Questions tagged [mahabharata]

The epic by Veda Vyasa narrating the great war fought in India between the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

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39
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2answers
24k views

How were all 100 Kauravas born together?

Gandhari had a boon from Lord Shiva to have 100 sons. Now, it is impossible for a woman to give birth to 100 sons in a single lifetime. So how were all 100 Kauravas born together?
33
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4answers
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What exactly was the Chakra-Vyuha or Padma-Vyuha in the Mahabharata, and why did Abhimanyu fail to break it?

Given that the great Abhimanyu was an expert at Chakra-Vyuha (a.k.a Padma-Vyuha), why couldn’t he manage to come out of it? Krishna was also an expert in Chakra-Vyuha at that time, so why didn't he ...
33
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1answer
10k views

Did the Mahabharata and the Ramayana happen in the current Yuga cycle in the current Manvantara?

The Mahabharata war has been given a date of around 3300 BC by back-tracing planetary positions from scriptural references (archeo-astronomy). The Ramayana is speculated to be anywhere between a few ...
31
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5answers
4k views

Why did Vyasa depict different Supreme Gods in different Puranas?

I see that many people (including me) remain confused about who is the Supreme God. The main reason for confusion is that in different Puranas, different Gods are shown as Supreme God, e.g., in Shiva ...
29
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1answer
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What is the story of Nara and Narayana's brothers Hari and Krishna?

As I discuss in this question, one of the most prominent incarnations of Vishnu in ancient times was the sage Narayana, twin brother of the sage Nara and son of Yama god of death. Nara and Narayana ...
28
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8answers
35k views

If Aryabhata invented zero in Kaliyuga, how could Hindus of earlier yugas describe Ravana as having 10 heads and Kauravas were 100 in number?

Since long time I've heard that the number zero was invented by the great Indian mathematician Aryabhata. Now I have two examples from Ramayana and Mahabharata: In Ramayana, Ravana had 10 heads. ...
27
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3answers
34k views

What were the previous births of the characters of Mahabharata?

There is a very interesting story about Karna being an Asura named as Dambhodbhava. Quora: Who was Karna in his previous birth?. Arjuna-Krishna being Nara-Narayana kids, who fought with Dambhodbhava. ...
27
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5answers
29k views

Why didn't Krishna ever visit Vrindavan again?

After leaving Vrindavan for killing Kansa in Mathura, why didn't Krishna ever go back to Vrindavan, where he was brought up, again? Why didn't he ever meet Sri Radha again?
26
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2answers
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Where is the mention of 'Shiva is Supreme Lord of Vishnu and Vishnu is Supreme Lord of Shiva'?

There is a popular verse: शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय शिवरूपाय विष्णवे । शिवस्य हृदयं विष्णुर्विष्णोश्च हृदयं शिवः ॥ “Shivaya VishnuRoopaya , Shivarupaya Vishnave , Shivasya hirdayam VishnurVishnoscha ...
25
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7answers
68k views

How to start reading Bhagavad Gita?

I always wanted to read Bhagavad Gita but didn't get time. Recently one of my friend suggested to read it. I have the following questions: Can anybody suggest me how to get started with Bhagavad ...
25
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2answers
158k views

What happened to Pandavas and Shri Krishna after Mahabharata?

After Mahabharata, there is no major presence mark made by Pandava and Krishna. What happened to them after that?
25
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3answers
4k views

What is the story of the “Sudarśana Chakra”?

How did Lord Mahavishnu get the Sudarśana Chakra? Why is it called the ultimate weapon among other weapons?
24
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6answers
94k views

What were the ages of Pandavas & other characters during the Mahabharata war?

I have not found any specific reference to the age of each of the Pandavas, like Arjuna and Bheema when they fought the epic Mahabharata battle. It will be also interesting to know the age of Bhishma ...
24
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2answers
6k views

What is the story of Alambusha, demon son of sage Rishyasringa?

Alambusha, AKA Shalakantaka, was a Rakshasa (demon) who fought on the Kaurava side in the Mahabharata war. As described in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata, he was the one who killed Arjuna's son ...
21
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2answers
8k views

Why did Balarama favor Duryodhana?

In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana has been depicted with a wide range of characteristics - in some versions as the pure embodiment of evil and in others as a highly virtuous person fighting for his ...
21
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4answers
8k views

Which previous karma made Karna's life full of sorrow despite his benevolent nature?

Is there any story behind Karna's miserable life despite his benevolent nature? Any prior karma in a previous life to justify his current life? I read it somewhere that when Karna died, Lord Krishna ...
21
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1answer
47k views

What happened to Karna's Kavach & Kundal?

