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Family Somadatta (father)

Bhurishravas (Sanskrit: भूरिश्रवस् / भूरिश्रवा) was a prince of a minor kingdom[1] in the kingdom of Bahlika and played a role in the Mahabharata epic. Bhurishravas has many different spellings, including "Bhoorisravas(a)", "Bhurisravas(a)", "Bhurishravsa", etc.

Bhurishrava was the grandson of king Balhika, who was the elder brother of Shantanu the king of Hastinapur.

Bhurishravas' father, Somadatta, once clashed with another prince called Sini. When Devaki, the mother of Lord Krishna was still unwed, many princes competed for her hand in marriage including Somadatta and Sini who fought a great battle over her. Sini, fighting on behalf of Vasudeva won the battle. This incident launched a hatred between the Sini and Somadatta families leading to a generational rivalry.[2]

The Bhor Saidan village (Hindi: भौर सैदां), also spelled as Bhour Saidan or Bhoor Saiydan, named after Bhurishravas is located 22 km from Kurukshetra and 13 km from Thanesar on the Kurukshetra-Pehowa road near Bhureeshwar Temple, is one of the Mahabharta pilgrimage site in Kurukshetra in the Indian state of Haryana.

Family lineage[edit]

Bhurishrava was a Kuru prince. He was the grandson of Balhika. Balhika was the elder brother of Shantanu. He was the crown prince of Hastinapur but he devoted his life to conquer Balkh. So Shantanu became the king of Hastinapur. So, Balhika was the uncle of Bhishma and he with his son Somdatta and grandson Bhurishrava took part in the Kurukshetra War from the Kaurava side.[citation needed]

Role in the war[edit]

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.[2]

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.[1][2]

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.[2]

At this point, realizing his folly, Bhurishravas laid down his weapons, and sat in the lotus posture to practice yoga.[1][2]

But then Satyaki emerged from his swoon, and before Arjuna could stop him, swiftly decapitated his enemy.[1][2]

The warriors on both sides of the battle universally condemned Satyaki for this act[1] - one of the incidents in the epic showing the superiority of dharma and honor against the uncontrollable power of hatred.[2] 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).[3]

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.


  1. ^ a b c d e Essential Hinduism by Steven J. Rosen and Graham M. Schweig. Greenwood Publishing, 2006, page 96. Google books link accessed May 27, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mahabharata Online: Somadatta's End, accessed May 27, 2008.
  3. ^ God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita: A new translation and commentary by Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realization Fellowship, 1995, page 87. Google books link accessed May 27, 2008.

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