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1. Duryodhan and His Childhood
2. Duryodhan and Paandav
3. Duryodhan and Yudhishthir
4. Duryodhan During and After Agyaatvaas
5. Duryodhan in War

Duryodhan is a Mahaabhaarat character. He was the eldest unfortunate son of blind father Dhritraashtra and self-blinded mother Gaandhaaree and a nephew of scheming maternal uncle Shakuni. He had 99 brothers including Dushaasan and one sister Dushalaa who was married to Jayadrath. His other brothers were - Durjaya, Durmarshan, Durmukh, Vikarn. All of them were killed by Bheem on different days of war.

He was younger to Yudhishthir and Bheem. When he was only a child, Paandav came back from Van along with Kuntee only 17 days after the death of their father Paandu. (Dhritraashtra sons were called Kaurav and Paandu' sons were called Paandav). Since that day he hated Paandav.

His Family
Among his family members, only one name appears - Lakshmanaa, his daughter who wanted to marry Saamb, but Duryodhan did not want to marry her to him. Then Balaraam had to intervene. Since Duryodhan did not recognize his powers, he showed his powers by lowering Hastinaapur towards the river, then only Duryodhan got agreed.

It is said that his wife's name was Bhaanumatee, daughter of King Bhaanumaan. She is said to be the Satee Ratn in MBH, since she was ready to do anything for the happiness of her husband. This is shown at the time, when Balaraam proposes Subhadraa to Duryodhan, she is ready to accept her.

One incident is believed to happen, that when Krishn came to Hastinaapur as a Peace Messenger, Duryodhan wanted to entertain Him, but Krishn refused his invitation. Meanwhile lots of people started drinking there. Bhaanumatee also drank along with them and drank so much that she fell on Krishn. Krishn lifted up her as a child and carried her to Gaandhaaree's palace. Next day when she woke up, she understood what would have happened there. She felt very embarrassed. She asked for krishn's forgiveness and became His Bhakt from that day.

His Birth
The story of his birth is a strange one. Dhritraashtra was married before Paandu, so he was expecting his first child to be born before Paandu's first child. Once Gaandhaaree had asked a boon from Vyaas Jee to have 100 sons and he granted it. Gaandhaaree became pregnant and she bore it for two long years. She was happy that now she would be able to give birth to a child before Kuntee, Paandu's wife. But God had some different plans. When Gaandhaaree's pregnancy was one year old, Kuntee also got pregnant and gave birth to her first son Yudhishthir, before Gaandhaaree gave birth to any. This made Gaandhaaree impatient and she beat her stomach without telling anybody. A mass of flesh as hard as iron came out of her womb.

She was going to throw it away, that Vyaas Jee came their and asked her - "hat did you do this?" Gaandhaaree could not hide the feelings and said - "Hearing that Kuntee had a Soorya-like son, I struck my stomach and gave birth to only a piece of iron-like flesh. You bestowed me the boon of 100 sons, but see, what I produced? Vyaas Jee said - "My words cannot go wrong. Bring 100 pots filled with Ghee and put them in a dark place. And sprinkle some cool water on this mass." His orders were complied and that little ball broke up in 100 pieces. Those 100 pieces were put in the 100 pots full of Ghee. Vyaas Jee asked Gaandhaaree to take care of them for full two years. As the pots were opened the sons were born in the same order. All the pot were opened within one month.

Thus Duryodhan was younger to Yudhishthir and was born on the same day as Bheem.

His Childhood
Now both Kaurav and Paandav started growing together, were educated together from Dronaachaarya . Duryodhan, from the beginning, was very proud, of quarreling nature, and of dominant type. While Paandav were friendly, soft spoken and kind. When Dronaachaarya was appointed their Guru, Duryodhan was always naughty, and Drone had to scold him several times; while Arjun was favorite of Drone, because he used to obey his Guru and was very attentive in his education. All this made Duryodhan more hostile towards Paandav and a kind of jealousy and enmity started in his heart towards them.

