Bhurishravas
Information
FamilySomadatta (father)

Bhoorishravas (Sanskrit: भूरिश्रवस् / भूरिश्रवा) was a prince of a minor kingdom[1] in the kingdom of Bahlika and played a role in the Mahabharata epic. Bhurishravas has many different spellings, including "Bhoorisravas(a)", "Bhurisravas(a)", "Bhurishravsa", etc.

Bhurishrava was the grandson of King Bahlika, who was the elder brother of Shantanu.

Bhurishravas' father, Somadatta, once clashed with another prince called Sini. When Devaki, the mother of Lord Krishna, was still unwed, many princes competed for her hand in marriage, including Somadatta and Sini, who fought a great battle over her. Sini, fighting on behalf of Vasudeva won the battle. This incident launched a hatred between the Sini and Somadatta families, leading to a generational rivalry.[2]

The Bhor Saidan village (Hindi: भौर सैदां), also spelled as Bhour Saidan or Bhoor Saiydan, named after Bhurishravas is located 22 km from Kurukshetra and 13 km from Thanesar on the Kurukshetra-Pehowa road near Bhureeshwar Temple, is one of the Mahabharata pilgrimage sites in Kurukshetra in the Indian state of Haryana.

Family lineage

Bhurishrava was a Kuru prince, the grandson of Bahlika. Bhurishrava therefore took part in the Kurukshetra War from the Kaurava side.[3]

Role in the war

By the time of the Battle of Kurukshetra, Sini's grandson Satyaki, by then a king of the Siwa kingdom, was a commander in the Pandava army while Bhurishravas was one of the eleven commanders of the Kaurava army.[4]

On the 14th day of the battle, Bhurishravas was stationed in Dronacharya's formation, attempting to stop Arjuna from reaching Jayadratha. As Satyaki and Bhima came to support Arjuna, Bhurishravas abandoned his position and challenged Satyaki. Already tired from battling Drona and navigating his formation, Satyaki began to falter after a long and bloody battle. Their weapons destroyed, the fighting turns to hand-to-hand combat. Bhurishravas pummeled Satyaki and dragged him across the battlefield.

Arjuna was alerted to Satyaki's danger by Krishna. Just as Bhurishravas was preparing to kill Satyaki, Arjuna came to the rescue, shooting an arrow cutting off Bhurishravas' arm.[1][2]

Bhurishravas wailed that by striking him without a formal challenge, and from behind, Arjuna had disgraced the honor between warriors. Arjuna, in turn, rebuked Bhurishravas for attempting to kill an unarmed Satyaki - an act also against the rules of war. Arjuna also criticized Bhurishravas for partaking in the immoral killing of Abhimanyu on the 13th day.[2]

At this point, realizing his folly, Bhurishravas hung his head in shame. He laid down his weapons, and sat in the lotus posture to practice yoga.[1][2] But Satyaki then emerged from his swoon and swiftly decapitated his enemy.[1][2]

Warriors on both sides of the battle universally condemned Satyaki for this act[1] - one of the incidents in the epic showing the superiority of dharma and honor against the uncontrollable power of hatred.[2]

Symbolically, as Bhurishravas' attempt to kill the unarmed Satyaki immediately resulted in his own death in the same manner, Bhurishravas can be seen as representing the binding effects of one's material actions (karma).[5]

Years later, Bhurishravas's death would be used by Kritavarma to insult Satyaki. In the resulting fight, Satyaki (as well as the remaining Yadavas) perished.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Essential Hinduism by Steven J. Rosen and Graham M. Schweig. Greenwood Publishing, 2006, page 96. Google books link accessed May 27, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Mahabharata Online: Somadatta's End, accessed May 27, 2008.
  3. ^ "Mahabharata Story by Rajaji - Page 89 | Mahabharata Stories, Summary and Characters from Mahabharata".
  4. ^ "Mahabharata Story by Rajaji - Page 89 | Mahabharata Stories, Summary and Characters from Mahabharata".
  5. ^ God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita: A new translation and commentary by Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realization Fellowship, 1995, page 87. Google books link accessed May 27, 2008.
  6. ^ "Mahabharata Story by Rajaji - Page 89 | Mahabharata Stories, Summary and Characters from Mahabharata".