Mahabharata, one of the two major legendary stories of the ancient India, is completely focused on how Dharma (righteousness) wins after a lot of struggle. We know only one-fourth of the controversial epic. Certainly, there are many facts that are still lesser known to many of us. Here are ten lesser known facts of the epic Mahabharata:
Ashwathama was the real hero.
Arjuna was well known as the hero of Mahabharata. But there was Ashwathama, the son of Guru Dronacharya, who did years of penance to obtain a son as valiant and powerful as Lord Shiva. Ashwathama happened to be the avatar of eight Rudras, blessed with a ruby on his head by birth. He was one of the Chiranjivees (the immortals) and the lone survivor of the Kurukshetra war.
Guru Dronacharya was misled.
Guru Dronacharya led Kaurava’s side as the commander. In order to kill him, Lord Krishna tricked him with the news that his son Ashwathama had been killed by Bheema. Disappointed, Dronacharya quit his weapons and later was then killed by Dhrishtadhyumna. Actually, Bheema killed an elephant named Ashwathama. Despite the fact that he followed the righteous path, Guru Dronacharya was killed to lessen the power of Kauravas.
Eklavya played a vital role in Mahabharata.
Eklavya played a significant role in the epic, yet was unnoticed. He was a cousin of Lord Krishna who was lost in the forests and adopted by the huntsmen. They raised him as their own yet the boy possessed all the skills a man needed to rule a Kingdom. He was then rejected by Guru Dronacharya who asked him for his thumb finger as Guru Dakshana. Eklavya was equally talented as Arjuna in skills but Guru didn’t want a huntsman’s son to be so. He was then blessed with a reincarnation as Draupadi’s brother, Dhrishtadhyumna, who killed Guru Dronacharya in the Kurukshetra war.
Shakuni was the major reason behind the war.
Most of us know that Draupadi laughed at Duryodhana and the Mahabharata war started there. But there is another major reason behind the war. Shakuni, who played a vital role in changing the fate of the Kauravas, took revenge on Dhirudhrashtra, father of Kauravas. Dhirudhrashtra had killed Shakuni’s family members for some reason and in order to take revenge, he insisted Duryodhana to play the dice with Dharma, though he knew the power of Pandavas. In fact, the dice with which the game was played was made by Shakuni’s father’s backbone.
Karna was a loyal friend and a great protector.
Karna was the son of Kunthi, the mother of Pandavas. Though he knew that Pandavas were his brothers, he decided to fight for Kauravas showing his loyalty to his friend Duryodhana. Karna was tricked and killed in the war because he was considered as one of the most powerful warriors of the Kaurava side. Here again, the righteous Karna wasn’t noticed much in the epic.
Bhishma Pitamah was cursed by a woman and killed by the same.
Bhishma Pitamah, also called as the Ganga puthra, had been cursed by Shikandi while he was young. He had rejected her love and so she had taken an oath to kill Bhishma. Bhishma could not be killed unless he lowered his bow in the battle. He wouldn’t lower his bow against anyone but a woman. Also, no woman was allowed to enter the battle. Shikandi was born a woman and raised as a man. Bhishma refused to battle with Shikandi. Arjuna used the situation and shot a hundred arrows to the ground as there was no way the Pitamah could be killed. Pitamah had the gift of choosing his moment of death.
The Five Golden arrows played a role too.
Duryodhana once was saved by Arjuna on Bhishma Pitamah’s request. Being a Kshatriya, he was embarrased and gave Arjuna a boon that he would receive anything from him as a gift for saving his dignity. Arjuna, on Lord Krishna’s advice, used the boon before the battle by asking for the five powerful golden arrows from Duryodhana, thus weakening the Kaurava’s side. Duryodhana had got the arrows from Bhishma Pitamah.
Abhimanyu was the only warrior to break the Chakravyuh.
Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son was taught about breaking the Chakravyuh when he was inside his mother’s womb. But entering the Chakravyuh was only discussed. Then came the fate changing shock when Abhimanyu entered the Chakravyuh in a brilliant way and didn’t know how to get out of it. The Pandavas lost all their sons in the battle.
Lord Vishnu’s bow was broken.
Lord Vishnu’s Dhanush was with Pandu’s brother Vidhura. Lord Krishna tricked Vidhura and made him break the Dhanush. This also was one of the greatest step that weakened the Kaurava’s power.
Courteousness made Pandavas powerful.
Though Kauravas were misled at times, they made a major mistake of choosing the Narayani Army instead of Lord Krishna. Duryodhana entered the place first but sat near the Lord’s head while Arjuna politely sat down. When Lord Krishna opened his eyes, he saw Arjuna first and also on the basis of Dharma, Lord Krishna gave Arjuna, the youngest one among the both, the opportunity to choose between him and his army. Pandavas’ courteousness took them a step ahead of Kauravas despite both sides being equally powerful.