Kaurava

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Kaurava Pandava Yuddh

Kaurava (Sanskrit: कौरव) is a Sanskrit term, that refers to the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata. The well-known Kauravas are Duryodhana, Dushasana, Vikarna, Yuyutsu and Dussala.

Etymology[edit]

The term 'Kaurava' is used in the Mahābhārata with two meanings:

  • The wider meaning, is used to represent all the descendants of Kuru. This meaning, which includes the Pandava brothers, is often used in the earlier parts of popular renditions of the Mahābhārata.
  • The narrower but more common meaning, is used to represent the elder line of the descendants of King Kuru. This restricts it to the children of King Dhritarashtra, as his line is the older line of descent from Kuru. It excludes the children of the younger brother Pandu, who founds his own line, the Pandava.

The rest of this article deals with the Kaurava in the narrower sense, that is, the children of Dhritarashtra by Gandhari. When referring to these children, a more specific term is also used – Dhārtarāṣṭra (Sanskrit: धार्तराष्ट्र), a derivative of Dhritarashtra.

Birth Of Kauravas[edit]

After Gandhari was married to Dhritarashtra, she wrapped a bandage over her eyes and vowed to share the darkness that her husband lived in. Gandhari's brother Shakuni came to live with them to look after the interests of Gandhari. Once Sage Vyasa came to visit Gandhari in Hastinapur. She took great care of the comforts of the great saint and saw that he had a pleasant stay in Hastinapur. The saint was pleased with Gandhari and granted her a boon. Gandhari wished for one hundred sons who would be as powerful as her husband. Vyasa granted her the boon and in due course of time Gandhari found herself to be pregnant. But two years passed and still the baby was not born. Meanwhile, Kunti received a son from god Yama whom she called Yudhishthira. After two years of pregnancy, Gandhari gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh that was not a baby at all. Gandhari was devastated as she had expected a hundred sons according to the blessing of Rishi Vyas. She was about to throw away the piece of flesh when Rishi Vyas appeared and told her that his blessings could not have been in vain and asked Gandhari to arrange for one hundred jars to be filled with Ghee(oil). He told Gandhari that he would cut the piece of flesh into hundred pieces and place them in the jars, which would then develop into the one hundred sons that she so desired. Gandhari told Vyas then that she also wanted to have a daughter. Vyas agreed and cut the piece of flesh into one hundred and one pieces and placed them each in the jars. After two more years of patient waiting the jars were ready to be opened.[1]

When the first jar was opened the first baby was born and was named Suyodhana who was later called Duryodhana (for his bad deeds)which means the unconquerable one or difficult to fight with. As soon as the baby started crying all the beasts of the jungle started howling and many signs of ill omen were seen. Vidura spoke then saying that the child would have to be abandoned as the omens at his birth spelt doom for the Kuru clan. He said, "The scriptures clearly state that for the good of the clan an individual can be sacrificed, for the good of the village a clan can be sacrificed, for the good of the country a village can be sacrificed and for the development of the soul, even the earth can be sacrificed." So for the good of the clan and of the country and of humanity, please sacrifice this son of yours. But both Gandhari and Dhritrashtra were adamant that a baby could not cause any harm and much against Vidura's wishes kept the baby. At the same time Bhima was born to Kunti in the forest. Another son of Dhritarashtra was from a Vaishya servant Sukhada named Yuyutsu was born on the same day as Bhima and Duryodhana.The other children of Gandhari were taken out of the jars and now Gandhari had one hundred sons and a daughter called Duhsala. All the children grew up to be strong and powerful.[citation needed]

This story should be read in view of the dispute over the succession to the throne of the kingdom. It attributes a late birth to Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage. This legitimises the Yudhishthira's claim to the throne, since he was the eldest of his generation.[citation needed]

Children Of Dhritarashtra[edit]

The children of Dhritarashtra by Gandhari are also referred by a more specific and frequently encountered term - Dhārtarāṣṭra, a derivative of Dhṛtarāṣṭra(Dhritarashtra).

According to the epic, Gandhari wanted a hundred sons and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. Another version says that she was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a hundred and one pieces and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl.[2]

The birth of these children is relevant to the dispute over succession of the kingdom's throne. It attributes the late birth of Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage and legitimizes the case for his cousin Yudhishthira to claim the throne, since he could claim to be the eldest of his generation. All the sons of Dhritarashtra excluding Yuyutsu(born of Dhritarashtra's marriage with a Vaysya woman, thus a half-brother of Duryodhana) were killed in the great battle at Kurukshetra.

