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Dussasana (Sanskrit: दुःशासन, Duḥśāsana), also spelled as Dushasana and Dushyasana, was a Kaurava prince, the second son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and Gandhari and the younger brother of Duryodhana in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.


The name is often derived from two elements, the Sanskrit: duh, meaning 'bad (unlawful)' and shasana, meaning "ruler". So the word Dussasana means 'unlawful ruler'.

Birth and development[edit]

When Dhritarashtra's queen Gandhari's pregnancy continued for an unusually long time, she beat her womb in frustration and in envy of Kunti, the queen of Pandu, who had given birth to two of the five Pandavas. Due to her actions, a hardened mass of grey-colored flesh emerged from her womb. Gandhari was devastated, and called upon Vyasa, the great sage who had blessed her with one hundred sons, to redeem his words. Vyasa divided the flesh ball into a hundred equal pieces, and put them into pots of ghee, which were then sealed and buried in the earth for one year. At the end of the year, the first pot was opened, and Duryodhana emerged. The next one to emerge was Dussasana.[citation needed]

Dussasana was devoted to his older brother Duryodhana. He was also closely involved in the various schemes and plots to kill the Pandavas along with Duryodhana and Sakuni.

Draupadi's humiliation[edit]

Draupadi is presented to a parcheesi game

After Yudhishthira lost his kingdom, his brothers and his wife Draupadi, in a game of dice with Sakuni, Dussasana dragged Draupadi by the hair into the assembly, at the behest of his brother Duryodhana, and tried to disrobe her. Draupadi prayed to Krishna and he made her sari to be of infinite length, so that Dussasana could not take it off. However, the princess was humiliated by being dragged into court by her hair.


Bhim fulfilling his promise regarding Dushsasana in the Mahabharata field

On the 17th day of the Kurukshetra War, Bhima defeated and killed Dussasana, tearing open his chest and drinking his blood. Dussasana's brutal death greatly agitated Karna and Duryodhana, and demoralized the Kaurava army watching Bhima in his ecstasy of wrath, however Karna took out his anger by fiercely attacking on Arjuna (as Karna was unable to defeat Bhima because he was scared of bhima and always lost every fight to him unable to protect any kauravas and with the help of 20 kauravas he still ran away and fled).

Dursasana (Dushasana in the Javanese language) in the Balinese wayang kulit shadow theatre


External links[edit]

  • Media related to Dushasana at Wikimedia Commons