All things Arjuna
  • I am infected with Mahabharat quizzing on Arjuna for anyone who knows - to learn and to share.
  • Hi

    > Arjuna wins the Gandeeva bow for a battle with a famous personality - who
    > was this person and what was the battle called?
    > The battle was with Lord Agni, and the fight was with his own father Lord
    > Indra

    I think the battle is with Lord Shiva over a wild boar.
  • Hi,

    I'm being infected with Mahabharatha fever too.:) (Speaking of which, anyone
    read Chithra banerjee Divakaruni's
    book on Draupadi, The Palace of Illusions?)

    As to the wild boar and Lord Shiva - wasn't that for the Pasupatha Asthram?
  • Yes that is pasupatha asthram, the battle referred to in the quiz is the battle between Indra and Arjuna/Krishna and the burning of Kandeeva vana to quench Agni's thirst for appetite. (Earliest forest fire :))
  • Pavithra, also that book is on my list of books to read, definitely I have heard many good things about it. Will post a separate thread on Panchali today, fascinating woman she is.
  • Siva
    That was true and Siva gave him Pasupathastharam....
  • Trying the names of Arjuna. Please see if I am able to get all the

    1. Arjuna
    2. Phalguna - born on Panguni Uthiram - Panguni Pournami
    3. Paartha - Son of Pritha (Kunthi's original name)
    4. Kireedi - famed for his crown
    5. Beebathsu - Feels awkward to do wrong things
    6. Swethavaahana - rides a chariot with white horses
    7. Dhananjaya - won a lot of wealth through his campaigns before
    Raajasooya Yaagam
    8. Vijaya - the victorious
    9. Savyasaachi - ambidextrous - can wield his bow and arrow with
    both left and right hands
    10. Kaundheya - Son of Kundhi
    11. Paandava - Son of Paandu
    12. Krishna - special name given by Lord Shiva
  • NV, you got most of them right, couple  I did not know, thanks.Some more -
    Gandeevi - for owner of Gandeeva the famous bow,
    Gudakesha - conqueror of sleep as he used to practice archery at night,
    Kapidhwaja - has Hanuman Banner.
    The normal 10 names to recite to ward off fear are :
    Arjuna Phalguna Parthiba Vijaya Gandeeba Kireedi Bheebadsu Swethavahana Dananjaya Paartha (I may have got the order wrong)
  • I'm sorry, but I didn't think much of Divakaruni's retelling.
    I'd really liked William Buck's version,which I read in the '70s,
    Although he used Ganguli's translation as a jumping-off point,
    and knew no Sanskrit himself.
    That retelling hasthe proper heavily tragic feeling.
    I was very moved by it.
  • vj,
    a boar ? You're right. I've looked over all my photos of it
    carefully, and find no boar.
    ps Think that's Bhagirathi, not Arjuna.
  • Dear Kathie, is it still available - Willam Buck's version I mean? I am very wary of western interpretations of 60s and 70s other than Joseph Campbell and some others, since they are are overwhelmingly racist. Must try this one.
    I think Divyakaruni is just a budding writer, and has made a decent attempt.
  • Dear Malathi,
    You could get William Buck's retelling of both the Mahabharata
    & the Ramayana through Used. They have
    good illustrations, too, be sure to get an illus. edition if you can.

    I'm probably noone to judge how good they are, cause I can't
    even read Hindi.
    All I know is that it was very dark, as the Iliad is dark.
    Karna was the character who really spoke to me. What
    a tragic fate he experienced through no fault of his own.
  • N Venkat --
    Wow, thanks for the many names of Arjuna.
    Now I'll can fearless, too.
    Love that kind of stuff.
  • Hi,

    I love all these facts about Arjuna, and like Kathie, Karna's fate affects
    me a lot more than the others, perhaps. Speaking of which - (out of academic
    interest) what do you guys think was the real motivation behind Karna's
    instinct to give away everything? specifically, the kavasa-kundalas, that he
    gives away to Indra, despite being warned that this will lead to his ruin? I
    can understand a man being magnanimous, and even if Karna was (technically)
    the son of the sun-god, would someone really go to such lengths to ensure
    his destruction?

  • Dear Pavithra, the giving away is spiritual in nature. In true spiritual union with God everything including one's good karma has to be given away and that is what Karna's final deed symbolises. Attachment to any thing creates ego and further karma - what Sri Krishna did (although it might seem cruel) was to take away Karna's attachment towards his good deeds thereby ensuring his 'moksha' or salvation.
  • You are correct Malathi. I too like Karna's character the best in
    Mahabaratha. Till date we compare 'kodai' with Karna, such is his

    I remember a story from Baratha - once arjuna asks Krishna, when every
    king, including the pandavas are doing great charity and giving away
    things to the poor generously. Then why Karna alone is praised for his

    Krishna, the next day, takes Arjuna to the outskirts and by his powers
    creates a Golden and a silver mountain, and asks Arjuna to donate the
    mountains to others, before Sun set. Arjuna, seeing the small
    mountains, laughs and says, its not a big deal. So he calls everyone
    from the surrounding villages and gives them a piece of the mountain
    by breaking the mountain. But to his shock, he sees that the mountain
    grows by the same size he breaks it and its almost sun set and even
    after distributing to everyone and tired of the act, he almost gives
    up, saying its his maya and he cant win over it.

    Then Krishna sends for Karna just before sunset and asks Karna to
    donate the mountains before sunset. Karna just calls two passer by,
    asks one to take the golden mountain and the other to take the silver
    mountain and walks away.

    Krishna says to Arjuna - this is generosity. You were not liberal to
    give away everything but Karna can give away anything to anyone and
    thats why he is great.

    What a character!!! My first vote is to Karna, always.

  • I faintly remember having read in the Mahabharatha:

    After Yudhishtira's Raajasooya yagna, Duryodhana also wanted to do
    one but was prevented from doing. So he did an equivalent yagna and
    Karna went around getting all kings submit to Duryodhana (it was
    when Paandavas were in exile). Duryodhana wants to win over
    Paandavas at any cost.

    At that time, Karna also undertakes to help Duryodhana win the
    Paandavas. He vows to defeat (or kill) Arjuna. As part of his
    efforts, he vows to never say NO to anybody asking for anything from

    This is the earliest instance of Karna's inclination to give away
    anything asked for.

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