In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the Upapandavas (IAST: Upapāṇḍava, Sanskrit: उपपाण्डव, lit. junior Pandavas), also known as Pandavaputras (IAST: Pāṇḍavaputra, Sanskrit: पाण्डवपुत्र, lit. sons of Pandavas), Draupadeyas or Panchakumaras (IAST: Pañcakumāra, Sanskrit: पञ्चकुमार, lit. five sons) are the five sons of Queen Draupadi from each of the five Pandavas. They are Prativindhya, Sutasoma, Shrutakarma, Shatanika and Shrutasena.[1][unreliable source?][2] They were Atirathis, as mentioned by Bhishma, and fought the Kurukshetra war on the side of the Pandavas but not much is said in the Mahabharata about the brothers.

They had half and full paternal brothers, 3 of the whom - Abhimanyu, Ghatotkacha and Iravan, also fought in the War. All 8 of these brothers perished in the battle.

The Upapandavas, along with Abhimanyu, also battled the demon king Alambusha, on the 9th day. On the 11th day, they were defeated by Vrishasena, the son of Karna.

Prativindhya

Prativindhya (IAST: Prativindhya, Sanskrit: प्रतविन्ध्य, lit. shining like the sun or towards Vindhya) or Shrutavindhya (IAST: Śrutavindhya, Sanskrit: श्रुतविन्ध्य, lit. related to the Buddhi[3]) was son of Yudhishthira and Draupadi and was the eldest of the Upapandavas. He had an elder sister, Suthanu. He was described to be a skilled fighter, known to face troops like "the thunder-wielding Shakra (Indra)".[4] In the Kurukshetra War, Prativindhya fought Shakuni.[5] On the 9th day, Prativindhya struck Alambusha unconscious.

On the 14th night, he fought some of the Kauravas along with Sutasoma. On the 15th day, he stopped Ashwatthama's advance by holding him off long enough. He killed Chitra, the king of Abhisara, on the 16th day.[6]

He had a son Yaudheya, according to Matsya Purana.[7]

Sutasoma

Sutasoma (Sanskrit: सुतसोम, lit one who has extracted soma or the one who has the beauty of the moon[8]) was son of Bhima and Draupadi, second of the Upapandavas. He excelled in Mace fighting and archery. He battled the Kaurava prince Vikarna on the first day of the war. He played a major role in the battle by nearly killing Shakuni. Sutasoma, on the 12th day, stopped the advance of the mighty Kaurava Vivismati, towards Dronacharya. He also battled some of the Kauravas on the 14th night, accompanied by his half-brother Prativindhya.[9] He played a major role along with Yudhishthira and other Upapandavas in holding off Dushasana and the other Kauravas on the 15th day.[10]

Shatanika

Shatanika (IAST: Śatānīka, Sanskrit: शतानीक, lit. he who has hundred troops) was the son of Nakula and Draupadi. He was the third of the Upapandavas. He was named after a famous Rajarshi in the Kuru lineage who was considered to be an avatar of Visvadevas. He was nominated as a deputy commander-in-chief under his maternal uncle and teacher Dhrishtadyumna, in charge of Vyuha planning.[11] He massacred the army of Kaurava ally Bhutakarma, as well as Bhutakarma.[12] Shatanika also defeated Kaurava prince Dushkarna on the 6th day.[13] He defeated the Kauravas Jayatsena, Chitrasena and Shrutakarman and killed a prince of Kalinga. Shatanika caused huge destruction of the Kaurava army on the 17th day too.[14]

Shrutasena

Shrutsena (IAST: Śrutasena, lit. the commander of the army of celestials) was son of Sahadeva and Draupadi and the fourth of the Upapandavas; like his father he was smart and intelligent. In the Chatahurdi analysis of the Mahabharata, he was defeated by Shakuni during the battle; he killed Shala, the younger brother of Bhurishravas on the 14th day of the war.[15] He fought with other warriors like Dushmanara and Durmukha and defeated them. He also killed the son of Kaurava warrior Devavraddha.[16]

Shrutakarma

Shrutakarma (IAST: Śrutakarma, lit. he who is known for his good deeds) was the son of Arjuna and Draupadi,[17] and the youngest of the Upapandavas. His horses were supposed to bear the colour of kingfishers.[18] He was a capable archer like his father and defeated Kamboja ruler Sudakshina on the first day. He also defeated the Kaurava Jayatsena on the 6th day.[19] He fought against Dushasana and Ashwathama in an archery duel in the battle and gave them a good fight. He killed King Chitrasena, another king of Abhisara, on the 16th day.

