Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Barbarika: The Unsung Character in Mahabharata who could have Ended War in Three Arrows

Mahabharata War tales
Most of the people not aware of Barbarika, who was the son of Ghatotkacha and Maurvi. If you are the fan of Mahabharata, you must know about this legendary hero, who sacrifices his life for the victory of Pandavas.

Bhima was the grandfather of Barbarika. Bhima married to Hidimba (powerful rakshasa), and they gave birth to Ghatotkacha, the great warrior and an important figure in the Mahabharata war. Ghatotkacha married to Maurvi, who is also called Ahilavati, she was a Naga Kanya (snake girl) and the daughter of Bashak snake (snake staying around the neck of Shiva). One day Ahilavati offer stale flowers to Lord Shiva, then goddesse Parvathi curse her that she would get a mortified man as her husband. Because of her curse Ahilavati in her next life as Maurvi married to Ghatotkacha.

Barbarika's Promise to his Mother

Since his childhood he is very brave warrior and he learnt the art of warfare from his mother. Barbarika is known as “Bearer of Three Arrows”. The Gods gave him the three infallible arrows through which he can finish the war in minutes. When he learned about the war between Pandavas and Kauravas, he wanted to witness the Mahabharata war and asks his mothers permission to join in the battle. His mother said him to join the side which would be losing (what she mean is, that Pandavas at losing side).

Barbarika Mahabharat

Barbarika and Krishna

Krishna asked everyone that how many days they would take to finish the Mahabharata war. Bhishma answered, he would take 20 days, Dronacharya said it would take him 25 days, and Karna replied that he would take 24 days. Arjuna told it would take 28 days for him. Krishna questioned every warrior and received an answer from everyone. At last Krishna disguised himself as a Brahmin and asked the same question to Barbarika to estimate his strength. Barbarika replied he would finish the war alone in one minute.

Krishna amazed with his answer and asked him, how you would finish the war. He then replied that he has three arrows, the first arrow will mark all the things that he wants to destroy and the second arrow will mark all the things that he wants to save, and the final and third arrow kills all the things that are not marked and then return to his quiver. It means with one arrow he can fix all his targets and with the other arrow he can destroy them.

To test his strength, Krishna challenged Barbarika Baliyadev to tie all the leaves of the Peepal tree under which he was standing. Barbarika than starts meditating and release his arrows by closing his eyes. Krishna quietly plucks a leaf and hides it under his foot, when Barbarika releases the first arrow, it marks all the leaves of the tree, and then the arrow mark was hovering over Krishna’s foot. Krishna asked why this arrow is hovering around his foot. Barbarika replies that the leaf is under his foot, if he didn’t lift his foot, the arrow would mark the leaf by piercing your foot. Krishna then lifts his foot, and the arrow marks the hidden leaf.

Krishna then realizes that the arrows are so powerful, that even the target is hidden, his arrows can still navigate and trace his intended targets.

Krishna took the life of Barbarika

Krishna asks Barbarika, whom he would favor in the war, He replies he would favor the weak side. As Pandavas have only seven Akshauhini armies compared to Kauravas, who have eleven. Barbarika consider Pandavas are on weak side he would favor Pandavas. But, Krishna reveals the actual meaning of his mother word. Krishna tells him that whichever the side he supports, the other side would end up as weaker due to his power. Hence, he will be forced to switch sides to support the other side, and the other side would become weaker. If he keeps oscillating between two sides, it leads to the destroying the army of both sides, and only he would remain. So, none of the sides would become victorious so, Krishna asks his head in charity.

When Krishna asks him charity, Barbarika replied he would give anything to him. Then Krishna asks his head in charity. Barbarika was shocked with his charity and asked him who you are, then Krishna reveals his divine form and Barbarika was thus graced. Krishna explained to him that before the war the bravest Kshatriya need to sacrifice and Krishna also said, Barbarika was the bravest among all Kshatriyas. Barbarika gave his head in charity and asked Krishna to promise one thing. He told Krishna that he wants to witness the whole war. Krishna agreed and placed his head at the top of a hill overlooking the battlefield. From that hill, the Barbarika watched the entire battle.

Barbarika three arrows

Yaksha born as Barbarika (Barbarika’s Curse)

Barbarika was a Yaksha in his previous life. One day Lord Brahma and other Devas came to Vaikuntha for Lord Vishnu to address the complaints against the Adharma on Earth. It is not possible for them to fight against that asuras. Hence, they come to seek the help of Lord Vishnu. Then Lord Vishnu said to Devas that he would soon incarnate on Earth as a human being and destroy the evil power on earth. Then Yaksha told to devas, that he is enough to destroy all the evil power and not necessary for Lord Vishnu to take birth on Earth. This hurt Lord Brahma very much and cursed this Yaksha that whenever the time comes to destroy the evil power, then Vishnu will first kill him. Later Yaksha incarnated on Earth as Barbarika and Lord Krishna seeks his head in Charity as a result of this curse.

Three Arrows

Barbarika was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and performed severe penance to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva impressed with his penance and gave him three arrows which had magical powers. The first arrow marks the target of whom he wants to destroy and the second arrow marks all the things that he wants to protect. The Third arrow will destroy all the marked things he wanted to destroy. Barbarika is also well known as “Teen Baandhari”.

Barbarika is worshipped as "Khatu Shyam" in Rajasthan, he obtained the name of Krishna because of his sacrifice,


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