Categories: Hindu Scripture

Bhima:The Mighty Warrior in the Mahabharata।Hindu Temple Talk

The Mahabharata, one of the longest and most revered epics in Hindu mythology, is a tale of heroism, brotherhood, and divine intervention. Among the many illustrious characters, Bhima, the second Pandava brother, stands out for his unparalleled physical prowess and unwavering devotion to Lord Krishna. This article delves into the life and adventures of Bhima, showcasing his exceptional strength, love, and loyalty throughout the epic.

Bhima

The Birth and Early Life of Bhima

Bhima’s birth was a result of divine intervention, as he was born to Kunti through Vayu, the wind god. Though raised alongside his brothers by King Pandu, Bhima’s extraordinary physical strength and towering stature set him apart. From a young age, his unparalleled valor and martial skills became evident, earning him a reputation as a formidable warrior.

Encounter with Hidimba and Ghatotkacha’s Birth

During their first exile, the Pandavas encountered the rakshasa siblings, Hidimba, and Hidimbi, who sought to harm them. However, fate had different plans as Bhima and Hidimbi fell in love. Bhima bravely fought and killed Hidimba, subsequently spending a year in the forest with Hidimbi. Their union led to the birth of Ghatotkacha, a half-rakshasa, half-human prince, who would later become a significant asset in the Kurukshetra War.

Marrying Draupadi and Jarasandha’s Demise

Bhima, along with his brothers, won Draupadi’s hand in marriage by showcasing their archery skills.

Bhima defeated Jarasandha in a wrestling bout

He played a pivotal role in challenging and defeating the powerful Magadha king, Jarasandha, in a wrestling bout, ensuring the success of the Rajsuya Yajna.

Bhima’s Resolve and Draupadi’s Insult

Bhima’s fiery temperament and unyielding loyalty to his family became evident during the infamous game of dice where Yudhisthira lost everything, including Draupadi. In the court, when Dushasana attempted to disrobe Draupadi, Bhima swore vengeance, promising to kill him and drink his blood one day.

Bhima’s Adventures during the Second Exile

During the second exile, Bhima’s journey took him to Alakapuri, where he received blessings from Kubera. Later, at the end of their exile at Virata’s court, Bhima disguised himself as a palace cook, serving the king while maintaining his true identity secret.

Bhima in the Kurukshetra War

Preparation for Battle

Before the Kurukshetra War began, Bhima suggested Satyaki as the Pandava forces’ general, but Yudhishthira and Arjuna chose Dhrishtadyumna. Bhima’s chariot was adorned with a flag bearing the image of a silver lion with lapis lazuli eyes, and he wielded the celestial bow Vayavya, gifted by the Wind God, and a massive conch named Paundra. Lord Hanuman gifted him a huge mace with incredible strength.

2nd Day – Slaying the Foes

On the second day of the war, Bhima confronted the Kalinga army, killing several notable warriors, including Kalinga King Shrutayusha’s son Sakradeva, and the Kalinga generals Satya and Satyadeva. He also defeated Ekalavya’s son Ketumat and nearly killed Duryodhana in a wrestling match but couldn’t finish him due to sunset.

14th Day – Battles and Losses

On the fourteenth day, Bhima defeated Drona, smashing his chariot eleven times to aid Arjuna in slaying Jayadratha. He annihilated a legion of elephants sent by Duryodhana and killed Dussasana’s son Durjaya. He also engaged Karna multiple times, slaying Karna’s ally Vikarna but also grieving his noble death. Despite various outcomes in their battles, Karna spared Bhima due to Kunti’s oath. Bhima killed thirty-one of Duryodhana’s brothers and Bahlika, the King of the Bahlika kingdom.

15th Day – Loss and Retribution

On the fifteenth day, Bhima faced defeat against Karna and tragically lost his son Ghatotkacha to Karna. He plotted to kill Drona by attacking an elephant named Ashwatthama. Later, Bhima and Satyaki saved Dhrishtadyumna from Ashwatthama, but they were defeated by Kripi Kumara.

16th Day – Fierce Heroism

On the sixteenth day, Bhima dominated the battlefield, defeating numerous warriors. He engaged Karna in a sword fight and killed Karna’s son Banasena. Bhima fought fiercely with Ashwatthama, witnessed by Hanuman and celestial beings, but both fell unconscious by the end of the terrifying battle. Later, Bhima killed Dussasana in front of Duryodhana, avenging Draupadi’s humiliation.

17th Day – Struggles and Defeat

On the seventeenth day, Bhima fought multiple battles against Karna but eventually fled from the battlefield. He also played a significant role in killing Dhritarashtra and Gandhari’s children.

Death of Duryodhana

After 18 days of the war, Duryodhana hid under a lake and chose Bhima as his opponent. Despite Duryodhana’s diamond-hard body, Bhima listened to Krishna’s advice and broke his thighs, leading to his defeat and death.

Bhima’s Feats in Battle

Throughout the war, Bhima confronted and defeated formidable adversaries, including the cannibalistic Baka and Kirmira, the anger-demon leader Maniman, and the mighty Dronacharya. He also engaged in four intense battles with Karna, compelling the formidable warrior to withdraw each time. His actions were critical in aiding the Pandavas’ victory.

Bhima’s Respect and Integrity

Despite his fierce demeanor, Bhima adhered to a code of honor. He refrained from killing honorable elders on the Kaurava’s side, out of respect for their virtue. The exception was the king of Bahlika, whom he slew upon the king’s request to free him from the burden of fighting against his own nephew, Bhishma.

Bhima’s Final Journey and Devotion to Krishna

The Final Journey

As the epic approached its end, Bhima embarked on his final journey to Vaikunta, the divine abode, along with his brothers and Draupadi. Throughout his life, Bhima’s devotion to Krishna remained unwavering and pure, setting him apart from others who sometimes doubted the will of the divine.

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Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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