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Jayadrath was the son of Vriddhkshatra. Vriddhkshatra got his son after a long Tap. He got a Var too that his son should not be killed by ordinary men. He should be killed by some extraordinary man and by the greatest of weapons. He was not satisfied with this Var only, so he wanted another Var. He wanted a Var so that whoever kills Jayadrath and drops his head on the ground, his own head should split into a thousand pieces. That Var was also granted. That was why when Arjun killed him he made his head fall in the laps of his father so that his father's head should be spit into thousand pieces. Because when Arjun dropped Jayadrath's head into his father's lap, he was worshipping. As he finished his worship, and he got up the head of his son rolled down on the ground from his lap and his own head was split into a thousand pieces at that very moment.

Jayadrath was the husband of Dushalaa - Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree's only daughter. He was the King of Sindhu Desh. We find only two incidents related to him in Mahaabhaarat.

Jayadrath and Draupadee
When Draupadee's Swayamvar was organized, Jayadrath was also one of the candidates for her but he could not marry her because he could not meet the condition of marriage. Since then he had an eye on her. When Paandav were spending their time of 12 years of Vanvaas, once Draupadee was alone in her Aashram that by chance Jayadrath was passing through that way.

He saw Draupadee and his intentions got bad so he talked to her. First he asked Paandav's and her own welfare. Draupadee asked him to come inside and wait for them if he wanted to see them. But since his intentions were bad, he said - "I will keep you like a queen. Come with me. You are wasting your time with Paandav." Draupadee said - "You should be ashamed to say all this to me. You are my sister-in-law's husband that is why I respect you otherwise I would have told you what is the result of behaving like this to me." But Jayadrath didn't listen to her. He lifted her and put her on his chariot and proceeded towards his city.

Paandav came to their Aashram and did not find Draupadee in there. They waited for some time, but still Draupadee was nowhere to be seen. Then Arjun went out and found some signs of chariot and the pitcher of Draupadee. Arjun understood what would have happened with Draupadee. He heard the sound of chariot and aimed his Shabd-Vedhee arrow which fell just in front of the chariot. It lit the fire in front of the chariot, and the horses of the chariot just stopped. Then came the second and third and fourth arrow and all lit the fire around the chariot.

In the meantime Arjun also came there and he brought both of them back to his Aashram. Arjun wanted to kill him then and there but Draupadee stopped him saying that he was Dushalaa's husband and she did not want that she should be widow. She said to Arjun that he should be punished in such a way that Dushalaa doesn't get widow. So Paandav shaved his head in an irregular way leaving five flocks of hair on his head and freed him. Those five flocks, Paandav said, will remind him of five Paandav.

Jayadrath Does Tap for Shiv
Jayadrath felt very bad after being insulted by Paandav so he did not go home and started doing Tapasyaa to please Shiv Jee. When Jayadrath did not come home, Duryodhan came out to search him. He found him sitting under a tree doing Tapasyaa with irregular shaved head. Duryodhan got surprised to see him there and asked the reason. Jayadrath told him everything. Duryodhan consoled him and wanted to take him home but Jayadrath said - "I cannot go home. I have to do Tapasyaa. He did severe Tap and asked a Var from Shiv Jee that he should be able to check Paandav in war, but Shiv Jee said - "You can check only four Paandav but not Arjun, and that also only on one day." After that a knot got tied in Jayadrath's and Arjun's hearts.

Jayadrath and Arjun in War
Jayadrath stopped Paandav outside to help Abhimanyu to enter Chakra Vyooh alone. In the evening when Arjun came back after following Susharmaa, he came to know about his son's death. He got very upset and sad. Then he came to know about Jayadrath that he was the one who stopped his brothers to go to help his son. He vowed to kill Jayadrath before the sunset next day; or if he could not kill him before the sunset next day, then to immolate himself.

When Jayadrath knew about this vow he got frightened. He asked refuge from Duryodhan. Duryodhan assured him for his safety. Next day Drone arranged his army in triple Vyooh. The first one was Shakat Vyooh, the second will be Chakra Vyooh, and the third will be the Shuchimukh Vyooh; and at the end of this third Vyooh was Jayadrath. Drone expected even Arjun to baffle with this arrangement. He also expected that till he would reach the third Vyooh it should be evening and he might not fulfill his vow and he would have to immolate himself. And as he immolated himself, the war would be over. If however, he failed then Jayadrath would have to meet his death.

Shakuni also told Duryodhan that it was not easy to kill Jayadrath so he should not worry too much about it. Why? Because, once Jayadrath touched his father's feet and asked the Var of Ichchhaa Mrityu. He could not give this Var to him, but he gave another Var, that whosoever would cut his head and let it fall on the ground, his own head would be blown away and this would cause the killer himself to die. So Duryodhan should not worry about his death because it was not so easy. If Arjun will try to kill him, he himself will die. And as Arjun died, the Paandav will not be difficult to win. Still to satisfy Jayadrath Duryodhan surrounded him by a good size of army.

The whole next day Kaurav army surrounded him. Many soldiers lost their lives, but it was almost impossible to attack on Jayadrath. Morning turned to noon, and noon into afternoon. Paandav were getting worried, and Kaurav appeared to rejoice.

As the evening fell, Jayadrath got very happy that now he is saved and Arjun would have to die. He thought he was out of danger so he started dancing with joy. Skies had got dark, and it seemed to all that the Sun had set so Arjun had to die according to his vow. So Kaurav army relaxed its arrangement and Arjun started preparing a pyre for himself, as he could not fulfill his vow. On the other side Jayadrath was happy. He said to Arjun - "The Sun has set, your vow is not yet fulfilled, you will have to die now."

Arjun was sorry for this and as he was about to enter the Agni, the Sun came out. Krishn immediately said to Arjun, "Arjun, Wait, the Sun has come out. Now you can fulfill your vow. What are you waiting for? Kill Jayadrath, it is still daytime." Immediately Arjun picked his bow and shot an arrow at Jayadrath. It cut his head and threw it in his father's lap. His father also died immediately

My Note
1. There are two versions of this incident (of sunset). According to one version on that day, at that hour, there was solar eclipse, so because of solar eclipse it seemed to all that the evening fell, while the Sun was not seen only because of eclipse. When it came out of the eclipse, it was still the day time.

BUT: According to a Web page, Mahaabhaarat War was started during a solar eclipse. When both armies had come in the battlefield, Yudhishthir asked Krishn to declare war open, but He said - "Wait for some time, because there will be a solar eclipse and starting the war at that time will be auspicious for you." If one solar eclipse was on that day when the war started on, then how is it possible to have another eclipse during the next 18 days?

AND : Secondly, if there was a solar eclipse, why people didn't know about it before hand? They must have known it before and should not be confused with evening.

2. Another version is, that Krishn played this trick to bring out Jayadrath from Duryodhan's security by bringing some clouds and cover the Sun for some time towards the evening. When he had come out, Krishn moved those clouds away and the Sun came out. So it was still the day time.

3. Yet according to another version, on that day, evening occurred two times. [how this is possible?]

4. Yet according to Mahabharata by Kamala Subramanyam, Krishn sent His Chakra to cover the Sun. While it was still covering it, Krishn ordered Arjun to kill Jayadrath. Arjun killed him. And after the killing the Sun came out again.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 06/15/13