In Mahabharat, Karna was the son of Lord Sun. The Sun has given him Kavach (Breastplate Armor) & Kundal (Ear-rings) to protect him. This Kavach & Kundal were attached to his body. As long as ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Is there any instance of Shiva showing his vishwaroopa in the Mahabharata?

In Mahabharata, Krishna/Vishnu shows his vishwaroopa four times. Is there a similar instance of Shiva showing his vishwaroopa? This question is specific to Mahabharata.
20
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1answer
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Is there a list of the 8800 difficult verses of the Mahabharat?

Mahabharat is the world's largest poem containing around one lakh (100000) verses composed by Vedavyasa. Because writing such a large text is a difficult task Vedavyasa took the help of lord Ganesha ...
20
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1answer
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What did Kashyapa do with the Earth after he received it from Parashurama?

Parashurama is a famous avatara (incarnation) of Vishnu who killed the Kshatriyas (kings) of the world twenty-one times. Since he had defeated all the rulers of the world, he obtained control of the ...
20
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3answers
899 views

Why Vishnu Sahasranama of Mahabharata is mostly used?

We have multiple versions of Vishnu Sahasranama in our scriptures like Mahabharata, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, etc. But the Mahabharata version is mostly used by us. So apart from the fact that ...
18
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3answers
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How is 'Vishwa Virat Swaroop' of Lord Krishna described in Mahabharata?

I want to know how the 'Vishwa Virat Swaroop' of Lord Krishna was described in the Mahabharata. It was shown by Lord Krishna to Arjuna while he was giving the Gita Upadesha to Arjuna prior to the ...
18
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7answers
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Why did Arjuna forget the Bhagavad Gita?

In the Mahabharata, it's mentioned that Arjuna forgot the Bhagavad Gita which was once heard in the war field from Lord Krishna. Bhagavad Gita is one of the greatest messages or advices from Lord ...
18
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3answers
825 views

What does it mean to say that Vishnu worships those who worship him?

In this chapter of the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata, Shiva extols the great qualities of Vishnu. In particular, he says this: The illustrious Hari, the puissant Narayana, is verily, the ...
18
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2answers
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Ashvatthaman's immortality?

I'm puzzled by Ashvatthaman's status as a chiranjivi. Not necessarily that he is one, but more the circumstances surrounding it. To wit, Ashvatthaman is made to wander the earth endlessly for 3000 ...
18
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4answers
8k views

Who were the previous Indras that incarnated as the Pandavas?

It's well-known that the Pandavas were all sons of gods: Yudhishthira was the son of Yama god of death, Bhima was the son of Vayu the wind god, Arjuna was the son of Indra king of the gods, and Nakula ...
18
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5answers
19k views

How many people listened to the Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata along with Arjuna?

I have listened to various version of the Mahabharata where various people are said to be listening to the Bhagavad Gita along with Arjuna, like Hanuman, Barbarika, etc. But this count varies. So what ...
18
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3answers
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What did the Pandavas do with the oldest sword in the world?

In the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, Bhishma gives advice to Yudishtra and the Pandavas concerning how to be a good king and how to be good person, while he's lying on a bed of arrows after the end ...
18
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1answer
1k views

When did Dvivida the ape try to kidnap Krishna?

As I discuss in this question, the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Krishna goes to Duryodhana on behalf of the Pandavas in order to try to negotiate peace and avert the Mahabharata war. ...
17
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6answers
49k views

Can anyone explain the family tree of Pandavas?

We are aware of Draupadi as the wife of Pandavas whereas Subhadra is the wife of Arjuna and, Hidimbi is the wife of Bhima. Besides Draupadi, are there any other wives of Yudhisthir, Nakul and Sahdev? ...
17
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5answers
14k views

Why did all the Pandavas marry Draupadi?

Why did all the Pandavas (i.e. Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva) marry the same woman i.e., Draupadi? What was the circumstance under which they had to marry Draupadi?
17
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1answer
2k views

Were there toilets in ancient India i.e., during times of Ramayana and Mahabharata?

The people of Indus valley did have toilets in their homes, so were there toilets in the times of Mahabharata or Ramayana? Does any Hindu scripture mention about toilet system?
16
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7answers
27k views

Reason behind asking Ekalavya's thumb as Guru dakshina?

I read that Ekalavya was a great archer similar to Arjuna and Karan (Karna). He made himself believe that Dronacharya is his Guru (Teacher) by keeping a statue of Dronacharya. One day Dronacharya saw ...
16
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2answers
878 views

How do Dvaitins and Vishistadvaitins interpret this passage of Mahabharata?

