Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Arjuna is the great love of my life. Small surprise that I wrote an entire book on him :)  I never miss an opportunity to discuss the Mahabaratha in general and Arjuna in particular and now is as good a time as ever to talk about him at length. Especially since my kid sister has been on my case about my lack of self - promotion genius. Read on for 10 obscure and fun facts about the great man and be prepared to fell in love.

            Arjuna and Krishna were cousins who were also the best of buddies. The duo achieved great things together. Krishna was Arjuna’s charioteer during the battle of Kurukshetra and he saved Arjuna from death on many occasions.
            Theirs is a tale of timeless friendship not to mention the original bromance! Krishna loved Arjuna so much, he actually helped him abduct his own sister!!
            Arjuna was the most famous warrior of the age and this coupled with his magnetic charisma and sex appeal made him quite irresistible to the ladies of the land who all wanted him with hardly any exceptions. Some of the most beautiful maidens of the age lost their hearts to him and he must have resisted their charms as best as he could but wound up marrying them anyways. Draupadi, Uloopi – the Serpent Princess, Chitrangada, and Subhadra were the lucky ladies whom he married.

Draupadi may have been the common wife of the Pandavas and sworn to love them all equally but to her dying breath she loved Arjuna more than the others. At her swayamwara (an ancient practice whereby ladies of royal blood got to choose their grooms from an assortment of men of equally distinguished birth from all over the country who would gather and pray for the honor of being the one garlanded by the Princess), it was Arjuna disguised as a poor Brahmin who performed a near impossible task to win her hand. However, thanks to her mother – in – law who being annoying in the manner of mothers – in – law across the ages put paid to her chances of a happily ever after with him by unknowingly (please!) instructing her sons to share her equally when they brought her home thinking she was nothing more than a dole of alms. And so it came to be that the bride Arjuna won was to become the wife of his brothers as well. Draupadi nursed her forbidden love for Arjuna in the innermost recesses of her heart and pined away for him for the duration of her natural life.

            Urvashi was an apsara (heavenly nymph) famed for her matchless beauty. It was said that her hotness was such that even those sages who practiced the harshest of austerities and had gained renown for their mastery of the senses were transformed into quivering masses of lustful desire in her presence.
            However when this exquisite creature decided to indulge her desire for Arjuna and condescended to offer her carnal skills to him for the duration of a night, he spurned her. Arjuna refused to sleep with her because he felt their union would be incestuous since Urvashi had been married to an ancestor of his and she was in effect his great (many times over) grandmother.
            Arjuna’s reasoning was lost on Urvashi and since women then and now do not take kindly to being left high and dry she cursed him to become a eunuch and become a eunuch he did if only for a brief spell.

            Arjuna’s skill with bow and arrows is legendary. A lesser known skill is his expertise in dance and music. It served him in good stead during his stint as the eunuch, Brihannalla. He dazzled all who had the good fortune to watch him with his dance moves which would have put even Prabhu Deva and Hrithik Roshan to shame! In fact his brother, Bhima was so impressed, that he even considered sending Brihannalla into battle to dance for their cousin and enemy, Duryodhana believing there was a distinct possibility he would laugh himself to death and spare them all the bloodshed that was otherwise inevitable.

            In his quest for excellence and unrivalled supremacy with a bow, Arjuna exercised a ruthlessness that had tragic consequences for a blameless soul named Eklavya. Sensing a potential rival in the making he coerced his Guru, Drona into asking the lad to chop off his thumb and offer it to him as gurudakhshina. Not surprisingly, Eklavya hated Arjuna for his actions which had left him with a missing thumb. He nursed his grudge, biding the right moment to have his revenge and for that he lost his life to one who would allow no harm to befall Arjuna.

            Arjuna was given the name Bibhatsu for his fairness and ethical conduct on the battlefield. However, there was an occasion in the battle of Kurukshetra when he behaved in a less than noble fashion.
            Bhurishrava, a mighty warrior had at his mercy, Arjuna’s dear friend Satyaki who had fallen unconscious. As Bhurishrava made to cut off Satyaki’s head, Arjuna intervened and lopped off his sword arm though it was against the rules of combat. He was censured for this act, though he argued that Bhurishrava was wrong to attempt a decapitation on a fallen foe. It was just too bad neither of them had a handbook on the proper ethics pertaining to lopping off heads or limbs!

