Arjuna of Mahabharata
Arjuna was the third eldest among the Pandavas,the hero of epic Mahabharata.He was the mightiest in skills, matchless in knowlegde, skills, and saintly temper, possessed of divine weapons, and the major responsibility of winning the Kurukshetra war was given to him, as he had Lord Krishna as his charioteer and adviser. His divine weapons, when used, vanquished even the most renowned and skilled warrior. He was the best pal of Lord Krishna, and the recipient of the divine knowledge from Krishna, often called the Bhagwadgita.
Symbolically the five Pandavas represents the five qualities that one should have . Yudhisthira means the one who is balanced in war state of mind or in dilemma. Similarily the other five brothers represents their respective qualities. These brothers were famously involved in Kurukshetra war against their cousin Kauravas.
Each of the Pandavas was extremely skilled in their respective weapons . They were ferrocious fighter and possessed divine qualities.
Here is a brief description of the character of Arjuna along with his skills and personal life :
ARJUNA -birth and childhood
BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
Pandu was cursed which made him unable to sire children without being killed . Kunti had a boon from Rishi Durvasa that she could summon Gods and get children from them . So Arjuna was born by summoning Indra. Being the son of Devraj Indra, Arjuna was destined to become a fierce warrior just like his father .
Arjuna was the most beloved student of Guru Dronaacharya . He attained the status of Maharathi in the skill of arhcery . He could shoot arrows even in the dark with extraordinary accuracy. Arjuna’s immense concentration on his aim and his dedication to achieve his goal made him stand out of the other Pandavas.
Arjuna would always overshine others in every test and being impressed by him Dronacharya presented him with divine weapons. Arjuna and Karna were only warriors ( other than Krishna) who learnt to use all divine weapons.
MARRIAGE WITH DRAUPADI
Drupad, the king of Panchal arranged a swayamvar for the marriage of her daughter of his daughter Draupadi. A fish was hanged at a height and the archer had to pierce its eye by looking at its reflection in the water below. No one other than Arjuna could accomplish this task . As a result Draupadi was married to Arjuna along with the other four Pandavas.
Although Draupadi was married to all five brothers , she was most devoted to Arjuna . She loved Arjuna the most till her last breath .
GAME OF GAMBLING – THE TURNING POINT
When Dhritarashtra came to know that the Pandavas were alive , he invited them to Hastinapur . But till then , Duryodhana was crowned as the king . So , in order to appear fair and just , Dhritarashtra presented Pandavas with Khandavprastha , which was a barren land devoid of vegetation.But very soon the five brothers with their hard work converted the barren land into a green and lush city full of vegetation.
The city was comparable to heaven and was thus named Indraprastha.
When Duryodhana learnt about the prosperity of Indraprastha , he was filled with jealousy. He forced Dhritarashtra to invite Pandavas for a game of gambling . When the Pandavas played the game they lost every chance . As a result their kingdom now belong to Duryodhana and they were ordered an exile of 12 years and an Agyaatvas of 1 year with a condition that if they were identified during their Agyaatvaas , they would suffer another exile of 12 years.
LIFE IN EXILE
When Pandavas were sent to 12 years of exile along with 1 year of Agyaatwaas , they were strengthened physically , mentally , philosophically and spiritually as well. This was an opportunity for them to make themselves stronger , attain more weapons and learn new skills.
Arjuna used this period of exile very wisely and performed severe penance to attain various divine weapons. He meditated on Shiva to attain Pashupatiashtra. He learnt new archery skills . The exile at the end served for him as a great opportunity to gain knowledge from seers, and powers from various gods upon whom they meditated.
Arjuna had four wives namely Draupadi, Subhadra, Ulupi and Chitrangada.
- Draupadi – She was the daughter of King Drupad, born out of fire and married to all five Pandavas. Arjuna had a son with her known as Shrutkarma.
- Ulupi – She was a naagkanya, that is, she belonged to the snake tribe. Arjuna had a son with her known as Iravan.
- Chitrangada – She was the princess of Manipur. Arjuna has a son with her known as Babhruvahan.
- Subhadra – She was the younger sister of Krishna and Balram. She was the only wife of Arjuna, apart from Draupadi, who went to Indraprastha. Arjuna had a son with her known as Abhimanyu.
WEAPONS AND SKILLS
Once Agni,Krishna and Arjuna together invoked Varuna ,the god of oceans to remove all evils from the Khandava Van . Varuna appeared and who blessed Arjuna with the Gandiva – the Agni-moon bow created by Brahma. In this way, Arjuna came into possession of his famous bow. Agni also gave Arjuna an incandescent chariot with four horses yoked and bearing a flag that would one-day be occupied by Hanuman. Arjuna also obtained his famous conch.
During his exile Arjuna performed severe penance to please Shiva . Shiva appeared in a disguised form and Arjuna unable to recognise him at first, had a fight with him. Shiva was pleased at the bravery of Arjuna and granted him Pashupathastra.
Other than these ,Arjuna possessed almost all divine weapons given by other Gods which includes Brahmashira, Brahmastra.
curse of urvashi
When Arjuna visited heaven during the period of exile , he was attended by his father Indra. Seeing Arjuna, Urvashi ,the Apsara of heaven was attracted at his physique. Arjuna turned away her advances and displeased Urvashi cursed Arjuna to become eununch for one year as per his wish.
Arjuna used this curse and acted as dance master for the royal household, especially Uttara, the daughter of Virat( king of Virat nagar, which was a janapad during Mahabharata times). After one year, when Virat recognised the dancer as Arjuna he married his daughter Uttara to Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu.
At the end of Kurukshetra war the son of Abhimanyu and Uttara was the last and only successor of Kuru dynasty- Maharaja Parikshit.
arjuna and krishna
Although Krishna and Arjuna were related as cousins, it is their friendship that dominates the narrative in the Mahabharata. Throughout the epic, Krishna serves as Arjuna’s friend, philosopher and guide.
Krishna was the greatest friend of Arjuna . He always helped him but never fought for him in the war. Initially Arjuna also considered him as a friend ,but he also realised that Krishna was none other than the supreme self ,when Krishna showed him his universal form during the war.
Krishna is the most important reason for the victory of Pandavas in the war. He was responsible for the death of many warriors of Kauravas side .
Krishna displayed his love for Arjuna during the third day of war when he lifted the sudarshan Chakra against Bhisma to protect Arjuna. He showed that even God would break his vow to protect his devotee.
After the war was over , the clan of Yadavas began to vanish becuase of curse given by Gandhari. Soon Krishna also left the world along with Balrama.
After Arjuna witnesses the death of Krishna and the demise of his clan, the brothers and Draupadi decide to retire to a forest and travels towards heaven and appoint Parikshit as a successor of King’s throne.
On their way they fell dead one by one . Arjuna was the fourth one to fall dead because of his pride on being the greatest archer in the world.
This brought to the end of the great warrior – ARJUNA !