There are just two famous Sanskrit epics of ancient India- The Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
Mahabharat, authored by Sage Veda Vyas, is considered to be the greatest poem ever written.
One of the most crucial parts of Mahabharat is Kurukshetra warfare. The battle lasted for 18 days and it was fought between two clans — the Kauravas and the Pandavas to win the throne of Hastinapura within an ancient Indian kingdom named Kuru. An innumerable number of warriors fought in the war.
With this blog, we are going to look at a number of the most revered and feared warriors that were defeated by unfair means.
Bhishma was the commander in chief of the Kauravas. On the 10th day of the battle, unable to survive, Lord Krishna guided Arjun to put Shikhandi (who had been a woman in the past life) in front of Bhishma. Knowing very well that Bhishma would never attack women.
Arjun placed himself just behind Shikhandi, protecting himself from Bhishma’s attack. He aimed his arrows at the weak points in Bhisma’s armor. Shikhandi’s arrows fell on Bhishma without hindrance; soon with arrows sticking from every part of his body, the great warrior fell from his chariot. His body did not touch the ground as it was held off by the arrows.
Drona was born to Lord Bhardwaj; he is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Brahma. He was the master of modern warfare and had an abundance of knowledge about divine weapons and was a master archer himself.
Krishna knew that it was impossible to kill Dronacharya while he was armed.
Much like in the event of Bhishma, Drona told Yudishtira about how he could be murdered. Only if he gives up his arms after hearing tragic information. Krishna asks Bhima to kill an elephant with the name ‘Ashwathama’ and rejoices that ‘Ashwathama’ is murdered.
Krishna chooses ‘Ashwathama’ the elephant deliberately to frame a situation where Drona would think that ‘Ashwathama’ his son has been killed in the war.
If Drona asked Yudhishtra for the validity of this news, the latter says that ‘Ashwathama has been killed’ and also dubiously’ the wolf of this name has been slaughtered’. Believing Yudhishtra, Drona gets stunned, devotes himself, and drops his weapons.
As he drops his weapons, Drona is attacked by dhristadyumna and cuts his head off.
Known initially as Vasusena, Karna was born to Kunti before his marriage. Hence she disowns the baby. He was brought by a charioteer to the Kauravas. Karna being Duryodhana’s closest friend was crowned the king of Anga.
It was only after Bhishma’s exit from the war that Karna joined the battle. He killed Ghatochgach. On the 16th day, he defeated Nakula, Sahdeva, Bhima, and Yudhishtra. But spare their life as he had promised to only kill Arjuna.
While fighting Arjuna, one wheel of Karna’s chariot falls into the mud. When Karna stands on the ground to lift his sinking chariot. Arjuna keeps on putting arrows in his chest and arms, Karna drops unconscious. Arjuna, on the insistence of Krishna, keeps on assaulting Karna.and ultimately chops off his head.
The Youngest warrior ‘Abhimanyu’ in the battle was killed by extremely unfair methods.
The son of Arjuna and Subhadra and the nephew of Lord Krishna, Abhimanyu, was a mighty and valiant warrior.
On the 13th day of the war, the Kauravas deployed the Chakravyuh, which was a difficult battle formation. There was only one Pandava who knew to enter and break the structure, and that was Arjuna. But he was engaged on the other side of the battlefield. While the Pandavas was speculating on how to tackle the move. Abhimanyu told them that he had learned how to enter the formation while in the womb and could lead the others as long as they protected his back.
As promised, Abhimanyu entered the formation, at which he meets with each of the bigwigs of Kaurava army — Jayadratha, Drona, Duryodhana, Kripacharya, along with Asvatthama. But others didn’t follow him as they were attacked by the Kauravas army. Abhimanyu kills Duryodhana’s son Lakshaya and other 10,000 warriors. He could not be brought under control, which irritates the Kaurava warriors. They deprive him of his warfare weapons and his chariot, and finally, the son of Dushasana hits on the head of Abhimanyu with a team, leading to his collapse.
Duryodhana was the firstborn to King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari. His animosity towards his brothers (Pandavas) led to the Kurukshetra war.
On the 18th day, the Kauravas camp was left with only a handful of warriors. Duryodhana, along with his other left allies, abandoned the war and began meditating near a lake. The Pandavas with Krishna’s help located Duryodhana. Yudhishthira asked Duryodhana to pick any one Pandava to fight against him in a one-on-one battle. The winner of the battle will be declared as the winner of the war.
Duryodhana picked Bhima and overpowered him in the battle with his strength. While Bhima was losing the battle to Duryodhana, Krishna tells Arjuna to signal his thighs to Bhima. When Bhima gets this signal, he hits Duryodhana under his belt, fracturing his thigh, and the latter falls on the ground. Later Bhima kills him.
These are just a few feared warriors who were killed unfairly. If you know of any other, do let us know in the comment section about them and their story!