            While on exile with his brothers, Arjuna decided to perform penances and win the favor of Shiva, the destroyer. Pleased with his dedication, Shiva himself appeared before him in the guise of a hunter. Not recognizing the truth, Arjuna got into a fight with the object of his worship and was pummeled to within an inch of his life. But when he found out the truth he apologized and mercifully was forgiven by the three – eyed God.

            The Serpent Princess, Uloopi loved Arjuna with all her heart but the Serpent Prince, Ashwasena hated Arjuna with an intensity that defied belief. The latter tried his darndest to kill him and came within an inch of succeeding. Uloopi saved Arjuna from the flames of hell and if that were not enough she brought him back to life after he was killed in battle by his own son whom she had trained for this express purpose.

            Humility was not one of the many virtues Arjuna was known for. His arrogance almost cost him his life when he entered into a reckless bet with an aged monkey. Arjuna told the monkey his skill with archery was such that he was capable of building a massive bridge across the sea made entirely out of arrows to enable an army to cross with ease. The monkey who was actually Hanuman in disguise politely expressed his disbelief and bet that such a bridge would be insufficient to bear his puny self let alone the weight of an entire army.
            Arjuna did lose the bet and since he had sworn to step into a sacrificial fire should he fail, he prepared to immolate himself. It was the Protector of the Universe, Lord Vishnu who stepped in to save his braggart behind. 

 Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior Prince is available online at:
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Srini said...

Loved it... Thanks

Unknown said...

I'm Pranav I just loved your book I'm only 13 years old and I love mahabharat

Jaya Sarkar said...

Hi Anuja, Got connected with your blog by fluke...glad that this happened..just got some info from it and trust me will love to read it in leisure...cheers!!! And keep writing...

Fdsar said...

wonderful thankx for shairing.. :)

Priya jayavel said...

Thanks for giving such information . Am the great fan of Arjuna & Abimanyu.

Pawan Gupta said...

Arjun being humbled by Hanuman is incorrect.It was Bhima instead.

tulasikrishna said...

Why this speculation and babbling about scriptures. Read the scriptures with reverence and love towards the Lord. No endeavour can become spiritual if it does not make you love the Supreme Lord. Let me blunt to say that your blog does not take a step in that direction.

_ Dr. Vrinda

Unknown said...

Arjuna is a merciless idiot to his three wives Draupadi, Chitrangada, Uloopi. Draupadi and other two should have thrown their mangala sutra on his face and other two should marry another man and draupadi to marry 4 not 5 pandavas. Subhadra and Krishna and Arjuna will think only for their generation not Draupadi and other women. This epic is not a feminity epic.

Sanjay said...

Arjun is known to all of us through Ved Vyas Mahabharata which has translated English version by Kisari Mohan Ganguly who had admitted that entire book cannot be termed credible. Each chapter in same MB begins with bowing down to Nar and Narayana viz. Arjun and Krishna respectively. This means it is the story of Arjun & Krishna. So obviously other characters who are pitched against him in his glorified story will be either portrayed incomplete or negative such as Eklavya and Karna, his better rivals. He is called hero of MB for he was able to remove Bheeshma and Karna from the scene else he had no big achievement to talk about. I will share few facts from MB which will show his other side as well:

He was favoured by Drona who refused imparting Brahmasatra to Karna which made him leave his school and go to Parasurama

He complained to Drona about Eklavya which resulted in Eklavya parting away his thumb thus eradicating any competition to him

He was saved humiliation by Krip in Rangshala when Karna challenged him for duel. Before that Karna displayed all those feats which were earlier displayed by Arjun. In rangshala Arjun first threatened him with his life for asking for duel to prove who was best yet he could not muster the courage to continue fight with Karna even after he was crowned king of Anga.

