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?

Jayadratha had died first, on the thirteenth day of the war before sunset, being attacked by Arjuna. Drona died later in the same night after the moon rose, say after midnight. As per the present timings, it may be the early morning of the following day since he was in a sleepy mood, being attacked by Drishtadyumna. 

How Shrutayudha from Duryodhana’s side was killed?

Shrutayudha was the son of Varunadeva and Parnasha. He was provided with a mace from Varunadeva. He had preserved it for many years. When he had thrown it on the chest of Krishna, after rebounding, it had hit Shrutayudha and killed him. 

How Ambashta and Shrutayu from Duryodhana’s side were killed?

Many names of kings in Mahabharata had repetitions since many persons with the same name existed. There were three persons with the name of Janamejaya. Arjuna had not killed any one of the Kaurava brothers. All the Kaurava brothers were killed by Bhima alone but on different days. Other brave kings were killed by Arjuna. The demon princes were killed by the son of Bhima, called Ghatotkacha.

In the war, arrows were shot by many fighters from the enemies, one cannot say who killed whom. On the same side of Duryodhana, when the flags were destroyed by the enemies due to mistaken identities, Ambashta and Shrutayu were killed.  

How Drona satisfied him when Duryodhana had accused him?

Duryodhana had accused Drona of not killing Arjuna. Drona had called Duryodhana to his camp and tried to satisfy him. Drona assured Duryodhana to provide him a special protection cover having the power of being arrow-proof.

What were the special protection characteristics of the arrow-proof cover?

न कृष्णो न च कौंतेयो न चान्यः शस्त्रभृद्रणे ।
शरानर्पयितुं कश्चित्कवचे तव शक्ष्यति ॥

Nobody in the battle war field, neither Krishna nor Arjuna would be able to hurt your body with any weapons or arrows.

Thus, Drona had guaranteed protection to Duryodhana. After assuring his physical safety, Drona instructed Duryodhana to provide protection to Jayadratha and proceed with fighting. Arjuna had decided not to kill Duryodhana. Arjuna would kill Jayadratha only.

How was the curse of the father of Jayadratha utilized by Krishna?

The father of Jayadratha had conducted penance. He got a boon from Shiva to curse the holder of his son’s head in war. Saindhava also desired his son Jayadratha being a king, should be killed in any war, by action only.

In such a condition, when the head of Jayadratha falls to the ground from the hands of the holder of his son’s head, the head of that holding person would be broken into a hundred pieces. That was the power of the boon but it was a curse to the holder of the head. In the net result, Jayadratha should get into heaven, as his father desired.  

How did Arjuna manage the battlefield to fight with Jayadratha?

Arjuna had not managed the battlefield to fight with Jayadratha. It was Krishna who managed the battlefield. Arjuna was simply following the instructions of Krishna.

Why did Krishna tell Arjuna not to fight then with Karna?

Since Drona was still fighting with soldiers helping Duryodhana on the other side of the battlefield, Krishna told Arjuna not to fight with Karna but to pass the time till the moon rose. The battlefield was engaged in fighting at three different plots separately. It was on that night they had planned to kill Drona.

When Drona was alive, it may not be possible for Arjuna to defeat Karna. Then, Arjuna obeyed the words of Krishna and they started to assess the dead great personalities. Krishna told Satyaki to engage in fighting with Karna just to pass the time, to make him tired and to induce sleepiness in the night. Krishna also desired Arjuna to keep away from Drona that night.

Then, Arjuna allowed the soldiers to have a small snap or sleep if tired on the battlefield itself, until moonrise of the night. Yudhishtira and Bhima were protecting each other. Karna was tired from fighting with Satyaki and up on the moonrise, both were partially sleepy. Both of them were away from Drona.

Who fought with Karna then and why?

Karna was very strong and engaged in fighting with Satyaki. Karna had killed the horses of the chariot of Satyaki and the charioteer had run away to the camp.

Who brought the first chariot for Satyaki and who brought the second chariot?

The first chariot was brought by Daruka for Satyaki and the second chariot was brought by the brother of Daruka. Then the Mahabharata war continued. 

How many children of Dritarashtra were killed by Bhima on that day?

Bhima had killed thirty-one children of Dritarashtra on the thirteenth day.

How many horses of Sindhu country were brought for Jayadratha’s regiment?

More than twenty lakh horses were brought for Jayadratha’s regiment.

What was the length and width of the active battlefield of Drona?

Approximately, it was about fifty kilometers in length and twenty kilometers in width. 

Why did Arjuna avoid Drona in the war and why he faced Jayadratha?

In the front, Kritavarma was facing the enemies. In the rear, Jayadratha was safely positioned. In the middle, Drona was directing the entire army. But Arjuna had avoided Drona for fighting. Being his teacher, Arjuna avoided Drona, he announced. Being an enemy, Arjuna started attacking Jayadratha which was also announced by him.

Arjuna had started his attacks with Jayadratha but he told Krishna to circumscribe Drona several rounds to face Jayadratha at a convenient distance. Arjuna had to kill Jayadratha as per his vow with the help of Krishna.

How did the wounded and tired horses get drinking water on the battlefield? 

Arjuna had created a water pond for providing drinking water for the war-tired horses on the battlefield. It was requested by Krishna since Krishna was the charioteer for Arjuna. Arjuna was always following the words of Krishna.

How Jayadratha Vadha was done by Arjuna on the thirteenth day?

Arjun had a vow to kill Jayadratha before sunset with the help of Krishna. The holy weapons were used but Jayadratha was also able to fight similarly. Then Krishna told him to cut off the head of Jayadratha, and kick it away so that it falls on the lap of his father who was doing his evening prayers and Nama japa, ‘Narayana Narayana’.

The head of Jayadratha accordingly fell on the squatted laps of Saindhava in the evening, who had sat with closed eyes on the river bank, near Syamanta Panchaka. It was just outside of Kurukshetra. After finishing his evening prayers, he opened his eyes but found the head of his son on his lap. With both hands, he had held it but due to blood stains, he put it to the ground.

Suddenly, a heavy, dried tree branch fell on his head splitting the head of Saindhava into a hundred pieces. The soul of both father and son then had entered the heaven, Krishna announced. 

Who had really killed Abhimanyu on the eleventh day of war?

Jayadratha was the troop leader to form the Chakravyuha as per the orders of Drona. During the war, mace, bows with arrows and swords were used. When Abhimanyu was trapped in the Chakravyuha, Karna started stabbing him with a shaft from behind. Several soldiers also used their weapons since in the war, life was under question for anybody and everybody there. Krishna had described the war to Subhadra and family at Dwaraka later and he simply told them finally that the son of Dushasana had also been involved in killing Abhimanyu.  

Next post, Mahabharat: Ghatotkacha Parva would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Dronavadha Parva would be presented separately in another article.

On reading this story, children would gain more memory power and great moral strength in their lives in future; creating a sense of self-reliance leading to peace and progress.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us. 

Readers may share this story with children, friends and family.

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