Eliminating Kshatrias | Jarasandha & Shishupala | Mahabharata Paintings

Bhima Slays Jarasandha - Picture (d) Wikipedia

The Rajasuya Yagna (ceremony) was not that simple to Yudhishthira. It is an ancient process of make all other kings of Bharathakanda to agree that someone is their equal. Not an easy job for Yudhishthira. He want to coronate himself with the support of rest of his Pandava-s, wealth from Panchala, Hastinapur and Dwaraka. In addition, he need a supreme diplomat – Krishna – to make Yudhishthira’s claim uncontested.

Jarasandha

Obviously the mighty king with powerful army – Jarasandha, the king of Magadha – will not agree. His relationship with Yadava-s was not positive, as he wanted revenge for the death of his friend Kamsa – the maternal uncle of Krishna, who killed his own uncle.

Yadava-s had worst experience with Jarasandha earlier. Being scared of him, they moved from Gokulam to Dwaraka, which is far away from rest of the countries.

Jara merges two parts of Jarasandha. Picture (c) Wikipedia
Jara merges two parts of Jarasandha. Picture (c) Wikipedia

It is impossible to kill Jarasandha. May be, Bhima can fight. Still it will be a fight between two equal wrestlers. Hence Krishna made a conspiracy.

The Brahman-s (priests) had rights to ask Kings for gifts. Kings will not refuse. Jarasandha was not an exception too. Krishna made use of this. Krishna, Arjuna and Bhima disguised themselves as priests. When Jarasandha asked for their plea, Krishna asked him to wrestle with one of them until death.

Bhima fights Jarasandha. Picture (c) Wikipedia
Bhima fights Jarasandha. Picture (c) Wikipedia

The great warrior Jarasandha chose Bhima as other two were not his match. The fight went on for long time. Krishna suggested Bhima to tear Jarasandha into two parts. After a long fight, Bhima did it. Before he tastes his victory, the body parts joined together.

Bhima and Jarasandha Wrestling - Picture (c) Unknown
Bhima and Jarasandha Wrestling – Picture (c) Unknown

Bhima looked at Krishna confusingly. Krishna showed him a gesture by tearing the a stick and place the pieces in inverted directions. The long fight started again even more ferociously. Finally Bhima teared Jarasandha and broke the two body parts in two different directions in inverted manner. The mighty king Jarasandha was killed. His son was coronated as a puppet ruler, supporting Pandava-s.

Bhima Slays Jarasandha. Image (c) prabhupadabooks
Bhima Slays Jarasandha. Image (c) prabhupadabooks
Bhima Slays Jarasandha - Picture (d) Wikipedia
Bhima Slays Jarasandha – Picture (d) Wikipedia

Shishupala

Shishupala and Krishna were cousin. Astrologers predicted that he will be killed by Krishna. Hence Shishupala’s mother requested Krishna not to do so if her son abuses him. Krishna promised her that he will tolerate one hundred times. When it is breached, he said, he will retaliate.

During Yudhishthira’s coronation ceremony, he selected Krishna as the guest of honor. Rest of the kshatriya-s were not happy. Then king of Chedi kingdom, Shishupala, jumped angrily from his seat to object this. He started abusing Krishna one after another a cowherd like Krishna to take supreme seat in the presence of Kshatria-s.

O Madhava! If the Kounteyas are scared and if they have become mean as a consequence of their asceticism, surely you could have enlightened them about what kind of honour you deserve. O Janardana! If in their meanness they offered you a homage that you are not worthy of, why did you accept it? Though undeserving, you set great store on this homage, like a dog that has found an offering of sacrificial ghee and consumes it in private. O Janardana! This is not only an insult to the Indras among kings. The Kurus have also brought out your true nature. O Madhusudana! You are not a king and this royal homage to you is like a wife to the impotent or a beautiful sight to the blind.

Shishupala to Krishna – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes

When he reached the 100th time, Krishna warned him that he is about to cross the limit of Krishna’s promise to Shishupala’s mother. He did not mind. He resumed his abuse 101th time. Krishna took his Sudarshan chakra – the sharp discus – and beheaded him.

Sishupala Insulted Krishna Picture (c) WebHR art-ma
Sishupala Insulted Krishna Picture (c) WebHR art-ma

The count started from here. More and more kings were eliminated both morally and immorally!

Jai Yudhishthira Maharaj!

References / Gratitude:

  • The illustrated Mahabharata, Dorling Kindersley India, Penguin Random House, 1st Ed. 2017
  • The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes, Bibek Debroy
  • Panniru padaikalam, Jeyamohan

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