Bhaagvat Puraan | Biographies
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Who was Arjun?
King Shaantanu had one son from Gangaa, that is Bheeshm who vowed to stay lifelong Brahmachaaree because Shaantanu wanted to marry Satyavatee (Daashraaj's daughter) and Daashraaj put the condition that he could marry his daughter only when her children will rule the kingdom. Then Bheeshm vowed to remain lifelong Brahmachaaree. Satyavatee had two sons, Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya. Chitraangad was killed while fighting with a Gandharv named also Chitraangad. Vichitraveerya was married to Kaashee princesses Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa.
Vichitraveerya also died early. He didn't have any child. So Satyavatee called her eldest son Ved Vyaas Jee (from Maharshi Paraashar) and asked his help to produce children from Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa. He did so. Ambikaa closed her eyes as she saw Ved Vyaas Jee, so she gave birth to a blind son - Dhritraashtra. Ambaalikaa got yellow color on her face as she saw Ved Vyaas Jee, so she got a yellow colored son - Paandu. Seeing this Satyavatee sent Ambikaa again to Ved Vyaas Jee but she managed to send her maid to him. The maid felt fortunate and she got a very pious and a knower of Dharm son named Vidur.
In course of time Paandu killed Rishi Kindam by mistake. He gave a Shaap to Paandu while dying that he would not be able to have any child. Paandu had two wives, Kuntee and Maadree but he could not have any child from anyone because of Rishi's Shaap. So with the help of Kuntee's Mantra given to her by Durvaasaa Muni, Paandu had five sons - Yudhishthir from Dharm Raaj, Bheem from Pavan Dev, Arjun from Indra Dev from Kuntee; and Nakul and Sahadev from Ashwinee Kumaar from Maadree. They were all called Paandav.
Shree Krishn was his maternal uncle's son and both of them loved each other very much. Shree Krishn guided Arjun throughout his adult life.
Arjun's Exile Period?
When the Paandav were hiding in forest in disguise of Braahman after Baaranaavat Laakshaa Grih incident, they attended the Swayamvar of Draupadee. Duroyodhan (Dhritraashtra's son) and Karn (Kuntee's first-born son from Soorya - Karn) were also there. Luckily only Arjun could fulfill the condition of Draupadee's marriage. He pierced the eye of the revolving fish up looking at its shadow below in a oil pond and brought Draupadee home.
Draupadee's father, Raajaa Drupad got worried seeing a Braahman taking his daughter, but could not do anything because he had fulfilled the condition. So Drupad sent his son Dhrishtdyumn to check back that who was that Braahman. He followed them and found that they were Paandav and now Draupadee was the wife of all the brothers. He told the reason also of this and that Draupadee was very happy in her home. King took a sigh of relief.
When Paandav lost the dice game and they had to go in exile for 13 years (12 years of exile and one year of Agyaatvaas - incognito period), they got convinced that they would have a war with their cousins Kaurav (Dhritraashtra's hundred sons), that is why Arjun started collecting blessings and weapons from various Devtaa.
He got Paashuptaastra from Shiv Jee. When he was worshipping Shiv Jee, Arjun was very proud of his bravery and archery. Shiv Jee thought to test him. So he took the form of a Kiraat (hunter) and asked one of his Gan to take the form of a wild boar. The boar came and disturbed Arjun's Tapasyaa. So Arjun shot an arrow at it and went to pick it up. But when he reached there, he saw two arrows in the body of the boar. He was thinking that whose arrow that could be, that he saw one Kiraat coming towards him. Kiraat told that that the boar was his prey, while Arjun argued that since he had killed it first, it was his prey. To decide whose prey it was, both entered into fight. Kiraat took away Arjun's all weapons one by one, but brave Arjun fought even with bare hands. Kiraat got very pleased with him, showed him his real form, and blessed him with Paashupataastra. Boar also ran away. This event is famous as Kiraat-Arjun fight.
He got lots of other weapons from Indra by living in Swarg for one year. When he had got the weapons he wanted, and he wanted to come back to Prithvi, Indra asked him to get the training of music and dance too. Arjun laughed at the idea and said - "Why a warrior should need this?" Indra said - "It will be useful during your Agyaatvaas period." After finishing that training, when he was coming back to Prithvi, Urvashee Apsaraa got attracted to him and requested him to marry her. Arjun said - "I have always regarded you as my mother, I cannot commit such a sin." At this Urvashee gave him Shaap of being eunuch for his whole life. Later Indra leniently reduced this period for only one year and that he could be like that whenever he wanted. Then he said to Arjun that "this Shaap will also be useful during your Agyaatvaas period". So when they started their Agyaatvaas period, Arjun became an eunuch and taught music and dance to Raajaa Viraat's daughter Uttaraa. Later he accepted her as Abhimanyu's wife.
He requested Shree Krishn to be his Saarathee. When it was decided that there was no other option except war, Shakuni (Gaandhaaree's brother) advised Duryodhan to ask help from Shree Krishn. So Duryodhan came to Shree Krishn to ask for His help for the war. On the other side Arjun could not think of anything without Shree Krishn so he also arrived at His palace to ask for His help. Duryodhan came first, so he sat down towards His head on a high stool; Arjun came later, so he sat towards His feet on the floor. Both waited for Him to wake up.
At last Shree Krishn woke up. He first saw Arjun and asked his welfare and reason for coming. The then Duryodhan also greeted Him. Both said that they came to ask for His help in war. Shree Krishn said - "Listen, I cannot be on both sides, on one side I myself will be there but without any weapon, and on the other side will be my well-equipped Naaraayanee army. Now (looking at Arjun) I have seen you first that is why you have the right to choose anything between them. Otherwise also since you are younger to Duryodhan so you have the right to choose first between them." Arjun joined his palms and said politely - "I need only you, nothing else." Duryodhan happily accepted His Naaraayanee army. Although Shakuni abused him for his decision of sitting at the head of Shree Krishn but nothing could be done then. Thus Shree Krishn became Arjun's Saarathee and delivered him Geetaa's sermon in the battlefield when Arjun refused to fight with his relatives and friends.
Arjun killed Bheeshm, and Karn too in the war.
After the War
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 04/14/12