Bhima (Bheema) was the second Pandava. He was known for his immense physical strength. He was a major part of the Mahabharata. His full name was Vrikodara Bhima.
- Father: Pandu
- Godly Father: Vayu
- Mother: Kunti
- Brothers: Yudhistira, Arjuna
- Half-Brothers: Nakula, Sahadeva, Karna
- Wives: Draupadi, Hidimba, Jalandharaa, Panchali, Kaali
- Sons: Sarvaga, Ghatotgacha, Sutasoma, Shruta, Sarvottunga
Once, King Pandu went hunting. He saw two deer and killed them with his arrows. As soon as he killed them, they turned into a rishi and his wife. Pandu was shocked. He realized that the two deer had been Kindama rishi and his wife in the form of deer. Kindama rishi was really mad and cursed Pandu that whenever he engages in intercourse with any women, he will die. A moment after, Kindama and his wife died.
Pandu was really upset since he had killed a Brahmin who was a rishi. He decided to leave his post as the king of Kuru kingdom. He and his two wives named Kunti and Madri left for the jungle. Pandu’s older blind brother, Dhitrastra was then coronated as king of Kuru. Dhitrastra them married Gandhari, the princess of Gandhara.
Due to his curse, Pandu could not have children. When she was small, Kunti was given a boon that she could have any children with any deva. Kunti used her boon. She had three children. Her first and oldest child was Yudhistira from Yama.
Pandu next wanted to have a really strong child known for his might. Kunti thought hard and decided to invoke Vayu, the god of wind. When the boy was born, a voice from the sky said that he shall be named Bhima and he will be known for his sheer strength and might.
10 days after Bhima was born, Bhima was sleeping on the lap of Kunti when a tiger appeared there. Out of surprise, Kunti got up and dropped Bhima. Bhima fell on a boulder. Instead of getting hurt, the boulder broke into pieces and nothing happened to Bhima.
Soon, Kunti had used her boon once more to get one more child named Arjuna from Indra. She also taught the boon to Madri. Madri received Nakula and Sahadeva, sons of the Ashwini Kumaras. These five were called the five Pandavas.
Once, Pandu engaged in intercourse with Madri, forgetting about his curse. Immediately, Pandu died. Madri was so heartbroken that she also killed herself. Kunti and the five Pandavas were really depressed. A funeral was performed for Madri and Pandu. Kunti and the 5 Pandavas were brought to Hastinapura, the capital of the Kuru kingdom, by Vidura and Bhishma.
The Pandavas were given a horrible greeting by the 100 Kauravas, the sons of Dhitrastra and Gandhari. Shakuni, Gandhari’s brother, had poisoned their mind and turned them against the Pandavas. Slowly an enmity developed between the Pandavas and Kauravas. This enmity was even more eminent between Bhima and Duryodhana, the oldest Kaurava.
Whenever the 100 Kauravas played with the Pandavas, Bhima would dominate. He would exhibit his superior strength by tormenting the Kauravas. For example, he would pull the Kauravas by their hair and throw them down. Dragging them on the ground, he would cause many injuries. Sometimes, he would drown them till they almost fainted. Whenever the Kaurava brothers climbed to the top of trees to gather fruit, Bhima would shake the trees and they would tumble down.
All the Kauravas were obviously frustrated with the atrocities of Bhima. They hated him even more and waited for an opportunity to take revenge.
The Ploy of Pramana Koti
Once, Duryodhana went up to the Pandavas and said, “Oh Pandavas. Since we are cousins, I have decided that we should have some fun together. I have planned a trip to Pramana Koti, a beautiful place in the foothills of the Himalayas. I would like to invite you to join me.”
The kind Yudhistira immediately accepted the invitation. So they happily mounted their chariots and set out on the excursion with the Kauravas. Little did the Pandavas know that this wasn’t a pleasure trip, it was meticulously crafted deceit…. a death trap….
When they arrived at the location, the Pandavas were amazed by the outdoor paradise that had been constructed by the Kaurava architects. The Ganga river and fountains were adorned with flowers. The emanating fragrance had spread through the air. It was a beautiful environment.
The Pandavas and Kauravas all sat down to eat. Bhima, who was particularly fond of eating, was delighted by the feast. He ate a lot of kheer and a lot of sweets. After eating, the brothers all went to play in the water. After an afternoon of playing in the water, the brothers were exhausted and they lied down in the small palace that had been constructed. Bhima, who was feeling really tired, lied down on the shore and fainted.
