Story of war between Bhurishravas and Satyaki – Their Acts against the war

By the time of the Battle of Kurukshetra, Sini’s grandson Satyaki, now a king of the Vrishnis, was allied with the Pandava army while Bhurishravas sided with the Kauravas and was one of the eleven commanders of the Kaurava army. On 5th day of war bhurisravas kills 10 sons of Satyaki. On the 14th day of the battle Bhurishravas was stationed in Dronacharya’s Shakatavyuha (Cart Formation), attempting to stop Arjuna’s from decimating King Jayathratha of Sindh. As Satyaki and Bhima came to support Arjuna, Bhurishravas abandoned his position, and challenged Satyaki. Already tired from navigating the Shakatavyuha, Satyaki began to falter after a long and bloody battle. Their weapons destroyed, the fighting turned to hand-to-hand combat. Bhurishravas pummeled Satyaki and dragged him across the battlefield when he was very tired and injured. Arjuna was alerted to Satyaki’s danger by Lord Krishna. Just as Bhurishravas was preparing to kill Satyaki, Arjuna came to the rescue, shooting an arrow cutting off Bhurishravas’ arm. Bhurishravas wailed that by striking him without a formal challenge, and from behind, Arjuna had disgraced the honor between warriors. Arjuna in turn rebuked Bhurishravas for attempting to kill an unarmed Satyaki – an act also against the rules of war. Arjuna also criticized Bhurishravas for partaking in the immoral the killing of Abhimanyu. At this point, realizing his folly, Bhurishravas laid down his weapons, and sat in the lotus posture to practice yoga. But then Satyaki emerged from his swoon, and before Arjuna could stop him, swiftly decapitated his enemy. The warriors on both sides of the battle universally condemned Satyaki for this act – one of the incidents in the epic showing the superiority of dharma and honor against the uncontrollable power of hatred.Symbolically, as Bhurishravas’ attempt to kill the unarmed Satyaki immediately resulted in his own death in the same manner, Bhurishravas can be seen as representing the binding effects of one’s material actions (karma). Years later, Bhurishravas’s death would be used by Kritavarma to insult Satyaki. In the resulting fight, Satyaki (as well as the remaining Yadavas) perished.

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