Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Jayadratha 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 Jayadratha

A mighty warrior King who ruled over the kingdom of Sindhu.


Descended from Viṣṇu in the following order: BrahmāAtriCandraBudhaPurūravas-ĀyusNahuṣaYayātiPūruJanamejaya—Prācinvān—PravīraNamasyu—Vītabhaya—Śuṇḍu—BahuvidhaSaṃyāti—Rahovādi—RaudrāśvaMatināra—Santurodha—DuṣyantaBharataSuhotra—Suhotā—Gala—Gardda—SuketuBṛhatkṣatraHastiAjamīḍhaBṛhadiṣuBṛhaddhanuBṛhatkāyaJayadratha*

Birth and attainment of Boon.

Jayadratha was born as a result of severe fasts and vows taken by his father. There was an ethereal voice at the birth of Jayadratha, "This child would become a very famous King. The head of him, who puts down the head of this child on the earth would break into a hundred pieces within a moment" His father was filled with joy when he heard this ethereal voice, and so he made Jayadratha King at a very young age and went to Samantapañcaka to perform penance. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 146).


It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 116, Stanza 17, that Jayadratha married the princess Dusśalā.

Jayadratha and Pāñcālī.

From the very beginning Jayadratha was a bitter enemy of the Pāṇḍavas. It is not difficult to find out the root of this enmity. It is stated in Ādi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 21 that Jayadratha was present at the svayaṃvara of Pāñcālī. The fact that he did not get Pāñcālī, might have laid the foundation of this enmity.

From this moment Jayadratha was looking forward to a chance to carry off Pāñcālī.

The forest life of the Pāṇḍavas began. They wandered through many forests and finally reached the forest, Kāmyaka. Once the Pāṇḍavas left Pāñcālī alone in the hut and went to the forest for hunting. Jayadratha came to know of this. He came with his men to the place where the hut stood. At the very first sight of Pāñcālī, he fell in love with her. He sent Koṭikāsya, the King of Trigarta, who was the son of Suratha as a messenger to Pāñcālī. Koṭikāsya told Pāñcālī about the superior qualities of Jayadratha and requested her to accept Jayadratha, leaving the Pāṇḍavas. But she rejected his request. The messenger returned to Jayadratha and told him what had happened. Jayadratha himself came in a chariot and tried to entice her. Pāñcālī did not yield. Jayadratha caught her by force and took her away in his chariot. Dhaumya the priest of the Pāṇḍavas followed them with tears. Shortly afterwards, the Pāṇḍavas returned to the hut. They searched for Pāñcālī here and there. They heard everything from a maid, and instantly followed Jayadratha, whose army confronted the Pāṇḍavas. The heads of almost all the warriors of Jayadratha fell on the ground. Jayadratha fled from the battlefield. The Pāṇḍavas followed him and caught him and scourged him. Bhīma shaved his head letting only five hairs to stand on the head. They took him as a prisoner before Dharmaputra. Finally at the instruction of Yudhiṣṭhira and Pāñcālī, he was released. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapters 264 to 272).

Other details.

(1) In the sacrifice of Rājasūya (imperial consecration) performed by Yudhiṣṭhira, Jayadratha took part as a tributary King. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 34, Stanza 8).

(2) Jayadratha was present at the game of dice between Duryodhana and Yudhiṣṭhira. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 58, Stanza 28).

(3) It was while going to Sālva to marry a damsel that Jayadratha attacked Pāñcālī at the forest of Kāmyaka. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 264).

(4) Feeling ashamed at the result of his attempt to carry off Pāñcālī, Jayadratha went direct to Gaṅgādvāra and pleased Śiva by penance. Śiva gave him the boon that he would be able to defeat all the Pāṇḍavas except Arjuna. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 272).

Jayadratha in the battle of Bhārata.

In the battle of Bhārata, which lasted for eighteen days between the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas, Jayadratha took the side of the Kauravas and fought against the Pāṇḍavas. The part played by him in the battle is given below:—

On the first day there was a combat between Jayadratha and Drupada. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanzas 55 to 57).

(2) Attacked Bhīmasena. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 79, Stanzas 17 to 20).

(3) Fought with Arjuna and Bhīmasena. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapters 113 and 115).

(4) Engaged in a combat with the King Virāṭa. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 116, Stanzas 42 to 44).

(5) Jayadratha and Abhimanyu fought with each other. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 14, Stanzas 64 to 74).

(6) Fought with Kṣatravarman. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 25, Stanzas 10 to 12).

(7) Arjuna vowed that he would kill Jayadratha, who tried to flee from the battle-field when he came to know of this. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 74, Stanzas 4 to 12).

(8) He began to combat with Arjuna. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter, 145).

The death of Jayadratha.

When a fierce fight began between Arjuna and Jayadratha, Śrī Kṛṣṇa came to Arjuna and said, "Arjuna, there was an ethereal voice at the birth of Jayadratha. The head of the person who puts down the head of Jayadratha on the earth, would be broken into a hundred pieces. So send an arrow in such a way that his head falls on the lap of his father." Hearing this, Arjuna sent an arrow which cut off the head of Jayadratha and the head fell in the lap of Jayadratha’s father who had been sitting in deep penance and meditation in Samantapañcaka. Instantly the father awoke from meditation and stood up and the head of his beloved son, with ear-rings on both ears fell on the earth and the head of the father was broken into a hundred pieces and he died. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 146, Stanzas 104 to 130).

The names of Jayadratha.

Saindhavaka, Saindhava, Sauvīra, Sauvīraja, Sauvīrarāja, Sindhupati Sindhurāja, Sindhurāṭ, Sindhusauvīrabhartā, Suvīra, Suvīrarāṣṭrapa, Vārdhakṣatri and such other names are used as synonyms of Jayadratha in the Mahābhārata.*

*) It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 67 that Jayadratha was the son of Bṛhatkṣatra. After Bharata, Bṛhatkṣatra was the only famous and mighty emperor. Really speaking Jayadratha was the grandson of Bṛhatkṣatra. The statement that Jayadratha was the son of Bṛhatkṣatra only means that he was a descendant of that king.

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