This is something that I have been asking for some time, as far as I know, Jarasandha conquered many kingdoms, was an ally of many kings and ruled all of India. Sure, I know about his human sacrifice, but as far as I know in Treta Yuga, another king wanted to do something similar, besides he defeated all those kings with his abilities and he was going to kill them in a different way.

Apart from that, I see very likely that he defended the four Varna because he received a blessing that he would do that as well as many other things, even Vaishampayana described him as someone who always followed the truth.

And yes, I know about his attacks on Mathura but it was because he wanted to avenge the death of his son-in-law Kamsa

So my question is: why is he considered so evil even though he probably did many good things?

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    – user6981
    Nov 26 '18 at 16:03

Because Jarasandha wanted to sacrifice several kings for selfish purpose. This is utter cruelty.

In past the kings used to invade other kingdoms. But usually that was meant for extending their borders. Later the invaded king, if alive - would surrender to the winning king. This is how the normalcy of the people of the kingdom being ruled won't be affected. Because the local kings would know better, how to run the political affairs.

In case of Jarasandha, he had imprisoned several kings and had a wicked plan of slaughtering them - like animals. Imagine the chaos generated in those cities.
If he had not been stopped, his such 'yagna' would have extended towards Kuru & Yadu kingdoms as well.

From Jarasandha badha parva, Jarasandha himself also used to think of him as innocent, when he met Krishna along with Bhima & Arjuna, disguised as Brahmana-s. When they disclosed their mission to kill him ...

Jarasandha said,--'I do not recollect if I ever acted injuriously towards ye! Even upon a careful mental scrutiny I fail to see the injury I did unto ye. When I have never done ye an injury, why, ye Brahmanas do ye regard me, who am innocent, as your foe?
Krishna said,--'O thou of mighty arms, there is a certain person of the head of a (royal) line who upholdeth the dignity of his race At his command have we come against thee. Thou hast brought, O king, many of the Kshatriyas of the world as captives (to thy city.) Having perpetrated that wicked wrong how dost thou regard thyself as innocent? O best of monarchs, how can a king act wrongfully towards other virtuous kings? But thou, O king, treating other kings with cruelty, seekest to offer them as sacrifice unto the god Rudra! O son of Vrihadratha, this sin committed by thee may touch even us, for as we are virtuous in our practices, we are capable of protecting virtue. The slaughter of human being as sacrifice unto the gods is never seen. Why dost thou, therefore, seek to perform a sacrifice unto god Sankara by slaughtering human beings? Thou art addressing persons belonging to thy own order as animals (fit for sacrifice)! Fool as thou art, who else, O Jarasandha, is capable of behaving in this way? One always obtaineth the fruits of whatever acts one performeth under whatever circumstances.

Here is the video from BR Chopra's Mahabharata discussing the same above.

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