Mahabharata was a story of two clan and the kurukshetra war was the war of Dharma over Adharma.
We all know about Pandavas and their glorious history but do we ever digged upon Kauravas past. Thus let’s see how they came and went to heaven even after committing so many sins.
Hastinapur is assumed to be the current modern state of Haryana and Gandhara from where Gandhari belongs is assumed to be the current City of Kandahar in Afghanistan.
Now let’s check out some interesting and unknown facts about Kauravs.
1. The blind Putra of Ambika:-
In the epic Mahabharata describes one instance where Queen Satyavati compels her son, sage Vyasa to perform Niyoga(as a women can appoint and request a man for helping her bear a child because her husband is either incapable of fatherhood or has died without having a child) with both of the widows, Ambika and Ambalika and one of their maids bear Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura respectively.
Now when Vyasa went to impregnate Ambika, she got frightened due to his scary appearance and closed her eyes during their union; hence her son was born blind, Dhritarashtra
2. Ganghari’s Daughter’s and Son’s Birth: –
Once a sage Dwipayan(Rishi Vyasa) came to visit Gandhari in Hastinapur She took great care and comfort of the pleasant stay of the saint in Hastinapur. Dwipayan was pleased and granted Gandhari with a boon.
Now two years passed Gandhari was pregnant in this due course of time but still the baby was not born.
Meanwhile Kunti received a son from God Yama whom she called Yudhishthira, and here after two years Gandhari gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh. Gandhari was devastated as she expected hundred son from the blessings of Rishi Vyasa.
Gandhari was about to throw the lumps while Rishi Vyasa appeared and told his blessings cannot go in vain and asked her to arrange for one hundred jars of ghee and then he would cut the flesh into one hundred pieces and that would develop into one hundred son. But Gandhari wished for a daughter too. So, Vyas agreed to cut the flesh into one hundred and one piece and placed them in a jar. Now after two more years of patient waiting the lumps turned into developed new born. And thus, how Kauravas got birth.
3. Kauravas Actual Number of Brother and Sisters: –
Dhritarashtra got all total 102 children where 100 boy and a girl from Gandhari and another boy from Gandhari’s maid Sughada/Sauvali called Yuyutsu. When Dhritarashtra was fearing problems with Gandhari’s pregnancy which had continued for almost two years, Dhritarashtra had a child from Sughada, a women from Vaishya Varna Yuyutsu was born at the same time as Duryodhana and Bhima and was elder to Duryodhana and other Kauravas and Dussala(daughter of Dhritarashtra) Thus Kauravas were 102 brother and sisters. Also, 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.
4. Was Shakuni The Real Culprit: –
While Shakuni was still a boy, his kindom Gandhara was invaded by a Kuru prince. Shakuni, his father, his brother, his uncle and his cousins were imprisoned with Hastinapur arguing it was to restore dharma to Gandhara, but Shakuni claiming that it was a pure power grab.
Shakuni received a boon from his father that he will be a great politician and will defeat other people with his political genius, thus some version of the story says that Shakuni using the bones of his dead parents to create dice that will never lose him a game. Thus, Shakuni is perhaps best known for masterminding the infamous game of dice between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, defeated the Pandavas in the gambling match.
Shakuni is also one of the masterminds behind the kurukshetra war, as his main enmity was with Bhishma and thus he destroyed Hastinapur.
5. The 1st Attempt of Kaurava to Kill Pandava: –
After the death of Pandu due to his curse given by Ridhi Kindama, Kunti brought back the Pandavas back to Hastinapur. But duryodhana harboured intense hatred for the five brothers throughout his childhood and youth under the advice of Shakuni (his maternal uncle).
At a point duryodhana came into such a rage that he enthusiastically agreed to an evil plot by Shakuni to murder Yudhishthira.
Shakuni commissioned the construction of a palace in varnavrata, secretly built by incorporating flammable materials into the structure with lacquer kind of material. And the palace was known as Lakshagraha.
The plan was to set the palace on fire during the night while Yudhishthira would likely be asleep. But the plan was discovered by their paternal uncle Vidura, who was loyal to Pandavas and an extraordinary wise man. Vidura arraigned for a tunnel to be secretly built for the Pandavas to safety escape the palace as it was set afire.
6. Kauravas Beloved Karna: –
Karna meets Duryodhana for the first time in Hastinapura during archery lessons from Drona, an event described in section 3.293 of the Mahabharata.
They become close friends not long after, when Karna and Arjuna are at a weapons trial competition. Duryodhana sees in Karna a man who is an equal of Arjuna in martial abilities, and someone to befriend to balance out Arjuna and thereby “diminish the Pandavas”.
