Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Duryodhana 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 Duryodhana

Villain in the Mahābhārata story; the eldest and greatest of the Kauravas.


See under Kauravas.


Dhṛtarāṣṭra born blind married Gāndhārī. Hungry and thirsty, Vyāsa once came to Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s palace where Gāndhārī treated him sumptuously, and he blessed her to have hundred sons by her husband. Ere long Gāndhārī conceived, but even after two years she did not deliver. Grief-stricken at this she got herself aborted in secret as the result of which she 'delivered' a mass of flesh, and hearing about it Vyāsa visited her. As instructed by him hundred pots were filled with ghee, and the mass of flesh was sprayed with cold water as a result of which it got divided into hundred pieces, each the size of a thumb. Also a smaller piece of flesh remained. Those pieces of flesh were deposited in the pots filled with ghee and the pots kept in a secret place. Vyāsa departed for the Himālayas for tapas.

In course of time the pots burst open one by one and from each pot emerged a boy. From the 101st pot a girl was born. Eldest among the boys was named Duryodhana, and the girl called Duśśalā. (For other names see under Kauravas).

Duryodhana, at the time of his birth cried in the voice of an ass on hearing which the asses kept in their shed also cried. Also, such evil omens as the jackal howling, birds like crows, vultures etc. crying and storms breaking out were witnessed on the occasion. Alarmed by such evil omens Dhṛtarāṣṭra sent for the brahmins and his other friends and well-wishers like Bhīṣma and Vidura and enquired of them whether, after the death of Dharmaputra, Duryodhana would be able to become King. As soon as Dhṛtarāṣṭra had asked the question, evil omens like the world becoming dim, jackals howling etc. were witnessed again. Scholars like Vidura did their best to divine what the future of Duryodhana would be, and after mature consideration Vidura and the brahmin pandits opined that because of Duryodhana’s birth the country and people would be ruined, and they, therefore advised that he should be cast away and forsaken. But, paternal affection did not permit Dhṛtarāṣṭra to accept the advice.

During this period Gāndhārī was laid up for a few days with stomach trouble, and a vaiśya woman was engaged to look after Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who begot of her a son called Yuyutsu.* Thus with 100 sons and Duśśalā for daughter Dhṛtarāṣṭra became rich in the matter of children** (Mahābhārata Adi Parva, Chapter 114).

Duryodhana harms Bhīmasena.

Now, Pāṇḍu was dead and Mādrī also died in the funeral pyre of her husband. Forlorn and helpless Kuntī and her five sons came to Hastināpura, and Dhṛtarāṣṭra welcomed them to the palace. Thus arose the occasion for the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas to live together in the Hastināpura palace. And, naturally there used to be petty differences and quarrels between the Pāṇḍava and Kaurava princes. Bhīma being in every way a giant the Kauravas had often to suffer at his hands. To collect all the hundred Kaurava brothers together and throw them away in one lump to push them to the ground, to suffocate them by holding their heads under water etc—these were some of the childish pranks played by Bhīma on the Kauravas. The constant repetition of such pranks and mischiefs on the part of Bhīma rendered him an object of hatred for the Kauravas among whom the common conviction grew that it was essential to put an end to Bhīma’s life for their safety, nay even their very existence.

One day, the Kauravas, with the object of doing away with Bhīma, escorted the Pāṇḍavas to Pramāṇakoṭi on the banks of the Gaṅgā for water sports. There all of them ate sumptuous meals and took various drinks. But, Duryodhana had secretly mixed Kālakūṭa poison in the food of Bhīma. After taking meals they began playing water-sports. After the sports were over they returned to their tents and slept. Owing to the effects of the poison and the overexertion during the day Bhīma slept stone dead. While all were asleep during the night Duryodhana bound the hands and legs of Bhīma with cords and threw him into the depths of the Gāṅgā. Bhīma who was still unconscious sank down to the very bottom of the river where the denizens of nāgaloka saw him and the nāgas bit him in anger. The poison of the nāgas neutralised the effects of Kālakūṭa poison in Bhīma, though their bite could not make even a scratch on his skin. Freed thus from the effects of poison Bhīma shook himself up from sleep and drove off the nāgas. Alarmed at these developments the nāgas called Vāsuki up to the scene, and he, recognising Bhīma held him in embrace and gave him much money and costly gems etc. Bhīma refused the gifts, but asked Vāsuki for nāgarasa, which would impart the strength of thousand nāgas to those who used it. Vāsuki gave Bhīma eight potfuls of nāgarasa, which the latter drank to the last dregs and thus gained immeasurable strength.

When next morning after the water-sports the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas awoke from sleep Bhīma was found missing. Duryodhana said that Bhīma had returned earlier to Hastināpura, but this did not satisfy the Pāṇḍavas. Kuntī lamented over the absence of Bhīma.

Bhīma, who drank the nāga rasa lay on the veranda of Vāsuki for eight days in the manner of one who had lost consciousness. By the time he woke up on the eighth day the body had almost fully assimilated the rasa. Vāsuki told Bhīma that eight potfuls of nāgarasa would impart the strength of 10,000 elephants. And then at the instance of Vāsuki Bhīma took his bath in holy waters and wore new clothes and fragrant garland. He ate the pudding offered by Vāsuki, and taking leave of him and followed by nāgas he came up from the water to the bank of the Gaṅgā. Bhīma gave a detailed description to his mother and brothers of all that had happened to him. Dharmaputra advised him to keep the secret. After the incident, once again was Kālakūṭa poison mixed in the food of Bhīma. But, Yuyutsu born of the vaiśya woman to Dhṛtarāṣṭra gave the Pāṇḍavas confidential report about it. Because of the powerful effect of nāga rasa, the Kālakūṭa consumed by Bhīma did no harm to him but it only got assimilated in his body. On another occasion Duryodhana killed the charioteer of Bhīma. (Bhāṣā Bhārata, Chapter 127 and 129).

Karṇa crowned king of Aṅga.

The Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas learnt the use of weapons of war at the feet of Droṇācārya, and when the studies were over arrangements were made for a rehearsal, and at the rehearsal Bhīma and Duryodhana were the first to clash with each other. When the encounter reached its climax both of them pointed the club at each other. But, Aśvatthāmā intervened and pacified them. Next Karṇa entered the stage for a trial of strength with Arjuna, and at once arose from the Pāṇḍava side questions about Karṇa’s nobility and aristocracy of birth etc. Karṇa stood there stunned, not knowing what to say or how to repel the attack. Then it was Duryodhana who rose up to announce that he was, that very moment, crowning Karṇa King of Aṅga. This ended the scene. (Bhārata (Malayālam), Ādi Parva, Chapters 134, 135 and 136).

Pāṇḍavas trapped in palace built of lac.

The above incident confirmed and completed the cleavage of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas into two hostile camps. Meantime another event happened. Droṇācārya demanded of his pupils to bring before him King Drupada by way of gurudakṣiṇā (tuition fee), for the ācārya had to wreak vengeance upon Drupada (See under Droṇa). Though Duryodhana tried his best he could not capture Drupada. Not only that, Drupada defeated him also in fight. At this junture it was Arjuna who presented Drupada as captive to Droṇa by way of gurudakṣiṇā. The incident proved to be another provocation for Duryodhana to hate the Pāṇḍavas.

Now, Duryodhana made up his mind to destroy the Pāṇḍavas somehow or other. With this end in view he went to his father, posing himself to be a great wellwisher of the Pāṇḍavas, and obtained his permission to transfer their (Pāṇḍavas') residence to another palace. Accordingly Duryodhana deputed his minister Purocana to get built at Vāraṇāvata a palace of lac. Vidura came to know of the intended mischief and gave advance notice of it to the Pāṇḍavas through a messenger Kanaka. The architect built the 'lac palace' but built a tunnel also attached to it. A year after the Pāṇḍavas shifted the residence to the new 'palace' Duryodhana set. fire to it, and the Pāṇḍavas escaped unscathed through this tunnel. (Bhārata (Malayālam) Ādi Parva, Chapters 141-151).

Duryodhana invited the Pāṇḍavas back to Hastināpura.

Duryodhana and his brothers were living very happily under the impression that the Pāṇḍavas had been burnt to ashes along with the 'lac Palace'. Then it was that the Pāṇḍavas, disguised as brahmins and in the presence of all the Kings, won Pāñcālī, the daughter of King Drupada, in svayaṃvara, for their wife. After the marriage the Pāṇḍavas stayed in Drupada’s palace and the Kauravas returned to Hastināpura. Duryodhana and others felt all the more jealous at the Pāṇḍavas' becoming more powerful as a result of their marriage. Again it was decided that the Pāṇḍavas should be destroyed anyhow and at any cost. But, how to effect the destruction? Duryodhana wanted to attract the Pāṇḍavas to destruction through women and to create differences and divisions among them. But, Karṇa attacked the plan as impracticable, and instead he wanted to defeat Drupada and render the Pāṇḍavas impotent. At this stage Bhīṣma and Droṇa argued that it was most preferable to give half the Kingdom to the Pāṇḍavas and receive them with grace. Dhṛtarāṣṭra supported the proposal as a result of which the Kauravas went to Pāñcāla and escorted the Pāṇḍavas back to Hastināpura. Dhṛtarāṣṭra partitioned the country between the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas and the latter shifted their residence to their part of the country with Khāṇḍavaprastḥa (Indraprastha) as its capital. When the Pāṇḍavas went to Indraprastha Maya built for them aṇ exceptionally beautiful palace where King Dharmaputra performed rājasūya. Duryodhana and others earnestly participated in it. After the rājasūya the Kauravas wanted to have a look at the palace and in the course of surveying it they placed themselves in ridiculous situations due to visual illusions. Taking the bright floors of glass for watery tanks they pulled up their clothings and measured with caution every foot of theirs. Then they mistook actual pools for floor and fell into them and got wet. At the consequent discomfiture of the Kauravas Bhīma clapped his hands and roared with laughter. Draupadī hid her face with hands and smiled. Altogether the Kauravas cut a very ridiculous figure, and they returned to Hastināpura. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 202, Sabhā Parva, Chapters 35, 85).

Dharmaputra’s first defeat in the game of dice.

The sight of the great wealth including costly stones and gems presented by various kings to Dharmaputra at the Rājasūya and the humiliation experienced while surveying the palace made Duryodhana all the more mad with anger and hatred towards the Pāṇḍavas. He now came to the decision either to defeat the Pāṇḍavas once for all or to commit suicide by taking poison. He held secret consultations on the topic with Śakuni whose efforts at first to pacify him (Duryodhana) failed. Ultimately Śakuni, an expert in the game of dice, advised Duryodhana to invite Dharmaputra to a game, assuring him that the rest he would take care of. Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Vidura advised Duryodhana against the move, but he did not yield. Finally Dhṛtarāṣṭra, saying to himself that nobody would change fate, agreed to Duryodhana’s proposal, and deputed Vidura to Dharmaputra to invite him for the game.

Dharmaputra, in fact, did not like the game, but he succumbed to the eloquence and persuasive powers of Śakuni and at last agreed to play. Kings lined up the royal hall to witness the game. First gems were staked. and Duryodhana won the game. Then 1000 golden niskas*** and treasuries were offered to the winner. Duryodhana won that game also. Next chariot with horses and next to that 1000 maid-servants were staked and Duryodhana won those games too. 1000 horses, 1000 golden chariots with their horses, the horse decorated with gold presented by Citraratha to Arjuna, 6000 soldiers with their arms and armaments—these formed the next successive bets, and each game Dharmaputra lost. The next bet was 400 copper vessels each filled with pure gold, and Duryodhana won that game also. And, now Vidura tried to dissuade Yudhiṣṭhira from playing the game; but neither he nor Duryodhana heeded the advice. And, Duryodhana by foul play snatched from Dharmaputra all his wealth, his kingdom and his brothers. Now, Pāñcālī alone remained, and Dharmaputra bet her too and played the last game and lost.

Duryodhana deputed his Sūta, Prātikāmi, to Indraprastha, to fetch Draupadī but she sent him back. Next Duśśāsana was deputed and he brought Pāñcālī to the sabhā dragging her by the hair. She was proclaimed to be the maid-servant of the Kauravas. At last Dhṛtarāṣṭra intervened and sent back the Pāṇḍavas along with Draupadī to Indraprastha.

Second game and exile in the forest.

