bacteria are the smallest life species as detailed in Garuda Purana. Elephants, rhinos or human beings are the bigger in body-size life as detailed in Garuda Purana. But the life soul active energy of bacteria, cows, elephants or rhinos are equal in mass and weight. Shankaracharya proved in his life the portability of this soul energy from his body into the recently dead body of another man is possible, the technique with name as Para Kaya Pravesh. But the transplanting of soul energy from human to another human only was shown as possible.

Hence after several times of birth and death, one slowly starts gaining more and more virtues and finally gets into the human body. When the virtues are very high and sins are meagre, one gets birth as a child to live later as a pure vegetarian. In India, then that human being gets the horoscope. This is a typical life under Sanatana Dharma who could be born anywhere now.

जननी जन्म सौख्यानां वर्धनीकुल संपदां ।
पदवी पूर्व पुण्यानां लिख्यते जन्म पत्रिका ॥

Meaning: Mother being the reasonable cause of birth and pleasures, later developments of the child, the family growth with wealth, according to the previous virtues, the status in the society it gets, for considering all these facts the horoscope is written.

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Mahabharat: Bhishma Patana Parva

Bhishma Patana Parva is the sixty fourth Upa parva included in the sixth Maha parva named as Bhishma parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

How Yudhishtira had responded to Bhishma and Drona before the war?

Yudhishtira had got down from his chariot, removed his armored jackets with shoes, and started walking towards Bhishma. His brothers started asking what he wished to do, but when Arjuna also got down from his chariot, Krishna was very happy, nodding his head, as he knew Yudhishtira was doing right. With both hands folded together, Yudhishtira openly sought the blessings of Bhishma for success in the war. The Pandava brothers repeated what Yudhishtira had done. Bhishma had blessed all the Pandava brothers to get success in the war.

Then, Yudhishitra had started walking towards Drona. His brothers started asking again what he wished to do, but when Arjuna also followed Yudhishtira, Krishna was very happy, nodding his head, as he knew Yudhishtira was doing right even now. With both hands folded together, Yudhishtira openly sought the blessings of Drona for success in the war. The Pandava brothers repeated what Yudhishtira had done. Drona had blessed all the Pandava brothers to get success in the war.  

Krishna and Pandavas along with Narada converse with Bhishma who is lying on a bed of arrows
Bhishma lying on a bed of arrows

Why Krishna and most of the opposite side kings praised Yudhishtira?

The blessings of the eldest brings courtesy and success in the work. Also, the blessings of the teacher brings courtesy and success in the job. Hence Krishna and most of the opposite side kings who stood with righteousness had praised Yudhishtira for his actions before starting the war. 

What was the option offered by Yudhishtira before the start of the war?

Yudhistira had announced the option for the willing individuals to change the side of the armies if they desire before the actual start of the war. Nobody had left from the side of Yudhishtira, but Yuyutsu, the youngest of the Kaurava brothers had left Duryodhana side and joined the side of Yudhistira.

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Mahabharat: Bhagavadgita Parva

Bhagavad Gita Parva is the sixty third Upa parva included in the sixth Maha parva named as Bhishma parva. Vyasa Maharshi had composed Mahabharata.

नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरं चैव नरोत्तमं । 
देवीं सरस्वतीं व्यासं ततो जय मुदीरयेत्त् ॥

Meaning: Prostrating Narayana, the best man among the human beings, the Goddess Saraswathi, Vyasa, and later, the name ‘Jaya’ should be pronounced.

In his original work in Sanskrit language, Vyasa had written more than thousand verses in Bhagavadgita Upa parva called by the original name as Jaya. After many years, many editions by many others have evolved.

The present version of Bhagavadgita contains seven hundred Sanskrit verses and it was compiled by Adi Shankaracharya, for the convenience of history-worshipping readers. The esteemed readers are requested to have a printed hard copy of Bhagavadgita and it is always recommended to refer it frequently than this electronic format. The same book was preserved for centuries in palm leaf bundles.

Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

How many times Sanjaya had reported to Dritarashtra about the war?

Sanjaya had reported four times to Dritarashtra about the war. Initially, he reported on the tenth day of the evening of the war. As usual, after collection of data of war proceedings, Sanjaya had returned to his home near Hastinavati from Kurukshetra at five o’clock on the evening of the Great War. He had started in the early morning before nine o’clock from his home.

For the initial ten days, Sanjaya had been regularly following his duty schedule like a regular media reporter for data collection. He had slept for eight hours daily during those nights. From nine o’clock in the morning till five o’clock in the evening, he gathered all the war related data and kept in memory to report in detail to Dritarashtra. He had reported his data collections four times to Dritarashtra about the great Mahabharata war including its consequences.

Conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in the middle of the Kurukshetra
Conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in the middle of the battlefield

On the tenth day, Sanjaya had visited Dritarashtra, disclosed the news of falling of Bhishma (Patana means falling in Sanskrit). For the first time, Sanjaya reported Dritarashtra regarding the advancement of Shikhandi with aiming arrows towards Bhishma. He had fallen due to the aimed arrows of Shikhandi, while Bhishma had held his bow in one hand and arrow in the other hand, had suddenly recognised Shikhandi but fell down on the Earth in the battlefield. It was reported by Sanjaya on the tenth day evening. Like this, he had reported for the second time on the evening of the thirteenth day after Drona had fallen.

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Mahabharat: Bhumi Parva

Bhumi Parva is the sixty second Upa parva included in the sixth Maha parva named as Bhishma parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

How Sanjaya had elaborated the Earth with the oceans in Mahabharat?

नैकधातु विचित्रैश्च पर्वतैरुपशोभितः ।
सिद्ध चारण संकीर्णः सागरः परिमण्डलः ॥

Meaning: Wonderful different types of elements were there in the various beautiful hills and different kinds of people like Siddhas and long legged persons were on the islands on this tiny Earth, surrounded by oceans, being spherical in nature. 

The conclusion of ancient Indian people about the Earth as a sphere or globe shape was really recordable. The salt water was more than the land soil surrounding it. 

Dritarashtra being a blind emperor was very curious to know about his ruled Earth. 

What was the specialty of some of the distant islands on this Earth?

From more than the seven islands, soldiers had come to participate in the war. Shaka, Kusha, Manichaka, Shama, Raivata, Modaki and Sukumara were some of their names of the islands. Some more islands were told to Dritarashtra. They were surrounded by salt water. They had got their names from the mountains in the middle of those islands. Some people were black in colour. Most of them were sincere devotees of Krishna. Krauncha was another Island. Some of the islands were very rich in many respects. Hence none of the people of that society died due to poverty. Then the citizenship of a particular society is referred as ‘Janapada’.

प्रागायतो महाराज मलयो नाम पर्वतः । 
यतो मेघाः प्रवर्तन्ते प्रभवन्ति च सर्वशः ॥

Meaning: In the Eastern side, there exists a mountain called Malaya. The clouds were generated from the sea and pass over it and spread (causing rain) to various or all directions. 

Sanjaya narrating events to Dritarashtra
Sanjaya narrating events to Dritarashtra
तत्र परेण कौरव्य जलधारो महागिरिः । यत्र नित्यमुपादत्ते वासवः परमं जलं ।
यतो वर्षं प्रभवति वर्षाकाले जनेश्वर ॥

Meaning: Thereafter O Kaurava king, the mountain was called as Jaladhara. There, daily rains happen. It happens by the grace of Vasava, the angel of rain. O king, it is like rainy season always there. Shillong or Cherrapunji was ever famous for highest rainfall in the world, Mahabharata was telling wonderful truth. In due course of time, most of these places got new names due to different kings and different languages of people.

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Mahabharat: Jambudvipa Parva

Jambu Dvipa Parva or Jambu Khanda Vinirmana Parva is the sixty first Upa parva included in the sixth Maha parva named as Bhishma Parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries. Janamejaya was very curious about the happenings in the war. He asked Vaishampayana how Kaurava and Pandava army soldiers had faced the battle.

The India sub-continent then called as Bharata Varsha or Jambu peninsular was the main area from where the kings and soldiers came marching and they had formed tents on the Western side of Kurukshetra facing the East. Yudhishtira had ordered to arrange several thousands of army camps. Duryodhana had also arranged several thousands of army camps on the Eastern side outside his palace facing the West.

Representative map of Jambudvipa
Representative map of Jambudvipa

Yudhishtira had distributed code words to soldiers to recognize them in the field. He also arranged sufficient food and essential items for all his warriors. Duryodhana had distributed jewels to his own soldiers to recognize them in the field. He also arranged for all, sufficient dress and other essential items. He encouraged them to fight and instructed to kill the Pandavas. Pandavas’ side and Kauravas’ side commanders formed their own terms and conditions for avoiding killing of own side soldiers due to mistaken identities. 

Vyasa Rishi visited there. Vyasa was a far sighted Rishi. He visited Dritarashtra and secretly informed him about the military developments in Kurukshetra. He also informed about the bad omens and guessed about the bad results of war near his palace. Vyasa offered Dritarashtra to provide him visual ability to see the war proceedings of his children. Dritarashtra replied to Vyasa not to offer him the power of vision since the war would happen between the children grown up by him in his own palace. But as an emperor he should collect the daily news related to his palace and surroundings.

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