Update: 2012-01-02 09:10 PM +0630

TIL

Sanskrit English Dictionary

ku-p052top-2.htm

from: Online Sanskrit Dictionary, February 12, 2003 . http://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/dictall.pdf  090907

Downloaded, set in HTML, and edited by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL Computing and Language Centre, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone.

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 SED-con-r1-indx.htm

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{ku.} कु
{ku.ka.}
{koak~ka.} कुक्क : UKT - unless I make extreme vowel changes from <u> to <oa-> transcription become unreliable - 100603
{ku.sa.} कुच
{ku.Ta.} कुट
{ku.ta.} कुत
{koan~} कुन्
{ku.pa.} कुप
{ku.ya.} कुय
{ku.ra.} कर

Noteworthy passages in this file:
• "Though a well known monarchical people in earlier period, the Kurus are known to have switched to republic form of government during sixth/fifth century BCE. Fourth century BCE Kautiliya's Arthashastra also attests the Kurus as following the Rajashabdopajivin (king consul) constitution (11/1/1-4)."
   UKT: In the West we see the republican governance changing to monarchical with the Romans, but in India (at least among the Kurus) the reverse took place only to be replaced again by the monarchical which ended with the British occupation of India in the 18th century. Now India is a republic. What about the land of Myanmar? We must look back to the times of Pyus well before their final destruction by the Mons (in the 5th century ?) and the eventual absorption by the Burmese in the Pagan period. -- UKT 100425

UKT notes
• Bhishma • Kundulini - coiled energy • Kuntibhoja • Kuru Kingdom
• Kuruksetra (place) • Kurukshetra War कुरुक्षेत्र युद्ध

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{ku.} कु

{ku.ka.} कुक
not entered in OnlineSktDict

€ कुंकुम्य- केत्विक शुल्बीय   kuṃkumya-ketvika śulbīya 
Skt:  कुंकुम्य- केत्विक शुल्बीय   kuṃkumya-ketvika śulbīya n.   croceo- cobaltic sulphate  [ Chem. ]  - SpkSkt

€ कुख्याति   kukhyāti
Skt: कुख्याति   kukhyāti   f.   infamy - SpkSkt

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p052top-2

• कुपरीक्षक (kupariikShaka)
Skt: कुपरीक्षक (kupariikShaka) - one who cannot judge value correctly - OnlineSktDict

• कुंजरः (ku.njaraH)
Skt: कुंजरः (ku.njaraH) - m.nom.S  elephant - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kuρjara  m.  an elephant - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {koaρ~za.ra.} - - UHS-PMD0324

UKT note: I am not satisfied with my above Romabama transcription. - UKT100624

• कुकुटासन (kukuTaasana)
Skt: कुकुटासन (kukuTaasana) - the cockerel (rooster) posture - OnlineSktDict

See my note on   - kukutasana

 

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{koak~ka.} कुक्क
not entered in OnlineSktDict

UKT: In going from कुकु (kuku} to कुक्कु (kukku), transcription change is simple in Devanagari. However, in Myanmar, unless I make extreme vowel changes as  {ku.ku.} to {koak~ku.}, transcription is unreliable. - UKT 100602

Problem of transcription in Burmese-Myanmar

English speakers not used to Burmese-Myanmar language and script generally complain of the unreliability of Burmese transcription of place and people names. To throw some light on this problem, I have looked into a sister script, the Devanagari. As an example, in going from कुकु (kuku) to कुक्कु (kukku) , the change is simply to add a (k) without any change to the preceding vowel (u). I do not find such a simple change in Myanmar. The change is: {ku.ku.} to {koak~ku.} with an extreme vowel change in the first syllable. Please note that Burmese is monophthongal and {oa} is not a diphthong, but only a digraph.

Posted by U Kyaw Tun aka Joe Tun, 100603, www.tuninst.net

 

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p052top-3

• कुक्कुट (kukkuTa)
Skt: कुक्कुट (kukkuTa) - rooster - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kukkuṭa m.  a cock - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {koak~ku.Ta.} - UHS-PMD0322

• कुक्कुटः (kukkuTaH)
Skt: कुक्कुटः (kukkuTaH) - (m) cock - OnlineSktDict

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p052b1

• कुक्कुटी (kukkuTii)
 Skt: कुक्कुटी (kukkuTii) - (f) - OnlineSktDict

• कुक्कुरः (kukkuraH)
Skt: कुक्कुरः (kukkuraH) - m. dog - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kukkura  m.  a dog - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {koak~ku.ra.} - UHS-PMD0323

• कुङ्मलः (ku.nmalaH)
Skt: कुङ्मलः (ku.nmalaH) - m. button - OnlineSktDict

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{ku.sa.} कुच

UKT: Do not get confused with {ku.ώa.} कस , nor with {ku.Sa.} कष.
{ku.sa.} कुच is formed with palatal stop {sa.}, but {ku.Sa.} कष is formed
with dental fricative {sa.}. Though it would have been better to introduce a
different grapheme for one, however it is not necessary for Burmese-Myanmar, because the
palatal phoneme usually occurs as the coda and the dental as the onset. - UKT 100604

€ कुच  kuca
Skt: कुच  kuca m. breast [of human being] - SpkSkt
Pal:  kuca  m. the female breast, the pomegranate - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {ku.sa.} - UHS-PMD0323

€ कुचफल  kucaphala 
Skt: कुचफल  kucaphala  m. pomegranate - SpkSkt

€ कुचरित  kucarita 
Skt: कुचरित  kucarita  n.  abuse of office, malpractice [in office] - SpkSkt

€ कुछ  kucha 
Skt: कुछ  kucha  m.  female breast  - SpkSkt

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p052b1-2

• कुज (kuja)
Skt: कुज (kuja) - [the planet] Mars - OnlineSktDict
Skt: कुज  kuja  m. tree; n. horizon  - SpkSkt
Pal: kuja  m.  a tree - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {ku.za.} - UHS-PMD0323

• कुजदोष (kujadoshha)
Skt: कुजदोष (kujadoshha) - affliction caused by Mars in the 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th or 12 houses - OnlineSktDict

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{ku.Ta.} कुट
p052b1-3

• कुटी (kuTii)
Skt: कुटी (kuTii) - f. a small hut - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kuṭī  f. a house, hut, tent, shed - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {ku.Ti} - UHS-PMD0324

• कुटीचक (kuTiichaka)
Skt: कुटीचक (kuTiichaka) - the hut-builder - OnlineSktDict

• कुटील्बुद्धी (kuTiilbuddhii)
Skt: कुटील्बुद्धी (kuTiilbuddhii) - adj. heinous, attrocious, nefarious - OnlineSktDict

• कुटुंबकं (kuTuMbakaM)
Skt: कुटुंबकं (kuTuMbakaM) - small family - OnlineSktDict

• कुटुम्ब (kuTumba)
Skt: कुटुम्ब (kuTumba) - family - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kuṭumba - n. family, property, estates - UPMT-PED075
Pal: {ku.Toam~ba.} - UHS-PMD0325

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p052b2

• कुटुम्बक (kuTumbaka)
Skt: कुटुम्बक (kuTumbaka) - family - OnlineSktDict

• कुट्टति (kuTTati)
Skt: कुट्टति (kuTTati) - to grind, to pound - OnlineSktDict

• कुण्ड (kuNDa)
Skt: कुण्ड (kuNDa) - starting place of kundalini - OnlineSktDict
Skt: कुण्ड  kuṇḍa  n.  bowlshaped vessel, water-pot, pot, pitcher, bowl, basin - SpkSkt
Pal: kuṇḍa m. an iguana; n. a water-pot, well - UPMT-PED076
Pal: {koaN~πa.} - UHS-PMD0325

• कुण्डल (kuNDala)
Skt: कुण्डल (kuNDala) - coil of rope, ring - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kuṇḍala  n. a ring, earring - UPMT-PED076
Pal: {koaN~πa.la.} - UHS-PMD0326

• कुण्डलि (kuNDali)
Skt: कुण्डलि (kuNDali) - The Wheel or Horoscope Chart - OnlineSktDict

• कुण्डलिनी (kuNDalinii)
Skt: कुण्डलिनी (kuNDalinii) - a coiled female snake, the latent energy at the base of the spine - OnlineSktDict

See my note on Kundalini (Skt: कुण्डलिन kuṇḍalinī , Thai: กุณฺฑลินี)

 

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{ku.ta.} कुत
p052b2-2

• कुतः (kutaH)
Skt: कुतः (kutaH) - from where - OnlineSktDict

• कुत्र (kutra)
Skt: कुत्र (kutra) - where - OnlineSktDict

• कुत्सय (kutsya)
Skt: कुत्सय (kutsya) - despicable - OnlineSktDict

€ कुथ  kutha
Skt: कुथ  kutha  m. carpet - SpkSkt
Pal: kutha mn. a woolen blanket, howdah - UPMT-PED076

• कुन्चिका (kunchikaa)
Skt: कुन्चिका (kunchikaa) - (f) key - OnlineSktDict

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{koan~} कुन्
p052b3

• कुन्तः (kuntaH)
Skt: कुन्तः (kuntaH) - m. spear - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kunta  mf.  a lance, insect - UPMT-PED076
Pal: {koan~ta.} - UHS-PMD0327

• कुन्तिभोजः (kuntibhojaH)
Skt: कुन्तिभोजः (kuntibhojaH) - Kuntibhoja - OnlineSktDict

See my note on Kuntibhoja - father of Kunti the mother of Pandavas

• कुन्तीपुत्रः (kuntiiputraH)
Skt: कुन्तीपुत्रः (kuntiiputraH) - the son of Kuntiv - OnlineSktDict

• कुन्द (kunda)
Skt: कुन्द (kunda) - night lily - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kunda n. the many-flowered jasamine - UPMT-PED076
Pal: {koan~da.} - UHS-PMD0327

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{ku.pa.} कुप
p052b3-2

• कुपित (kupita)
Skt: कुपित (kupita) - angered - OnlineSktDict

• कुपितं (kupitaM)
Skt: कुपितं (kupitaM) - angry - OnlineSktDict

• कुप्यति (kupyati)
Skt: कुप्यति (kupyati) (4 pp) to be angry - OnlineSktDict

• कुप्यसि (kupyasi)
Skt: कुप्यसि (kupyasi) - you get angry - OnlineSktDict

• कुमार (kumaara)
Skt: कुमार (kumaara) - m. boy, young - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kumāra  m. a child, youth, the god of war; adj. young - UPMT-PED076
Pal: {ku.ma-ra.} - UHS-PMD0327