Duryodhana and others did not appreciate the intervention of their father. He again conspired with Śakuni and it was decided to challenge Dharmaputra to one more game. The conditions to be stipulated were that the vanquished in the game should stay in exile for twelve years in the forest and live incognito during the thirteenth year, and if found out and recognised during this period the whole process of exile and life incognito would have to be repeated. Duryodhana and Śukuni approached Dhṛtarāṣṭra and said to him thus: "Dear father, the desire for revenge at their defeat in the game of dice gnaws at the Pāṇḍavas' heart like poison. Also, they will never forget our having dragged Draupadī by her hair. When a suitable occasion arises they will take revenge on the whole lot of us. Therefore, we want to challenge Dharmaputra to a final game of dice, the condition being that he who gets defeated should go in exile into the forest for twelve years and then to live incognito for one year. If we get defeated we will simply carry out the condition on our part.

This request of Duryodhana appealed to his father, who invited Dharmaputra once again for a game of dice. Dharmaputra accepted the invitation, in fact, in spite of himself. This time too Duryodhana won the stake and the Pāṇḍavas set out to the forest. Even at the time of parting Duśśāsana insulted Bhīma who retorted thus: "You, mean fellows, you cheated my brother by foul play. If I fail to tear your heart open in fight and drink blood I do not want heaven. Moreover I will kill Duryodhana, and Arjuna will kill Karṇa. Śakuni, the expert in foul play in dice will be killed by Sahadeva. We will meet in the 14th year from today at the battlefield. Adieu."

Thus did the Pāṇḍavas depart for the forest. Kuntī being too old Vidura took her to his house, and he consoled her, lamenting over the separation from her children. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva).

Curse of Maitreya.

The Pāṇḍavas entered the Kāmyaka forest where they were welcomed by the sages. Among them Maitreya whom the misfortune of the Pāṇḍavas affected much started for Hastināpura for peace parleys. Vidura advised Dhṛtarāṣṭra that Maitreya’s proposals should be respected lest he should curse the King. Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Duryodhana received the sage with respect. And, the sage asked them to recall the Pāṇḍavas from the forest and live on friendly terms with them. Duryodhana did not in any manner respond to the advice of the sage, but stood there absolutely mum tapping his thigh with his fingers and making drawings with the fingers of his feet on the ground. This the sage interpreted as an insult to him. He stood up ablaze with anger and cursed Duryodhana thus: "You will, sooner than later reap the consequences of your false pride; your cruelty will invite terrible war, and in the fight Bhīma will rend asunder your thigh, which you struck with your fingers just now."

Greatly agitated over the curse Dhṛtarāṣṭra prayed the sage for redemption and the sage said: "if only your son resorts to forebearance and peace the curse will not take effect, otherwise it will come true." And after making this announcement the sage returned to the forest. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 10).

The procession.

While the Pāṇḍavas were staying in the Kāmyaka forest Duryodhana and others went there on the pretext of looking after the cows. The Gandharvas took them captive; but the Pāṇḍavas intervened and set them free. Feeling humiliated at the mishap Duryodhana decided to end his life after crowning Duśśāsana as King. But Duśśāsana did not agree to the proposal. (For details see Ghoṣayātrā).

Duryodhana’s attempt at death and his trip to Pātāla.

Humiliated at the procession thus and turning down the advice of friends to return to the palace, Duryodhana spread grass on the ground and lay down there to die. As his death would spell disaster to the Dānavas they decided to send him back to his palace for which purpose they performed the Vaitāna sacrifice in Pātāla. While offering milk in the sacrificial fire a Rākṣasa woman, Kṛtyā, arose therefrom, and at the instance of the Dānavas she carried Duryodhana over to Pātāla. There they told him thus: "Oh Duryodhana, a part of your body has been earned by us from Śiva by our penance. That part of your body above the waist is made of diamond. Therefore, arrows will not pierce your body. Grieve not. Bhagadatta and other heroes have been born to help you. Your great supporter Karṇa is possessed of the soul of Narakāsura." These words of the Dānavas instilled fresh hope in Duryodhana, and he was taken back to his Kingdom by Kṛtyā. This incident appeared as a dream to Duryodhana. Bucking up confidence and courage again he returned to Hastināpura and continued to rule (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 252).