This loss of consciousness wasn’t because they he was tired. It was because the kheer he had been fed was heavily poisoned by Duryodhana. This was the master plan of Duryodhana and Shakuni. Duryodhana had been waiting for this moment. He quickly tied up the unconscious Bhima with vines and threw him into the Ganga river.
Meanwhile, the Pandavas and Kauravas started the return journey to Hastinapura. The Pandavas assumed that Bhima had went ahead as usual.
In the meantime, Bhima sank deep into the river. This part of the river had been claimed by Nagas (serpents). Bhima sank straight into a city of Nagas. The Nagas were surprised and terrified, so they started biting Bhima. Their bite had poison in it, which acted as an antidote to the poison from the kheer. Soon, Bhima woke up and flew into a rage. He broke the vines binding him and started slaughtering the Nagas.
The frightened Nagas went to their king, Vasuki. “O King, a human has sunk to our land. He was unconscious and tied up, so he had probably been poisoned. When we attacked him, he woke up and started killing us. Please come and see the situation.”
Vasuki came there with Aryaka, Kunti’s great-grandfather. Aryaka was pleased to see his great-grandson. Vasuki begged forgiveness from Bhima on behalf of his Nagas attacking him.
“We will give Bhima immense wealth,” Vasuki declared.
“No, my king. Kshatriyas do not value wealth. They value power and strength. We will feed Bhima our secret potion of which each potful imbibes the strength of 1000 elephants,” Aryaka replied.
So, Bhima first took a holy bath. Then, a ceremony was conducted. Afterward, Bhima was told to face east and given a pot full of the potion. He drank the entire pot in one gulp. He then drank seven more pots of the potion. Bhima was then put to sleep for eight days.
Meanwhile, the Pandavas arrived at Hastinapura and they were shocked by the absence of Bhima. Yudhistira quickly went to Kunti and asked her if she had seen Bhima. Kunti shrieked in alarm and said that she hadn’t seen Bhima. Kunti rushed to Vidura and told him about the dilemma. Vidura knew that Duryodhana was behind this, but assured that Bhima will return.
After 8 days, Bhima took another bath and completed the ablutions. He then bid farewell Vasuki and Aryaka. He ran full speed back to Hastinapura and told Kunti and his brothers about the incident. Yudhistira decided to keep the incident a secret.
More Attempts on Bhima’s Life
Duryodhana and Shakuni were shocked when they learned that Bhima had somehow survived at Pramana Koti. Bhima was at Death’s doorstep, but he still escaped Death.
Angered by their failure, Duryodhana and Shakuni crafted another plan to snatch Bhima’s life. Duryodhana added a virulent poison in Bhima’s water. However, Yuyutsu, the righteous son of Dhitrastra and a Vaisya woman, saved his life by informing Bhima of the scheme. Duryodhana and Shakuni devised many other schemes, but the Pandavas always found out about them.
Dhitrastra realized that the Pandavas and Kauravas were wasting their time with useless activities. He appointed Kripacharya, the royal preceptor, as the teacher of the princes. He taught the princes how to use weapons.
After the princes completed their short education with Kripacharya, Dhitrastra wanted to give the princes a higher education. He started searching for a teacher who was a master at weaponry.
Meanwhile, Dronacharya, the son of Bharadwaja, and his family had recently moved to Hastinapura. They stayed in the house of Kripa. Ashwastamma often helped Kripa give lessons about weaponry to the princes.
Once, the Pandavas and Kauravas were playing ball outside the palace. The ball accidentally fell into a nearby well. Everybody tried to take it out but it was to deep. At that moment, Drona arrived at the scene. He said, “If you promise me dinner today, then I shall remove this ball from the well and this ring which I am going to drop.”
Saying that, Drona dropped his ring into the well. He then threw a blade of grass at the ball and pierced it. He then pierced the blade of grass with another blade of grass and continued this until a chain was formed. Using the chain, he easily removed the ball. He then removed the ring by using an arrow.
The Pandavas were astonished by this impossible feat. They quickly went and told Bhishma about what had happened. Bhishma instantly knew that his was none other than Dronacharya. Drona went to the palace and personally met Bhishma. He told Bhishma about all that had happened. Bhishma, who had been searching for a teacher for the princes, asked Dronacharya to become their teacher. Dronacharya readily agreed.
