Srutayudha (aka Srutayusha) was king of Kalinga who fought on side of Kauravas in Mahabharata.

And Suvala's son Sakuni, and Salya, Jayadratha and the two princes of Avanti named Vinda and Anuvinda, and the Kekaya brothers, and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas and Srutayudha the ruler of the Kalingas, and king Jayatsena, and Vrihadvala the ruler of the Kosalas, and Kritavarman of Satwata's race,--these ten tigers among men, endued with great bravery and possessing arms that looked like maces,--these performers of sacrifices with plentiful gifts (to Brahmanas), stood each at the head of an Akshauhini of troops.

He also had a divine origin as his parents were Lord Varuna and river Parnasa

The heroic king Srutayudha was the son of Varuna, having for his mother that mighty river of cool water called Parnasa.

Now his mother Parnasa had sought invincibility boon for him from Varuna. So Varuna gave him a mace which made him invincible but it came with a caveat to not be used against someone not engaged in a fight else the mace will backfire on Srutayudha himself.

His mother, O king, had for the sake of her son, begged Varuna saying, 'Let this my son become unslayable on earth.' Varuna, gratified (with her), had said, 'I give him a boon highly beneficial to him, viz., a celestial weapon, by virtue of which this thy son will become unslayable on earth by foes. No man can have immortality. O foremost of rivers, every one who hath taken birth must inevitably die. This child, however, will always be invincible by foes in battle, through the power of this weapon. Therefore, let thy heart's fever be dispelled.' Having said these words, Varuna gave him, with mantras, a mace. Obtaining that mace, Srutayudha became invincible on earth. Unto him, however, illustrious Lord of the waters again said, 'This mace should not be hurled at one who is not engaged in fight. If hurled at such a person, it will come back and fall upon thyself. O illustrious child, (if so hurled) it will then course in an opposite direction and slay the person hurling it.'

Now in his battle against Arjuna, he got flustered and ended up wielding the mace on Sri Krishna which led to his death

With that hero-slaying mace he attacked Janardana, The valiant Krishna received that mace on one of his well-formed and stout shoulders. It failed to shake Sauri, like the wind failing to shake the Vindhya mountain. That mace, returning unto Srutayudha himself, struck that brave and wrathful king staying on his car, like an ill-accomplished act of sorcery injuring the performer himself, and slaying that hero fell down on the earth.

Now I welcome more information on Srutayudha, but the primary question I have is what are the circumstances of his birth. As far as I know Varuni is wife of Varuna. So how did Varuna and Parnasa end up conceiving a child, how did that child become King of Kalinga?

  • Looks like the River Parnasha is an attendee of Varuna's court, and an apsara too, so chances of both of them to have some sort of "amorous-connection" at some point, and thus a child seems plausible.
    – Vivikta
    Feb 22, 2022 at 16:22
  • Rivers are wives of Varuna. So Parnasa can have a child with Varuna. Varuni on the other hand is Sura or daughter of Varuna, which the asuras obtained during Samudra manthana
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 27 at 18:49


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