Duryodhana’s Viṣṇu yajña.

At this juncture Duryodhana thought of performing a Rājasūya for which he invited brahmins to the palace. After bestowing much thought on the subject the brahmins pointed out that there was no sanction for Duryodhana to conduct a Rājasūya as his elders, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Dharmaputra were still alive. At the same time they pointed out that there was another Yajña called Viṣṇu Yajña as efficacious as Rājasūya which Duryodhana was competent to perform. Accordingly Duryodhana performed the Viṣṇu yajña and earned reputation among evil monarchs. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapters 256, 257).

Boon from Durvāsas.

Once Durvāsas accompanied by his disciples, came to Duryodhana’s palace, and Duryodhana decided somehow or other to befriend and use the maharṣi as a weapon against the Pāṇḍavas. He housed the maharṣi and his disciples in the palace for a few days and pleased them by careful service at which the maharṣi asked Duryodhana to request for any boon he desired. And, Duryodhana asked the maharṣi to visit the Pāṇḍavas one day in the forest with his disciples when they had finished taking their meals. The maharṣi agreed. And, this was the period of time when Pāñcālī had received the akṣayapātra from Sūrya. Everyday the pātra would produce enough food for the Pāṇḍavas and the other people with them, but it would become empty for the day after Pāñcālī had eaten her food. This was the nature of the akṣayapātra.

Pāñcālī had finished her meals one day when Durvāsas and his disciples came to the Pāṇḍavas. Not knowing that Pāñcālī had already finished her food Dharmaputra welcomed the maharṣi and his disciples and requested them to take bath in the Gaṅgā and return for their meals. Pāñcālī was in a fix. The akṣayapātra would not produce any more food for the day, and if not duly fed the maharṣi would get angry and curse them. In this painful dilemma she prayed to Śrī Kṛṣṇa for succour, and lo! he appeared and asked Pāñcālī for some food. She replied that the akṣayapātra was quite empty. But, Kṛṣṇa got from her the pātra and ate one particle of Kīra (a leafy vegetable) which had stuck on its side. That leafy substance fully satisfied his hunger and thirst whereupon the hunger and thirst of Durvāsas and his disciples were also quenched. Then Kṛṣṇa asked Sahadeva to bring back the maharṣi and his disciples from the bank of the Gaṅgā and accordingly he went there and invited them. Only a few minutes had passed since the maharṣi and his disciples had felt the satisfaction of a sumptuous meal. They were also astonished to think how in such a short time food for so many people could be cooked by Pāñcālī. They felt rather anxious about the reaction which Dharmaputra would evince in case they returned to him to say that they required no food. Durvāsas realised only too well that to quarrel with the Pāṇḍavas, who enjoyed the friendship and support of Kṛṣṇa was like playing with fire. Therefore, the maharṣi with his disciples ran away from the place secretly. Pāṇḍavas waited long for the maharṣi and his disciples to return fearing that the object of Durvāsas might be to return at the untimely hour and curse them. But, Śrī Kṛṣṇa told them the details about the maharṣi’s departure and assured Dharmaputra that he and his disciples would not return. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 263).

War against Virāṭa.

After twelve years' exile in the forest the Pāṇḍavas began their life incogni to at Virāṭa nagara. Kīcaka, brother-in-law of Mātsya, the Virāṭa King, was killed secretly by Bhīmasena, and news was spread that Kīcaka was killed by a Gandharva.

None of the spies deputed by Duryodhana to spot out the Pāṇḍavas during their life incognito could gather any information about them. One of those days Suśarman, King of Trigarta, told Duryodhana that the Virāṭa King had lost his power and spirits due to the death of Kīcaka and it was, therefore, the proper time to attack the Virāṭa country and subjugate it thoroughly. The idea appealed to Karṇa, who prompted Duryodhana to war against Virāṭa. The army was fully mobilised. As an excuse for the war, at the instance of Duryodhana, Suśarman, King of Trigarta lifted innumerable cows of the Virāṭa King. This happened on the day on which the life incognito of the Pāṇḍavas was to have ended. And war started thus. The Virāṭa prince Uttara who spent his time in the zenana in the palace appeared in the field of war. Arjuna, under the assumed name of Bṛhannala took up the charioteership of Uttara. But, at the sight of the vast Kaurava army Uttara fainted, and Arjuna hurriedly drove the chariot over to where his bow gāṇḍīva was kept hidden, and with the bow in his hands Arjuna jumped into the thick of the fight. A fierce war ensued in which the Kaurava army was completely routed. The life incognito of the Pāṇḍavas was also over, and Duryodhana became naturally anxious about the future of things. (Mahābhārata Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 65).

Preparation for war.

Duryodhana refused to give the Pāṇdavas, even after their return from twelve years' exile in forest and one year’s life incognito, even 'as much land as would hold a pin', and war became inevitable. The Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas fought the great war which lasted for eighteen days on the field of Kurukṣetra.

Duryodhana went to invite Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Preparations for the war were gathering speed and momentum. Both the sides were on the look out for more friends and allies. Being told that Arjuna had gone to Dvārakā to seek Kṛṣṇa’s support Duryodhana rushed to the place. Seeing Duryodhana from a distance Kṛṣṇa lay on his bed in a false sleep, and Duryodhana took his seat on a stool at the head of the bed awaiting Kṛṣṇa to awake from sleep. Soon after, Arjuna came there and he stood at the feet of Kṛṣṇa with head bowed down. When Kṛṣṇa awoke from sleep it was Arjuna whom he saw first, and while exchanging greetings with Arjuna he was told that it was Duryodhana, who had come first. But when Duryodhana and Arjuna explained the object of their visit he told them thus:—

"No doubt it was Duryodhana who came first. But, it was Arjuna whom I met first. Since Duryodhana came first and I saw Arjuna first I shall help both of you in war. There is the adage that youngsters should be given priority of consideration. So, Arjuna may indicate his preference first. I shall give one of you an army of 10 lakhs of warrlors as strong in body as myself, and I shall stand by the other without arms and without fighting. Arjuna may make his choice first. And, he chose Kṛṣṇa for his side in the war while Duryodhana was happy to get Kṛṣṇa’s mighty army. (Mahābhārata Udyoga-Parva, Chapter 7).

(2) Duryodhana sought Balabhadra’s help but Balabhadra told him frankly that since he could not forsake Kṛṣṇa he would remain neutral in the war. (M. B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 25).

(3) Duryodhana got an akṣauhiṇī (a specific division of army) from Kṛtavarman. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 32).

(4) Śalya promised to captain the Kaurava army. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 18).

(5) Duryodhana could collect a total of eleven akṣauhiṇīs. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 27).

(6) He assured Dhṛtarāṣṭra that the Kaurava army would easily defeat the Pāṇḍava army. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 57).

(7) He declared that war was a yajña. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 58).

(8) At the instance of Dhṛtarāṣṭra a rest house was built for Śrī Kṛṣṇa on his way to the Kauravas for compromise talks on behalf of the Pāṇḍavas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 85).

(9) Duryodhana opined that Kṛṣṇa be taken captive when he came to plead for compromise and peace, but the others did not support him. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 13).

(10) Duryodhana worshipped Kṛṣṇa with rare and excellent things and invited him for meals, but Kṛṣṇa did not accept any. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 91, Verse 13).

(11) Duryodhana rejected the advice of sage Kaṇva to come to terms with the Pāṇḍavas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapters 97-105).

(12) He emphatically announced in the Kaurava assembly that even as much land as may be required to hold a pin would not be given to the Pāṇḍavas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 26).

(13) Kṛṣṇa’s pleadings in the Kaurava assembly for peace and amity on behalf of the Pāṇḍavas failed to have any effect. On the occasion Duryodhana, Śakuni, Karṇa and Duśśāsana conspired to take Kṛṣṇa captive. Sātyaki informed Kṛṣṇa secretly about the conspiracy and Kṛṣṇa informed Dhṛtarāṣṭra about it, and he warned the conspirators against their wicked plan. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 13, Verse 4).

(14) Duryodhana appointed Kṛpa, Droṇa, Śalya, Jayadratha, Hārdika, Aśvatthāmā, Karṇa, Śakuni, Bālhīka and Kāmboja as commanders of the army. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 155).

(15) Duryodhana appointed Bhīṣma as the Commander in-Chief of the army. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 156 verse 26).