• कुमारः (kumaarah)
Skt: कुमारः (kumaarah) - boy - OnlineSktDict

Contents of this page

p052b4

• कुमारिका (kumaarikaa)
Skt: कुमारिका (kumaarikaa) - (f) girl - OnlineSktDict

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p053top

• कुमारी (kumaarii)
Skt: कुमारी (kumaarii) - (f) girl, young - OnlineSktDict

• कुम्भ (kumbha)
Skt: कुम्भ  (kumbha) m. the Zodiacal sign of Aquarius - OnlineSktDict
Skt: कुम्भ  kumbha  m.  water-pot  - SpkSkt
Pal: kumbha  m.  a water-pot, elephant's forehead, a measure of capacity - UPMT-PED077
Pal: {koam~Ba.} UHS-PMD0328

UKT note to Myanmar Astrologers: All the 12 Zodiacal signs have Western equivalents which are denoted by dedicated logos which reflect their names: 01.♈, 02.♉, 03.♊; 04.♋, 05.♌, 06.♍; 07.♎, 08.♏, 09.♐; 10.♑, 11.♒, 12.♓. Thus, the logo for #11. ♒ Aquarius the Water-carrier shows the waves on the surface of a body of water. - UKT100619

• कुम्भक (kumbhaka)
Skt: कुम्भक (kumbhaka) - holding the breath - OnlineSktDict

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{ku.ya.} कुय
not entered in OnlineSktDict

p053top-2

• कुरङ्ग (kura.nga)
Skt: कुरङ्ग (kura.nga) - deer - OnlineSktDict
Pal: kuruṅga  m.  an antelope - UPMT-PED077
Pal: {ku.rοn~ga.} - UHS-PMD0329

• कुरु (kuru)
Skt: कुरु (kuru) - do - OnlineSktDict

• कुरुते (kurute)
Skt: कुरुते (kurute) - does (from kRi) - OnlineSktDict

UKT: "Kuru" can mean many things including a fatal human disease. It can also mean a kingdom of Iron Age India. Archaeologically, it most likely correspond to the black and red ware culture of the 12th to 9th centuries BC. See Kuru kingdom in my notes.

 

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{ku.ra.} कर
p053top-3

• कुरुनन्दन (kurunandana)
Skt: कुरुनन्दन (kurunandana) - O beloved child of the Kurus - OnlineSktDict

• कुरुप्रवीर (kurupraviira)
Skt: कुरुप्रवीर (kurupraviira) - O best among the Kuru warriors - OnlineSktDict

• कुरुवृद्धः (kuruvRiddhaH) See my notes on Bhishma .
Skt: कुरुवृद्धः (kuruvRiddhaH) - the grandsire of the Kuru dynasty (Bhishma) - OnlineSktDict

• कुरुश्रेष्ठ (kurushreshhTha)
Skt: कुरुश्रेष्ठ (kurushreshhTha) - O best of the Kurus - OnlineSktDict

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p053b1

• कुरुष्व(kurushhva)
Skt: कुरुष्व(kurushhva) - do - OnlineSktDict

• कुरुसत्तम (kurusattama)
Skt: कुरुसत्तम (kurusattama) - O best amongst the Kurus - OnlineSktDict

• कुरुक्षेत्रे (kurukShetre) .
Skt: कुरुक्षेत्रे (kurukShetre) - in the place named Kuruksetra - OnlineSktDict

See my notes on Kuruksetra (place) and Kurukshetra War (कुरुक्षेत्र युद्ध)

• कुरून् (kuruun.h)
Skt: कुरून् (kuruun.h) - the members of the Kuru dynasty - OnlineSktDict

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UKT notes

Bhishma

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhishma 100423
(For Vasu, see wa-163b1-3.htm downloaded from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasu 100128

Bhishma or Bheeshma is one of the strongest characters of the Mahabharata. He was the grandfather of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas. An unparalleled archer, he once vanquished the mighty Parasurama.

UKT: Bhishma was not a "grandfather". "Granduncle" is more proper since Bhishma had no progeny because he had taken the oath of life-long celibacy - hence the name "Bhishma" or He of the terrible oath . See below.

Birth and early life

The legend behind Bhishma's birth is as follows — once the eight Vasus ("Ashtavasus") visited Vashishta's ashram accompanied by their wives. One of the wives took a fancy to Nandini, Vashishta's wish-bearing cow and asked her husband Prabhasa , and to steal it from Vashishta. [UKT Ά]

UKT: Prabhasa meaning "shining dawn" in Mahabharata, or Dyaus meaning "sky" in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. He is one of the 33 gods attending Indra or Sakka. After studying BEPS aksharas for some years, I've come to entertain a notion that these gods represent the consonants modifying the "flow" of sound [represented by Saravati] coming out of the vocal apparatus. If so what does Prabhasa represent? Please remember, this is just a "day dream" which I may drop anytime. -- UKT 100424

Prabhasa then stole the cow with the help of the others who were all consequently cursed by Vashishta to be born in the world of men. Upon the Vasus appealing to Vashishta's mercy, the seven Vasus who had assisted in stealing Nandini had their curse mitigated such that they would be liberated from their human birth as soon as they were born; however, Prabhasa being protagonist of the theft, was cursed to endure a longer life on the earth. The curse, however is softened to the extent that he would be one of the most illustrious men of his time. It was this Prabhasa who took birth as Devavratha (Bhishma).

Bhishma was born as the youngest son of the illustrious King Shantanu and Ganga. As per the Mahabharata, Shantanu saw Ganga [UKT: the goddess of the river in the guise of a human] on the banks of River Ganga and enamored by her beauty, asked her to marry him. She agreed but with the condition that Shantanu would never question her, no matter what her actions — if he ever broke his promise, she would leave him, never to be a part of his life again. Shantanu readily agreed to this seemingly harmless condition and was thus married to Ganga. Eight children were born to this union, the eighth of which was Bhishma himself. The seven siblings born before him were drowned by their mother Ganga in order to break their curse — as they were incarnations of the aforementioned Vasus, who do not like to live the life of Humans. Shantanu silently bore the torture of watching his wife drown his offspring seven times. However, when Ganga was about to drown Bhishma, Shantanu could no longer contain his anguish and burst into protest. Ganga, aware of the eighth child's destiny to live a long life on earth, did not drown the child. However, since Shantanu had broken his promise given to her at marriage, she left Shantanu promising to return the child to him once he is grown up.

During his time with his mother [UKT: the goddess Ganga], Bhishma learnt political science from Brihaspati, the guru of the Devas, Vedas and Vedangas from Rishi Vasishta, and archery from Parashurama, also known as Bhargava, thus becoming an exceptionally skilled administrator. His banner in battle was a golden palm tree.

He was known as 'Bhishma Pitamaha' (Pitamaha meaning the grandfather or grandsire) among the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

Bhishma's vow

Bhishma means He of the terrible oath, referring to his vow of life-long celibacy. Originally named Devavratha, he became known as Bhishma after he took the bhishan pratigya ('terrible oath') — the vow of life-long celibacy and of service to whoever sat on the throne of his father (the throne of Hastinapur). He took this oath so that his father, Shantanu could marry a fisherwoman Satyavati — Satyvati's father had refused to give his daughter's hand to Shantanu on the grounds that his daughter's children would never be rulers as Shantanu already had a son (Devratha). This made Shantanu despondent and upon discovering the reason for his father's despondency, Devratha sought out the girl's father and promised him that he would never stake a claim to the throne, implying that the child born to Shantanu and Satyavati would become the ruler after Shantanu. At this, Satyavati's father retorted that even if Devratha gave up his claim to the throne, his (Devratha's) children would still claim the throne. Devratha then took the terrible vow of life-long celibacy, thus sacrificing his 'crown-prince' title and denying himself the pleasures of conjugal love. This gave him immediate recognition among the gods and his father granted him the boon of Swachhanda Mrityu (control over his own death — he could choose the time of his death, but he was not immortal). Bhishma also took another vow shortly after the marriage of Shantanu and Satayavati. Bhishma vowed he would see his father's image in whoever sat on the throne of Hastinapur and would serve him without question. This vow ended up being the main cause of his problems later on when his nephew Dhritarashtra took the throne and wished to make his own son, Duryodhana the crown prince instead of Dhritarashtra's brother Pandu's son Yudhishtira who was the elder to Duryodhana (and reckoned by all to be the most worthy to become king). As a result Bhishma was forced to comply with all of Dhritarashtra's orders no matter what injustice was done to the Pandavas.

Bhishma was a great archer and a warrior. In the process of finding a bride for his half-brother the young king Vichitravirya, Bhishma cleverly abducted princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika of Kashi (Varanasi) from the assemblage of suitors at their swayamvara. Salwa, the ruler of Saubala, and Amba (the eldest princess) were in love. Upon reaching Hastinapura, Amba confided in Bhishma that she wished to wed Salwa. Bhishma then sent her back to Salwa who turned her down as it was humiliating for a man to accept a woman who had been so long in the company of another man. She then naturally approached Bhishma for marriage who refused her, citing his oath. Amba, humiliated and enraged beyond measure, vowed to avenge herself against Bhishma even if it meant being reborn over and over again.

Legend has it that at her maternal grandfather's suggestion Amba sought refuge with Parasurama who ordered Bhishma to marry Amba. Bhishma politely refused saying that he was ready to give up his life at the command of his teacher but not the promise that he had made. Upon the refusal, Parasurama called him for a fight at Kurukshetra. At the battlegrounds, while Bhishma was on a chariot, Parasurama was on foot. Bhishma requested Parasurama to also take a chariot and armor so that Bhishma would not have an unfair advantage. Parasurama blessed Bhishma with the power of divine vision and asked him to look again. When Bhishma looked at his guru with the divine eye-sight, he saw the Earth as Parasurama's chariot, the four Vedas as the horses, the Upanishads as the reins, Vayu (wind) as the Charioteer and the Vedic goddesses Gayatri, Savitri & Saraswati as the armor. Bhishma got down from the chariot and sought the blessings of Parasurama to protect his dharma, along with the permission to battle against his teacher. Parasurama was pleased and said to Bhishma that if he had not behaved in this manner, Parasurama would have cursed him, for it is the duty of warriors who fight against elders to not abandon the traditions of humility and respect for elders. Parasurama blessed him and advised him to protect his dharma of brahmacharya as Parasurama himself must fight to fulfil his dharma of fighting to uphold his word as given to Amba. They fought for 23 days without conclusion — Parasurama was chiranjeevi (immortal) and Bhishma had a boon that let him choose the time of his death. Two versions exist about how their battle came to and end.

As per one, On the 22nd night, Bhishma prayed to his ancestors to help him end the battle. His ancestors gave him a weapon which was not known to Parasurama. They told him that it would put Parasurama to sleep in the battlefield. A person who sleeps in the battlefield is considered to be dead as per Vedas. They advised Bhishma to call back the weapon at the end of day after sunset so that Parasurama will come back to his sense and that shall bring the end to war. However the weapon was never used as Bhishma walked out of the war.

