All posts in Stories of Arjuna in Mahabharata

Story when Brihannala (Aruja) reveals her identity and fights for Uttar

Towards the end of the year that the Pandavas spent at the Matsya Kingdom, Duryodhana (suspecting that the Pandavas were hiding in Matsya) attacked that kingdom. The army of Hastinapura stood at the borders of Matsya, but King Virata had already taken his entire army to fight the Trigarta army attacking from the south. When news arrives at the palace, Uttar confidently boasts about how he will single-handedly wipe out the Kauravas, downplaying their abilities. Upon the prodding of his mother and her maid, he takes his sister’s dancing teacher, the eunuch Brihannala, who was in reality Arjuna, as his charioteer. As they approach the Kuru army, Uttar panics at the site, and asks Brihannala to turn back. When he refuses, citing Kshatriya dharma, Uttar dismounts the chariot and runs for his life, only for Arjuna to run up to him and catch him. In order to fortify Uttar’s courage, Arjuna revealed his true identity. Uttar was incredulous and initially refused to believe Arjuna; only after Arjuna had recited his ten aliases did Uttar believe that Brihannala was indeed Arjuna in disguise. Arjuna then took charge and single-handedly defeated the entire Hastinapura army.

Story of Arjuna and Draupadi’s Son Shrutakirti

Shrutakirti was the son born to Arjuna and Draupadi, the youngest of the Upapandavas, he was born definitely after the Arjuna’s return from adventures and would be very young at time of battle. His horses were supposed to bear the colour of kingfishers. He fought against Dushasana and Ashwathama in the battle.

Story – When Yudhishthira names Draupadi’s partiality towards Arjuna

When her husbands retired from the world and went on their journey towards the Himalayas and heaven, Draupadi accompanied them, and was the first to fall on the journey. When Bhima asked Yudhishthira why Draupadi had fallen, Yudhishthira names Draupadi’s partiality towards Arjuna as the reason. On the remaining journey, the rest of the Pandavas all fall, with only Yudhishthira surviving. Eventually, he is taken to a palace where he sees his brothers and Draupadi.

Story – When Bhima shaved Jayadratha’s head because Jayadratha abducted Draupadi

One day, during the time the Pandavas were in exile, the Pandavas needed to gather samitha and darbha (holy grass) for rituals and to gather food. They left Draupadi alone at the ashrama and requested Sage Trunabindu to watch over her. On that day Jayadratha saw Draupadi and sent his minister Kotikasya and asked him to inquire as to who she was. Kotikasya went over to her and after learning about her identity, informed Jayadratha that she is Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. Jayadratha in spite of learning her identity, went to Draupadi and proposed to marry her. Initially welcoming him as their Pandavas brother-in-law, i.e. brother for her , Draupadi vehemently refused the proposal. Infuriated, Jayadratha abducted Draupadi and started moving towards his kingdom. The Pandavas returned to their ashrama to find Draupadi missing and learnt about the event that had unfolded by the account of Draupadi’s friend Dhaatreyika, who had witnessed Jayadratha forcefully carrying Draupadi away. Yudhishthira then ordered Arjuna and Bhima to rescue Draupadi. Both of them defeated Jayadratha and brought him before Yudhishthira. Draupadi begged for Jayadratha to be pardoned and not killed, in order to prevent Dushala from becoming a widow. She suggested that he be treated like a slave. So, Bhima shaved Jayadratha’s head leaving him with just five spots of hair on his head, before setting him free.

Story when Jayadratha performs a rigorous tapasya in order to please Lord Shiva

Jayadratha desires to avenge his humiliation from the Pandavas by defeating them in the battle field. So, Jayadratha performs a rigorous tapasya in order to please Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva appears before him, Jayadratha in turn asks for the ability to defeat the Pandavas. Shiva replies that such a boon is impossible, as the Pandavas are too mighty. However, he gives Jayadratha the ability to check the advance of the Pandavas and their forces for one whole day. However, Shiva warns Jayadratha that Arjuna is an exception to this boon.

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