He killed innocent creatures in Khandava for which he asked for special divine weapons which were given to him to execute this massacre.

He shared his wife with brothers without bothering to raise any voice or ask Draupadi's intentions.

He went to exile for intruding Yudi's privacy with Draupadi. During exile he married Chitrangandha and Uloopi, enjoyed all luxuries and comforts which was against customs of exile.

He fought Indra during Khandava and went to same Indra to beg celestial weapons. This proves his meanness and selfish motives.

He did shameful act of abducting Subhadra despite being married to Draupadi. He went further and married her who was actually her cousin sister....??

These are few of his achievements. I can cite many more. In contrast many Kuru warriors were better than him. He was lucky to have Krishna as protege otherwise he and infact Pandavas were alos not dhoodh ke dhule...!!

DraupadiArjuna said...

Sanjay, please don't say such things about Arjuna. You are entitled to your opinion, but remember that he did many great things, despite what you say. Yes, he made mistakes, but the good far outweighs the bad. Arjuna and Draupadi are my heroes.

Sanjay said...

Dear DA,

I respect your sentiments but it is not me who is saying these things. They are facts from MB. If you want I can give MB quotes to prove my point.

Thitherwards said...

There have been many myths about Goddess Draupadi, many are mis-interpretations, base-less. She is considered to be the grama devetha and kula devatha for many people. There are many shrines for Goddess Draupadi, spread in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. One of the shrines, where She is a Grama-Devatha and Kula-Devatha to many, is located in one of the small villages of Tamil Nadu.

The village is named KONDAL, Mayiladuthurai Taluk, Nagapattinam District, Nidur P.O, Tamil Nadu. There are more details about Goddess and way to the shrine at:

Draupadi Amman Thunai - May Her blessing be always on you all!!

Sanjay said...

Dear Thitherwards,

Why do you address Draupadi as Goddess?

Anonymous said...

I'm just 11 years old. I love mahabharat and I loved reading your post.

Saatyaki S / o Seshendra Sharma said...


Seshendra Sharma , the scholar - poet of 20th century , in his research work on Valmiki's Ramayana , Shodasi : Secrets of the Ramayana says that the Mahabharata is a replica , one to one reflection of the Ramayana. This will give you a new understanding of the subject.
For reviews and other details ;

Unknown said...

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J said...

Not even a single point in the entire articles surprised me or presented vd d information that I dint have. It could mean two things, either I know as much as u or the facts presented by you were hardly rare. All the best for d book though :)

priyesh said...

Dear Sanjay,
U should first go throughout the entire Mahabharata epic. U r unknown of the actual facts. Arjun is the greatest of all warriors and archers till the time. Bheeshm and Drona always praised him for his archery skills. Don't post these baseless things about the greatest warrior.
I recommend u to read and grasp the essence of Mahabharata.
All d vry best...

Sanjay said...

Dear Priyesh,

When one reads the book he reads the words and not the emotions. The words in the context of circumstances establish the actual happening. So I will be thankful if you could pin-point what which I mentioned is not in MB for me to reply specifically.

Arjun is greatest because everybody wanted him to be greatest. His greatness is exposed in chariot burning incident, his inability to stop bhills from robbing and abducting Yadav women and their wealth, fighting Saindhavas during Ashwamedha campaign when celestial rishis had to rescue his life or when he was killed by his own son Babruvahan.

As far as praising goes, Krishna also praised Bhishma, Drona, Karna and even Duryodhan. He confessed that they could not be killed by fair means and he had to resort to unfair means and his illusions to get them killed.

If you want I can give you relevant passages from same MB which you are asking me to GRASP.

Unknown said...

Yes,sanjay give them.I too want to know about them.I feel ua arguments are entirely against arjun.Ua version is one sided

Unknown said...

Yes,sanjay give them.I too want to know about them.I feel ua arguments are entirely against arjun.Ua version is one sided

Sanjay said...

Dear Suraj,

Though my post was for Priyesh but let me know specifically which one you want. MB is longest epic and finding something specific is laborious task. I would appreciate if you make me spend quality time on your requirement.