(16) He appointed Ulūka as messenger and warned Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Pāṇḍavas, Drupada, Virāṭa, Śikhaṇḍī, Dhṛṣṭadyumna and others. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 10).

(17) He ordered the army to the Kurukṣetra field. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 195).

(18) He appointed Duśśāsana as Bhīṣma’s body-guard. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 15).

(19) On the flag staff of Duryodhana studded with gems his flag with the serpent’s emblem flew high in the air. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 25).

(20) He learnt from Droṇa the names of heroes on both sides before the fighting started. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 25).

Duryodhana in battlefield.

The following incidents relating to Duryodhana in actual war have been noted.

(1) In the first day’s fighting he fainted, hit by the arrows of Bhīma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 58, Verse 17).

(2) He attacked Bhīma with the support of the elephant division (Gajasenā) and the latter fainted. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 14).

(3) Bhīmasena again confronted him, and again he fell down fainted. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 80, Verse 4).

(4) Dhṛṣṭadyumna defeated him. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 53).

(5) Bhīma killed eight brothers of Duryodhana at one stretch, and Duryodhana cried before Bhīṣma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 37).

(6) He fought against Ghaṭotkaca and killed four Rākṣasa attendants of the latter. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 91, Verse 20).

(7) He fell down at the blows delivered by Ghatotkaca. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 92, Verse 14).

(8) He thrashed Bhīma to unconsciousness. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 5).

(9) Overpowered by Ghaṭotkaca, he gave expression to his sorrows before Bhīṣma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 8).

(10) He directed Śalya to fight against Yudhiṣṭhira. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 105, Verse 26).

(11) Grieved at the death of the warriors in his army he went to Bhīṣma in great anguish. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 109, Verse 16).

(12) Duryodhana and Sātyaki fought against each other. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 111, Verse 14).

(13) He fought with Abhimanyu. (Bhīsma Parva, Chapter 116, Verse 1).

(14) He appointed Droṇa as chief of the army. (Bhīṣma Parva Chapter 6, Verse 2).

(15) He prayed for Droṇa’s blessings to capture Yudhiṣṭhira alive. (Droṇa Parva Chapter 12 Verse 6).

(16) He embraced Droṇa at the sight of the latter disintegrating the fighting forces of the Pāṇḍavas. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 23, Verse 7).

(17) He accorded sanction to his warriors to kill Abhimanyu. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 39 Verse 16).

(18) He prompted Karṇa to fight Abhimanyu. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 40, Verse 23).

(19) He ran off at the blows of Abhimanyu. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 30).

(20) He consoled Jayadratha who ran away in fear of Arjuna. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 74, Verse 14).

(21) When he admitted that he was not efficient to fight Arjuna, Droṇa tied a divine talisman on his body. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 73).

(22) Defeated by Arjuna he ran away with the talisman on him. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 103, Verse 32).

(23) Sātyaki defeated Duryodhana. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 120, Verse 40).

(24) He got defeated by Yudhāmanyu and Uttamaujas (Bhīṣma Parva Chapter 102 Verse 30).

(25) He incited Karṇa to kill Arjuna. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 145, Verse 12).

(26) He lost his enthusiasm with the death of Jayadratha (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 150).

(27) He made allegations against Droṇa. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 152, Verse 2).

(28) He fought with Yudhiṣṭhira and got defeated. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 153, Verse 23).

(29) Aśvatthāmā got ready to kill Karṇa, but Duryodhana pacified him. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 150, Verse 13).

(30) He fought with Bhīma and got defeated. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 166, Verse 30).

(31) He deputed Śakuni to kill the Pāṇḍavas. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 170, Verse 60).

(32) He got defeated in fight with Sātyaki. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 171, Verse 23).

(33) He prompted Alambuṣa, son of Jaṭāsura to fight with Ghaṭotkaca. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 174, Verse 9).

(34) He fought with Nakula and got defeated. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 187, Verse 50).

(35) On the death of Droṇa he ran away from the battlefield. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 193, Verse 17).

(36) After the death of Droṇa he appointed Karṇa chief of the army. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 43).

(37) He fought against Yudhiṣṭhira and got defeated (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 29, Verse 32).

