|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013)|
Subhadra is the daughter of Vasudev and his second wife Rohini Devi. She is much younger to Krishna and Balarama since she was born after Vasudeva was released from Kamsa's prison. Subhadra was the only daughter of Vasudeva. Subhadra is the incarnation of Parvati and Arjun ansh or part of Shiva .
When Subhadra becomes of age, Balarama suggests her as a bride to Duryodhana, who is his favourite pupil. The entire family is against this due to Duryodhana’s reputations as a notorious prince. Subhadra too resents this but nothing can be said because Balarama had already sent the proposal to Duryodhana.
Affair with Arjuna and Abduction
At the time, Arjuna was in the midst of self-imposed pilgrimage, for breaking terms of the agreement he had had with his brothers regarding private time with their shared wife, Draupadi. With Krishna's help and blessing, Arjuna disguises himself as an ascetic and establishes a "sage’s" residence near Subhadra’s palace. Subhadra serves him, and as they spend time together, they fall-in-love with each other. After sometime Arjuna discloses his identity to her. Knowing his legend and that her love is requited, she pleads with Krishna to sanction their love. Krishna agrees and instructs Arjuna to carry Subhadra away and marry her in secret, as Balarama would not change his mind. When Subhadra is returning from the temple, Arjuna elopes with her. Wisely, Krishna advises them that Subhadra should drive the getaway chariot, to prevent confusion that Arjuna had abducted Subhadra against her consent. When Balarama is alerted by the Vrishni guards he is full of wrath for Arjuna. Krishna pacifies him and tells him the backstory. Balarama’s relaxes and he agrees to celebrate the couple’s marriage at Indraprastha.
Subhadra and Arjuna have an only son, Abhimanyu. He became a valiant warrior. He studied under the tutelage of Krishna, Kritvarma and Pradyumna. Later he married Uttara and had a son named Parikshit. Abhimanyu died in the Kurukshetra war. Parikshit becomes the sole surviving heir of the entire Kuru dynasty. When he comes of age, the Pandavas appoint him as the king and retire to the Himalayas. Subhadra stays back to guide and mentor her grandson.
In earlier versions of the Mahabharatha, the marriage is used to show the interesting difference between the different cultures of India. When Abhimanyu reaches a marriageable age, his father, Arjuna, was incognito in the Matsya Kingdom, due to the terms of the dice game the Pandavas had lost to the Kauravas. However, a constant worry of Arjuna's is getting his son married off. Because of his absence, Subhadra, a Vrishni, would have full control over the decision of who would be Abhimanyu's wife, and Arjuna is worried that she would choose one of her nieces. In the Kuru culture, marriage between first cousins was more taboo, while in Subhadra's culture, it was more accepted. As such, Arjuna leaps at the chance to marry Abhimanyu to Virata's daughter, Uttara. In some other versions of the story, which do not appear in the official Mahabhartha, Subhadra gets her way, with Abhimanyu marrying Balarama's daughter.
Subhadra is one of the three deities worshipped at the Jagannath temple at Puri, along with her brothers Krishna (as Jagannatha) and Balarama (or Balabhadra). One of the chariots in the annual Ratha Yatra is dedicated to her.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Subhadra.|