Member of Vaikunth, Himself Jaya
Other namesJaya & Srutha
AffiliationSvyāma Vaikunth dwarpal Yaksha Jaya, Vaishnavism
WeaponChandra-Haas Sword, Bow-Arrow & Gada
ArmyKashisa, Matsyas, Chedi-Chandels, Avantis.
TextsMahabharata, Harivansh Purana etc.
Personal information
Chanderi, Chedi (Present day Bundelkhand)
Rajsuya Yagna, Indraprastha (present day Delhi)
ParentsDamaghosha (father)

Srutashubha (mother)

Jarasandha (Foster father)
  • Dasgreeva, Ramya, Bali, Kushadhysha


  • Suprabha

Maternal brother

ConsortKoshalya II (Ikshvaku Princess)
OffspringChedi-Chandels, Mahameghvana dynasty
As ruler of Chedi Empire
SpouseKoshalya II (Ikshvaku Princess)
  • Dhristhaketu
  • Suketu
  • Satyaketu
  • Sarabha
HouseHaihaya-Vrshnis, Chandravanshi Yadavas
DynastyChedi Dynasty

Shishupala (Sanskrit: शिशुपाल, lit. protector of children, IAST: Śiśupāla; sometimes spelt Sisupala) was the son of Chedi Kingdom king Damaghosha. He was born in Chedi dynasty of Yaduvanshi Kshatriyas who were sept of Haihaya-Vrṣhnis.[1][2] He was the third and last birth of Lord Vishnu's gatekeeper Jaya.[3][4] He was a mighty antagonist in the Mahabharata. Puranas states that no one could defeat or kill him except his maternal brother Shri Krishna. His liberation was determined by Sri Krishna (Vishnu) after which his divine soul assumed the form of the Vaikunth gatekeeper Jay with four Hand, three eyes & Shankha Chakra.[5][6][7]

He was the elder son of Chedi ruler Damaghosha and Srutashubha (who was the sister of Vasudeva and Kunti). He was slain by his maternal brother Krishna (avatar of Vishnu), at the great Rajsuya Yagna ceremony of Yudhishthira, due to crossing his 100th abuse (which was destiny to Salvation).[8]


The Mahabharata states that Shishupala was born with three eyes and four arms and was handsome as like Krishna.[9] Suddenly a voice came out of the heaven Voice (ākāśavāṇī), This child's extra arms and extra eyes shall vanish when a certain person puts the child on his lap. He will die at the hands of that same person. Coming to visit his cousin, Krishna placed the child on his lap and the extra eye and arms disappeared, thus indicating Shishupala's death was destined at the hands of Krishna. In the Mahabharata, Shishupala's mother Shrutsarva persuaded her nephew, Krishna, that he would pardon his cousin Shishupala for a hundred offenses.[10][11]

Shishupal's father soon died and he became king of Chedi. A great dislike towards Krishna formed in Shishupal's mind. It increased when Shishupal got to know that Krishna had killed his friend Kansa. Shishupal made a friendship and alliance with Jarasandha, the powerful king of Maghada. Shishupal made all sorts of plans against Krishna. Once, while Krishna was at Pragjyotisha to kill Narakasura, Shishupal went to Dwarka and killed 95,000 Narayani Army and many rulers. He also attacked the king of Bhoja, who was an ally of Krishna. Shishupal even kidnapped the princess of Visala, viz. Bhadra, who was going to marry the king of Karusha.

At the kingdom of Vidarbha, it was time for Rukmini, the Haihaya-Bhoja princess, to get married. Rukmi, the prince of Vidarbha, was very close to Shishupala. He wanted his sister Rukmini to marry Shishupala. But before the ceremony could take place, Rukmini chose to elope with Krishna. This made Shishupala hate Krishna. Her brother Rukmi was a friend of Shishupal. Rukmi convinced his father Bhishmaka to get Rukmini married to Shishupal. When Rukmini heard that she was getting married to Shishupal, she was horrified. She had wanted to marry Krishna. She sent a Brahmin that she trusted named Sunanda to Krishna with a message. The message said that Krishna should kidnap her during the marriage. Krishna got the message and immediately set out to the capital of Vidarbha. [11]

Meanwhile, Jarasandha knew that Krishna was going to try to disrupt the marriage. He sent a division of soldiers with Shishupal as he went to Vidarbha. On the morning of the marriage, Rukmini went to the Indrani Temple. As she stepped out, she saw Krishna approaching on a chariot. Krishna swept Rukmini into the chariot. Shishupal noticed them and sent Jarasandha's forces after them. Balarama kept Jarasandha's army at bay, in battle Balrama defeated by Shishupala but the situation was handled by Vrishni warriors. Rukmi chased after Krishna's chariot and caught up.

