सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Arjuna"







In General

Arjuna was the third of the Pandavas, born to Kunti, wife of Pandu. Pandu was cursed not to touch any ladies, so as agreed by Pandu, Kunti chanted the sacred mantra to attract Lord Indra and become pregnant by the great Lord. Arjuna was the most repute archer of his time in the world. He was always proud about that and was jealous about the other good archers like Karna, Ekalavya, Aswathama. In Great War, the Pandava side banked mainly on the strength of Arjuna and Bhima.

Arjuna was Krishna's cousin and a close friend. His dilemma at the beginning of the Great War led Krishna expounding the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna is called in Gita by 20 names, like: Savyasachi, Partha, Kshatriya, Brahmana, Bharata, Dhananjaya, Nara.

Genealogy. From Visnu were descended in the following order Brahma-Atri-Candra-Budha - Pururavas - Ayus - Nahusa - Yayati - Puru - Janamejaya - Pracinva- Pravira - Namasyu - Vltabhaya - Sundu - Bahuvidha - Samyati - Rahovadi - Raudrasva - Matinara - Santurodha- Dusyanta – Bharata – Suhotra - Suhota – Gala - Gardda – Suketu –Brhatksetra - Hasti - Ajamidha - Rksa – Samvarana - Kuru- Jahnu –Suratha - Viduratha – Sarvabhauma – Jayatsena – Ravyaya – Bhavuka - Cakroddhata - Devatithi - Rksa – Bhima – Pratipa – Santanu - Vicitravirya – Pandu - Arjuna.


Apart from Pancali, Arjuna was married thrice. His other wives are: Subhadra (the sister of Krishna), Ulupika (a naga princess) and Citrarigada (another princess). In Panchali had the son Srutakirti in Subhadra was born the famous fighter Abhimanyu. In Ulupika was born Iravan. Babhruvahana was his son in Chitrarigada.

The descendents of Pandavas was actually progenies of Arjunas. The only royal heir left out after the war was the child in the womb of Uttara, wife of Abhimanyu. Arjuna's descendants: Abhimanyu – Pariksit – Janamejaya - Candrapida – Satyakarna – Svetakarna – Ajaparsva – Janamejaya – Satanika - Sahasranika -Asvamedha – Asvinikrishna - Gupta - Citraratha - Suciratha - Dhrtiman –Susena - Sunita – Sucaksus - Nala – Uparipalva – Medhavi – Mrtyunjaya - Dusya – Nimi – Brhadratha – Satanika – Durdama – Vibhmara – Dandapani - Ksemaka.

A symbolic story in Devi Bhagavata tells that Dharma had his origin in the heart of Brahma, and he earned great reputation for truthfulness and adherence to Vedic dharma. He married the daughters of Daksa. Dharma had four sons, Hari, Krishna, Nara and Narayana. Hari and Krishna became great yogis, and Nara and Narayana, great tapasvins. Nara and Narayana did tapas, worshipping Brahma for 1000 years at the holy Badaryasrama in the plains of the Himalayas. Nara was born in the next birth as Arjuna. Narayana, a partial incarnation of Visnu was born as Krishna.

Arjuna was knowing the techniques of Brahmatirastra. But he never used it against any men as advised by his guru.

After escaping from the lac palace the Pandavas reached a village named Ekacakra after walking a long time through the forests. There they stayed in a Brahmin's house. Every morning they would go in disguise for begging and return with the alms in the evening. This was their daily routine and one day while they were in their daily round they saw a group of Brahmins and they said they were going to the Svayamvara of the daughter of the King of Pancala. Pandavas went there disguised as Brahmins. Many valiant princes from all parts of Bharatvarsha including the Kauravas had gathered there. There was an archery test for winning the heart of the beautiful princess Panchali. Many noted princes rose one after another and tried in vain to string the bow. It was too heavy and stiff for them. Then Arjuna rose and meditating on Narayana, the Supreme God, strung the bow with ease and hit at the target. Pancali then put the garland on Arjuna's neck and accepting him as her husband went with him and stayed that night with him. Drupada that night went in search his daughter found them in the house of a potter and recognized the five brothers as Pandavas. His joy knew no bounds when he knew that his son-in-law was none other than the celebrated Arjuna. The Pandavas then took Pancali to their home in Ekacakra and as soon as Kunti heard the footsteps of her sons outside she said from inside asking them to share that day's alms among themselves little knowing that it was a bride that had been brought by them. Thus Pancali became the common consort of the five Pandavas.

During the exile life Arjuna did a tapa of four year in Himalaya mountain to please Lord Siva. Siva came disguised and fought with Arjuna to test his velour and in the end presented him the Pasupatastra. It is with Pasupathastra he killed Karna

The Svayarhvara of Pancali broadcast news about the whereabouts of the Pandavas. Dhrtarastra brought them back to Indraprastha, and installed them in a new palace built at the place called Khandavaprastha (Indraprastha). Dharmaputra ruled a part of the country with Indraprastha as capital. Narada went there once and advised the Pandavas to guard themselves against mutual quarrels as the five of them claimed one and the same woman as wife. Thenceforth it was set forth that Pancali would live with each husband in turn for one year. It was also settled that during a particular year if any other husband than the one whose turn it was to live with Pancali saw her in her personal room, the intruder was to go on a pilgrimage for one year.

Once a brahmin came to the palace complaining that his cows were stolen by thieves, and Arjuna promised to help him. Arjuna did so without remembering that all his weapons were stored in Dharmaputra's palace. That year Pancali was living with Dharmaputra. Forgetting the fact Arjuna went to Dharmaputra's palace, got his weapons and helped the brahmin. For thus breaking the rule, Arjuna left his palace on a pilgrimage for one year.