As per the other version, on the 23rd day, Bhishma summoned the infallible celestial weapon (astra) Prashvapastra, the method of using which was known to him and him alone. Neither did a counter-attack exist, nor was a defense against it known to Parasurama. As Bhishma mounted the astra on his bow, a divine voice (ākāshavānī) implored Bhishma not to fire the weapon as its use would lead to the humiliation of Bhishma's guru (Parasurama himself). Bhishma refrained from using the weapon that would have brought him certain victory. Upon witnessing this, Parasurama was overcome with adulation for his disciple and proclaimed Bhishma as the victor.

Parasurama thus told Amba that he could not win over Bhishma and gave her the boon of "mahakal shiva". Amba did penance to please Lord Shiva. Shiva gave her the boon that she would be instrumental in the death of Bhishma. Amba would later be reborn as the eunuch prince Shikhandi in the household of king Drupada.

Personality, talents and achievements

Bhishma had a stature and personality that in those times were fit for kings. He was a true Kshatriya as well as a disciplined ascetic - a rare combination. He never unnecessarily exhibited the passion and anger that were identified with a Kshatriya. A symbol of truth and duty, the benevolent Bhishma was in all senses a true human.

It is unfortunate that a person as noble as Bhishma saw a life full of loneliness, frustration and grief. But that was how Vashishta's curse was supposed to unfold. Bhishma's human birth was destined to be marked with suffering, and that was how his life transpired right till the last moment; even his death was very painful. But the strong as steel character which he possessed ensured that he never shied away from his duty, and never stopped loving those dear to him.

Bhishma was not only a good warrior, but also highly skilled in political science. He tried his best to bring reconciliation between Pandavas and Kauravas to prevent the war. Even in the Kurukshetra war while he was the general he tried his best to keep the war low key by minimising confrontation between the two camps. Even as he fell he tried to use the opportunity to persuade both camps to put an end to the war. After the war, while on his deathbed he gave deep and meaningful instructions to Yudhishthira on statesmanship and the duties of a king.

In the Mahābhārata War

Bhishma is the one who witnessed the Mahābhārata completely from the beginning since the rule of Shantanu.

In the great battle at Kurukshetra, Bhishma was the supreme commander of the Kaurava forces for ten days compared to Drona's five, Karna's two and Salya's one-the last day. He fought reluctantly on the side of the Kauravas; nevertheless, he gave it his best effort. At one stage Arjuna's disinclination to fight him, nearly made Krishna break his vow not to raise a weapon in the war. Not even Arjuna was able to defeat Bhishma because in addition to being a peerless warrior he was blessed with choosing the moment of his death.

In this war, Bhishma vowed not to kill any of the Pandavas, as he loved them, being their grandsire. Duryodhan often confronted Bhishma alleging that he was not actually fighting for the Kaurava camp as he wouldn't kill any Pandava but would let them kill Kauravas. But in fact, Bhishma was the strongest barrier that had protected the Kaurava camp from impending defeat.

The war was thus locked in a stalemate. As the Pandavas mulled over this situation, Krishna advised them to visit Bhishma himself and request him to suggest a way out of this stalemate. Bhishma knew in his heart that the Pandavas were righteous and chaste, and that he stood as the greatest obstacle in their path to victory, so when they visited Bhishma, he told them that if faced by a woman in battle he would cease to fight and not lift weapons against her.

The Pandavas were initially not agreeable to such a ploy, as by bringing a woman to the battleground they would disgrace themselves, but Krishna suggested a clever alternative. And thus, on the next day - the tenth day of battle - Shikhandi accompanied Arjuna on the latter's chariot and they faced Bhishma who put his bow and arrows down. He was then felled in battle by a reluctant, ashamed and tearful Arjuna pierced by innumerable arrows. As Bhishma fell, his whole body was held above the ground by the shafts of Arjuna's arrows which protruded from his back, and through his arms and legs. Seeing Bhishma laid on such a bed of arrows humbled even the gods who watched from the heavens in reverence, silently blessing the mighty warrior.

Bhishma was succeeded by Drona as the Commander-in-Chief. Bhishma lay on the 'bed of arrows' till the end of the battle, bound by his vows and chose to die only after learning that the Pandavas had won. One of his last acts was to impart his final instructions on administration and kingcraft to Yudhisthira.

Strategic Formations: the Vyuha

Bhishma was well versed with tactical formations of the military in those days and only Arjuna could be compared to the vast knowledge that Bhishma possessed. A few formations mentioned in the epic Mahabharata are listed below.

• Krauncha Vyuha: the crane-shaped formation of an army; forces are distributed to form spanning wing-sides, with a formidable, penetrating center depicting the crow's head and break.

• Padma Vyuha or the Chakra Vyuha: a winding, ever-rotating circular formation; considered impenetrable during the Mahabharata age by all warriors except Arjuna, Bhisma, Drona, Krishna, Pradyumna and Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu, had learnt how to break into the formation (in the womb of Subhadra) but not how to break out of it and is trapped inside in the Mahabharata war.

• Sarpa Vyuha: winding snake formation.

• Makara Vyuha: Crocodile Formation

• Sakata Vyuha: Cart Formation

• Shukar Vyuha: Pig Formation

Death

It is believed that Bhishma died after the age of 350 years. The relation between Bhishma and Pandavas/Kauravas is described as that of a grandsire.

Although their descendence was in the following generations

Maharaj HASTIN (founder or the Great HASTINAPUR empire) -> (many generations) -> Bharat -> Shantanu -> Bheeshma, Chitrangada, Vichitraveerya -> Dhritarashtra & Pandu -> Pandavas & Kauravas

but practically, Bhishma and the Pandavas would be 4 generations apart as Bhishma was himself a prince of marriagable age when his father Shantanu married Satyavati, so Chitrangad and Vichitravirya were more like sons than brothers to Bhishma. When both Chitrangad and Vichitravirya died heirless, Maharshi Ved Vyas was called upon to revive the lineage. Then Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura were born. The Pandavas and Kauravas were the next generation, so although addressed as grandfather, Bhishma was equivalent to their Great-Grandfather.

When Bhishma died, he was the eldest living ancestor to the equivalent of 5 generations as the Pandavas themselves were grandparents. Their only living heir was Parikshit, Arjuna's grandson, the son of Abhimanyu and Matsya princess Uttara.

Passing away of Bhishma

Bhishma was a great warrior and a wonderful personality. As the Kauravas were losing the battle, Duryodhana approached Bhishma one night and accused him of not fighting the battle to his full strength because of his affection for the Pandavas. Bhishma, greatly angered, immediately he picked up five golden arrows and chanted mantras declaring, "tomorrow I will kill the Pandavas with these five golden arrows". Duryodhana, not having faith in Bhishma's words, asked Bhishma to give him custody of the five imbued golden arrows saying that he would keep them with him and return them the next morning.

Long back when Pandavas were in living in the forest Duryodhana once came to the forest to flaunt his material opulence in contrast with the Pandavas who were living in exile due to his wicked usurption of their kingdom, thus displaying his venom and hubris. He placed his camp on the opposite side of a pond where the Pandavas used to stay. Once while he was taking bath in that pond there the heavenly princes named Gandharvas came to take bath.

Duryodhana could not tolerate this and he had a fight in which the Gandharvas captured him. On the request of Yudhisthir, Arjuna saved Duryodhana and set him free. Duryodhana was ashamed but being a kshatriya he asked Arjuna what benediction or boon would Arjuna like. Arjuna replied that he would ask for the honor gift later when he needed it.

It was during that night that Krishna reminded Arjuna of his unsatisfied boon and told him to go to Duryodhana and ask for the five golden arrows. When Arjuna came and asked for the five golden imbued arrows Duryodhana was shocked, but knowing full well his honor and duty as a kshatriya declared "I will give you the five golden arrows but can you please tell me who told you the five golden imbued arrows existed in the first place?" Arjuna smilingly replied "Who else other than Shri Krishna could have advised me". After Duryodhana honorably kept his word and gave the five golden arrows imbued with a lifetime of austerity and power by Bhishma, the haughty arrogant prince Duryodhana broke his customary manner and conceded to himself privately "All of the rishis say Krishna is the Supreme God, maybe they are right", being thus shocked and convinced by Arjuna's knowledge of the very existence of the five golden arrows, Duryodhana secretly got on his knees and said a quick prayer to Krishna.

Duryodhana again goes to Bhishma, informing him of all that happened and requesting another five golden imbued arrows. To this Bhishma laughed and replies "That is not possible child. The will of the Lord is Supreme and undeniable. I have already spent the merits of my lifetime of celibacy and austerity in those five arrows, a potency strong enough to end all the five Pandavas. However, Krishna, being the Supreme Lord has foreseen this, knowing past, present, and future as He alone can, and has thus arranged for you to voluntarily give up the five golden arrows, imbued with the power and potency of my lifelong austerities. I cannot imbue another five arrows, having spent all of the merits of my austerities. However, tomorrow I shall fight like a lion, and this time either I will kill Arjuna or I will make Lord Krishna break His promise of not picking up any weapons during the war". On the next day there is an intense battle between Bhishma and Arjuna. Although Arjuna was very powerful, but he was no match for Bhishma. Bhishma soon shot arrows which cut Arjuna's armour and then also his Gandiva bow. Arjuna was helpless before the wrath of the grandsire.

As Bhishma was about to kill Arjuna with his arrows Lord Krishna could not tolerate his devotees plight and He immediately threw down the chariot reins and jumped off the chariot onto the battlefield, lifted a chariot wheel and charged Bhishma, determined to send Bhishma to Death's abode. Arjuna tried to stop Lord Krishna but the Lord says that in order to protect my devotee I must break my own promise. Eventually however, Arjuna convinces Krishna to return to the chariot and put down the wheel, promising to redouble his determination in the fight, all the while Bhishma stood with folded palms and tears in his eyes, awed by the beauty of the wrath of the Lord and the intense love that God bears for his friends, so great that He is willing to endure the censorship of ignorant foolish men. Later the Lord tells Arjuna how he may bring down the old grandsire, through the help of Sikhandhi the woman-man, using Sikhandi as a shield, thus shot merciless arrows at Bhishma piercing his entire body, thus finally did Bhishma give up the fight, focusing his life force and breath, sealing the wounds, and waiting for the auspicious moment to give up his body.

Source(s): Srimad Bhagavatam 1st Canto Chapter 9, slokas 1 - 49 by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Kukutasana - Cockerel pose

Excerpt from: http://yogaposesasanas.suite101.com/article.cfm/kukkutasana_resists_arthritis_and_rheumatism 100602

Kukkutasana Resists Arthritis and Rheumatism

The Rooster Pose of Yoga Nourishes Your Wrists, Elbows and Shoulders

Dec 27, 2009 Ajeenkya Birodkar

 
This pose also improves your poise and posture with your chest thrust out and head held erect. Your abdominal organs too are nourished and secrete better.

