Friday 26 October 2012

The ten names of Arjuna

He was the third of the five Pandava brothers and a renowned archer. He had several names but his fame rests on the fact the Krishna chose him to reveal the Bhagavath Geetha. He was Arjuna.
The Kurukshetra war had ended and the Pandavas were ruling from Hastinapur, while Krishna and his clansmen were in Dwaraka. A few years after the Kurukshetra war, Arjuna is summoned to Dwaraka by Krishna.  
When Arjuna reaches Dwaraka, Krishna tells him that the time has come for him (Krishna) to leave the mortal world. He also tells Arjuna that Dwaraka would be submerged under the ocean and that the Yadava clan to which he belonged would be exterminated. He asks Arjuna to escort the women folk from Dwaraka to safety. A grief struck Arjuna gives seven days to the residents of Dwaraka to leave the city.
Thousands of women and children follow Arjuna to Hastinapur. The large group is attacked by Nishada tribesmen who see a lone archer escorting women and children. Arjuna is defeated by the tribesmen and  women immolate themselves to death. Several others are forcibly carried away.
Try as he might, Arjuna cannot summon the earlier stamina or aim he had when the Kurukshetra war broke out. He realises that with the departure of Krishna, all things have become mortal and that the divine weapons he had once used are no longer available. Moreover, these weapons cannot be used in ordinary circumstances.   
The survivors and Arjuna first arrive at Hastinapur but Arjuna is despondent. Sage Vyasa consoles Arjuna and says what is predestined cannot be stopped, he reminds Arjuna that the Yadava clan had to be exterminated and that Krishna had to leave the mortal body as Gandhari had so cursed. Moreover, he (Arjuna) has accomplished the task which was set for him by Krishna.  
Arjuna is still inconsolable and refuses to reveal anything about Krishna. Though all his brothers, including Yudhistera, ask for new about Krishna, he refuses to answer.  Kunti then calls Arjuna and asks about the well-being of the Yadava clan and of Krishna.
When Arjuna tells her that Krishna has left the mortal world, Kunti cannot bear to hear the news and she too dies. Yudhistera then realises that the time for leaving this world has arrived for the Pandavas and makes preparation for the funeral of Kunti and the crowning of Parikshita as the emperor. Arjuna sets up Vajra as the emperor of  Indraprastha.
This entire episode is contained in the Mausala Parva of the Mahabharata. This is the 16th chapter in the epic.
The Mahabharata lists several names for Arjuna. The names are Arjuna - one of  spotless fame and one who glows like silver, Palguna - one born on the star of palguna,  Jishnu - conqueror of enemies, Kiriti - one who wears the diadem or crown,  Kiriti, presented by Indra, Swetavahana - one on a chariot with white horses, Bibhatsu - one who always fights fairly, Vijaya – victorious, Partha - Son of  Kunti, Savyasachi - Skilled in using both arms, Dhananjaya - one who conquers riches and Gudakesa – one who overcomes sleep.
Arjuna had three wives-Chitrangada, Uluchi and Subhadra. This was apart from Draupadi who he won in a Swayamvara. His son, Abhimanyu, was killed unfairly during the course of the Kurukshetra war.
Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna from Subhadra. The other sons are Babruvahana from Chitrangada, Iravana from Uluchi and Shruta Keerti from Draupadi.  
After the Mahabharata war, Arjuna consecrated a Hanuman temple in Mulabagal, which is in Kolar district and on the national highway from Bangalore to Tirupathi. Another temple near Bangalore which Arjuna consecrated is the Chennakeshava at Anekal.
The Narasimha temple near Chennapatna on the Bangalore-Mysore road is also associated with Arjuna. The Pandava wanted to see Narasimha in person. Lord Krishna brought Arjuna here and ensured that he had a darshan of  Narasimha.   

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