Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Bhima included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Bhīma

Bhīmasena, one of the five Pāṇḍavas.*


(See genealogy of Arjuna).

Birth and childhood.

King Vicitravīrya of Candra vaṃśa (lunar dynasty) had two sons called Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu. The Kauravas (Duryodhana etc.) were sons born to Dhṛtarāṣṭra of his wife Gāndhārī, and the Pāṇḍavas were the sons of Pāṇḍu and his wives Kuntī and Mādrī. Dharmaputra, Bhīma and Arjuna were the sons of Kuntī, and Nakula and Sahadeva of Mādrī.**

Kuntī directed a mantra gifted to her by Durvāsas towards Vāyubhagavān (the wind-god) and the result was the birth of Bhīma. Hence he is called Vāyu-putra (son of the wind-god). At the time of his birth a celestial voice announced that the boy would grow up to be the strongest among the strong. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 14). On the tenth day after birth the child Bhīma fell from his mother’s lap on a rock. Bhīma was not injured in any manner by that fall, although it crushed the rock into power. (This story is told in the southern texts of the Mahābhārata in Chapter 132 of Ādi Parva). The naming ceremony of the child was performed by the Maharṣis, who stayed at Śataśṛṅga. Kaśyapa Maharṣi, family priest of Vasudeva performed the ceremonies like wearing of the sacred thread. Bhīma learned fighting with the gadā (club or mace) from Śuka, the famous Rājarṣi.

The Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas spent their childhood in Hastināpura. Droṇācārya taught them fighting with weapons. The Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas often engaged themselves in children’s games. In all such games Bhīma used to hurt and defeat the Kauravas, and to this fact the unending hatred of the Kauravas towards Bhīma owed its origin. Once they administered poison to Bhīma who fell down unconscious, and then they threw him into the depths of the Gaṅgā (Ganges). Going deeper and deeper in the waters Bhīma, at last, reached the Nāgaloka, where the nāgas (serpents) bit him which neutralized the effects of the poison in his body. There he got acquainted with a nāga called Āryaka, who introduced him to Vāsuki, king of the nāgas, and Vāsuki presented him with much wealth and other costly gems. But, what use was all this wealth to Bhīma? Then Vāsuki agreed to give him a divine drink, which would give the user of it the strength of thousand elephants. Bhīma drank at one draught eight pot-fulls of that divine drink, and thus became tremendously strong. But, he had to wait in Nāgaloka for eight days so that the drink might be thoroughly assimilated, and on the ninth day the nāgas saw him off in all pomp and splendour. Bhīma returned to his mother and brothers and consoled them, who were terribly anxious at his absence.

When the training of the princes in the use of weapons was over a competition or test was conducted. Duryodhana and Bhīma entered into a 'club-fight', and when Karṇa tried to intervene in the fight his nobility was questioned by Bhīma. Duryodhana then insulted Bhīma. Arjuna agreed to present King Drupada before Droṇācārya as gurudakṣinā to him. In the fierce war the Pāṇḍavas fought with Drupada, Bhīma annihilated the elephant division of the latter’s army. And, afterwards Bhīma underwent higher training in club-war at the hands of Balabhadrarāma. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 136, Verse 4).

The Pāṇḍavas left Hastināpura.

As enmity between the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas began growing stronger and stronger, Duryodhana, with his father’s permission, removed the Pāṇḍavas to vāraṇāvata and settled them there. They were put up there in a palace specially made of lac. The Pāṇḍavas divined the secret of it and escaped from the fire, when the palace was set fire to. Verse 10, Chapter 147 of the Ādi Parva states that it was Bhīma, who set fire to the palace. Escaping thus through a tunnel the Pāṇḍavas travelled a great distance in the forest. Kuntī and four of her sons got tired by the exertions of the travel and were forced to sit down for rest on the way. Bhīma, continued the journey carrying the mother and his four brothers on his shoulders. With their entry into Hiḍiṃba forest the weakness left them, and they became their former selves.

Hiḍiṃba killed.

Kuntī devī and four sons slept under the shade of a tree at dusk, and Bhīma kept guard over them. There dwelt in the forest a Rākṣasa called Hiḍiṃba with his sister, Hiḍiṃbī. Hiḍiṃba looked around that particular day from the top of a tree, and detecting Bhīma his mouth watered. He deputed Hiḍimbī to bring Bhīma over to him. Hiḍiṃbī approached Bhīma, whose fine figure kindled feelings of love in her. She desired to have him as husband. Hiḍiṃbī having not returned even after a long time Hidiṃba went over to the spot, and there finding Hiḍiṃbī in love-talks with Bhīma he got terribly angry. He wanted to kill Hiḍiṃbī. Bhīma, who could not suffer the killing of a woman in his presence rushed against Hiḍiṃba, The noise of the fight awakened the other Pāṇḍavas from sleep, and at the instance of Arjuna, Bhīma killed Hiḍiṃba. Thus rendered helpless and forlorn Hiḍiṃbī again craved Bhīma for love. On the suggestion of Kuntī, whose heart melted at the sight of Hiḍiṃbī’s helplessness Bhīma took her as his wife. But, one condition was stipulated for their enjoying the honey-moon. The condition was that they might enjoy honey-moon, from dawn to dusk in the sky and on mountain tops, Hiḍiṃbī, who was endowed with magic powers carrying Bhīma with her. And, after dusk Bhīma was to be returned to Kuntī. Accordingly Bhīma and Hiḍiṃbī spent one year, and to them was born a son called Ghaṭotkaca. Promising that he shall return when wanted, Ghaṭotkaca with his mother went into the forest. The Pāṇḍavas also left for the village called Ekacakrā. (Ādi Parva, Chapters 147-154).

Killing of Baka and the wedding of Pāñcālī.

While at Ekacakrā Bhīma killed the Rākṣasa called Baka and freed the people of the village from their distress. Afterwards the Pāṇḍavas attended the Svayamvara (free choice of the husband by woman) of Pāñcālī, who became their wife. There Bhīma defeated Śalya in fight. And, the Pāṇḍavas duly returned to Hastināpura. (For details see Baka, Pāñcālī and Arjuna).

Again to forest.

On their return to Hastinapura the Pāṇḍavas took their residence in the palace built by Maya. There Maya presented a magnificent club to Bhīma. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 18). It was Śrī Kṛṣṇa, lord of Dvārakā who served as the right hand of the Pāṇḍavas. Jarāsandha, who was then King of Magadha fought with Kṛṣṇa eighteen times and got defeated. Yet he did not yield, and at last Kṛṣṇa decided to do away with him. Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and Bhīma, in disguise, set out for Magadha. They entered Jarāsandha’s palace and challenged him to a duel. Bhīma and Jarāsandha clashed, and at the instance of Kṛṣṇa Bhīma rent the latter in two and threw him on the ground. Though Jarāsandha was alive again, Bhīma rent him in two and threw away the two parts to two places. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Southern Text, Chapter 24).

The main impediments and thorns in their way thus having been removed, Dharmaputra decided to perform Rājasūya. Bhīma was deputed to conquer all the kingdoms in the eastern part of India. Bhīma achieved the object and returned with great wealth to Indraprastha. Though Bhīma got ready to kill Śiśupāla, who alone refused to acknowledge the suzerainty of Yudhiṣṭhira, he also yielded on the tactful advice of Bhīṣma. The Rājasūya Yajña went off quite successfully. It was Bhīma, who, after the Yajña was over, took Bhīṣma and Yudhiṣṭhira to Hastināpura. Afterwards, in the contest in the game of dice played between Dharmaputra and Duryodhana, the Pāṇḍavas lost everything. The Kauravas brought Pāñcālī into the assembly hall and attempted to strip her naked in public. Bhīma who got enraged at this shouted that the hands of Yudhiṣṭhira who played dice should be burnt in fire. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 68, Verse 6). And, Bhīma took then and there the terrible pledge that he would, with his hands stained by blood from the chest of Duśśāsana, who tried to rip Pāñcālī naked, tie up Pāñcālī’s hair which got untied in the scuffle. He also swore that he would break the thigh of Duryodhana. In uncontrollable rage Bhīma also shouted that he would turn into ashes all those who took part in the game of dice. Bhīma took also the vow that all the Kauravas would be killed.

According to the terms and conditions laid down with regard to the contest in the game of dice the Pāṇḍavas went into the Kāmyaka forest to live there for twelve years and then to live incognito for one year.

Life in forest and life incognito.

There lived in Kāmyaka forest a Rākṣasa called Kirmīra, brother of Bala, whom Bhīma had killed on an earlier occasion. Kirmīra, who was awaiting an opportunity to avenge the murder of his brother, now clashed with Bhīma in the forest. Bhīma did very easily kill him. (For details see Kirmīra).

Thus the Pāṇḍavas spent their days once again in the Kāmyaka forest under the spiritual leadership of sage Dhaumya. They thought about their lost kingdom. Should they go to war against the Kauravas or should they spend the rest of their lives in the exercise of dhārmic injunctions? At one time Bhīma advised Yudhiṣṭhira against war; but on another occasion he pleaded vehemently in favour of war. It was during this time that Arjuna went to the Himālayas to please Śiva by penance and get from him the Pāśupatāstra. (Arrow called Pāśupata). The Pāṇḍavas naturally got nervous and upset at the rather long absence of Arjuna; Bhīma was more anxious and sorry than the others. Then the Pāṇḍavas set out in search of Arjuna, and travelled upto Mount Gandhamādana. Then the party got so tired that they could not proceed any further. Pāñcālī fell down fainting. Then Bhīma remembered Ghaṭotkaca, who appeared before his father (Bhīma) at once. As directed by Bhīma Ghaṭotkaca mounted the Pāṇdavas on his shoulders and the journey continued. They reached the Āśrama of Naranārāyaṇas, and rested there for six days. One day the wind blowing from the northeast dropped near Pāñcālī a Saugandhika flower. And, Bhīma set out in the north-east direction to fetch saugandhika flowers for Pāñcālī, who felt a special liking for them.

Walking and walking Bhīma entered Kadalīvana. Hanūmān, his skin wrinkled and hair grey due to old age, was living in this forest. He obstructed the path of Bhīma. Hanūmān awoke from sleep and raised his tail with a terrific sound. Bhīma walked upto the place whence the sound was heard.*** (Vanaparva, Chapter 146). In the clash that ensued between Hanūmān and Bhīma the former came out victorious. Hanūmān, however, congratulated Bhīma and directed him on the path to the saugandhika forest.

Bhīmasena reached the saugandhika forest, which was being guarded by the Rākṣasas called Krodhavaśas. Bhīma overcame them, collected the flowers and returning with them stayed in the Badarikāśrama with his brothers and Pāñcālī. Here it was that Bhīma killed Jaṭāsura. (For details see Jaṭāsura II).

Four years were thus spent; yet Arjuna had not returned. The Pāṇḍavas continued their journey northward. On the 17th day they came to the Āśrama of Vṛṣaparvā in the Himālayas. They were duly received by the maharṣi, who directed them in their onward journey. Continuing the journey they reached the Āśrama of Ārṣṭiṣeṇa whence, after crossing various mountain peaks and still walking they reached Kubera’s Alakāpurī when a Yakṣa called Maṇimān obstructed their further progress. Bhīma killed Maṇimān and the other Yakṣas who rushed to his support. Finally Kubera himself saw Bhīma and blessed the Pāṇḍavas.

While they were returning from Kubera’s palace Bhīma was caught by a python. But, it was really Nahuṣa transformed into a python on account of a curse. Bhīma killed it and it assumed its original form as Nahuṣa. (See Agastya, Para 8). By this time Arjuna had obtained Pāśupatāstra from Śiva and he duly returned to his brothers, and the Pāṇḍavas continued their journey in the forest.

Meantime, knowing that the Pāṇḍavas were put up in Dvaitavana, the Kauravas started for their dwelling place in a procession led by Duryodhana with the army and camped nearly two furlongs away from a pool in Dvaitavana. While thus camping Duryodhana clashed with a Gandharva called Citrasena, who with a number of his comrades came to the pool for water games, and in the encounter the latter made Duryodhana prisoner. Bhīmasena who witnessed the scene very much laughed at Duryodhana. But, Arjuna intervened and set free Duryodhana and others.

The Pāṇḍavas again entered the Kāmyaka forest, and it was at that time that Jayadratha abducted Pāñcālī. Bhīma killed Koṭikāsya who acted on behalf of Jayadratha. (See Koṭikāsya). Moreover Bhīma captured Jayadratha, got his head shaved clean and declared that he was a slave of Dharmaputra. It was here at Dvaitavana that Dharmadeva tested the Pāṇḍavas, who had gone to a nearby pool to fetch water; all the Pāṇḍavas except Yudhiṣṭhira died at the pool, but were brought back to life again. (See Dharmaputra, Para 7). The twelve years' forest-life of the Pāṇḍavas now came to an end.

According to the advice of Dharmadeva the Pāṇḍavas selected the Virāṭa palace for their life incognito, Bhīmasena assuming the name Vallava (Valala). And, here Bhīma killed in a duel Jīmūta, the pugilist. (See Jīmūta II). It was also here that Bhīma killed Kīcaka and the Upakīcakas. (See Kīcaka). On another occasion, at the instance of Yudhiṣṭhira Bhīma took Sudharmā, King of Daśārṇa to Yudhiṣṭhira captive; but he was later set free. Next year the Pāṇḍavas defeated Duryodhana in the fight in connection with the theft of the cows of the Virāṭa King, and then they declared that their forest life and life incognito were over.

Bhīma in the great war.

Even after the return of the Pāṇḍavas after the forest life and life incognito the Kauravas refused to give them half of the kingdom. So, both the parties began preparations for war. Given hereunder is the main incident relating to Bhīma from this period to the Svargārohaṇa (going to Heaven) of the Pāṇḍavas after relinquishing the kingdom in favour of Parīkṣit, including their victory in war and the administration of the country.

(1) Sañjaya described to Dhṛtarāṣṭra the prowess and achievements of Bhīma. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 50).

(2) Śrī Kṛṣṇa before leaving for the Kaurava assembly for compromise talks asked for the views of Bhīma about the whole problem, and Bhīma opined that peace was preferable to war. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74).

(3) When Śrī Kṛṣṇa admonished Bhīma he opted for war and waxed eloquent about his heroism and prowess. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 76).

(4) Bhīma wanted Śikhaṇḍī to be appointed chief of the army. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 161).

(5) Bhīma sent back with an insulting reply Ulūka, who was sent by Duryodhana to the Pāṇḍavas with a message. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 163).

(6) Bhīma questioned Dharmaputra who, when the armies had taken position on opposite sides, went on foot to the Kaurava assembly without bow and arrows. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 17).

(7) The world shuddered at the war cry of Bhīma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 44, Verse 8).

(8) On the first day of the war Bhīma fought a duel with Duryodhana. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 19).

(9) In the fight with the Kaliṅgas Bhīma killed Śakradeva. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 24).

(10) Bhīma killed Bhānumān. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 39).

(11) He killed Satyadeva and Śalya, who guarded the chariot wheels of Śrutāyus, King of Kaliṅga. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 76).

(12) Killed Ketumān. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 77).

(13) Annihilated the elephant division of the Kaurava army, and rivers of blood flowed. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 103).

(14) Defeated Duryodhana. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 58, Verse 16).

(15) Fought against Bhīṣma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 63, Verse 1).

(16) Fought against the whole lot of Kauravas, and in this fight eight sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra viz. Senāpati, Jarāsandha, Suṣeṇa, Ugra, Vīrabāhu, Bhīma, Bhīmaratha and Sulocana were killed. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 32).