 

 

In the Rooster Pose, or the Kukkutasana (also known as the Cockerel Pose), you rest your entire body weight on your wrists. This pose looks quite similar to the Crane Pose (Bakasana) and the Crow Pose (Kakasana), but there are finer differences. The pressure points in each of these poses are different. In the other two poses the pressure points are your armpits in Bakasana and your elbows in Kakasana, while in the Kukkutasana it is your wrists which are the pressure point. This pose builds up your body’s resistance against arthritis, rheumatism and other orthopedic ailments if you do this pose from a young age.

How to do the Kukkutasana - Rooster Pose

You begin by sitting on a carpet with your legs placed straight from your hip. Your back is ramrod straight. You place your arms by your sides and breathe normally. Lift your right foot and place it on your left thigh and place your left foot on your right thigh. Use your hands to do this. You shall need some practice to enable you to do this step. Those blessed with a supple body and are used to doing the Lotus Pose (Padmasana) will be able to do this step with ease. This is also the first step in the Lotus Pose.

You may now proceed to the next step by lifting your right arm and maneuvering it into the space between the thigh and calf muscle of your right leg. After you insert your palm through this gap, place it on the floor. Make this step easier by using your other hand to lift your legs a bit from your knees. This increases the gap between your thighs and calves. Do likewise using your left arm and insert your left palm through your left leg. Your arms are now held fast by the pincer of your thighs and calf muscles.

After placing your palms flat on the mat spread them to reveal the wedges between them and give yourself as broad a base as possible. Now stiffen your shoulders and arms and use all the power you have to heave your hip aloft along with your folded legs. As a learner you might not be able to lift yourself by more than a few centimeters. After you master this exercise the maximum height you would lift your legs to would be around five to six inches.

Hold to this position despite the tremendous strain, on your wrists, shoulders, spine, thighs and calf muscles. Now you may come out of the Kukkutasana.



Read more at Suite101: Kukkutasana Resists Arthritis and Rheumatism: The Rooster Pose of Yoga Nourishes Your Wrists, Elbows and Shoulders http://yogaposesasanas.suite101.com/article.cfm/kukkutasana_resists_arthritis_and_rheumatism#ixzz0pfIvBJZ0
 
In the Rooster Pose, or the Kukkutasana (also known as the Cockerel Pose), you rest your entire body weight on your wrists. This pose looks quite similar to the Crane Pose (Bakasana) and the Crow Pose (Kakasana), but there are finer differences. The pressure points in each of these poses are different. In the other two poses the pressure points are your armpits in Bakasana and your elbows in Kakasana, while in the Kukkutasana it is your wrists which are the pressure point. This pose builds up your body’s resistance against arthritis, rheumatism and other orthopedic ailments if you do this pose from a young age.

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Kundalini

Skt: कुण्डलिनी - kuṇḍalinī
Bur:
Thai:
กุณฺฑลินี
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kundalini 110918

Kundalini (Skt: कुण्डलिनी - kuṇḍalinī , Bur:  , Thai: กุณฺฑลินี ) literally means coiled. In yoga, a "corporeal energy"[1] - an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, lies coiled at the base of the spine.[2][3][4] It is envisioned either as a goddess or else as a sleeping serpent, hence a number of English renderings of the term such as 'serpent power'. The kundalini resides in the sacrum bone in three and a half coils and has been described as a residual power of pure desire.[5]

Description

Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism.[6] It is one of the components of an esoteric description of man's 'subtle body', which consists of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic centres), prana (subtle energy), and bindu (drops of essence).

Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine, usually within muladhara chakra. The image given is that of a serpent coiled three and a half times around a smokey grey lingam. Each coil is said  to represent one of the three gunas, with the half coil signifying transcendence.

Through meditation, and various esoteric practices, such as kundalini yoga, laya-yoga,[7] and kriya yoga, the kundalini is awakened, and can rise up through the central nadi, called sushumna, that rises up inside or alongside the spine. The progress of kundalini through the different chakras leads to different levels of awakening and mystical experience, until the kundalini finally reaches the top of the head, Sahasrara chakra, producing an extremely profound mystical experience.

A number of descriptions exist that attempt to describe exactly what the kundalini experience is.

Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained that the kundalini energy is nothing but the natural energy of the Self, where Self is the universal consciousness (Paramatma) present in every being, and that the individual mind of thoughts cloaks this natural energy from unadulterated expression. Advaita teaches that Self-realization, enlightenment, God-consciousness, nirvana and kundalini awakening are all the same thing, and self-inquiry meditation is considered a very natural and simple means of reaching this goal.[8]

Swami Vivekananda described kundalini briefly in London during his lectures on Raja Yoga as follows:[

"According to the Yogis, there are two nerve currents in the spinal column, called Pingalβ and Idβ, and a hollow canal called Sushumnβ running through the spinal cord. At the lower end of the hollow canal is what the Yogis call the "Lotus of the Kundalini". They describe it as triangular in form in which, in the symbolical language of the Yogis, there is a power called the Kundalini, coiled up. When that Kundalini awakes, it tries to force a passage through this hollow canal, and as it rises step by step, as it were, layer after layer of the mind becomes open and all the different visions and wonderful powers come to the Yogi. When it reaches the brain, the Yogi is perfectly detached from the body and mind; the soul finds itself free. We know that the spinal cord is composed in a peculiar manner. If we take the figure eight horizontally (∞) there are two parts which are connected in the middle. Suppose you add eight after eight, piled one on top of the other, that will represent the spinal cord. The left is the Ida, the right Pingala, and that hollow canal which runs through the centre of the spinal cord is the Sushumna. Where the spinal cord ends in some of the lumbar vertebrae, a fine fibre issues downwards, and the canal runs up even within that fibre, only much finer. The canal is closed at the lower end, which is situated near what is called the sacral plexus, which, according to modern physiology, is triangular in form. The different plexuses that have their centres in the spinal canal can very well stand for the different "lotuses" of the Yogi. "

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Kuntibhoja

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunti-Bhoja 100423

Kunti-Bhoja (Kuntibhoja) was the foster-father of Kunti the mother of Pandavas, as per the epic Mahābhārata. He was the ruler of the Kunti Kingdom. The name Kunti denotes the kingdom. Pandavas's mother's maiden name was Pritha. She was one of the sisters of Vasudeva, a Yadava chief, who was also the father of Krishna. Pritha was later given to Kuntibhoja since he was devoid of children. Kuntibhoja raised Pritha as his own daughter. Later she was married to Pandu the king of Kuru Kingdom, where she was addressed by the Kauravas as Kunti. Kuntibhoja took part in the Kurukshetra War, siding with the Pandavas.

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Kuru kingdom

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru-kingdom  100425

Kuru (कुरु) was the name of an Indo-Aryan kshatriya tribe [1] and their kingdom in the Vedic period of India, and later a republican Mahajanapada state. Their kingdom was located in the area of modern Haryana and Delhi. They formed the first political center of the Indo-Aryans after the Rigvedic period, and after their emergence from the Punjab, and it was there that the codification and redaction of the Vedic texts began. Archaeologically, they most likely correspond to the black and red ware culture of the 12th to 9th centuries BC. At this time, iron first appears in western India. Iron is still absent from the Rigvedic hymns, and makes its first appearance as "black metal" (śyāma ayas) in the Atharvaveda.

The Atharvaveda (XX.127) refers to Parikshit as the king of the Kurus.[2] His son Janamejaya figures in Satapatha Brahmana as well as in the Aitareya Brahmana. The Kurus in association with the Panchalas are frequently mentioned in the later Vedic literature.

Geographical location of Kuru

In the epic times (8th-6th centuries BC), the region between the triangle of Thaneshwar, Hissar and Hastinapur was distinguished by three different names: (1) Kuru-Jangala equal to Rohtak, Hansi, Hissar; (2) Kuru-rashtra proper between the Ganges and Yamuna with its capital at Hastinapura and (3) the Kuru-kshetra comprising Thaneshwar, Kaithal and Karnal.

The whole kingdom roughly corresponded to modern Thanesar, Delhi and the greater part of Upper Gangetic Doab.

UKT insert: A Doab (Persian, Urdu: , "two" + āb, "water" or "river") is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land lying between two confluent rivers. ... Doab figures prominently in history and myths of Vedic period; the epic Mahabharata, for example, is set in the Doab, around the city of Hastinapur. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doab 100425

The rivers Aruna, Ashumati, Hiranvati, Apaya, Kausiki, Sarasvati and Drishadvati or Rakshi washed the lands of Kurus.

UKT: The Sarasvati river mentioned above is probably the present day river, a small tributary of the Sindu - not the mighty river of the Rig Veda. See insert below. - UKT 100425
   "The Sarasvati River is one of the chief Rigvedic rivers mentioned in ancient Hindu texts. The Nadistuti hymn in the Rigveda (10.75) mentions the Sarasvati between the Yamuna in the east and the Sutlej in the west, and later Vedic texts like Tandya and Jaiminiya Brahmanas as well as the Mahabharata mention that the Sarasvati dried up in a desert." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thar_Desert 100425

Kurus of Buddha's times

The Kuru kingdom figures in the list of the sixteen great kingdoms, the Mahajanapadas of the early Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya. At the time of Buddha, the Kuru realm was only three hundred leagues in extent. Legendary Buddhist stories - the Jatakas attest that the capital of the Kurus was Indraprastha (Indapatta) near modern Delhi. It extended for seven leagues. The other city in the realm was Hatthinipura i.e. Hastinapura. The reigning king Dhananjaya is stated as prince from the race of Yudhishtra. But he was merely a titular chieftain (king consul).

During Buddha's time, Ratthapala, son of the Kuru ruler had embraced Buddhism.

The Buddha taught important and profound discourses in the Kurus such as the "Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta", the Great Discourse on the Foundation of Mindfulness, "Mahānidāna Sutta", The Great Discourse on Causation, and "Āneρjasappāya Sutta", the Way to the Imperturbable. Other discourses, as recorded in the Pali Canon, taught by the Buddha in the Kurus are Māgaṇḍiya Sutta, Raṭṭhapāla Sutta, Sammasa Sutta, Dutiya Ariyāvāsa Sutta.

The Kurus of the Buddhist period did not occupy the same position as they did in the Vedic period but they continued to enjoy their ancient reputation for deep wisdom and sound health. The Kurus had matrimonial relations with Yadavas, the Bhojas and the Panchalas.

Though a well known monarchical people in earlier period, the Kurus are known to have switched to republic form of government during sixth/fifth century BCE. Fourth century BCE Kautiliya's Arthashastra also attests the Kurus as following the Rajashabdopajivin (king consul) constitution (11/1/1-4).

Kurus are mentioned by [the great phonetician usually referred to as grammarian] Pāṇini (Astadhyayi 4.1.168-75) as one of the fifteen powerful Kshatriya Janapadas of his times, with Hastinapura as its capital.

Pāṇini refers to the house-holders' way of life as against ascetic way obtaining amongst the Kurus.

Kuru Dharma

UKT: "Dharma" or {Dam~ma.} mentioned here is not "Buddha's teachings" the usual meaning given in Myanmar. It means "what is right and what is proper": {ta.ra: mhya.ta.mhu. rhi. hkring:}. "Improper" would be such as a soldier being set upon by more than one opponent with with superior weapons. - 100425

In Buddhism, "Kuru Dharma" specifically refers to the Five Precepts of moral restraints which every Buddhist must take along with the Triple Gem. Buddhists trace the origins of the 5 precepts in the "Kuru Dhamma Jataka".

Kurus have frequently been coupled with the Panchalas in later Vedic and Puranic literature. The Kurus were followers of Brahmanical way of life, and the early kingdom in all probability is the location of the codification of the Vedas and the establishment of major schools of Vedic priesthood. They insisted on the purity of family life and cultivation of proper domestic relations and virtues, a way of life and philosophy that are reflected in the basic doctrine of Bhagvadgita expounded at Kurukshetra. In the land of Kurus-Panchalas, the speech is said to have its particular home. The mode of sacrifice among the Kuru-Panchalas is proclaimed to be the best. The Kuru Panchala kings are said to have performed Rajasuya sacrifice. There are numerous references to the Brahmanas of Kuru-Panchala country. Kurus were noted for deep wisdom and purity of life.

Speculation on origin: Kuru-Puru-Bharata connection

Epic traditions reveal that the kings of Kuru belonged to the Puru– Bharata family.

The Kuru-Puru connection is suggested by Rigveda (10.33.4) which attests Kuru-Sravana as the descendant of famous Puru king Trasadasyu. (4.38.1, 7.19.3).

A connection of the Bharatas with Kurukshetra is attested by Rigveda 3.23, Shatapatha Brahmana 13.5.4, Aitareya Brahmana 8.23 as well as the Mahabharata 7.66.8. The former Purus, Bharatas and several other minor clans were later fused together and amalgamated into the powerful Kurus who expanded east from the Punjab.

Mahabharata refers to kings Puru-ravas Aila, Ayu, Yayati Nahushya, Puru-Bharata Dauhshanti Saudyumni, Ajamidha, Riksha, Samavarana, Kuru, Uchchaihsravas Kaupayeya, Prati sutvana, Bahlika Pratipeya, Santnu and Dhritarashtra in the ancestral line of Parikshit, the grandson of Pandava Arjuna.

Speculations on origin of Kuru kingdom and Kurus

UKT: Wikipedia editiors have questioned many of the statements below with "citation needed", "clarification needed", "who?", "where", etc. The reader should read the article again online which is bound to be another updated later. I have reformat the text below for better reading. - 100425

Kuru dynesty kings were called med-bhuti or med kshatriyas and Kuru forces were med or mair rajputs from ancient time in India. According to Bhagvata and Vishnu Puran, Medes or Mair Kshatriyas are one of the oldest warriors . Mair Kshatriyas are originally from Lord Brahama dynesty King Ajmenid अजमीढ़. Badmer, Ajmer, Jesalmer are some of ancient cities of old Aryans Medes, mer or mair. After Golden age the Mahabharat fall of the Mairs Empire a power vacuum shortly existed in the region. (In the Sanskrit Mahabharat The Word MAIRBHUTI मैढ़-भूति, Ajmenid-nandan अजमीढ़-नंदन, KURU-KULAM कुरु कुल वंशी used for Rajas so many times), Kurukshetra War against the Kuruavas which is detailed in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. In this war, the Kshatriyas assumed the role of warriors for either side of the battle, after the war of Mahabharat Pandavs had gone for Swargarohan (Battle of heven) with all armies. Dispersal and dissolving of Mairs resulted medes had gone for movement to ancient Median Empires of Indian mair kshatriyas in Iran. The Medes are credited with the foundation of the first Iranian empire, the largest of its day until Cyrus (KURUS)कुरु the Great established a unified Iranian empire of the Medes (Indian origin) and Persians, often referred to as the Achaemenid Empire, ( KING Ajmenid of India great grandfather of all Medes ). by defeating his grandfather and overlord, Astyages the Raja of Media. In present time med kshatriyas of India claims that they are from KURU dynasty and in Iran and rest of the world Kurdish community also claim to related with ancient meds. [UKT Ά]

Kurdish are from Indo-European language origin , they can be from ancient Kurukshetra . Mahabharata and the Puranas attest the Kurus as the most important branch of the Ailas i.e. descendants of king Puru-ravas Aila.

The princes of Aila lineage are also designated as Karddameyas. This designation connects the Ailas to river Karddama, located in Persia (Arthashastra, p 76, n.5). Hence the home of the Karddameyas or the Aila princes (Kurus) is often identified with Bahlika or Balkh (Bactria) in Iran and not in India proper (Studies in Antiquities, 234).

Puru-ravas Aila, first king in the line of ancestors of the Kurus above, is mentioned in Ramayana stories as the son of a ruler who came, in some remote antiquity, from Bahli (Balkh) in Central Asia to Mid India (Ramayana, VII,103.21-22).

Mahabharata locates the birth place of king Puru-ravas Aila on a hill near the source of a river called Ganga (3.90.22-25).

This ancient Ganga is said to be different from the main Ganga and finds reference in ancient Sanskrit texts like Raghuvamsa, where it is found located in the neighborhood of the Kambojas of Pamirs/Badakshan. This river and river Sita (Yarkand) are said to be originating from Anavtapat Sarovar (in Pamirs or in Karakoram Jot, somewhere) [1]

Papancha-sudanai also refers to the Kurus, as colonists from trans- Himalayan region known as Uttarakuru (Dr B. C. Law, Ancient Indian Mid-Indian Kshatriya Tribes, p 16). .

The Kurus are associated with the Mahavrishas (See: Vedic Index, II, 279n) and the Bahlikas according to Mahabharata (II.63.2-7).

This association of the Kuru, Mahavrishas and the Bahlikas powerfully supports the northern origin of the Kurus. Shatapatha Brahmana also attests one king called Bahlika Pratipiya whom it designates as Koravya i.e. one from Kuru lineage.

We also know that Bahlika Pratipiya is an important epic king of the Kurus. He was from the Puru-rava Aila lineage and hence from the line of Kurus of Kurukshetra.

The word Bahlika in the name of Kuru king Bahlika Pratipiya is his personal designation and points to northern (Bahlika or Bactria) origin of the Kurus of Middle country, in accordance with ancient naming conventions.

A section of the Kurus, known as Uttarakurus, is stated to be living beyond the Himalayan region in the days of Mahabharata and Aitreya Brahmana as we learn from Aitareya Brahmana verse (VIII.14).

It is also to be noted that the Himalaya of the ancient Indian traditions extended from the east ocean to the west ocean, and even today is not separated from it (See: Kumarasambhavam by Kalidasa).

Mahabharata also attests that the ancestors of the Kauravas and Pandavas originally migrated from Uttarakuru (MBH 1/187/28).

Buddhaghosa also records a tradition which states that, when Vedic king Mandhata returned to Jambudvipa from his sojourn in the four Mahadipas, there were, in his retinue, a large number of the people of Uttarakuru. They all settled down in Jambudνpa, and their settlement became known as Kururattha (Kuru Rashtra).

Majjhima Commentary (Vol I, p 184) also attests that the people of Kururatha had originally belonged to the Uttarakuru.

The above several references would indicate that the ancestors of the Kurus of Middle India had migrated from Bahlika/Uttarakuru which was a region stated to be to the north of Himalaya /Hindukush.

But Przyluski has also shown that Bahlika or Balkh was the original home the Madra peoples known as the Uttaramadras. This shows that Uttarakuru, the original home of the Kurus, was not precisely located in Bahlika, but probably in some nearby region, north of Bahlika in Central Asia, possibly bordering with it. We know that on the east side of Bahlika i.e. the Uttaramadra, was located the Parama-Kamboja (say Uttara-Kambojas) branch of the Kambojas.

Thus it appears likely that the Uttarakurus as immediate neighbors to the Uttaramadras/Bahlikas were located to north-east of Uttaramadras and to north of Parama-Kambojas (Badakshan/Pamir). By the way, if Bahlika is to be insisted upon to be same as Uttarakuru, , then one can assume that the Madras and Kurus in the remote antiquity were one people.

Later, the Kurus of the Middle country became known as Kuru proper or the Dakshina Kuru (MBH I, 109-10).

None of the above sources claim knowledge or information from any of the four Vedas, nor do they cite references. Therefore they must understood in a presumptive manner rather than as facts.

Puranic View of Kuru Origin

The Puranas trace the lineage of the Pauravas, the line of kings who are related to the Kuru-Panchalas, to king Puru-rava Aila, who is stated to be king of Pratishthana.(This Pratishthana is near modern Allahabad and is not to be confused with the western Indian one, now called Paithan). It is stated that Kuru was the son of king Samvarna and Tapti. He had given his name to Kurukshetra. At Kurukshetra, he had performed tapasya (penance) and pleased Indra. Kuru's descendants became known as Kauravas (Brahmanda Purana III.68.21).

This Puranic view, in view of the evidence presented before, is not considered reliable.

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Kuruksetra (place)

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurukshetra 100426

Kurukshetra (Hindi: कुरुक्षेत्र) is a district in Haryana state of India. It is a holy place and is also known as Dharmakshetra ("Holy City"). According to the Puranas, Kurukshetra is named after King Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, as depicted in epic Mahabharata. The importance of the place is attributed to the fact that the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata was fought on this land and the Bhagavad Gita was preached on this land during the war when Lord Krishna found Arjuna in a terrible dilemma.[1]

Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' has written an epic poem by the title of Kurukshetra. It is a narrative poem based on the Santi Parva of the Mahabharata.[2] It was written at a time when the memories of the Second World War were fresh on the mind of the poet.[2]

Thanesar or Sthaneswar is a historical town located adjacent to what is now the newly created Kurukshetra city. Thanesar derives its name from the word "Sthaneshwar", which means "Deity of the Place". The Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple, whose presiding deity is Lord Shiva, is believed to be the oldest temple in the vicinity. Local hearsay identifies the legendary "Kurukshetra" with a nearby obscure hamlet, and with the active abetment of the state government. It is presently experiencing a tourist boom. A few kilometeres from Kurukshetra is the village known as "Amin", where there are remnants of a fort which is said to be Abhimanyu's fort.

