Jatasura

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Jatāsura (जटासुर) was a Rakshasa who disguised himself as a brahmin and carried Yudhishthira, Sahadeva, Nakula, and Draupadi. He was overtaken and killed by Bhima.

According to the Mahabharata (Book III: Varna Parva, Section 156), Jatasura used his powers of illusion to appear in the guise of a Brahmana to the Pandavas. His objective was to gain their confidence in order to seize their weapons, ravish their wife Draupadi, and take some captives. He lay in wait "like unto a fire covered with ashes." One day when Bhima was gone, Jatasura took on a monstrous form, seized the weapons and Draupadi, and fled with three of the Pandavas, including Yudhishthira, and twins, as his captives. Yudhishthira, however, confused him by showering him with moral accusations, and Jatasura slowed down enough for Bhima to catch up. The twins were thus speaking of virtue of kshatriya, when Bhimasena made his appearance. He saw his brothers along with wife rebuking that demon. Bhima of mighty strength was fired with wrath, and challenged Rakshasa for a fight saying, ' I had found out your identity already; but i had not slain you at that time. Thou wert in the disguise of a Brahmana - nor didst thou say anything harsh unto us. And, furthermore, thou wert our guest, therefore i slew you not. Now today your time had cometh.' Saying this Bhima bursting with wrath, rushed towards the Rakshasa for a wrestling. Both sons of Madri rushed to help him, but was stopped by Vridokara saying he is himself more than a match for that Rakshasa. They fought with gigantic trees, large crags(rocks), along with their arms. At last, Bhima with force dealt a death blow on his neck. Struck by that fist, Rakshasa became faint. Bhima catching hold of that exhausted one, lifted him up and dashed him with force to the ground, smashing all his limbs. And striking him with his elbow, he severed from his body the head and rolling eyes, he fell besmeared with gore, like unto a fruit from its stem. Having slain Jatasura, Bhima presented himself before Yudhishthira, getting praise from him.

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References[edit]

  • Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology