Monday 7 January 2013

The place where Abhimanyu died

Several thousands of years ago, it was the place where a teenaged  Abhimanyu entered the Chakravyuha formation of the Kauravas before losing his life. This is also the place where the ruins of  the fort built by Abhimanyu still exists.
Today, though the ruins of the fort remain, there is no trace of the exact place where Abhimanyu entered the Chakravyuha. All we know for sure is that this is the location, six kms off Tanesar in Haryana, that Abhimanyu entered only to lose his life.
Today, the place is known as Amin and I is just a few kms from Thanesar. Though the fort in Amin village is completely ruined and only the remains exist, it is still a major attraction for tourists who come here to pay their respects to the great youngster.
There is mound here which is the site of Chakravyuha in which Abhimanyu lost his life. It is here that he was brutally killed by the Kauravas, including the valiant Karna.
Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna. Since Arjuna’s father is Indra himself, Abhimanyu is the grandson of the King of Gods. Abhimanyu was a scion of the Lunar dynasty and his mother was  Subhadra, a Yadava princess and sister of Krishna.
When the Kurukshetra war took place, Abhimanyu was just a sixteen-year-old adolescent who was married to the beautiful Uttara. In spite of his young age, he was a matchless warrior and apart from Arjuna was the only one who knew how to pierce a Chakravyuha formation in a war.
The Chakravyuha incident took place on the 13th day of  the Kurukshetra war. On that day,  Duryodhana accuses Drona of being partial to the Pandavas and not kicking them.
Drona responds, saying the he can kill one Pandava, provided Arjuna is kept engaged. “With Arjuna around, I cannot do anything,” he says.
Drona and the Kauravas plan to capture Yudhistera. They keep Arjuna busy by making him engage the Samshaptakas on the southern side of the battlefield.
Drona then moves to Amin and arrays his army into a chakravyuha on another side, a formation almost impossible to break into. A huge number of mighty heroes on the Pandava side all together attack Drona in his chakravyuha, but they are not able to make any headway.
Drona then launched a furious onslaught on the Pandava army, killing scores of people. None is able to fend him off and the only way to defeat him is to break the Chakravyuha formation.
Finding Arjuna busy, Yudhishthira approaches Abhimanyu and requests him to break into the Chakravyuha and save the Pandava army.
Though Abimanyu knows that he cannot come out of the formation as he knows only the way to get in, he instantly agrees. However, he tells Yudhishthira, “Father has taught me to enter the chakravyuha. But in case of a danger, I cannot come out of it”.
Yudhishthira tells him that others will follow him and see that no harm comes to him.
Abhimanyu commands his charioteer to lead his chariot towards the formation and the Kauravas close ranks and prevent pothers from following Abhimanyu who is later ruthlessly cut down.
Today, the fort and the mound are the only reminders of the youth warrior.
Padmavyuha or Chakravyuha was first referred to in India in the Mahabharata. It is a multi-tier defensive formation of seven layers that looks like a blooming lotus (padma)  or disc (chakra) when viewed from above.
The warriors at each interleaving position would be in an increasingly tough position to fight. Abhimanyu had penetrated the sixth tier of the formation.
Determined to exit the Padmavyuha by shattering the seventh layer from within, Abhimanyu goes on rampage, reaching the heart of the trap. He fights with such courage that none from the Kaurava side can even match  him in a one to one combat (dwandva yudha).
Abhimanyu singlehandedly defeats all the Maharathis, pierces the armor of Karna, injures Salya, the king of Madra so badly he cannot sit, kills Brihadabala, the king of Kosala.
He even defeats Duryodhana but spares his life, remembering  the oath taken by his uncle Bheema. He also kills Duryodana’s son Lakshamana, who had come to defend his father. Enraged, Duryodhana orders all the Kaurava Maharathis to attack Abhimanyu, who with disgust counters all their attacks.
Dronacharya himself suggests that Abhimanyu could only be killed by unfair means. His comments are immediately accepted and Karna snaps Abhimanyu’s bow from behind while Drona kills Abhimanyu's horses and charioteer from the front.
Abhimanyu draws a sword and shield and continues to wreak havoc on the Kaurava army, only to be disarmed once again unfailry. The Kauravas then close ranks and kill a defenseless Abhimanyu.
The final blow was struck by the son of Dushasana, Durmasan. The mound is believed to be this very place. It was at this place that two inscribed pillars believe to have been part of a platform were recovered. They are made of red stone and rectangular in shape.
These two pillars can be seen in the temple of Thakurji on the west of Surajkund. The inscriptions are in Brahmi script.
Amin is located on the  outskirts of Kurukshetra city, 12 kms away. It is easily approachable by road. It is also known as Abhimanyu Kshetra.

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