(17) Fought a fierce war against Bhīṣma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 72, Verse 21).

(18) Fought with Duryodhana. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 72, Verse 17).

(19) Defeated Duryodhana the second time. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 79, Verse 11).

(20) Defeated Kṛtavarmā. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 60).

(21) Killed Bhīṣma’s charioteer. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 12).

(22) Killed eight more sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Chapter 88, Verse 13, Bhīṣma Parva).

(23) Struck by the arrow of Bhīma, Droṇācārya fell down unconscious. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 18).

(24) Killed nine more sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 23).

(25) Defeated Bālhīka. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 104, Verse 18).

(26) Fought a duel with Bhūriśravas. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 110, Verse 10).

(27) Killed ten mahārathīs (heroes in chariot war) of the Kaurava army. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 113).

(28) Dhṛtarāṣṭra applauded the prowess of Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 13).

(29) Bhīma fought with Viviṃśati. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 27).

(30) Defeated Śalya in club fight. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 15, Verse 8).

(31) Fought with Durmarṣaṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 5).

(32) Killed Aṅga, king of the Mleccha tribe. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 26, Verse 17).

(33) Fought with the elephant of Bhagadatta, was defeated and ran away. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 26, Verse 19).

(34) Attacked Karṇa and killed fifteen warriors of his. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 32).

(35) Fought with Viviṃśati, Citrasena and Vikarṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 31).

(36) Fought with Alambuṣa and came out victorious. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 106, Verse 16).

(37) Fought with Kṛtavarmā. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 114, Verse 67).

(38) Consoled Yudhiṣṭhira who was in great perplexity. Droṇa Parva, Chapter 126, Verse 32).

(39) Defeated Droṇa again. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 42).

(40) Killed Kuṇḍabhedi, Suṣena, Dīrghalocana, Vṛndāraka, Abhaya, Raudrakarmā, Durvimocana, Vinda, Anuvinda, Suvarmā and Sudarśana. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 60).

(41) Threw off Droṇācārya along with his chariot eight times. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 128, Verse 18).

(42) Defeated Karṇa in fight. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 122).

(43) Killed Duśśala. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 129).

(44) Defeated Karṇa again. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 131).

(45) Killed Durjaya, son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 133, Verse 13).

(46) Killed Durmukha, son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 134, Verse 20).

(47) Killed Durmarṣaṇa, Dussaha, Durmada, Durdhara (Durādhāra) and Jaya. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 135, Verse 30).

(48) Defeated Karṇa again. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 136, Verse 17).

(49) Killed Citra, Upacitra, Citrākṣa, Cārucitra, Śarāsana, Citrāyudha and Citravarman. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 136, Verse 20).

(50) Killed Śatruñjaya, Śatrusaha, Citra (Citrabāṇa) Citrāyudha (Agrāyudha) Dṛḍha (Dṛḍhavarman) Citrasena (Ugrasena) and Vikarṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 137, Verse 29).

(51) Defeated Karṇa again. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 9).

(52) Destroyed many bows of Karṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 19).

(53) To capture Karṇa bereft of his arrows, Bhīma jumped into his chariot. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 74).

(54) Bhīma tumbled to the ground unconscious at the blows of Karṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 91).

(55) Gave directions to Arjuna to kill Karṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 148, Verse 3).

(56) Killed the prince of Kaliṅga by thrashing and kicking him. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 155, Verse 24).

(57) Killed Jayarāta, Dhruva, Durmada and Duṣkarṇa by pushing and beating them. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 155).

(58) Rendered the great hero Somadatta unconscious by thrashing him with his club. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 157, Verse 10).

(59) Killed Bālhīka. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 157, Verse 11).

(60) Killed Nāgadatta, Dṛḍharatha (Dṛḍhāśvan) Mahābāhu, Ayobhuja (Ayobāhu) Dṛḍha (Dṛḍhakṣatra) Suhastha, Virajā, Pramāthī, Ugra (Ugraśravas) and Anuyāyi (Agrayāyi). (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 157, Verse 16).