Quote from Mahabharata, Sambava jayesh, Section CXV:[3]

"And during the time when Gandhari was in a state of advanced pregnancy, there was a maid servant of the Vaisy class who used to attend on Dhritarashtra. During that year, O king, was begotten upon her by the illustrious Dhritarashtra a son endued with great intelligence who was afterwards named Yuyutsu. And because he was begotten by a Kshatriya upon a Vaisy woman, he was subject to the constant taunts of the Kaurava.

Thus were born unto the wise Dhritarashtra, a hundred sons who were all heroes and mighty chariot-fighters, and a daughter over and above the hundred and another son Yuyutsu of great energy and prowess begotten upon a Vaishya woman."

List Of Dhritarashtra's Children[edit]

Although all hundred sons with Gandhari have been named, only the first few are normally mentioned in the Mahabharata. Their hundred and first child was a daughter named Dushala. Dhritirashtra had another son called Yuyutsu with a Vaishya servant, who was born on the same day as Duryodhana. The names of all of Dhritarashtra's 102 children(according to age except Daughter Dussala born along with Dussaha [4]) are:[5]

  1. Duryodhana
  2. Yuyutsu(half-brother)[6]
  3. Dussasana
  4. Dusaha
  5. Jalsandha
  6. Sam
  7. Sudushil
  8. Bheembal
  9. Subahu
  10. Sahishnu
  11. Yekkundi
  12. Durdhar
  13. Durmukh
  14. Bindoo
  15. Krup
  16. Chitra
  17. Durmad
  18. Dushchar
  19. Sattva
  20. Chitraksha
  21. Urnanabhi
  22. Chitrabahoo
  23. Sulochan
  24. Sushabh
  25. Chitravarma
  26. Asasen
  27. Mahabahu
  28. Samdukkha
  29. Mochan
  30. Sumami
  31. Vibasu
  32. Vikar
  33. Chitrasharasan
  34. Pramah
  35. Somvar
  36. Man
  37. Satyasandh
  38. Vivas
  39. Vikarna
  40. Upchitra
  41. Chitrakuntal
  42. Bheembahu
  43. Sund
  44. Valaki
  45. Upyoddha
  46. Balavardha
  47. Durvighna
  48. Bheemkarmi
  49. Upanand
  50. Anasindhu
  51. Somkirti
  52. Kudpad
  53. Ashtabahu
  54. Ghor
  55. Roudrakarma
  56. Veerbahoo
  57. Kananaa
  58. Kudasi
  59. Deerghbahu
  60. Adityaketoo
  61. Pratham
  62. Prayaami
  63. Veeryanad
  64. Deerghtaal
  65. Vikatbahoo
  66. Drudhrath
  67. Durmashan
  68. Ugrashrava
  69. Ugra
  70. Amay
  71. Kudbheree
  72. Bheemrathee
  73. Avataap
  74. Nandak
  75. Upanandak
  76. Chalsandhi
  77. Broohak
  78. Suvaat
  79. Nagdit
  80. Vind
  81. Anuvind
  82. Arajeev
  83. Budhkshetra
  84. Droodhhasta
  85. Ugraheet
  86. Kavachee
  87. Kathkoond
  88. Aniket
  89. Kundi
  90. Durodhar
  91. Shathasta
  92. Shubhkarma
  93. Saprapta
  94. Dupranit
  95. Bahudhami
  96. Yuyutsoo
  97. Dhanurdhar
  98. Senanee
  99. Veer
  100. Pramathee
  101. Droodhsandhee
  102. Daughter-Dushla

In Literature[edit]

Harivamsa Purana(8th century CE) narrates the Jain version of their story.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mahabharat Chapter 6 - Birth of Pandavas and Kauravas
  2. ^ The Birth of the Pandavas and Kauravas
  3. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01116.htm>
  4. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01118.htm
  5. ^ Puranic Encyclopedia of Vettom Mani. Mahabharata Aadiparvam – chapter 67 Compiled by T.J.Neriamparampil
  6. ^ Yuyutsu is the son of Dhritarashtra through a Vysya Maid Servant.He was born on the same day as Duryodhana and elder to the rest of the 99 sons of Gandhari and Dushala. During the Kurushethra War he sided with the Pandavas and was one of 12 survivors. He was the caretaker of king Parikshit, son of Abhimanyu, when Parikshit was a minor.
  7. ^ Upinder Singh 2016, p. 26.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]