To be honest I am a Karna fan but admires all characters including Shakuni and Duhashasan owing to my belief that whatever happens happens for the good and no one is good or bad. It is their circumstances which make them appear what they appear to be. It is so because every one has his/her karmic account which makes and destines one's life.

Another of my observation - MB is the story of Pandavas hence complete depiction of their lives. Other characters have been portrayed in relation to their connect with Pandavas lives. Each chapter in MB beginning with bowing down to Nar (Arjun) and Narayana (Krishna) verifies my observation. If it is said that history is written by winners and their followers then same gets established by MB as well....


Unknown said...

Arjuna had few qualities which was not available in Many people. I personally tried to find why Draupadi was actually partial to Arjuna - (Apart from Arjuna's devotion to Krishna)

1. Arjuna was always described as who gives sweat speeches, respectful, devoted to elders etc. The behavior and communication skill matters a lot - Arjuna always used to speak sweat words with respectful voice. More like Krishna. He knew how to win hearts.

2. Giving quality to women - I came across two event described in KMG translation. Small event but it took me to surprised - a> Before burning the khandava forest Arjuna and Krishna went to forest for sports and enjoyment with friends. Who were those friends - It was Draupadi, Subhadra and few more ladies - they went to forest and drank wine, sang music, played in rivers, danced etc. On those days where women were kept inside household - it was awesome that Krishna and Arjuna in such way to spent time with the ladies. I can say they were way ahead of their time.
b> Before starting kurushetra war - sanjay went as peace messenger to pandavas - and he found Krishna and Arjuna gossiping with Draupadi and Satyabhama in an apartment and only few people were allowed to enter in the apartments. Arjuna and Krishna were peerless on treating the women equally. Other pandava and Kuru warriors more like patriarchal.

3. Arjuna's warrior/archery skill together with his bravery - He fought with all the kings in front of Draupadi's eyes and again he fought with Nagas, Asuras and Indra during Khandava Prastha Dahan. He was the one who made Indraprastha prosperous by bringing jewels from Kubera.

If we look at other warriors they just got married in winning swayambara or through arranged marriage to establish political relation. Arjuna / Krishna was the only people who were able to marry women by impressing them.

Sanjay said...

Dear Arnab,

I differ with your views -

1. Arjun giving sweet speeches is not correct. Read Eklavya episode. It shows his jealousy against better rival. Read Rangshala episode; he was the one who threatened Karna to behead him when he asked for duel with Arjun to prove who was the best. Yes, he was obedient to elders but not respectful every time. He waged war in Virat against Bhishma and Drona without any formality of Kurukshetra war. He did get emotional in Kurukshetra war and wanted to quit but it seems it was more due to fear of mighty Kuru warriors than his relation with them. If his devotion to elders was true then Geeta discourse would have been part of Virat war not Kurukshetra war. Karna did not argue when Bhishma refused his participation in Kurukshetra war under his command. Nor did he question Drona for refusing him brahmastra. Instead he preferred to change his Guru even at the cost of lying and getting cursed.

2. Equality to women - Sorry but this one is laughable. I do not know what is your idea of equality but playing or talking with ladies of the house in your personal space is definitely not an evidence of gender equality. I hope you know that he did not utter a single word when Yudi decided to share Draupadi among five Pandavas. Is that equality or MCP quality? Was it not his duty to challenge Kunti's unmindful order? Did he show any courtesy to at least ask Draupadi's view if she was willing or not? Did he challenge Yudi staking Draupadi? Did he vow to kill Duhshasan, Keechak and Jayadratha for insulting Draupadi? Let me also remind you that he married Uloopi and Chitrangadha during his so-called exile period. I will rather call him flirt or Casanova...

