Only 12 people survived the Kurukshetra War: the five Pandavas, Krishna, Satyaki, Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, Yuyutsu, Vrishaketu, and Kritvarma. How is this possible? In a war of approximately 3.94 million warriors according to this source, only 12 survived?

  • 2
    because making sure everyone else was dead was Krishna's avatara goal.
    – ram
    May 10, 2021 at 15:43
  • The source you reference says 12 characters that survived...it does not say "only" that 12 survived. You have misquoted your source. May 11, 2021 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


There were ten people who survived the war.

Five Pandavas, Vasudeva, Satyaki, Ashvatthama, Kripa and Kritavarma

Ashvathama said that ten people survived. Seven from the Pandavas and three from Kauravas

"If, O Duryodhana, thou hast any life in thee still, listen to these words that are so pleasant to hear. On the side of the Pandavas, only seven are alive, and among the Dhartarashtras, only we three! The seven on their side are the five brothers and Vasudeva and Satyaki; on our side, we three are myself and Kripa and Kritavarma! All the sons of Draupadi have been slain, as also all the children of Dhrishtadyumna! All the Pancalas too have been slain, as also the remnant of the Matsyas, O Bharata! Behold the vengeance taken for what they had done! The Pandavas are now childless! While buried in sleep, the men and animals in their camp have all been slain! Penetrating into their camp in the night, O king, I have slain Dhrishtadyumna, that wight of sinful deeds, as one kills an animal."

[Section 9, Sauptika Parva, The Mahabharata]

Dhritarashtra tells how many people survived the war

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O Suta, and my mind is distracted."

[Section I, Adi Parva, The Mahabharata]

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