Before the competition starts, the contestants must announce their lineage so that men of equal ranks are placed together. After Arjuna announces his royal lineage, it is time for Karna to present his lineage. If Karna were to announce his charioteer lineage, it would disqualify him from competing against Arjuna. Duryodhana steps in and says Karna is an Arajna (a non-king, but also a word plays on Arjuna) but announces that he is offering to anoint Karna as the king of Angas (Bengal). Once Karna is a king, states Duryodhana, Arjuna would not have the excuse to avoid Karna and not compete with the able warrior. Karna accepts the anointment, becomes a king that day. It also transforms him into a loyal friend to Duryodhana, with an eagerness to reciprocate the favour. Karna asks Duryodhana what he would want in return for the kingdom he just gave out of his empire, Duryodhana replies, “I want your endless friendship Karna”.
For the consecration ceremony, Karna’s father arrives. Bhima, one of the Pandavas, ridicules him for his low status and calls him dog-like. The public insult of his father makes Karna hate the Pandavas. At the end of the competition, while everyone rejects Karna, Duryodhana expresses amity to Karna by “taking Karna by his hand”. Karna feels Duryodhana is that friend who stood by him when everyone rejected him. Duryodhana becomes Karna’s lifelong close friend. In Karna, Duryodhana finds an able man and talented commander who can help him gain and retain power over an empire. In Duryodhana, Karna finds a caring friend and resourceful supporter when almost everyone isbent on ridiculing and disowning him.
7. The Fate of Dronacharya For His Gurudakshina: –
Daupada son of King Prishata, and Drona study together under the tutelage of Rishi Bhardwaja, Drona’s father. They become great friends and Drupada assures Drona that once he becomes king, he will share half of his kingdom with Drona. While Drupada becomes a king after the death of his father, Drona lives a life of poverty. Drona approaches Drupada for help; Drupada, now conscious of the difference of status between them, refuses to acknowledge Drona’s friendship and shuns Drona, calling him a beggar. Drona is later employed by Bhishma to train the Kuru princes. After the military education of the Kauravas and the Pandavas ends, as his gurudakshina, Drona asks the princes to defeat and capture Drupada. Firstly, all the Kauravas, along with Karna, attack Drupada, but Drupada defeats all the Kauravas and Karna.Then the Pandavas led by Arjuna defeat Drupada, binding him in ropes and bringing him to Drona. Drona sets Drupada free, but retains half of the kingdom that had been promised to him. Humiliated, Drupada seeks vengeance but he realizes that he cannot match Drona’s might. So, Drupada performed the Putrakameshti yajna to beget a son who could slay Drona. From the fire of the yajna, twins Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi are born. Years later, Draupadi married Arjuna and later in the Mahabharata war Dhrishtadyumna beheaded Drona.
8. Vikarna The Only Kaurava on Whose Death Pandavas Cried: –
Vikarna was the “third-strongest” son of Gandhari. During the infamous dice game of the Mahabharata, Vikarna raised his voice against the game as a whole,and specially at the mistreatment of Draupadi, his sister-in-law and he demanded that her questions be answered that Draupadi had already asked the Kuru elders but they were silent… even silence was from wise elders like Bhishma and Dronacharya also.
Now as Bhima who had sworn to kill all the Dhritarashtra’s 100 son calls Vikarna a man of Dharma and advise him to step aside. But Vikarna replies that even knowing that Kauravas would not win a war against a side with Sri Krishna on it, he cannot forsake Duryodhana.Vikarna reminds Bhima the Dice game and said-
“That was my duty then
And this is my duty now
Fight me o son of Vayu.”
Thus, when Bhima kills Vikarna after a mace fight. And his death brought tears to the eyes of Bhima.
9. The fight between Duryodhana and Bhima:-
On 14th day Bhima attacked Duryodhana, pierced him and cut of his bow. In return, Duryodhana pierced Bhima, his Charioteer and cut of his bow. Duryodhana pierced Bhima with shafts on his breast. Bhima feeling great pain fled away from the battlefield.
On 8th day, Rakashasaas of Ghatotkacha’s army attacked Duryodhana. Duryodhana slew many rakshasas like Vegavat, Maharudra, Vidyujihva and Pramathin. Duryodhana attacked Bhima and pierced him with many arrows.
Ghatotkacha, Abhimanyu and other Pandavas warriors saved him.
On 18th day, Pandavas were defeated many times by Duryodhana. Duryodhana handeled all the Pandavas and resisted them. Duryodhana was looking like Lord Shiva.Duryodhana also killed Chekitana. Again all Pandavas were attacked single Duryodhana. Duryodhana pierced all of them but no Pandava could pierced him a single arrow.
10. Duryodhana’s Birth as a Bad Omen: –
During the birth of her first son Duryodhana, many ill omens occur, worrying Satyavati, Vyasa, Bhishma and Vidura. They foresaw that the child might cause great destruction to their kingdom, and advised Dhritrashtra and Gandhari to either release him onto the waters of river Ganga or kill him, but Dhritarashtra and Gandhari rejected the idea.