Vatsala (Sashirekha), the daughter of Balarama is betrothed to the Pandava prince Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu is the son of (Balarama and Krishna’s sister) Subhadra and (Krishna’s close friend) the Pandava prince Arjuna. So initially the marriage of Vatsala is to be performed with Abhimanyu but when Abhimanyu’s father Arjuna goes into exile Balarama’s wife Revati says that Arjuna has no kingdom left and a prince without a kingdom may well be a commoner. Balarama thinks about it and feels that his wife is right and that he is supposed to think about the welfare of his daughter breaks off the marriage with Abhimanyu. Balarama arranges it instead with Duryodhana’s son Laxman. When Abhimanyu comes to know about and is annoyed. Abhimanyu asks his maternal uncle- Balarama’s brother and Arjuna’s ally, Krishna to intervene. Krishna says he cannot do so but he should ask help from his first cousin Ghatotkacha – the half demon son of Arjuna’s brother Bhima who lives in Varnavat. Abhimanyu sets out to Varnavat and meets his cousin brother and tells him why he seeks his help. Ghatotkacha is furious at Balarama because he wants to keep an alliance with the very people who were the cause of the Pandavas’ misery. Meanwhile, the marriage preparations take place at Balarama’s house. Ghatotkacha hatches a plan to get Vatsala and Abhimanyu married. Ghatotkacha goes disguised as Vatsala to the marriage ceremony. He frightens the hell out of Laxman who promptly faints. Laxman vows never to marry. The real Vatsala has been transported by Ghatotkacha to Varnavat where Abhimanyu awaits. The couple’s marriage is celebrated. When Duryodhana learns that Abhimanyu has married Vatsala, he is infuriated and thus his anger toward the Pandavas is further fuelled.
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Story of marriage of Balarama & Revati’s Daughter in Mahabharata causes tussle between Abhimanyu & Laxman Kumara (Duryodhana’s Son)
Despite Bhima’s physical advantage, Duryodhana had the better technique due to his devotion to his craft. After a long and brutal battle between the two disciples of Balarama, Duryodhana begins to exhaust Bhima, and nearly makes Bhima faint. At this point, Krishna, observing the fight, calls out to Bhima and signals him by repeatedly clapping his own thigh with his hand. As intended, Bhima was reminded of an oath he had taken after the game of dice to crush Duryodhana’s thighs. Bhima viciously attacks Duryodhana with a mace and strikes his thigh, mortally wounding Duryodhana. After having his face insultingly kicked by Bhima, Duryodhana bemoans that he was slain by unfair means, given that it was illegal to attack below the waist. Infuriated at the violation, Balarama, the brother of Lord Krishna, raises his weapon in attack. Lord Krishna consoles Balarama, by reminding him of Duryodhana’s evil deeds. Relenting but fuming, Balarama curses Bhima to be known in the world as a crooked warrior and blesses Duryodhana with glory, naming Duryodhana his greatest pupil.
Duryodhana is lying in the battle field, awaiting death, badly bruised by the wounds inflicted by Bhima. He kept his three fingers in a raised position and is unable to speak. All the efforts made by his men to understand the meaning proved to be futile. Seeing his plight Krishna approached him and said “I know what issues occupied your mind. I will address them”. Krishna identified the issues as: Not building a fort around Hastinapur, Not persuading Vidura to fight the battle, and Not making Ashwatthama the commander-in-chief after the death of Drona. On hearing this Duryodhana closed all the fingers and rested. Duryodhana concluded that these 3 factors should have surely brought him victory. Had he built a fort around Hastinapur, he could have totally avoided the war in the first place. If Vidura had fought on his side, he would have had the best strategist, even better than Krishna. At last, Duryodhana came to the conclusion that Krishna was in fact the avatar of Lord Vishnu. If Duryodhana had named Ashwatthama the commander of the army after the death of Drona, victory would have surely be his as Ashwatthama was the avatar of Lord Shiva. No one can handle a ‘furious’ Ashwatthama, the part incarnate of Lord Shiva.
Vayu is a primary Hindu deity, the lord of the winds, the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Hanuman. In the Mahabharata, Bhima was the son and an incarnation of Vayu and played a major role in the Kurukshetra War. He utilised his huge power and skill with the mace for supporting Dharma.
During their childhood Bhima used his brute strength to inflict injuries on the Kaurava brothers. As Bhima was gluttonous, Duryodhana attempted to kill Bhima by feeding him a poisoned feast, but Bhima survived due to the poisonous bites from celestial Nagas which neutralized the poison he had ingested. Duryodhana then participated in a plot by Shakuni to burn the Pandavas at Varnavat; however, they managed to escape the trap.