Arjuna, once during a tour of the country was much surprised to see the Dam constructed by Sri Rama from Ramesvara to Lanka. He also felt that it was not at all proper on the part of Sri Rama to have sought the help of monkeys to construct the dam. Sri Rama could have made a dam with arrows. Arjuna put this question to a great scholar but none of them could give a convincing answer to Arjuna's doubts. Then a monkey child went up to Arjuna and told him with pride that a dam made of arrows would have broken when the monkeys walked on it. Arjuna disagreed and told that even he can built such a bridge. A debate began and it was decided in the end that if monkey broke the bridge made by arrow of Arjuna, then Arjuna will enter fire and if otherwise the monkey will become slave of Arjuna. According to the terms of bet Arjuna constructed a dam with arrows. And, as soon as the monkey set foot on it, it was broken. Arjuna was thus left with no alternative but to die by jumping into fire and a fire was lit. Before Arjuna jumped into the fire a brahmin boy, who was bathing in the river ran upon and told to the crowd that the bet is not justified as the bet was made without an arbiter. Everybody agreed and once again Arjuna built the bridge and the boy stood as arbiter. The monkey child tried its best to break the dam, but it failed. It developed its body to the size of a mountain and jumped on the dam. Even then it did not break. Then he ran up to the boy who was acting as arbiter and prostrated at his feet crying 'Ramacandra'. At the same moment Arjuna also prostrated before the boy crying 'my dear Krishna, slave to devotees'. The monkey boy was actually Hanuman and the boy was Sri Krishna.

Mayan built for the Pandavas an exceptionally beautiful palace at Indraprastha. And then the Pandavas made the conquest of all the earth, and after killing enemy kings like Jarasandha, the Kimpurusas, the Hadakas, Kurundha and Bhagadatta returned to Idraprastha and performed the Rajasuya yajna. The Kauravas who got jealous at this went on a visit to Indraprastha. When they entered the palace built by Maya they were put into many a ludicrous situation. Insulted and humiliated they returned to Hastinapura and challenged the Pandavas to a game of dice, and in the game the Pandavas lost not only their kingdom and other riches, but Pancall as well. Dussasana dragged Pancall and stripped her of her clothes in the royal assembly and thus mercilessly insulted her.

Once arjuna went to Indraloka being invited by Indra and at Devaloka he learned more about archery and music. The Apsara women Urvasi forgot herself when she saw the exceptionally handsome Arjuna. Urvasi, mad with love, sent her messenger to Arjuna. Arjuna turned down the request and Urvasi felt insulted. Urvasi cursed and turned Arjuna into an eunuch. Urvasi's curse somehow turn out to be of great benefit to him to live in incognito. Arjuna disguised as Brhannala became a dance teacher in King Virata’s palace.

When the life incognito of the Pandavas for one year was about to expire a rumour reached the Kauravas that the Pandavas were at the Virata capital, and the Kauravas thought that the Pandavas will appear on the scene if a war was fought against King Virata. The Kauravas, with this object in view, lifted the cows of Virata and that led to war. Uttara, the prince of Viraja boasted that he would fight provided he had a good charioteer. Brhannala (Arjuna) agreed to act as such and they started for the warfield. At the sight of the massive army of the Kauravas Uttara got frightened and tried to run away from the field. But Brhannala tightly bound Uttara to the chariot, drove it very fast to the forest, took back from the hollow of the Sami tree his weapons and returned to the battle-field. The Kauravas were absolutely defeated in the war and they took to their heels. They understood that the very clever and terrible warrior in disguise was Arjuna himself. But, by the time the period of the Pandavas life incognito was over. The king of Virata, greatly pleased over this victory in war gave his daughter, Uttara in marriage to Arjuna, Arjuna turn down the request and as she was his student. He told the king that his son Abhimanyu, will be happy to marry Uttara.

Just before both the Parties were encamped in Kuruksetra ready for war Arjuna asked his Charioteer Sri Krishna to stop the Chariot in the front row to see the brave warriors. Accordingly Krishna stopped the chariot in between the opposing armies. Arjuna felt deep anguish to find his own people arrayed on the opposite side for war. Reluctant to kill relations, elders, friends and Gurus, Arjuna laid down his arms in the chariot. Then did Krishna instruct him of doing ones duty which is the need of the hour. Shouldering the responsibility is the real sanyasa and not escaping from the duty. Krishna described the entire spiritual and philosophical discipline in support of his arguments. The instruction and advice of Krishna is later known as Bhagavad Gita.

During the great war Arjuna fought with almost all the great warriors like Bhisma Asvatthama Trigartta Bhagadatta Drona Dussasana Sakuni Durodhana and killed Jaydratha Sudhanva Vrsaka Acala Sudaksina Susarma Karna

Yadavas fought with themselves and their dynasty ended and Sri Krishna was killed, and some of Krishna’s consorts were abducted. Arjuna could not save them, and they jumped into the river and died. A big tsunami strike the area and sea engulfed the palace fort and a great area of Dwaraka. Arjuna went to Dwaraka to take the few remaining ladies and children. But on the way to Hastinapura some tribes fought with Arjuna and abducted the ladies. With Krishna, left the worldly abode, Arjuna found himself as devoid of powers. The Gandiva do not work properly with him. Arjuna, felt himself old, and enough is enough, so he began the Mahaprasthana, the great journey with his brothers. On their way Agnideva advised Arjuna to deposit reputed bow, Gandiva in the sea, and Arjuna did so.

There is a custom to chant various names of Arjuna to be free from fear. The names thus chanted are: Arjuna, Pandava, Phalguna, Jisnu, Kiriti, Svetavahana, Bhibhatsu, Vijaya, Krishna, Savyasaci.

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