(61) Killed Śatacandra. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 157, Verse 23).

(62) Killed Gavākṣa, brother of Śakuni, as also Śarabha, Vibhu, Subhaga and Bhānudatta. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 157, Verse 23).

(63) Defeated Duryodhana again. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 166, Verse 43).

(64) Engaged himself in a fierce fight with Halāyudha. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 177).

(65) Got defeated in the fight with Karṇa. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 188, Verse 10).

(66) Killed the elephant named Aśvatthāmā and spread the false news that Aśvatthāmā (son of Droṇa) was killed. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 190, Verse 15).

(67) Fought against nārāyaṇāstra. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 199, Verse 45).

(68) In the fight with Aśvatthāmā Bhīma’s charioteer was killed. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 199, verse 45).

(69) Killed Kṣemadhūrti, the King of Kalāta. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 25).

(70) Fought with Aśvatthāmā and fell down unconscious by the blows dealt by him. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 15).

(71) Killed Bhānusena, son of Karṇa. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 27).

(72) In the next fight killed Vivitsu, Vikaṭa, Śama, Kratha (Krathana) Nanda and Upananda. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 12).

(73) Defeated Duryodhana again. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 61, Verse 53).

(74) Taking upon himself all the responsibilities of the war deputed Arjuna to guard Dharmaputra. (Karṇa parva, Chapter 65, verse 10).

(75) Defeated Śakuni. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 81, Verse 24).

(76) Fought fiercely with Duryodhana. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 82 and 83).

(77) Killed Duśśāsana in accordance with his (Bhīma's) old pledge and drank the blood from his (Duśśāsana's) chest. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 28).

(78) Killed ten sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, viz. Niṣaṅgī, Kavacī, Pāśī, Daṇḍadhara, Dhanurgraha, Alolupa, Śala, Śandha (Satyasandha) Vātavega and Suvarcas. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 2).

(79) Next, single-handed Bhīma killed 25000 infantry men. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 93, Verse 28).

(80) Defeated Kṛtavarmā (Śalya Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 45).

(81) Did club-fight with Śalya. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 12).

(82) Defeated Duryodhana again. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 16, Verse 42).

(83) Killed the charioteer and horses of Śalya. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 27).

(84) Killed another 25,000 infantry men, single-handed. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 49).

(85) Killed 11 sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, viz. Durmarṣaṇa, Śrutānta (Citrāṅga) Jaitra, Bhūribala (Bhīmabala) Ravi, Jayatsena, Sujāta, Durviṣaha (Durviṣāha). Durvimocana, Duṣpradharṣa (Duṣpradharṣaṇa) and Śrutarvā.

(86) After that killed Śudarśaṇa, son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 27, Verse 49).

(87) In the club fight that ensued between Duryodhana and Bhīma, Duryodhana’s thigh was broken by the blows with Bhīma’s club. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 58, Verse 47).

(88) Then Bhīma kicked Duryodhana on the head. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 4).

(89) Bhīma rushed forward to get hold of Aśvatthāmā, who was then sitting with Vyāsa on the Gaṅgā shore. Bhīma challenged him. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 13, Verse 16).

(90) Consoled Pāñcālī by giving to her Aśvatthāmā’s gem. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 16, Verse 26).

(91) Bhīma apologised to Gāndhārī. (Śtrī Parva, Chapter 15).

(92) Bhīma made Yudhiṣṭhira to retract from his intention to renounce the world and become a Sannyāsin. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 19).

(93) Yudhiṣṭhira installed Bhīma, as crown prince. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 41, Verse 9).

(94) Yudhiṣṭhira settled Bhīma down in the palace of Duryodhana killed in war. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 44, Verse 6).

(95) As directed by Vyāsa, Nakula and Sahadeva were put in-charge of protecting the Kingdom. (Aśvamedha Parva, Chapter 72, Verse 19).