Order of their birth

The order of birth of the Upapandavas was not the same as that of their fathers.

1. Prativindhya - sired by Yudhishthira

2. Sutasoma - sired by Bhima

3. Shatanika - sired by Nakula

4. Shrutasena - sired by Sahadeva

5. Shrutakarma - sired by Arjuna

This is because, the first 4 children of Draupadi were born during the first exile of Arjuna. After begetting sons from the eldest 2 Pandavas, it is Nakula's turn to enter Draupadi's chambers, and after him, is Sahadeva's turn. After Arjuna returns from his exile, he sires Shrutakarma with Draupadi.

Death

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Ashwatthama propitiates Shiva before making a night attack on the Pandava camp
Ashwatthama propitiates Shiva before making a night attack on the Pandava camp

On the last night of the war after Duryodhana's death and the Kauravas' defeat, Ashwathama gathered the only other surviving Kaurava warriors - Kritavarma and Kripacharya, and attacked the Pandava camp. He killed Dhrishtadyumna, Shikhandi, and many other prominent warriors of the Pandava army while they were sleeping.

Ashwatthama killed all the Upapandavas in their sleep. In some versions of the story, he believes them to be the five Pandava brothers; in others, he purposefully attacks the Pandavas' heirs in order to hurt the Pandavas emotionally.

Ashwatthama was eventually cursed by Krishna for his heinous act of mercilessly killing the young Upapandavas and the in-womb Parikshit, to roam the world forever with incurable bruises and ulcers.

In the Jataka tales version of the Mahabharata, Parikshit's mentors included Sutasoma. Prativindhya, Shrutakarma, and Shatanika at least (who even in Sauptika Parva is shown as wounded not dead) have definite longer lives in Jatakas. Aswathma killed the brother of Draupadi as well as the Upandavas

Citations

  1. ^ Menon, Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. ISBN 9780595401888.
  2. ^ van Buitenen, J.A.B., ed. (1981). The Mahābhārata. Translated by van Buitenen (Phoenix ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226846644.
  3. ^ N.V., Thadani. The Mystery of the Mahabharata: Vol.4.
  4. ^ "Prativindhya - AncientVoice".
  5. ^ Mahabharata Book Six (Volume 1): Bhishma. October 2016. ISBN 9781479852123.
  6. ^ https://www.facebook.com/MahabharatKiGalatiyan/posts/chitrasena-chitrasena-who-art-thou-chitrasenathe-other-son-of-dhritrashtrachitra/663235267122692/
  7. ^ "Yaudheya, Yaudheyā: 16 definitions". 2 July 2016.
  8. ^ N.V., Thadani. The Mystery of the Mahabharata: Vol.4.
  9. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 7: Drona Parva: Ghatotkacha-badha Parva: Section CLXVIII".
  10. ^ Roy, Pratāp Chandra (14 June 2015). The Mahabharata. ISBN 9781451015799.
  11. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic dictionary of Purāṇas (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252263.
  12. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic dictionary of Purāṇas (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252263.
  13. ^ "The Fifth and Sixth Days of the Great Battle [Chapter 6]". 9 January 2015.
  14. ^ The Mahabharata: Volume 7. June 2015. ISBN 9788184759440.
  15. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic dictionary of Purāṇas (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252263.,
  16. ^ "Shrutakarma, Śrutakarmā: 3 definitions". 21 September 2015.
  17. ^ John Dececco, Devdutt Pattanaik (2014). The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore. Routledge. ISBN 9781317766308.
  18. ^ The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa. 2012. ISBN 9781451018264.
  19. ^ "The Fifth and Sixth Days of the Great Battle [Chapter 6]". 9 January 2015.