Krishna used Ghatotkacha to have Karna waste his Vasavi shakti.

But he also said that he would have killed Ghatotkacha if he survived the war.

Did Krishna wanted Arjuna's descendant to inherit the throne because of his kinship to Arjuna through Subhadra?

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    @Marcello - You are free to address Krishna as 'He', 'Himself', etc. in your own posts but doing it in others' posts is not recommended. To reviewers: Don't approve such trivial edits. Jun 25, 2020 at 2:30

2 Answers 2


We can not say for sure that Krishna 'used' Ghatotkacha as a sacrifice in the war. All the warriors volunteered themselves.
Yes Krishna rejoiced when Ghatotkacha was slained. That event lowered the invincibility of Karna by great extent & now he could be slained.

Sanjaya said, 'Beholding Hidimva's son slain and lying like a riven mountain, all the Pandavas became filled with grief and began to shed copious tears. Only Vasudeva filled with transports of delight, began to utter leonine shouts, grieving the Pandavas. Indeed, uttering loud shouts he embraced Arjuna. ... Vasudeva said, Great is the joy I feel. Listen to me, Dhananjaya! ... The man does not exist in this world that could not stay before Karna armed with that dart and looking like Kartikeya in battle. By good luck, his (natural) armour had been taken away. By good luck, his earrings also had been taken away. By good luck, his infallible dart also is now baffled, through Ghatotkacha. [source]

The heir of the throne was always Yudhisthira or subsequent PAndava, because it was their kingdom which was snatched. And it was never Ghatotkacha, as he was not considered Kshatriya due to his maternal blood line & upbringing. Due to his inherent evilness from "RAkshasa" qualities, Krishna was willing to kill him, had he survived the great war.

Hidimva and Vaka and Kirmira have all been slain by Bhimasena. All those Rakshasas were endued with might equal to that Ravana and all of them were destroyers of Brahmanas and sacrifices. Similarly, Alayudha, possessed of large powers of illusion, had been slain by Hidimva's son. Hidimva's son also, I have slain by the employment of means, viz., through Karna with his dart.If Karna had not slain him with his dart in great battle, I myself would have had to slay Bhima's son Ghatotkacha. From desire of benefiting you, I did not slay him before. That Rakshasa was inimical to Brahmanas and sacrifices. Because he was a destroyer of sacrifices and of a sinful soul, therefore hath he been thus slain. [source]

  • Bhima was half-devine surely ghatotkacha would not have been so evil? We do have good rakshasas like vibhishana,prahlada and so forth.
    – S K
    Feb 17, 2018 at 1:43
  • @SK Though Bhima was half divine, Ghatotkacha's upbringing happened among Rakshasa community. Anyways, we can't speculate if Ghatotkacha was good or bad. In popular culture (TV, comics), he is depicted as good. In scriptures, he is depicted as evil as above. At least it was Krishna's POV, as rest of the PAndavas didn't consider him as bad.
    – iammilind
    Feb 17, 2018 at 2:42
  • +1 what a great answer, a pleasure to read and the source too, Hare Krishna
    – max bench
    Jun 12, 2020 at 19:35

Even then, Parikshit would be the king.

Chandra deva wanted Varchas, his favorite son to be on earth for only 16 years as Abhimanyu, force his foes to retreat in battle, have the battle take place when Abhimanyu attains his 16th year, die in Chakravyuha, and also have one son who will continue almost extinct Bharata race through the son of Abhimanyu.

And he who was known as the mighty Varchas, the son of Soma, became Abhimanyu of wonderful deeds, the son of Arjuna. And before his incarnation, O king, the god Soma had said these words to the celestials, 'I cannot give (part with) my son. He is dearer to me than life itself. Let this be the compact and let it be not transgressed. The destruction of the Asuras on earth is the work of the celestials, and, therefore, it is our work as well. Let this Varchas, therefore, go thither, but let him not stay there long. Nara, whose companion is Narayana, will be born as Indra's son and indeed, will be known as Arjuna, the mighty son of Pandu. This boy of mine shall be his son and become a mighty car-warrior in his boyhood. And let him, ye best of immortals, stay on earth for sixteen years. And when he attaineth to his sixteenth year, the battle shall take place in which all who are born of your portions shall achieve the destruction of mighty warriors. But a certain encounter shall take place without both Nara and Narayana (taking any part in it). And, indeed, your portions, ye celestials, shall fight, having made that disposition of the forces which is known by the name of the Chakra-vyuha. And my son shall compel all foes to retreat before him. The boy of mighty arms having penetrated the impenetrable array, shall range within it fearlessly and send a fourth part of the hostile force, in course of half a day, unto the regions of the king of the dead. Then when numberless heroes and mighty car-warriors will return to the charge towards the close of the day, my boy of mighty arms, shall reappear before me. And he shall beget one heroic son in his line, who shall continue the almost extinct Bharata race.' Hearing these words of Soma, the dwellers in heaven replied, 'So be it.' And then all together applauded and worshipped (Soma) the king of stars. Thus, O king, have I recited to thee the (particulars of the) birth of thy father's father.

Vaisampayana narrated the story of Abhimanyu to Janamejaya during the Sarpa Satra and he said father's father because Abhimanyu is the grandfather of Janamejaya.

So even though if Ghatotkach was alive, the almost extinct Bharata race would continue through Abhimanyu's son only which is why Krishna revived Parikshit even after Ashwathama released his brahmashira astra on Parikshit and killed him.

The thing is Chandra wanted his son Varchas to be incarnated as Abhimanyu and have Abhimanyu's son continue the almost extinct race of Bharata for which, the gods agreed.

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