(96) It was Bhīma who, along with the brahmins, measured the yajñabhūmi, in connection with Yudhiṣṭhira’s Aśvamedhayajña. (Aśvamedha Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 6).

(97) During one of those days Babhruvāhana visited Bhīma, who sent the former back loaded with money and foodgrains. (Aśvamedha Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 6).

(98) It was Bhīma who held the umbrella to Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the chariot on his way back from the company of the Pāṇḍavas to Dvārakā. (Aśvamedha Parva, Southern Text, Chapter 92).

(99) Bhīma opposed Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s demand for money to perform the rituals of those who had died in war. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 7).

(100) After Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Kuntī and Gāndhārī retired into the forest Bhīma visited them once. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 23).

Bhīma’s conceit put down.

While, after the great war, the Pāṇḍavas and Śrī Kṛṣṇa were discussing several matters all the Pāṇḍavas except Bhīma said they owed their success in war to Kṛṣṇa. But, Bhīma, in all haughtiness claimed the credit for victory to his personal prowess. With the object of putting down this conceit on the part of Bhīma, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, with Bhīma seated along with him on Garuḍa, set out on a journey to the south. After crossing the sea and Mount Subela Śrī Kṛṣṇa, pointing out to Bhīma a lake twelve yojanas wide and lying near Laṅkā, asked him to find out the source of the lake and return with the information. Though Bhīma walked some distance he could not find out its source. Not only that, all the warriors there jointly attacked Bhīma, and finding himself impotent to counter the attack he ran back to Śrī Kṛṣṇa for refuge. Then Śrī Kṛṣṇa with his ring clipped and threw away the lake, and said to Bhīma as follows:—"This is the skull of Kumbhakarṇa killed by Śrī Rāma in the Rāma-Rāvaṇa war. The warriors who attacked you are the asuras called 'Sarogeyas'." These words of the lord put down Bhīma’s conceit, and he apologised to Kṛṣṇa. (Skanda Purāṇa, 1.2.66).


After entrusting matters of administration of the country to Parīkṣit the Pāṇḍavas set out on their great journey. Yudhiṣṭhira walking in the front, they started for Kailāsa. During the course of their journey Pāñcālī, Sahadeva, Nakula and Arjuna one after the other fell down dead. Bhīma asked Yudhiṣṭhira the reason for the deaths and he was given suitable answers by the latter. At last when Bhīma too was about to fall down and die he asked the reason thereof, and Yudhiṣṭhira replied that Bhīma’s over-eating was the reason. Afterwards when Dharmaputra entered Heaven he found his brothers had already their seats there. (See Arjuna, Para 31).

Other information.

(1) Bhīma had a son named Sutasoma by Pāñcālī. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 75).

2) A son called Sarvaga was born to Bhīma of Balandharā, daughter of the King of Kāśī. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 97).

3) The following names are found used in the Mahābhārata as synonyms for Bhīma. Acyutānuja, Anilātmaja, Arjunāgraja, Arjunapūrvaja, Vallava, Bhīmadhanvā, Jaya, Kaunteya, Kaurava, Kuśaśārdūla, Mārutātmaja, Māruti, Pāṇḍava, Pārtha, Pavanātmaja, Prabhañjanasuta, Rākṣasakaṇṭaka, Samīraṇasuta, Vāyuputra, Vāyusuta, Vṛkodara.

*) Since much information about Bhīma is given under the captions Dharmaputra, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva and Pāñcālī only a brief description of Bhīma is attempted under the present heading.

**) The Pāṇḍavas were not in fact direct issues of Pāṇḍu. For details see Kuntī.

***). When raised, Hanūmān’s tail was as high in the sky as the flag of Indra, and produced a thunderous sound. As though the mountains were vomitting through their mouth, the sound produced by the raising of the tail shook the mountains. Drowning the trumpeting of excited elephants the sound reverberated all around the mountains. Hearing the sound Bhīma, his whole body horripilated entered the forest in the direction of the sound. In the middle of Kadalīvana, on a mighty rock, Bhīma saw Hanūmān.

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