WeaponBow and arrows

Yuyutsu (Sanskrit: युयुत्सु) in the Hindu epic Mahabharata was a son of Dhritarashtra with Gandhari's maid (named Sughada in later retelling). He was the paternal half - sibling to Gandhari's children: Duryodhana and the rest of the 99 Kaurava brothers and their sister Dushala. Eventually, he was the only son of Dhritarashtra who survived in the Kurukshetra war. He was the only son of Dhritarashtra to fight for Pandavas.


The word yuyutsu is an adjective formed from the desiderative stem of the verb root "yudh" (fight, wage war), meaning "wishing to fight, bellicose." The Mahabharata cites the following other names for Yuyutsu- [1]


Yuyutsu was a son of Dhritrashtra and Gandhari's maid Sughada.[2] Not much is known about his early life. However, unlike his brothers, Yuyutsu was on favourable terms with the Pandavas, warning them about Duryodhana's schemes. According to Dhritarashtra, Yuyutsu vanquished many kings in Varanavata. At a Swayamvara in Varanasi, Yuyutsu defeated a prince of Kashi to take the princess as his wife.[3]

Righteous in the Kaurava camp

Yuyutsu is celebrated as a moral warrior who chose the path of righteousness, in spite of being born in circumstances that predisposed him to evil. He forwent his family bonds in order to side with dharma.

As the war was about to begin, Yudhishthira made an announcement in the battlefield, saying anybody who wishes to change sides can do it then, before conches are blown. It is at this moment that Yuyutsu changed sides and took the side of righteousness.

Additionally, Yuyutsu saved the life of Bhima by informing the Pandavas about Duryodhana's cunning schemes, which included poisoning water.[4][5] Both Yuyutsu and Vikarna abhorred Duryodhana's conspiracies and evil schemes; however, Vikarna stays loyal to the family and perishes in the war.[6] Yuyutsu shifts from Kaurava camp to the Pandava camp. Yuyutsu fought the battle on the side of the Pandavas. He was one among the 11 Maharathis (capable of fighting 720,000 warriors simultaneously) among the son of Dhritarashtra. Yuyutsu was one among the eleven warriors to have survived the war. He had a few notable encounters. On the seventh day, he is wounded by Kripacharya in a sword fight but survives. On the Sixteenth day, he fights with Shakuni’s son Ulooka and wounds him, but fails to kill him as he flees.[7]

After the War

When the Pandavas decided to retire from the world at the start of the Kali Yuga and departure of Krishna, Yudhishthira gave the charge of supervising the kingdom to Yuyutsu while Parikshit was made the king.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic dictionary of Purāṇas (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252263.
  2. ^ Kapoor, Subodh, ed. (2002). The Indian encyclopaedia : biographical, historical, religious, administrative, ethnological, commercial and scientific (1st ed.). New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. ISBN 9788177552577.
  3. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 7: Drona Parva: Dronabhisheka Parva: Section X". sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  4. ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. ISBN 9780595401871.
  5. ^ "Mahabharata Text".
  6. ^ Yuyutsu was one of the 11 who managed to survive the war
  7. ^ Buck, William (2000). Mahabharata. p. 327. ISBN 9788120817197.
  8. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (1 January 2001). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Puranas. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252263.
  9. ^ Brodbeck, Simon Pearse (2009). The Mahābhārata patriline : gender, culture, and the royal hereditary. Farnham, England: Ashgate. ISBN 9780754667872.