Even in his childhood, Barbarika was a very brave warrior. He learnt the art of warfare from his mother. The gods (ashtadeva) gave him the three infallible arrows. Hence, Barbarika came to be known as “Bearer of Three Arrows”. When Barbarika learnt that battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas had become inevitable, he wanted to witness what was to be the Mahabharata War. He promised his mother that if he felt the urge to participate in the battle, he would join the side which would be losing. He rode to the field on his Blue Horse equipped with his three arrows and bow.
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Before the Mahabharata war began, Lord Krishna asked all the Pandavas how many days they would take to finish Mahabharata war alone. Bhishma answered that he would take 20 days to finish the war. Dronacharya replied that it would take him 25 days. When Karna was asked, he said he would take 24 days. Arjuna told Krishna it would take 28 days for him to complete the battle by himself. In this manner, Lord Krishna asked each warrior and received an answer. Krishna disguised as a Brahmin, stopped Barbarika to examine his strength. When asked how many days he would take to finish the war alone, Barbarika answered that he could finish it in one minute. Krishna then asked Barbarika how he’d finish the great battle with just three arrows. Barbarika replied that a single arrow was enough to destroy all his opponents in the war, and it would then return to his quiver. He stated that, the first arrow is used to mark all the things that he wants to destroy. If he uses the second arrow, then the second arrow will mark all the things that he wants to save. On using the third arrow, it will destroy all the things that are not marked and then return to his quiver. In other words, with one arrow he can fix all his targets and with the other he can destroy them.
Krishna challenged Barbarika to tie all the leaves of the Peepal tree under which he was standing, using his arrows. Barbarika accepts the challenge and starts meditating to release his arrow by closing his eyes. As Barbarika starts meditating, Krishna quietly plucks a leaf from the tree and hides it under his foot. When Barbarika releases his first arrow, it marks all the leaves of the tree and finally started hovering around the leg of Krishna. Krishna asks Barbarika why the arrow was hovering over his foot. Barbarika replies that there must be a leaf under his foot and the arrow was targeting his foot to mark the leaf that is hidden underneath. Barbarika advises Krishna to lift his leg, otherwise the arrow would mark the leaf by piercing Krishna’s foot. Krishna then lifts his foot and the first arrow also marks the hidden leaf. The third arrow then collects all the leaves (including the hidden leaf ) and ties them together. By this Krishna concludes that the arrows are so powerful and infallible, that even if Barbarika is unaware of the whereabouts of his targets, his arrows can still navigate and trace his intended targets. The moral of this incident is that, in a real battle field, if Krishna wants to isolate someone (for example: the 5 Pandava brothers) and hide them elsewhere in order to prevent them from being Barbarika’s victim, he would not be successful as the arrows could trace even the hidden targets and destroy them. So, nobody would be able to escape from these arrows. Thus Krishna gets a deeper insight about Barbarika’s phenomenal power.
Once Lord Brahma and several other Devas came to Vaikuntha and complained to Lord Vishnu that the Adharma on Earth was increasing; it was not possible for them to bear the tortures causes by the wicked people. Hence they came to seek the help of Lord Vishnu to check them. Lord Vishnu told the Devas that he will soon be incarnated on Earth as a human being and destroy all the evil forces. Then, a Yaksha told the Devas that he alone is enough to kill all evil elements on the Earth, and it was not necessary for Lord Vishnu to descend to Earth. This hurt Lord Brahma very much. Lord Brahma cursed this Yaksha that whenever the time comes to eliminate all the evil forces on Earth, then Lord Vishnu will first kill him. Later, the Yaksha takes birth as Barbarika and Lord Krishna seeks his head in charity as a result of this curse.
Yuyutsu in the Hindu epic Mahabharata was a son of Dhritarashtra with Sughada/Sauvali, Gandhari’s maid. He was as old as Duryodhana and the rest of the 100 Kuru brothers and Dushala. Eventually, he was the only son of Dhritarashtra who survived the Kurukshetra war.