(38) He requested Śalya to act as Karṇa’s charioteer. The request so enraged Śalya that he rose from his seat at once. But, Duryodhana brought him round with praises. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 32).

(39) He created so much troubles and difficulties for Nakula and Sahadeva in fight with them.

(Karṇa Parva, Chapter 56).

(40) In further fighting he got defeated by Bhīma. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 61, Verse 51).

(41) He killed the Kulinda prince. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 85, Verse 19).

(42) When Aśvatthāmā put forward certain compromise proposals he rejected them. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 30).

(43) Karṇa was killed and Duryodhana was immersed in grief. [Karṇa Parva, Chapter 92, Verse 15).

(44) He rejected peace proposals made by Kṛpa, and reaffirmed the decision to fight. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 5).

(45) He appointed Śalya as chief of the army. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 6).

(46) He was again defeated by Bhīma. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 16, Verse 42).

(47) He was defeated by Dhṛṣṭadyumna. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 23).

(48) After the defeat he ran away from the battlefield, entered a pool rendering the water motionless by magical power and stayed under water. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 29, Verse 54).

(49) Kṛpācārya, Aśvatthāmā and Kṛtavarman went to his hiding place and tried to arouse him for war but he expressed disinclination for war. (Śalya Parva, Chapter, 30, Verse 14).

(50) Yudhiṣṭhira visited Duryodhana in the latter’s hiding place, but he answered Yudhiṣṭhira from under water. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 31, Verse 33).

(51) On the urging of Yudhiṣṭhira he came out of the pool. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 33).

(52) He got prepared for club fight with Bhīma. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 33, Verse 52).

(53) Ill omens like storms, dust fall, thunder and lightning, followed his preparations for fight with Bhīma. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 56, Verse 8).

(54) He fell down at the blows of Bhīma with his thigh broken. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 58, Verse 47).

(55) Śrī Kṛṣṇa spoke harsh words to him and he replied to them all. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 61, Verse 27).

(56) He shed tears before Śalya. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 61, Verse 7).

(57) He appointed Aśvatthāmā chief of the army. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 41).

(58) Congratulating Aśvatthāmā he cast away his mortal coils. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 56).

Other information.

(1) Duryodhana was one of the eleven mahārathas on the Kaurava side, others being Yuyutsu, Duśśāsana, Dussaha, Durmeṣaṇa, Vikarṇa, Citrasena, Jaya, Kurumitra, Karṇa and Satyavrata (all of them, sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra). (Mahābhārata Ādī Parva, Chapter 63, Verse 18).

(2) With the help of Karṇa he abducted the daughter of the King of Kāśī. (Śānti Parva, Chapter, 4, Verse 13).

(3) After his death his splendid palace was occupied by Bhīma. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 44, Verse 6).

(4) Vyāsa brought by his esoteric powers to the surface of the Gaṅgā the souls of the heroes who were killed in the battle. Amongst them was the soul of Duryodhana also. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 9).

(5) Yudhiṣṭhira saw Duryodhana, after his death, living in heaven, resplendent as Sūrya in the company of holy devatās. (Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 4).

Synonyms of Duryodhana.

Ājamīḍha, Bhārata, Bhārataśārdūla, Bhārataśreṣṭha, Bhāratāgrya, Bharatarṣabha, Bhāratasattama, Dhārtarāṣṭra, Dhṛtarāṣṭraja, Gāndhārīputra, Kaurava, Kauravanandanā, Kauravendra, Kauravya, Kauraveya, Kurukuladhāma, Kurumukhya, Kurunandana, Kurupati, Kurupravīra, Kurupuṅgava, Kurusattama, Kururāja, Kurusiṃha, Kurūttama, Suyodhana.

*) Vyāsa blessed Gāndhārī to have 100 sons. Then how was it that she got a daughter too? On being questioned thus by King Janamejaya Vaiśaṃpāyana replied "when Vyāsa was dividing the mass of flesh a desire to have a daughter entered the heart of Gāndhārī and divining that desire Vyāsa cut the flesh in such a manner as to have one more piece, viz. 101

**) Duryodhana was born as a part of Kali. (Mahābhārata Āśrama vāsika Parva, Chapter 1).

***) 108 suvarṇa weight, an ornament worn on the chest.

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