In some ancient Hindu texts, the boundaries of Kurukshetra correspond roughly to the state of Haryana. Thus according to the Taittiriya Aranyaka 5.1.1., the Kurukshetra region is south of Turghna (Srughna/Sugh in Sirhind, Punjab), north of Khandava (Delhi and Mewat region), east of Maru (=desert) and west of Parin.[3]

History

It is written in Puranas that Kurukshetra is named after the King Kuru of Bharata Dynasty, ancestor of Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Vamana Purana tells how King Kuru came to settle on this land. He chose this land at the banks of Sarasvati River for embedding spirituality with 8 virtues: austerity (tapas), truth (satya), forgiveness (kshama), kindness (daya), purity (sucha), charity (dana), yagya and brahmacharya. Lord Vishnu was impressed with the act of King Kuru and blessed him. God gave him two boons, one that this land forever will be known as a Holy Land after his name as Kurukshetra (the land of Kuru) and the other that anyone dying on this land will be going to heaven. The land of Kurukshetra was separated between two rivers — the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati.

This land has been known as Uttravedi, Brahmavedi, Dharamkshetra and Kurukshetra at different periods. When King Kuru came on this land it was called Uttarvedi. Over the period this land has been ruled by many empires. Bharata Dynasty came and settled on this land.

Later the Battle of Mahabharata was fought on this land, during which Lord Krishna preached Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

It reached the zenith of its progress during the reign of King Harsha, during which Chinese scholar Hieun Tsang visited this land at Thanesar. By the archaeological grounds it has been proved that Ashoka the Great made Kurukshetra a centre of learning for people from all over the world. Mughals also ruled this land. Sufi saint Sheikh Chehli's tomb on this land is an evidence of this fact.

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Kurukshetra War कुरुक्षेत्र युद्ध

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurukshetra_War 100421

The Kurukshetra War (कुरुक्षेत्र युद्ध) is the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, which forms an essential component of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. According to Mahābhārata, a dynastic struggle between sibling clans of Kauravas and the Pandavas for the throne of Hastinapura resulted in a battle in which a number of ancient kingdoms participated as allies of the rival clans. The location of the battle was Kurukshetra in the modern state of Haryana in India.

Mahābhārata states that the war lasted eighteen days during which vast armies from all over the Indian Subcontinent fought alongside the two rivals. Despite only referring to these eighteen days, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, suggesting its relative importance within the epic, which overall spans decades of the warring families.

The narrative describes individual battles of various heroes of both sides, battle-field deaths of some of the prominent heroes, military formations employed on each day by both armies, war diplomacies, meetings and discussions among the heroes and commanders before commencement of war on each day and the weapons used. The chapters (parvas) dealing with the war (from chapter six to ten) are considered amongst the oldest in the entire Mahābhārata. Bhagavad Gita, a sacred text of Vedic philosophy, which recounts the conversation between the Pandava Arjuna and Krishna arising out of Arjuna's reluctance to fight members of his own family, is considered a later addition to Mahābhārata.

The Kurukshetra War is believed to date variously from 5561 BC to 800 BC [UKT: at least 300 years before the birth of the Gaudhama Buddha - need to know what the Buddhist sources said about the war.], based on the astronomical and literary information from Mahābhārata. The history of the Kurukshetra War is also traced to the Battle of the Ten Kings mentioned in Rigveda. [2]

Background

Mahābhārata, one of the most important Hindu epics, is an account of the life and deeds of several generations of a ruling dynasty called the Kuru clan. Central to the epic is an account of a great war that took place between two sibling families belonging to this clan. Kurukshetra (literally "field of the Kurus"), was the battleground on which this war, known as the Kurukshetra War, was fought. Kurukshetra was also known as "Dharmakshetra" (the "field of Dharma"), or field of righteousness. Mahābhārata tells that this site was chosen for the war because a sin committed on this land was forgiven on account of the sanctity of this land.

The two sides to the war were the families of Pandavas and the Kauravas. The dispute between the Kauravas and the Pandavas arose from a game of dice, which the Kauravas won by deceit, forcing their Pandava cousins to go into exile for thirteen years. The dispute escalated into a full scale war when Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, driven by jealousy, refused to restore the Pandavas their throne after the exile.

Prior to the war, the Pandavas, advised by Krishna, tried to find a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the conflict. Balarama, Krishna's older brother, advised the Pandavas to send an emissary to get the support of the elders of the family like Bhishma, Dhritarashtra, Drona, Karna, and even Shakuni, with the message "Let us avoid armed conflict as much as possible. Only that which is accrued in peace is worthwhile. Out of war, nothing but wrong can issue".[3] While the emissary was in the Kaurava court, the Pandavas continued with war preparations. They sent messages requesting assistance to a number of neighbouring kingdoms. Their ambassador of peace was insulted and turned away by Duryodhana, who was intent on war, defying the counsel of elders like Bhishma. After several failed attempts on peace, war seemed inevitable.

Krishna's peace mission

As a last attempt at peace, Krishna traveled to Hastinapur to persuade the Kauravas to embark upon a peaceful path with him. At Hastinapur, Krishna took his meals and stayed at the house of the minister, Vidura [UKT: This personage should be compared to one with the same name in Buddhist birth stories.], a religious man and a devotee of Krishna. Duryodhana was insulted that Krishna had turned down his invitation to dine with him and stay in his royal palace. Determined to stop the peace mission, Duryodhana plotted to arrest Krishna.

At the formal presentation of the peace proposal by Krishna at the court of Hastinapur, Krishna's peace proposals were ignored, and Duryodhana publicly ordered his soldiers to arrest Krishna. Krishna laughed and displayed his divine form, radiating intense light. Furious at the insult inflicted upon Him, Lord Krishna cursed Duryodhana that his downfall was certain and He, as Lord Narayana's Divine Form, will see to it that his entire clan is destroyed from the Universe much to the shock of Dhirtharastra who tried to pacify the Lord. But Sri Krishna would have none of it. The beautiful divine form of the Lord could be perceived only by those pure in heart, Bhishma, Drona, and Vidura. The peace mission rejected by Duryodhana, Krishna returned to Upaplavya to inform the Pandavas that the only course left to uphold the principles of virtue and righteousness was inevitable - war.

War preparations

Krishna had one of the largest armies and was Himself a great warrior. Duryodhana and Arjuna thus both went to Krishna at Dwarka to ask for His help. This is a famous part of the story, especially dear to Krishna devotees. Duryodhana arrived first, and found Krishna asleep. Being arrogant and viewing himself as equal to Krishna, Duryodhana chose a seat at Krishna's head and waited for Him to rouse. Arjuna arrived later, and being a humble devotee of Krishna, chose to sit and wait at Krishna's feet. When Krishna woke up, He saw Arjuna first and gave him the first right to make his request. Krishna told Arjuna and Duryodhana that He would give His mighty Narayani sena, 'opulent, Lordly army' to one side, and Himself unarmed to the other. Since Arjuna was given the first opportunity to choose, Duryodhana was worried that Arjuna would choose the mighty army of Krishna. When given the choice of either Krishna's army or Krishna Himself on their side, Arjuna on behalf of the Pandavas chose Krishna, unarmed on His own, relieving Duryodhana, who thought Arjuna to be the greatest fool. Later Arjuna requested Krishna to be his charioteer, and Krishna, being an intimate friend of Arjuna, agreed wholeheartedly, and hence received the name Paarthasaarthy, or 'charioteer of the son of Prithaa'. Both Duryodhana and Arjuna returned satisfied.

While camping at a place called Upaplavya, in the territory of Virata, the Pandavas gathered their armies. Contingents arrived from all parts of the country and soon the Pandavas had a large force of seven divisions. The Kauravas managed to raise an even larger army of eleven divisions. Many kingdoms of ancient India such as Dwaraka, Kasi, Kekaya, Magadha, Matsya, Chedi, Pandya and the Yadus of Mathura were allied with the Pandavas; while the allies of the Kauravas comprised the kings of Pragjyotisha, Anga, Kekaya, Sindhudesa, Mahishmati, Avanti in Madhyadesa, Madras, Gandharas, Bahlikas, Kambojas (with the Yavanas, Sakas and Tusharas) and many others. At this point Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to pray to Goddess Durga the Goddess of Warriors and Warfare, and seeks Her Divine blessings. Pleased with Arjuna's devotion to Her the Goddess grants him that She will be at the side of Pandavas and will ensure that not single weapon can harm them. This is considered a decisive point leading to the war.

An ancient measure of man power, Akshohini is used to enumerate the armies on both sides. One Akshohini consists of 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 65,610 horses and 109,350 foot soldiers.

Pandava army

Seeing that there was now no hope for peace, Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, asked his brothers to organize their army. The Pandavas accumulated seven Akshauhini army with the help of their allies. Each of these Akshohinis or divisions were led by Drupada, Virata, Dhristadyumna, Shikhandi, Satyaki, Chekitana and Bhima. After consulting his commanders, the Pandavas appointed Dhristadyumna as the supreme commander of the Pandava army. Mahābhārata says that kingdoms from all over ancient India supplied troops or provided logistic support on the Pandava side. Some of these were: Kekaya, Pandya, Cholas, Keralas, Magadha, and many more.

Kaurava army

The Kaurava army was consisted of eleven Akshauhinis or divisions. Duryodhana requested Bhishma to command the Kaurava army. Bhishma accepted on the condition that, while he would fight the battle sincerely, he would not harm the five Pandava brothers. In addition, Bheeshma said that Karna would not fight under him as long as he is in the battlefied. It is believed by many that Bhishma pushed Karna into taking this decision due to his affection towards the Pandavas - the Kauravas would be overwhelmingly powerful if both he and Karna appeared in battle simultaneously. However the excuse he used to prevent their simultaneous fighting was that his guru (Parshurama) was insulted by Karna. But the real fact was that Bhisma knew that Karna was a Kaunteya(Son of Kunti) from the day he met him in Ranakshetra when Karna offered Arjuna to fight against him. Regardless, Duryodhana agreed to Bhishma's conditions and made him the supreme commander of the Kaurava army, while Karna was debarred from fighting. . Apart from the one hundred Kaurava brothers, headed by Duryodhana himself and his brother Dushasana, the second eldest son of Dhritarashtra, the Kauravas were assisted on the battlefield by Drona and his son Ashwathama, the Kaurava's brother-in-law Jayadratha, the brahmin Kripa, Kritavarma, Shalya, Sudakshina, Bhurisravas, Bahlika, Shakuni, and many more who were bound by their loyalty towards either Hastinapura or Dhritarashtra.