3. Karna won whole India alone for Duryodhan. Karna's feat allowed Duryodhan to become emperor by performing Vaishnava yaga. Karna defeated all kings present at Bhanumati's swayamwar when Duryodhan abducted her. Karna fought all his wars without his celestial Vijaya bow except on last day of his life. Karna made Jarasandh beg for his life in wrestling and was rewarded city of Malini by Jarasandh himself for his extra-ordinary prowess. Karna spared lives of Yudi, Bheema, Nakul and Sahadev. He almost killed Arjun by Nagastra had Krishna not lowered the chariot. He could have killed unconscious Arjun if he had not preferred to extract his wheel. On the contrary, Arjun fought most of his wars with celestial resources, under mentorship of Krishna, aided by all support from Devas & boons and resorting to lies and unfair means of killing Bhishma and Karna.

Winning swaymwar was no small business those days. It was hallmark of deserving suitor and true kshatriya. Karna neither impressed any woman nor did he won any swayamwar for himself. In fact he could have won Draupadi before Arjun had Draupadi not refused his candidature at eleventh hour for his caste.

Remember all characters in MB are grey with their respective black and white moments. Out of all of them Arjun gets maximum limelight because -
1. He was close to Krishna
2. He was first hand recipient of Geeta updesh

Otherwise there are far better characters in MB if you read it with unbiased and open mind.

Unknown said...

U r right

Anonymous said...

Pranav Gupta : Bhima incident is different and Arjuna incident is different , both exist in Mahabharat

Kutty said...

Sanjay,, can you please let me know about Arjun's children? ,, With whom he gave them birth?,, And if he had girl child??...

Kutty said...

Sanjay,, can you please let me know about Arjun's children? ,, With whom he gave them birth?,, And if he had girl child??...

Sanjay said...

Arjun+Draupadi = Srutkarm
Arjun+Subhadra = Abhimanyu
Arjun+Uloopi = Iravan
Arjun+Chitrangada = Babruvahan

Dev said...

Pahle to is tark par aao or Mano ya manvao ya fir apni antaratma se pucho k Mahabharata ek fiction thi ya humara ek sachha itihas. Main to manta Hun k ek-2 chiz satya thi..Or uske baad Arjun , karan , ek lavya aadi ki baat kar sakte hain. Arjun , karna or ek lavya in teeno ne hi galati ki thi. Ek lavya ne Guru dron ki MURTI se kuch nahi seekha or nahi koi AK tak seekh paya hai. Chori-2 unki siksha ko suna or mantro ko suna or un par Amal kar apni siksha ki.. jo ki us kaal main paap tha. Shiksha par kisi jaat-paat ka anwaran sach main nahi tha . Aisa hota to karan ko Parshuram shiksa na dete or Bhisma bhi parshuram se shiksha naa pate. Choti si galati ki saza shraap ban jana aam baat thi us dwapar yug main. Chori ki saza isliye milna lazmi tha ek lavya ko. Rahi baat karana ki to wo shurvir tha lekin arjun se zyada nahi , haan wo Daanvirta main mahan the. Aise Kai yudh hai jahan Karan ka samna hua or koi bhi vidya baigar bhule wo arjun k hatho pears hua or us samay Arjun bhi vadh kar sakta tha. Or aise hi Kai mauko par karan ne bhi arjun ko baksha. Lekin 5 maharathiyo ki jab-2 baat hogi Mahabharata main to unke naam yun honge ..1) Lord Krishna ( unke naam k baigar kuch nahi, ant or adi dono wo hi the) 2) Bhisma 3) Guru Dron 4) Barik 5) Abhimanyu... baki sab aap kitni hi behas kar lo.. Ye nahi hota to wo ho jata or wo nahi hota to kuch or , inmain kuch nahi rakha.. sab se dardnaak mrityu sab se Buzarg or sab se chote Balak abhimanyu ki hi kyun..? Kya abhimanyu ki adhuri shiksha uska maut ka karan tha tha ..? Kya usne karan ko dhul nahi chatayi..? Or swyam karan ne kaha k tum balak ho kar bhi mujh se best ho.. Barik ne sar daan kar diya kya wo daan Ek lavya se chota tha .. ek lavya angutha na bhi deta to mahbharta ka paridrishya nahi badalna tha , lekin Abhimanyu nahi Marta ya babrik nahi Daan karta sar to shayad nahi 100% kahani alag-2 rup leti . Ab ek last fact Arjun ko bhisma ne chuna ya dron ne usko jhodo.. maan lo k wo ek chamcha yodha the ( maufi chahunga Arjuna) lekin Narayan ne kyun chuna..? Or chalo wo bhi galat the to Lord Shiva...? Unka vardan bhi.. aap sab ko Mahadev ka wo vardan Mahabharata main yaad hona chahiye k Draupdi ne sarvsresth Dhanurdhar Var bhi manga tha Daanvir manga hota to nischay hi Karna bhi pati hota or majabharta kuch or hoti . Main is se zyada or prakash nahi daal sakta .

