Profile: Abhimanyu

Posted on May 8, 2010


Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna and Subhadra. He

– was the incarnation of Varchas, the son of Soma (the Moon-God) (Mbh 1.67).

– when born, had the rituals related to his birth performed by Krishna himself  (Mbh 1.222)

– had a broad face like the hood of a snake (Mbh 1.222)

– lived in Dwaraka along with Subhadra when Pandavas left for forest  (3.22)

– received military & weapons training from Pradyumna, Krisha’s son born of Rukmini(3.182)

– married Uttara, daugther of Virata in the town of Upaplavya after Pandavas completed their thirteenth year of exile (Mbh 4.72)

– was among the group of Pandavas who were enraged after hearing the message from Uluka, the son of Sakuni, who  visited Pandavas as Duryodhana’s messenger (Mbh 5.163)

– was matched against Karna‘s son Vrishasena, the son of Karna, and many other Kings by Drishtadhyumna during pre-war arrangements (Mbh 5.165); Sanjaya says Abhimanyu was also assigned to fight the sons of Duryodhana and Dussasana (Mbh. 5.57)

– was one of the leading leaders of Pandava’s army of chariots (Mbh 5. 171)

– was requested by Yudhishtira to break the chakra vyuha as only three other people – Krishna, Arjuna and Pradyumna – knew how to breach it (Mbh 7.33)

– was the father of Parikshit, through whom the legacy of Pandavas continued

Arjuna is fighting outside while Abhimanyu is trapped inside the Chakra Vyuha (Source: Hoysaleeswara temple, Halebid)


– had the golden Karnikara tree displayed in his flag (Mbh 7.34)

– fought against the following warriors:  Bhishma, Sakuni,Kritavarman, Salya, Durmukha, Kripa, Aswattama, Bhurisrava, Shala, Bhuri (the last three being sons of Somadatta a.k.a Samyamna), Chitrasena (Karna’s son), Drona, Satyavrata (Duryodhana’s brother), Purumitra, (Duryodhana’s brother), Vikarna, Durjaya (Duryodhana’s son), Durmarshana (Duryodhana’s brother), Ambashta (i.e. Srutayus, ruler of Ambashta who is later slain by Arjuna), Duryodhana, Alambusha (son of Rishyashringa), Sudakshina (King of Kamboja), Paurava (a rishi who was incarnation of the Daitya Sarabha), Jayadratha, Bhagadatta, Dussasana, Vivinsati (Duryodhana’s brother), Kratha, Somadatta, Vrishasena (son of karna), Pratardana, Lalithya, Pravahu, Satyashrava

– killed the following warriors: King of Magadha (Mbh 6.62), son of ruler of Magadha (Mbh 7.46), Prince of Asmaka, Susena (son of Karna), Kundhavedhin, Drigalochana, Salya’s younger brother (unnamed), Karna’s younger brother (unnamed), Vasatiya, Rukmarata (son of Salya), Lakshmana (Duryodhana’s son), Kratha’s son, Brindaraka, Brihadbala (King of Kosala), 6 of Karna’s counselors, Aswaketu, Martikavata (Bhoja Prince), Shatrunjaya, Chandraketu, Mahavegha, Suvarcha, Suryabhasa, Kalikeya (Subala’s son)

– slew a hundred princes; he also used the Gandharva weapon that Arjuna received from Gandharva Tumburu; This created the illusion of Abhimanyu appearing as one, hundred, and even a thousand individuals (Mbh 7.43)

– was at point surrounded by the following six warriors – Drona, Karna, Kripa, Kritavarma, Aswattama, Brihadbala (Mbh 7.45)

– had, upon Drona’s advice, his bow broken by Karna, steeds killed by Kritavarman, and charioteers slain by Kripa  (Mbh 7.46); he was finally struck on the head with a mace by Dussasana’s son.

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