Neutral parties

The kingdom of Vidarbha, with its King Rukmi, and Balarama were the only neutrals in this war. [4]

Army divisions and weaponry

Each army consisted of several divisions; the Kauravas had 11 while the Pandavas controlled 7. A division (akshauhini) includes 21,870 chariots and chariot-riders, 21,870 elephants and riders, 65,610 horses and riders, and 109,350 foot-soldiers (in a ratio of 1:1:3:5). The combined number of warriors and soldiers in both armies was approximately 3.94 million. [5] Each Akshohini was under a commander or a general, apart from the Commander in chief or the generalissimo who was the head of the entire army.

During the Kurukshetra War, the weapons used included: the bow and arrows, the weapon of choice for Arjuna, Bhishma, Drona, Karna and Abhimanyu; the mace, chosen by Bhima and Duryodhana, the spear and the dagger or sword.

If the text is taken as historically accurate, this war was the bloodiest in history as most of the warriors and soldiers perished during a period of only eighteen days. Arjuna, in a fit of extreme anger over the death of his son Abhimanyu, alone killed one akshauhini of Kaurava soldiers in a single day. The war left an extremely large number of widows and orphans and led to an economic depression and beginning of Kali Yuga.

Military formations

At various times during battle, the supreme commander of either army ordered special formations ("vyuhas"). Each formation had a specific purpose; some were defensive while others were offensive. Each formation had its specific strengths and weaknesses. Mahābhārata' list the following:

01. Krauncha vyuha (heron formation)
02. Makara vyuha (crocodile formation)
03. Kurma vyuha (tortoise or turtle formation)
04. Trishula vyuha (the trident formation)
05. Chakra vyuha (wheel or discus formation)
06. Kamala vyuha or Padma vyuha (lotus formation)
07. Garud vyuha (Eagle formation)
08. Oormi vyuha (Ocean formation)
09. Mandala vyuha (Galactic formation)
10. Vajra vyuha (diamond/ thunderbolt formation)
11. Shakata vyuha (Box/Cart formation)
12. Asura vyuha (Demon formation)
13. Deva vyuha (Divine formation)
14. Soochi vyuha (Needle formation)
15. Sringataka vyuha (Horned formation)
16. Chandrakala vyuha (Crescent/ Curved Blade formation)

It is not clear what the formations actually indicate. They may be formations bearing resemblance to animals, or they may be names given to strategies and formations.[6]

Rules of engagement

The two supreme commanders met and framed "rules of ethical conduct", dharmayuddha, for the war. The rules included:

• Fighting must begin no earlier than sunrise and end exactly at sunset.

• Multiple warriors may not attack a single warrior.

• Two warriors may "duel", or engage in prolonged personal combat,
  only if they carry the same weapons and they are on the same mount
  (no mount, a horse, an elephant, or a chariot).

• No warrior may kill or injure a warrior who has surrendered.

• One who surrenders becomes a prisoner of war and will then be subject
  to the protections of a prisoner of war.

• No warrior may kill or injure an unarmed warrior.

• No warrior may kill or injure an unconscious warrior.

• No warrior may kill or injure a person or animal not taking part in the war.

• No warrior may kill or injure a warrior whose back is turned away.

• No warrior may attack a woman.

• No warrior may strike an animal not considered a direct threat.

• The rules specific to each weapon must be followed. For example,
  it is prohibited to strike below the waist in mace warfare.

• Warriors may not engage in any "unfair" warfare.

Most of these laws were broken at least once by both sides.

Course of war

The Kurukshetra War lasted eighteen days. It was fought only during daylight hours; fighting ceased at sunset. The armies met on a vast field in Kurukshetra; each day the battle was characterised by numerous individual combats, as well as mass raids against entire enemy divisions. The victor or the vanquished on each day was determined not by any territories gained, but by the body count. This was a war to the death. The victor was the survivor.

Before the battle

It has been observed that the year in which the Mahabharata War took place, the year had three eclipses on earth in a span of thirty days. Eclipses are considered ill for the life giving planets such as Sun and Moon in Hindu Mythology. Lunar and Solar Eclipses bring Sun-Earth-Moon in one line one way or the other so that the earth experiences some kind of imbalance to the environment as well as inhabitants on earth. It is widely noted that though such year with three eclipses causes great harm, it can cause great benefit to mankind. This war, resulted into a gift called Bhagavad Gita to the mankind.

On the first day of the war, as would be on all the following days, the Kaurava army stood facing west and the Pandava army stood facing east. The Kaurava army was formed such that it faced all sides: elephants formed its body; the kings, its head; and the steeds, its wings. Bhishma, in consultation with his commanders Drona, Bahlika and Kripa, remained in the rear.

The Pandava army was organised by Yudhisthira and Arjuna in the Vajra formation. Because the Pandava army was smaller than the Kaurava's, they decided to employ the tactic of each warrior engaging as many enemies as possible. This involved an element of surprise, with the bowmen showering arrows from hidden behind the frontal attackers. The attackers in the front were equipped with short-range weapons like maces, battle-axes, swords and lances.

Ten divisions (Akshauhinis) of the Kaurava army were arranged in a formidable phalanx. The eleventh was put under the immediate command of Bhishma, partly to protect him. The safety of the supreme commander Bhishma was central to Duryodhana's strategy, as he had placed all his hope on the great warrior's abilities. Dushasana, the younger brother of Duryodhana, was the military officer in-charge of Bhishma's protection.

When the war was declared and the two armies were facing each other, Arjuna realised that he would have to kill his dear great-granduncle (Bhishma), on whose lap he had played as a child, and his respected teacher (Drona), who had held his hand and taught him how to hold the bow and arrow, making him the greatest archer in the world. Arjuna felt weak and sickened at the prospect of killing his entire family, including his 100 cousins, and friends such as Ashwathama. Despondent and confused about what is religious, what is right and what is wrong, Arjuna turned to Krishna for divine advice and teachings. Krishna, who Arjuna chose as his charioteer, advised him of his duty. This conversation forms the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most respected religious and philosophical texts in the Hindu religion. Krishna instructs Arjuna not to yield to degrading impotence and to fight his kin, for that was the only way to righteousness. He also reminded him that this was a war between righteousness and unrighteousness (dharma and adharma), and it was Arjuna's duty to slay anyone who supported the cause of unrighteousness, or sin. Krishna then revealed his divine form and explained that he is born on earth in each aeon when evil raises its head. It also forms one of the foremost treatise on the several aspects of Yoga and mystical knowledge.

Before the battle began, Yudhisthira did something unexpected. He suddenly dropped his weapons, took off his armour and started walking towards the Kaurava army with folded hands in prayer. The Pandava brothers and the Kauravas looked on in disbelief, thinking Yudhisthira was surrendering before the first arrow was shot. Yudhisthira's purpose became clear, however, when he fell on Bhishma's feet to seek his blessing for success in battle. Bhishma, grandfather to both the Pandavas and Kauravas, blessed Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira returned to his chariot and the battle was ready to commence.

Day one

When the battle commenced, Bhishma went through the Pandava army wreaking havoc wherever he went. Abhimanyu, Arjuna's son, seeing this went straight at Bhishma, defeated his bodyguards and directly attacked the commander of the Kaurava forces. The Pandavas suffered numerous losses and were defeated at the end of the first day. Virata's sons, Uttara and Sweta, were slain by Shalya and Bhishma. Krishna consoled the distraught Yudhisthira saying that eventually victory would be his.

Day two

The second day of the war commenced with a confident Kaurava army facing the Pandavas. Arjuna, realising that something needed to be done quickly to reverse the Pandava losses, decided that he must try to kill Bhishma. Krishna skillfully located Bhishma's chariot and steered Arjuna toward him. Arjuna tried to engage Bhishma in a duel, but the Kaurava soldiers placed around Bhishma to protect him attacked Arjuna to try to prevent him from directly engaging Bhishma. Arjuna and Bhishma fought a fierce battle that raged for hours. Drona and Dhristadyumna similarly engaged in a duel during which Drona broke Dhristadyumna's bow numerous times. Bhima intervened and rescued Dhristadyumna. Duryodhana sent the Kalinga forces to attack Bhima and most of them lost their lives at his hands. Bhishma immediately came to relieve the battered Kalinga forces. Satyaki, who was assisting Bhima, shot at Bhishma's charioteer and killed him. Bhishma's horses, with no one to control them, bolted carrying Bhishma away from the battle field. The Kaurava army had suffered great losses at the end of the second day.

Day three

On the third day, Bhishma arranged the Kaurava forces in the formation of an eagle with himself leading from the front, while Duryodhana's forces protected the rear. Bhishma wanted to be sure of avoiding any mishap. The Pandavas countered this by using the crescent formation with Bhima and Arjuna at the head of the right and the left horns, respectively. The Kauravas concentrated their attack on Arjuna's position. Arjuna's chariot was soon covered with arrows and javelins. Arjuna, with amazing skill, built a fortification around his chariot with an unending stream of arrows from his bow. Abhimanyu and Satyaki combined to defeat the Gandhara forces of Shakuni. Bhima and his son Ghatotkacha attacked Duryodhana in the rear. Bhima's arrows hit Duryodhana, who swooned in his chariot. His charioteer immediately drove them out of danger. Duryodhana's forces, however, saw their leader fleeing the battlefield and soon scattered. Bhishma soon restored order and Duryodhana returned to lead the army. He was angry at Bhishma, however, at what he saw as leniency towards the five Pandava brothers and spoke harshly at his commander. Bhishma, stung by this unfair charge, fell on the Pandava army with renewed vigour. It was as if there were more than one Bhishma on the field. [7] The Pandava army soon began to retreat in chaos.

Arjuna and Krishna attacked Bhishma trying to restore order. Arjuna and Bhishma again engaged in a fierce duel, however Arjuna's heart was not in the battle as he did not like the idea of attacking his great-uncle. During the battle, Bhishma killed numerous soldiers of Arjuna's armies. This enraged Lord Krishna, who grabbed a chariot wheel to kill Bhishma. Bhishma wanted Lord Krishna to break his vow not to pick up any weapon in the battle. Bhishma at once fell at his feet and requested Krishna to kill him, as there would be nothing greater than attaining death at the hands of the supreme lord himself. Seeing this, Krishna calmed down and smiled and the battle between Arjuna and Bhishma continued.

Day four

The fourth day battle was noted for the valour shown by Bhima. Bhishma commanded the Kaurava army to move on the offensive from the outset. Arjuna's son, Abhimanyu, was surrounded and attacked by a number of Kaurava princes. Arjuna joined the fray in aid of Abhimanyu. Bhima appeared on the scene with his mace aloft and started attacking the Kauravas. Duryodhana sent a huge force of elephants at Bhima. When Bhima saw the mass of elephants approaching, he got down from his chariot and attacked them single handedly with his iron mace. They scattered and stampeded into the Kaurava forces killing many. Duryodhana ordered an all-out attack on Bhima. Bhima withstood all that was thrown at him and attacked Duryodhana's brothers, killing eight of them. Bhima was soon struck by an arrow on the chest and sat down in his chariot dazed. Ghatotkacha seeing this, fell upon the Kaurava army in anger. Bhishma, realizing that no one could stand against the angry Ghatotkacha, sounded retreat. Duryodhana was distraught at the loss of his brothers.

Duryodhana, overwhelmed by sorrow at the loss of his brothers, went to Bhishma at the end of the fourth day of the battle, and asked his commander how could the Pandavas, facing a superior force against them, still prevail and win. Bhishma replied that the Pandavas had justice on their side and advised Duryodhana to seek peace.

Days five through nine

When the battle resumed on the fifth day, the slaughter continued. The Pandava army again suffered against Bhishma's attacks. Satyaki bore the brunt of Drona's attacks and soon could not withstand them. Bhima drove by and rescued Satyaki. Arjuna fought and killed thousands of soldiers sent by Duryodhana to attack him. The unimaginable carnage continued during the ensuing days of the battle. The sixth day was marked by a prodigious slaughter. Drona caused immeasurable loss of life on the Pandava side. The formations of both the armies were broken. On the eighth day Bhima killed eight of Dhritarashtra's sons and Arjuna's son Iravan was killed by the Kauravas. On the ninth day Krishna, once again overcome by anger at the apparent inability of Arjuna to defeat Bhishma, rushed towards the Kaurava commander, but Arjuna stopped him. Realising that the war could not be won as long as Bhisma were standing, Krishna suggested the strategy of placing a woman in the field to face him.

Day 10

On the tenth day the Pandavas, unable to withstand Bhishma's prowess, decided to put Shikhandi, who had been a woman in a prior life in front of Bhishma, as Bhishma has taken a vow not to attack a woman. Shikhandi's arrows fell on Bhishma without hindrance. Arjuna positioned himself behind Shikhandi, protecting himself from Bhishma's attack, and aimed his arrows at the weak points in Bhishma's armour. Soon, with arrows sticking from every part of his body, the great warrior fell from his chariot. His body did not touch the ground as it was held aloft by the arrows protruding from his body.

The Kauravas and Pandavas gathered around Bhishma and, at his request, Arjuna placed three arrows under Bhisma's head to support it. Bhishma had promised his father, King Shantanu, that he would live until Hastinapur were secured from all directions. To keep this promise, Bhishma used the boon of "Ichcha Mrityu" (self wished death) given to him by his father. After the war was over, when Hastinapur had become safe from all sides and after giving lessons on politics and Vishnu Sahastranama to the Pandavas, Bhishma died on the first day of Uttarayana.

Day 11

With Bhishma unable to continue, Karna entered the battle field, much to Duryodhna's joy. He made Drona the supreme commander of the Kaurava forces. Karna and Duryodhana wanted to capture Yudhisthira alive. Killing Yudhisthira in battle would only enrage the Pandavas more, whereas holding him as hostage would be strategically useful. Drona formulated his battle plans for the eleventh day to this aim. He cut down Yudhisthira's bow and the Pandava army feared that their leader would be taken prisoner. Arjuna rushed to the scene, however, and with a flood of arrows made Drona retreat.

Day 12

With his attempts to capture Yudhisthira failed, Drona confided to Duryodhna that it would be difficult as long as Arjuna was around. The king of Trigartadesa, Susharma along with his 3 brothers and 35 sons who were fighting on the Kaurava side made a pact that they would kill Arjuna or die. They went into the battle field on the twelfth day and challenged Arjuna. Arjuna gave them a fierce fight in which the brothers fell dead after fighting a brave fight. Drona continued to try and capture Yudhisthira. The Pandavas however fought hard and delivered severe blows to the Kaurava army.

Day 13

Duryodhana summoned King Bhagadatta, the monarch of Pragjyotisha (modern day Assam, India). Bhagadatta had thousands of gigantic elephants in his stable and was considered the strongest warrior on this planet in elephant warfare. Bhagadatta attacked Arjuna with his gigantic elephant named Suprateeka. It was a fierce battle in which Bhagadatta matched Arjuna astra for astra.

On the other side of the battlefield, the remaining four Pandavas and their allies were finding it impossible to break Dronacharya's Chakravyuha formation. As Arjuna was busy fighting with the Trigartadesa princes and the Prajayogastha monarch on the other side of the battlefield, he could not be summoned to break the Chakravyuha formation, which could only be broken by entering and exiting the formation. Yudhisthira instructed, Abhimanyu, one of Arjuna's sons to break the Chakravyuha formation. Abhimanyu knew the secret of entering the Chakravyuh formation, but did not know how to exit it. Eventually he was trapped in the Chakravyuha, which led to his death.

Upon learning of the death of his son, Arjuna vowed to kill Jayadratha on the morrow before the battle ended at sunset, otherwise he would throw himself into the fire.

Day 14

While searching for Jayadratha on the battlefield, Arjuna slew an akshouhini (hundreds of thousands (109,350)) of Kaurava soldiers. The Kaurava army tightly protected Jayadratha, however, preventing Arjuna from attacking him. Finally, in late afternoon, Arjuna found Jayadratha guarded by the mighty kaurav army. Seeing his friend's plight, Lord Krishna raised his Sudarshana Chakra to cover the sun, faking a sunset. Arjuna fought a powerful battle with Jayadrtha and finally defeated him. Then, Arjuna shot a powerful arrow decapitating Jayadratha.

The battle continued past sunset. When the bright moon rose, Ghatotkacha , son of Bhima slaughtered numerous warriors, attacking while flying in the air. Karna stood against him and both fought fiercely until Karna released the Indrastra, a celestial dart given to him by Indra. Ghatotkacha increased his size and fell dead on the Kaurav army killing thousands of them.

UKT: Ghatotkacha was mothered by a demi-goddess (a demon or "Asura") while Bhima was in her country. Can this place be on the border between India and Myanmar? What I have in mind is the Myanmar-province of Yaw which even to this day is considered by the people from the Myanmar mainland to be the area of witches and wizards. As a young child in 1942, my parents and I had lived for some six months in Pauk, a town on the outskirt of the proper Yaw. - UKT 100422.

Day 15

After King Drupada and King Virata were slain by Drona, Bhima, and Dhristadyumna fought him on the fifteenth day. Because Drona was very powerful and inconquerable having the irresistible brahmadanda, Krishna hinted to Yudhisthira that Drona would give up his arms if his son Ashwathama was dead. Bhima proceeded to kill an elephant named Ashwathama, and loudly proclaimed that Ashwathama was dead. Drona approached Yudhisthira to seek the truth of his son's death. Yudhisthira proclaimed Ashwathama Hatahath, naro va Kunjaro va, implying Ashwathama had died but he was nor sure whether it was a Drona's son or an elephant, The latter part of his proclamation (Naro va Kunjaro va) were drowned out by trumpets sounded in triumph, on Krishna's instruction (a different version of the story is that Yudhisthira pronounced the last words so feebly that Drona could not hear the word elephant). Prior to this incident, the chariot of Yudhisthira, proclaimed as Dharma raja (King of righteousness), hovered a few inches off the ground. After the event, the chariot landed on the ground as he had knowingly uttered a falsehood.

Drona was disheartened, and laid down his weapons. He was then killed by Dhristadyumna to avenge his father's death and satisfy his vow. Later, the Pandava's mother Kunti secretly met her abandoned son Karna and requested him to spare the Pandavas, as they were his younger brothers. Karna promised Kunti that he would spare them except for Arjuna.

Day 16

On the sixteenth day, Karna became supreme commander of the Kaurava army, killing countless warriors during the day.

Karna fought valiantly but was surrounded and attacked by Pandava generals, who were unable to prevail upon him. Karna inflicted heavy damage on the Pandava army, which fled. Then Arjuna successfully resisted Karna's weapons with his own, and also inflicted casualties upon the Kaurava army. The sun soon set, and with darkness and dust making the assessment of proceedings difficult, the Kaurava army retreated for the day. [8] On the same day, Bhima swung his mace and shattered Dushasana's chariot. Bhima seized Dushasana, ripped his right hand from shoulder and killed him, tearing open his chest and drinking his blood and carrying some to smear on Draupadi's untied hair, thus fulfilling his vow made when Draupadi was humiliated.

Day 17

On the seventeenth day, Karna defeated Bhima and Yudhisthira in battle but spared their lives. Later, Karna resumed duelling with Arjuna.

Day 18

On the 18th day, Yudhishthira killed king Shalya, Sahadeva killed Shakuni, and Bhima killed Duryodhana's remaining brothers. Realizing that he had been defeated, Duryodhana fled the battle field and took refuge in the lake, where the Pandavas caught up with him. Under the supervision of the now returned Balarama, a mace battle took place between Bhima and Duryodhana in which Duryodhana was mortally wounded. Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, and Kritavarma met Duryodhana at his deathbed and promised to avenge him. They attacked the Pandavas' camp later that night and killed all the Pandavas' remaining army, besides Dhristadyumna, Shikhandi

Aftermath

At the end of the 18th day, only Twelve warriors survived the war — the five Pandavas, Krishna, Satyaki, Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, Yuyutsu, Vrishakethu and Kritvarma. Vrishakethu was the only son of Karna who survived the horrific slaughter. He later came under the patronage of the Pandavas. During the campaign that preceded the Ashvamedha –yaga, Vrishakethu accompanied Arjuna and participated in the battles with Sudhava and Babruvahana. During that campaign Vrishakethu married the daughter of king Yavanatha (perhaps a king of the western regions). It is said, Arjuna developed great affection for Vrishakethu, his nephew. Yudhisthira was crowned king of Hastinapur. He renounced the throne after ruling for more than 30 years, passing on the crown to Arjuna's grandson Parikshit. He then left for the Himalayas with Draupadi and his brothers in what was to be their last journey. Draupadi and four Pandavas — Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva — died during the journey. Yudhisthira, the lone survivor and being of pious heart, was invited by Dharma

Historicity

Attempts have been made to find the exact date for the occurrence of this war based on astronomical and literary records, such as the Mahābhārata and later literature. There have been a number of theories put forward[9]:

• S. Balakrishna concluded a date of 2559 BCE using consecutive lunar eclipses.
• I. N. Iyengar concluded a date of 1478 BCE using double eclipses and Saturn+Jupiter conjunctions.
• B. N. Achar states a date of 3067 BCE using planetary positions listed in the Mahābhārata.
• P. V. Holey states a date of November 13, 3143 BCE using planetary positions and calendar systems. Vartak calculates a date of October 16, 5561 BCE using planetary positions.[10]
• Based on translation work by K. Sadananda, on November 22 3067 BCE, Kurukshetra War started. [11]
• "The findings in Dwarka and archeological evidence found are compatible with the Mahabharata tradition and removes the lingering doubt about the historicity and poisions Mahabharata war date to around 1500 BCE [12]] also see [2]

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