Shishupal soon married Ikshvaku-Koshala princess Koshalya II and had four sons: Dhristaketu, Satyaketu, Sarabha, and Suketu. He also had a daughter named Karenumati who was wedded to Nakula.[12]

When Yudhishthira undertook the Rajasuya Yajna, he sent Bhima to obtain the fealty of Shishupala, now king after his father's death. Shishupala accepted Yudhishthira's supremacy with no protest and was invited to the final ceremony at Indraprastha.

At that event, due to Sahadeva's opinion, the Pandavas decided that Krishna would be the special honored guest of the sacrificial ceremony. This angered Shishupala and he started insulting Krishna, calling him a mere cowherd and worthless to be honored as a king.[13] He also started insulting Bhishma and Karna, calling his vow to remain a celibate throughout life as an act of cowardice. They became furious and threatened Shishupala, but Krishna calmed them down. Through this act, he committed his 100th sin and was pardoned by Krishna. When he insulted Krishna again, after committing his 101st abuse Shri Krishna stopped him, but the swords of Krishna's and Shishupala's supporters came out of their sheaths in the Raj Sabha and the war started, In the war, Shishupala massacred the Narayani guards of Shri Krishna. Then Shri Krishna used Sudarshana Chakra on Shishupala and killed him. Then Shishupal Souled merged into Shri Krishna.

According to ShriMad Bhagwatam when Shri Krishna killed him, his divine soul merged into Shri Krishna and come out with the form of the Vaikuntha gatekeeper Jay (a real form of Shishupal) with four Hands, three eyes & Shankhu-Chakra-Gada and went to Vaikuntha on Divine Viman which was sent by Goddess Laxmi. [14]

Magha Kavya

The Shishupala Vadha is a work of classical Sanskrit poetry (kāvya) composed by Māgha in the 7th or 8th century. It is an epic poem consisting of 20 sargas (cantos) of about 1800 highly ornate stanzas[15] and is considered one of the six Sanskrit mahakavyas, or "great epics". It is also known as the Māgha-kāvya after its author. Like other kavyas, it is admired more for its exquisite descriptions and lyrical quality than for any dramatic development of the plot[citation needed]. His sons were killed in the Kurukshetra War[citation needed].

See also


  1. ^ Desai, Kamal (1999). The Dark Sun: & The Woman who Wore a Hat. Bhatkal & Son. ISBN 978-81-85604-07-7.
  2. ^ Debroy, Bibek (9 September 2016). Harivamsha. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-93-86057-91-4.
  3. ^ Gupta, Ravi M.; Valpey, Kenneth R. (29 November 2016). The Bhāgavata Purāna: Selected Readings. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-54234-0.
  4. ^ Shankar, Uday (18 April 2021). Untold Tales from the Mahabharata: The Epic Beyond the Obvious. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-93-90358-44-1.
  5. ^ Bhagat, Dr S. P. (18 September 2016). Shrimad Bhagavata Purana. Lulu Press, Inc. ISBN 978-1-365-40462-7.
  6. ^ Vaswani, J. P. (20 June 2019). Stories with a difference from the Bhagavata Purana. Gita Publishing House. ISBN 978-93-86004-23-9.
  7. ^ Gupta, Ravi; Valpey, Kenneth (26 March 2013). The Bhagavata Purana: Sacred Text and Living Tradition. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14999-0.
  8. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 80.
  9. ^ Miele, Peter J. Aliens and the Multi-Paradox of Reality. Phantom Inc.
  10. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: Dowson, John (1879). A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History and Literature. London: Trubner & Co., Ludgate Hill. p. 294. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b Chakravarti 2007.
  12. ^ Grassi, Maggi Lidchi (20 November 2011). The Great Golden Sacrifice of the Mahabharata. Random House India. ISBN 978-81-8400-209-6.
  13. ^ (9 January 2015). "Shishupala's Liberation [Chapter 6]". Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  14. ^ Bhagat, Dr S. P. (18 September 2016). Shrimad Bhagavata Purana. Lulu Press, Inc. ISBN 978-1-365-40462-7.
  15. ^ S. S. Shashi (1996), Encyclopaedia Indica: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., p. 160, ISBN 978-81-7041-859-7