Below is the passage from Shanti Parva of Mahabharat in the chapter 320. It describes how Suka (the son of Veda Vyas) attained moksha. When Suka through his power of Yoga goes in position of attaining ...
16
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6answers
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Why didn't Krishna take a more active part in Battle of Kurukshetra in Mahabharata?

Why didn't Krishna take a more active part in Battle of Kurukshetra in Mahabharata? Krishna was the Saarthi (Charioteer) of Arjuna and rode his rath (Chariot) around during battle and was a ...
16
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2answers
5k views

What scriptures describe the story of Krishna killing Ekalavya?

Most people only know about how Ekalavya, the Nishada prince, was rejected by the Pandavas' teacher Dronacharya and then willingly cut off his own thumb at Dronacharya's request. What's not as well-...
16
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1answer
1k views

When did Chandra defeat the Asuras with Arjuna's chariot?

As I discuss in this answer, the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Agni the fire god once needed to consume the Khandava forest in order to get over a malady, but Indra kept using rainstorms ...
15
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2answers
10k views

Were Kauravas and Pandavas the biological decendants of Vyasa?

This confusion came into my mind after watching Ekta Kapoor's 'Kahani Mahabharat Ki..' TV serial. I saw this story that Rishi Vyasa was the biological father of Dhitarashtra and Pandu, or something ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of Krishna's advice to Yudhisthira before Drona Vadh

With popular belief Krishna advices Yudhisthira to tell lie to Drona about "Killing of Ashwatthama" for the sake of saving remaining Paandava army from being annihilated. But according to ...
15
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1answer
5k views

Who all changed sides in the Mahabharata battle?

I have heard that there were some people who changed sides from the Pandavas' army to the Kauravas' army and vice versa during or just before the battle. Can anyone please name all such people and ...
15
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3answers
15k views

What language did people at the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata use to communicate? Sanskrit?

What was the mode of communication among the people at the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata? Was it Sanskrit? Did Krishna, Pandavas and Kauravas (who I think had origins near the state of Bihar, ...
15
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1answer
5k views

What is the difference between Rajasuya Yajna and Ashwamedha Yajna?

I had heard stories about king performing Rajasuya Yajna and Ashwamedha Yajna from Ramayana and Mahabharata (though I don't have very good knowledge about them). They looks similar like horse is ...
15
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5answers
3k views

How could octogenarian heroes fight in Mahabharata?

According to Mahabharata, Puranas and many sources, it is assumed that Pandavas and Kauravas were more than 80 years old when Kurukshetra battle was fought. A detailed discussion on the calculation of ...
15
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2answers
356 views

Request to identify swastika motif/yantra seen at temple in Hawalbagh, Almora

I have seen this picture at Hawalbagh, Hawalbagh is a Village and block in Almora District of Uttarakhand State, India. Local people told me that it is a Chakravyuha of Mahabharata where Abhimanyu ...
15
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1answer
3k views

What is the story of Hiranyakashipu's son Mandara?

In the Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata, in the course of recounting to Krishna the boons that Shiva has bestowed upon various people, the sage Upamanyu describes a certain son of the demon ...
15
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1answer
240 views

Why do the Krodhavasas take away the merits of people with dogs?

When Indra comes to take Yuddhisthira to Swarga, the latter refuses to go without the dog who has been accompanying him all this while: "Yudhishthira said, ‘O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art ...
15
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0answers
2k views

How did Kripacharya become “Chiranjivi”?

Kripacharya, is one of the Chiranjivi (long lived) mentioned in the Sapta Chiranjivi Stuthi - Ashwathaama Balirvyaaso Hanumanshach Vibhishanha Krupascha Parshuramascha Saptaitey Chiranjivinaha ...
15
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0answers
1k views

What scriptures describe the origin of Arjuna's monkey flag?

In the Mahabharata, Arjuna is frequently described as Kadipdhvaja, or the one who has a monkey flag. In the popular imagination, this flag is associated with Hanuman. And this association does have ...
15
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1answer
8k views

When did Vibhishana stop being king of Lanka?

In this chapter of the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana, after Ravana's death his brother Vibhishana is coronated as the king of Lanka: Hearing the words of the great soled Rama, Lakshmana replied, 'so ...
14
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4answers
32k views

Why did Bhishma fight with Lord Parashurama?

In the Mahabharata, there is a story where Bhishma fought with his guru (teacher) Lord Parashurama. What was the reason behind fighting with his guru? And who won the fight?

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