Mahabharata is an epic which I bet every Indian knows about. The ins and outs of the epic are quite peculiar and each one of us has either seen it on our tv screens or heard about it in our grandma’s stories. Being a treasure of knowledge, Mahabharata has always fascinated its readers. But there are a few facts which are still unknown to many of us. Let us have a look at some lesser known facts about Mahabharata.
Sahadeva, one of the Pandav Brothers could foresee the future
While Pandu was dying he asked his 5 sons to eat his body rather than cremating it so that they could get his intelligence, could become immortal and peep into the future. According to Telugu Folk Additions to Mahabharata, Lord Krishna stopped them from eating the corpse so that he could do the same after they leave. As they left, Sahadeva sat beside his father’s dead body. Krishna cunningly entered the dead Pandu’s body and started eating it from inside. Sahadeva recalling his fathers last ate his little finger which gave him the ability to know about future happenings. At once he learned about Krishna’s mischief. Hence, was warned by Krishna that if he reveals this act to anybody his head would burst into pieces. Hence, even after knowing the actions of future he had to face the hardships by keeping mum.
Arjuna as a eunuch Brihannala
Arjuna had spent a year as a eunuch Brihannala at King Virata’s Matsya Kingdom. What made him so persistent in his disguise during his exile that he was able to teach dance to princess Uttara? The curse of one of the heavenly maidens, Urvashi helped him do so.
The story sets back to the time when Arjuna visited his father Lord Indra. Urvashi was bewitched by his charm. Indra thought that Arjuna was also attracted to her so he took upon himself to offer Urvashi to his son. When she tried seducing him, Arjuna refused. To this refusal, Urvashi burned into fumes as she couldn’t take the denial of a mortal man. She cursed him that he would live the life of a eunuch, dancing and singing with other women. On Indra’s request, she limited the curse to a year which was during his exile when he lived as Brihannala.
Bhishma’s 5 Golden Arrows
Duryodhana approached Bhishma Pitamah and accused him of silently fighting for Pandavas. Greatly angered by his accusation he while picking up 5 arrows after chanting a few mantras on them declared that these 5 golden arrows will kill the 5 Pandav brothers the following day. Duryodhana doubting his intentions asked him to give arrows to him so that he could return them to him the next morning.
As Duryodhana returned, Arjuna came to him and asked him to fulfill his promise of granting him one wish. The story of this promise dates back to the times when the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi were in exile. Duryodhana had placed his camp opposite to the side of the pond where the Pandavas were living. Once he was taking a bath in the pond when the prince Gandharva visited the place. He could not tolerate prince’s presence in the pond while he was having a bath hence, landed into a fight with the prince. Gandharva captured him and on the request of Yudhishtir, Arjuna rescued Duryodhana to which he promised that he would fulfill a wish of Arjuna whenever asked to.
Remembering this Arjuna went to Duryodhana and asked for the 5 arrows. As Duryodhana was bound to his promise he had to give the arrows to his younger brother.
Logic behind the name of Kauravas
Kauravas originally had different names. Duryodhana (an evil warrior) was initially named as Suyodhana (a good warrior), Dusshala (one whose movement is wicked) was actually Suchala ( one whose moves in all good ways), Sushasana (a good ruler) was the original name of Dushasana (a bad ruler), and so on.They were misnamed due to their bad deeds and their changed names are considered as a bad omen.
Arjuna Killing Yudhishtir as mentioned in Karna Parva
Yudhishtir after being defeated by Karna returned to his tent. Following this Arjuna visited him and asked him about his condition. Yudhishtir though that Arjuna had come with a news of defeating Karna when he got to know that his presence was just out of concern. In agitation, he asked Arjuna to give up his Gandiva. Arjuna had taken a secret vow that if anyone ever insulted his Gandiva he would kill that person. So obeying to his vow he took out the sword to kill Yudhishtir when the King of Loopholes, Lord Krishna appeared to tell them a way out. He said that according to dharma insulting elders is killing them, therefore, Arjuna killed Yudhishtir with his words.
The deeper you get into the stories of Mahabharata the more secrets you get to unveil.