Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Dhrishtadyumna 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 Dhṛṣṭadyumna

The son of King Drupada. He was brother of Pāñcālī.


Drupada and Droṇa were fellow students. After finishing his education Drupada became King. When Droṇa came to his palace Drupada did not honour him. Droṇa got angry, went to Hastināpura and began to teach the Pāṇḍava and the Kaurava princes in archery and other weapons. When the weapon-training was over, Arjuna, at the instruction of Droṇa, defeated and captured Drupada. Droṇa seized half of his kingdom from him.

As Drupada was not powerful to wreak vengeance on Droṇa, he performed a sacrifice to obtain a son who could take revenge on Droṇa and regain his lost prestige. A son and a daughter were born from the sacrificial fire. The son was named Dhṛṣṭadyumna. The daughter grew up and became the famous Pāñcālī. The Pāṇḍavas married her.

At the time of birth, Dhṛṣṭadyumna had a crown on his head, and armour on his body, bow, arrows and sword in his hands. He ran out of the fire into a chariot and sat in it as if he were about to begin a travel of conquest. Seeing this the Pāñcālas were filled with joy. There was a celestial voice: "This boy will destroy the fear of the Pāñcālas. He is born to slay Droṇa." At this time the queen approached the sacrificing priest with a request that the children born of the sacrificial fire should consider her as their mother. Accordingly the children accepted the wife of Drupada as their mother. Brāhmaṇas named the boy Dhṛṣṭadyumna and the girl Kṛṣṇā.*** (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 166). (For more particulars see under 'Pāñcālī' Para 2).

Till the battle of Bhārata.

The history of Dhṛṣṭadyumna till the battle between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, is given below.

The news that Dhṛṣṭadyumna was born to kill Droṇa spread everywhere. The Broad-minded Droṇa did not seem to mind this news. Droṇa took Dhṛṣṭadyumna to his house, with the permission of Drupada and gave him training in the wielding of weapons. He believed that God’s will could not be thwarted. After he had learned archery Dhṛṣṭadyumna returned to his kingdom. Next, we see Dhṛṣṭadyumna at the svayaṃvara (marriage) of Pāñcāli. Several kings arrived from various countries on that occasion. When the auspicious moment came, Dhṛṣṭadyumna brought Pāñcālī to the nuptial dais. He proclaimed the rules and conditions that the competitors of Svayaṃvara had to observe. After that he conversed with each king who was present. In the Svayaṃvara Pāñcālī accepted Arjuna. The Pāṇḍavas and Pāñcālī were given the Kumbhakāra mandira (the Palace of Kumbhakāra) which stood in the city of Drupada, to stay for that night. Though the Pāṇḍavas were in the guise of Brāhmaṇas, Dhṛṣṭadyumna had his own doubts about their identity. So he hid himself somehwere in the Palace and kept an eye on them. This shows his peculiar trait of observation. After this he returned to his Palace and pacified his father who had been much worried about his daughter’s selection.

Next, we see Dhṛṣṭadyumna, during the time of the forest life of the Pāṇḍavas. He consoled Pāñcālī, who was miserable. After that he took the sons of Pāñcālī, to his house. While the Pāṇḍavas were living in the forest 'Kāmyaka', Dhṛṣṭadyumna visited them. The forest life of the Pāṇḍavas came to an end. A battle between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas became inevitable. Then the Pāṇdavas selected Dhṛṣṭadyumna, as the commander-in-general of their army. He ordered for a general parade of the army and gave them instructions. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapters 166 to 195; the whole of Sabhā Parva; Vana Parva, Chapters, 12, 22 and 51; Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 72; Udyoga Parva, Chapters 50, 157, 163 and 164).

Dhṛṣṭadyumna in the Bhārata-battle

The part played by Dhṛṣṭadyumna in the battle is given below:

(1) In the first day’s battle Dhṛṣṭadyumna confronted Droṇa. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 31).

(2) Fought with Bhīṣma. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza 31).

(3) On the second day of the battle he formed the disposition of the army called the 'Krauñcāruṇavyūha' (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 50, Stanza 42).

(4) A terrible fight ensued between Droṇa and Dhṛṣṭadyumna (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 53).

(5) He fought with Aśvatthāmā (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 19).

(6) He killed Damana the son of Paurava. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 20).

(7) He killed the son of Śalya. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 29).

(8) He fought with Śalya and was wounded. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 62, Stanza 8).

(9) He formed the disposition called the 'Makara Vyūha'. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 75, Stanza 4).

(10) He shot the missile called Pramohana (the arrow of fainting) and the Kauravas swooned. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 77, Stanza 45).

(11) He was defeated by Droṇa (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 77, Stanza 69).

(12) He defeated Duryodhana. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 53).

(13) He fought with Vinda and Aravinda. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 86, Stanza 61).

(14) He fought with Kṛtavarmā. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 110, Stanza 9).

(15) He again fought with Bhīṣma. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 39).

(16) There was a combat with Droṇa again. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 48).

(17) He fought with Suśarmā. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 37).

(18) He fought with Durmukha. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 23, Stanza 4).

(19) He killed Candravarmā and Bṛhatkṣatra, King of Niṣadha. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 35, Stanza 65).

(20) He made Droṇa swoon by shooting arrows at him and got into his chariot and sat there. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 56).

(21) In the fight which continued Droṇa defeated Dhṛṣṭadyumna. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 71).

(22) In the fight with Aśvatthāmā, Dhṛṣṭadyumna was defeated. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 160, Stanza 41).

(23) He killed Drumasena. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 170, Stanza 22).

(24) He was defeated by Karṇa. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 173, Stanza 7).

(25) He vowed that he would kill Droṇa, (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 186, Stanza 46).

(26) In the fight that followed he cut off the head of Droṇa. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 192, Stanza 62).

(27) Following this, he annihilated the elephants of the Kauravas and made Kṛtavarmā swoon. (Mahābhārata Karṇa Parva, Chapter 22).

(28) He fought with Karṇa. (Mahābhārata Karṇa Parva, Chapter 59, Stanza 7).

(29) In the fight with Aśvatthāmā, the Kauravas caught Dhṛṣṭadyumna alive. (Mahābhārata Karṇa Parva, Chapter 59, Stanza 39).

(30) He happened to enter the camp of Duśśāsana but escaped. (Mahābhārata Karṇa Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 33).

(31) In the night, while Dhṛṣṭadyumna was sleeping Aśvatthāmā kicked him to death. (Mahābhārata Sauptika Parva, Stanza 26).

(32) The funeral of Dhṛṣṭadyumna was conducted according to rites. (Mahābhārata Strī Parva, Chapter 26, Stanza 34).

(33) The Pāṇḍavas conducted mourning and offering to the deified ancestors for Dhṛṣṭadyumna (Mahābhārata Strī Parva, Chapter 42, Stanza 4).

(34) After death the spirit of Dhṛṣṭadyumna was absorbed in the Fire-God. (Mahābhārata Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 21).


In Bhārata, the names, Draupada, Droṇahantā, Pāñcāla, Pāñcāladāyāda, Pāñcālakulavardhana, Pāñcālamukhya, Pāñcālaputra, Pāñcālarāṭ, Pāñcālarāja, Pāñcālya, Pārṣada, Yajñasenāsuta, Yājñaseni etc. are used as synonyms of Dhṛṣṭadyumna.

*) The fast taken on the eleventh day of the bright lunar fortnight in the month of Vaiśākha.

**) Because he was born with Dhṛṣṭatva (boldness) amarṣatva (impatience) and dyumna (vigour) the son of Drupada was called Dhṛṣṭadyumna. Draupadī was called Kṛṣṇa as she was of Kṛṣṇa varṇa (dark complexion. Thus Drupada got two children from 'Makha' (sacrifice).

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