Once in Gurukul, Dronaachaarya asked all his students to aim at a bird's eye. One by one everybody came to aim at and Dronaachaarya asked the same question to everyone of them: "What do you see?" Somebody said, "I see tree, leaves and bird.", somebody said, "I see sky, bird, its wings, its eye.", somebody said, "I see only bird." But when Arjun was called, he said - "I see only the bird's eye." Drone got very happy to get this answer and said - "Only Arjun can pierce the bird's eye."

Once Drone made a mechanical crocodile and put it in a pond to test his disciples. Then he went there at the pond. He went to take bath in the pond and children started playing around. At that time that crocodile caught Drone's leg and Drone cried - Help, Save me." Everybody saw his Guru crying in pain. Duryodhan and Dushaasan ran to get some help from somewhere, but Arjun picked his bow and shot one arrow that the the crocodile could nor clse his mouth and Drone was able to take out his leg from there. Drone got very happy to see Arjun's presence of mind. Duryodhan again got felt embarrassed in front of Arjun. Such small events used to increase jealousy in Duryodhan's heart towards Paandav.

Their enmity grew with time under Shakuni's, Kaurav's Maamaa,  guidance. Shakuni used to live there, after his sister's marriage. Duryodhan was always busy in making evil plans to trouble Paandav especially Bheem. He had special enmity with Bheem as Bheem was very good at Gadaa and Duryodhan considered himself better than him at Gadaa.

Several such events took place between them: On Shakuni's advice, once Duryodhn mixed poison in sweets and fed it to Bheem and threw him in the river after he was unconscious. Luckily Bheem didn't drown but went down and down and arrived in Naag Lok. Kuntee was a Naag Kanyaa so as Bheem arrived there and Naag came to know that, they welcomed him and empowered him with a great power (10,000 elephant's strength) and sent him back to shore. So Duryodhan's planning to kill him got failed, rather he had come back with extra powers.

Princes Grow up with Enmity
Thus all princes grew up and became fine young men. Their education was over. Drone asked the Guru Dakshinaa from both Kaurav and Paandav - that was to bring Drupad to him by tying him with a horse. Kaurav took their turn first as they thought that they could bring him, but when they went, they came defeated by Drupad. But when Paandav went, they brought him as Drone wanted him to be brought. Thus Paandav paid their Guru Dakshinaa, but Kaurav couldn't pay. Thus on every step Duryodhan was failing and Paandav were winning.

The type of enmity also was different with age; now the enmity was not limited to children's games, it had come to the point of kingship now. With the advice of the royal court Yudhishthir was declared as Crown Prince. So once more, on the advice of Shakuni, another mischief was played to kill all Paandav. There used be an annual fair in Baaranaavat which the Crown Prince used to attend it, Raajaa himself was going there before because there was no Crown Prince for some time. But recently Yudhishthir was appointed the Crown Prince, so Vidur Jee and Bheeshm suggested that this time Yudhishthir should be sent so that people could know their would be king. Dhritraashtra had to agree for that, and he ordered to Yudhishthir to go there.

Duryodhan had some plans to burn them all there, so he encouraged Yudhishthir to take his brothers and Kuntee there along with him, so that he can finish them all together. He got built a special house there - Laakshaa Grih (in Baaranaavat), through Purochan, in which he planned to burn them all, but all Paandav along with Kuntee escaped with Vidur's help even one day before. Since a family of five sons and a mother was killed in that fire, Duryodhan thought that Paandav have died along with Kuntee.  He was very happy. In that happiness he forgot to think that who set the fire in Laakshaa Grih one day before the set night for it. On Vidur's advice they stayed in Van for some more time to convince Dhritraashtra and Kaurav that Paandav were indeed dead, but Draupadee's Swayamvar burst out the secret and Dhritraashtra had to call them to palace.

Duryodhan had a half brother named Yuyutsu. He was never in favor of Duryodhan's actions. He tried his best to explain to Duryodhan that he should not break war with Paandav but Duryodhan wouldn't listen to him, and not only him but to anybody else too. Yuyutsu was the only one among Duryodhan's relations and well wishers who fought from Paandav's side.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 10/13/13