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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 'tough or hard to beat' and shasana, meaning "ruling or power". So the word Dussasana means 'competent or firm ruler'.
Birth and development
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 three 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.
After Yudhishthira lost his kingdom, his brothers and his wife Draupadi, in a game of dice with Shakuni, 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. After this humiliation Draupadi swore that she will not tie her hair until it is bathed with blood of Dushasana.
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 Duryodhana, and demoralized the Kaurava army watching Bhima in his ecstasy of wrath (soldiers of both sides called Bhima 'Rakshasa' condemning his heinous act). However, this did little to end the conflict, as Duryodhana reaffirmed his view on the continuation of the war.
- The Mahabharata (1999) by Krishna Dharma
- Media related to Dushasana at Wikimedia Commons