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Yuyutsu (Sanskrit: युयुत्सु) in the Hindu epic Mahabharata was a son of Dhritrashtra with a Vaishya woman named Sughada.[1] Conceived under the fear that Gandhari couldn't produce any children, he was as old as Duryodhana and the rest of the 99 Kuru brothers and Dushala. Eventually, he was the only son of Dhritarashtra who survived the Kurukshetra war. After the war, he took charge as the King of Indraprastha.


The word yuyutsu is derived from two Sanskrit words. First word is yu [यु, original word yudh (युध्)] and second word is utsu [उत्सु, original word utsuktā (उत्सुकता)]. yu means 'to fight' and utsu means 'curious'. So by combining these two words, the meaning of the name is 'the one who is curious to fight'. The Mahabharata cites the following other names for Yuyutsu- [2]

  • Dhārtarāstra (धार्तराष्ट्र) - son of Dhritarashtra
  • Kauravya (कौरव्य) - descendant of Kuru
  • Vaishyaputra (वैश्यपुत्र) - son of a Vaishya woman


Fearing problems with Gandhari's pregnancy which had continued for almost two years, Dhritrashtra had a child from Sughada, a woman from Vaishya Varna, who is lady in waiting to Gandhari. Yuyutsu was born on the same day as Duryodhana and was elder to Dushasana, other Kauravas and Dussala. Thus, contrary to popular perception, Dhritrashtra had 102 children.[3]

Righteous in the Kaurava camp[edit]

Yuyutsu is celebrated as a moral warrior who chose the path of righteousness, in spite of being born in circumstances that predisposed him to evil. As Mahabharata was a righteous war, the warriors were given the freedom by both sides to switch to the side they believed was morally correct. Yuyutsu played a major role in the Mahabharatha as an informant among the Kauravas. He assisted the Pandavas by providing critical information about Kauravas' preparation and planning. He also saved the life of Bhima by informing the Pandavas about Duryodhana's cunning schemes, which included poisoning water.[4][5]

Yuyutsu is balanced in the story by Vikarna. Gandhari's third son, Vikarna is equally righteous and similarly disgusted with Duryodhana's behaviour. However, while Yuyutsu decides his dharma is to leave Duryodhana, Vikarna decides that he cannot forsake his brother. The parallel to this in the Ramayana is Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna.

During Kurukshetra War[edit]

Before the onset of the battle of Kurukshetra War between Kauravas and Pandavas, Yuyutsu shifts from Kauravas to the Pandava camp. Yuyutsu fought the battle on the side of the Pandavas. He was one among the 11 Maharathis (capable of fighting 720,000 warriors simultaneously) among the Kauravas. Yuyutsu was one among the eleven warriors to have survived the war.[6]

After the War[edit]

Prior to the Yadava crisis, Yuyutsu is investigating some strange phenomenon in the city. There, he finds insanity, depravity, and immorality. When he questions the citizens as to how this could happen, he is verbally abused, called a traitor and a kinslayer.

When the Pandavas decided to retire from the world at the start of the Kali Yuga and departure of Krishna, Yudhishthira gave the charge of supervising the kingdom to Yuyutsu while Parikshit was made the king[7][8]


  1. ^ "Mahabharata Text". 
  2. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic dictionary of Purāṇas (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252263. 
  3. ^ Kapoor, edited by Subodh (2002). The Indian encyclopaedia : biographical, historical, religious, administrative, ethnological, commercial and scientific (1st ed.). New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. ISBN 9788177552577. 
  4. ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. ISBN 9780595401871. 
  5. ^ "Mahabharata Text". 
  6. ^ Buck, William. Mahabharata. p. 327. ISBN 9788120817197. 
  7. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=FdIkaccgneAC&pg=PA1424&dq=yuyutsu&hl=en&sa=X&ei=grXDU4_HG8u9uASqlYHIAw&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAQ
  8. ^ Brodbeck, Simon Pearse (2009). The Mahābhārata patriline : gender, culture, and the royal hereditary. Farnham, England: Ashgate. ISBN 9780754667872.