Sanjay said...


Agar Guru Dron ne Gurudakshina maangi to iska matlab ya to usne Eklavya ko apna shishya sweekara ya khud ko usaka Guru mana....otherwise he could not ask for Gurudakshina so Eklavy's so-called crime was pardoned intentionally or unintentionally still he was punished for his pardoned crime. This was unfair.

Barbrik Ved Vyas MB mein kahin nahin hai.

Arjun's or other warriors' prowess were virtues of Dwapar yug. Those virtues would not be carried forward. Krishn ke Arjun ko chun ne ke baad bhi Bhilon ke aagey usey fail hona padha. Woh apna Gandiv tak nahin utha paya tha. Usey ice mien gal ke marna padha jabki woh kshatriya tha. This was beginning of Kaliyug.

Krishn aur Shiv mein se badha kaun? Respective followers will choose their deity to be superior. Even Trinity (Trimurti) is also part of life-death cycle like us. Only their life cycle is much longer than ours. Like Krishn choosed Arjun, Kaal bhagwan chooses Trinity to perform assigned roles.

Unknown said...

Use of "badass"kind of word and comparison with Prabhu deva and hritic roshan seems really must remember that MAHABHARATA isn't a weekly magazine,its a writing for every criticize it in a right way...and obviously with RESPECT..

Unknown said...

Just shut up

Unknown said...


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Lol,You're trying hard to convince yourself.You only wrote one side of the story to villianise Arjuna.Let me counter these which is written with half baked knowledge.

It's clearly written that Drona refused Karna coz of his intention as well as his partiality to Arjuna.Nobody gives bhrahmastra to a person like Karna who wants to use it kill Arjuna-his rival.Its dangerous and stupid to do that.It was Arjuna who earned the fav spot of his guru which means he better than all students including karna.Why dint Karna try to correct himself and earn bhramastra in a decent way?

How foolish is it to blame a kid for the actions of a man?Your missing the political aspect of it too.Nishadas were under Jarasandha.A threat to Hastinapur.

Lol,again a vain attempt to glorify lordy.It was Karna who wished for a duel and Duri tells him that he should keep his foot on his enemies.Which person would tolerate this coming from a man who tried to murder his brother?Karna gatecrashed the arena and bowed indifferently to drona and kripa and copied all of Arjuna's feats.Wth do you not talk about this?It was Karna who wished for a duel first.Why did he vanish after his coronation?

It was on bhrahma's wish and Krishna too was involved.So,you hold the same opinion about Krishna too?

It was Yudhi's decision to share Draupadi.Do I have to remind you Karna's offer to foot soldiers on 17th day?

He dint enjoy the luxuries for continuous 12 years.Whats your point?

That's the most stupid point a K-fan has ever made.Indra stopped fighting after the celestial voice said that he won't be able to defeat them and offered boons.Unlike Karna he asked for celestial weapons and never stopped learning.You are'nt saying the same about Krishna here.

Lol,even Krishna and Yudhishtra permitted that and even today in South India cousin marriages are common.Whats wrong in that?Abducting was'nt considered shameful back then.What about Karna who did the same for his so called freind even after the princess rejected Duriyodhan.That was totally against her consent and not even supported by her family.

I can cite much better achievements of Arjuna which others could've only dreamed of.You just posted a hate speech that can be exposed by anyone who has read the entire text properly.Your last line makes it seem like Krishna sided with sinners.Atleast try making some better sense next time

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Arun said...

Thank you for sharing the amazing Story,

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