Bhishma built a house for Drona to live in. The Pandavas and Kauravas were taken to this house and their education commenced. Dronacharya imparted scriptural and combat knowledge to the Pandavas and Kauravas. During the education, Bhima excelled at fighting with the mace.
In a short time, the education of the Pandava and Kaurava princes was complete. To display their skills to the Kuru elders, Dronacharya hosted a tournament. A grand stage and hall was constructed. The day of the demonstration arrived and the entire royal family and the citizens gathered in the arena. The princes entered one-by-one and each exhibited their skills. Bhima and Duryodhana fought each other with their maces, but when the fight became too aggressive, Drona sent Ashwastamma to separate them. In this tournament, Karna would enter the epic and he would display his archery skill, challenging Arjuna.
When the Pandavas and Kauravas returned from their studies at Drona’s ashram, they had grown into young adults. As a token of thanks, the Pandavas and Kauravas would have to give Dronacharya a gurudakshina.
“What should we do for you, guru,” Yudhistira asked.
“Capture Yajnasena Drupada, the king of Panchala, and bring him to me,” Drona ordered.
Dronacharya and the Kuru princes proceded towards Kampilya, the capital of Panchala, with a huge cavalry force. As always, Duryodhana wanted to show off his might to the Pandavas. “Guruji, can we attack first,” Duryodhana asked. Drona and the Pandavas agreed.
Duryodhana, followed by his brothers, Karna, and Yuyutsu, stormed the city but were easily defeated by Drupada and his force. The Kauravas came back fleeing from the city.
Arjuna laughed. “Now we shall go. You stay behind,” he said to Yudhistira. Arjuna raced to the city, with Nakula and Sahadeva at his flanks and Bhima in front of him. They broke through the city gates and Bhima started destroying the Panchala army with his mace. Elephants, horses, and infantrymen fell in thousands as Bhima spun his mace around like a tornado.
Meanwhile, Arjuna defeated Drupada and his son Satyajita. He successfully captured Drupada and told Bhima to stop slaughtering the soldiers. Panchala was then split between Dronacharya ruling the northern half and Drupada ruling the southern.
Further Education and Military Campaigns
When they returned to Hastinapura, Yudhistira was appointed the Crown Prince of Hastinapura. Bhima and Duryodhana left to learn the art of mace-fighting, sword-fighting, and ratha-fighting from Balarama. Here, Bhima met Visoka and Asoka, his future charioteers. Balarama declared that Bhima was as good of a warrior as King Dyumatsena of Salwa. After their training, Bhima and Duryodhana went back to Hastinapura.
Soon, Yudhistira decided to begin various military campaigns to recover the lost land of King Pandu. During his reign, Pandu had annexed various places, including Vatsa, Mithila, Kashi, and Suhma. He even killed Jarasandha’s predecessor and conquered Anga. With all these new territories, there was a constant flow of gold into Hastinapura. But with the weak reign of Dhitrastra, the situation had reverted back to the pre-Pandu reign. All of the territories and viceroyalties had been lost.
Arjuna went on many military expeditions. For Arjuna’s eastern expedition, Bhima accompanied him. Together, they annexed Videha, Suhma, and Dasarna. At Dasarna, Bhima met Sudharma, the son of King Hiranyavarma of Dasarna. They became really good friends and later, Sudharma would end up saving Bhima’s life. Arjuna and Bhima also annexed a part of Kashi and gave it to Subahu, the son of the Kashi king who had taken refuge in Hastinapura.
The House of Lac- The House of Death
Duryodhana and Dhitrastra saw the Pandavas succeeding. The citizens were loving Yudhistira as their crown prince, which made Duryodhana and Dhitrastra anxious and mad. Duryodhana and Dhitrastra decided to send them to Varnavrata. Duryodhana had his trusted aid Purochana build a palace called Lakshagraha made of quickly flammable materials. Their plan was that after Purochana gained the Pandavas’ trust, he would set the palace on fire and the Pandavas would burn to death.
Dhitrastra convinced Yudhistira to go to Varnavrata. While going to Varnavrata, Vidura met the Pandavas and told them about Duryodhana’s plan, which he had learned from his palace spies. He also told the Pandavas their means of escape.
When Purochana did this, the Pandavas and Kunti barely eascaped. Vidura, who was waiting near Varnavrata, helped them cross the Ganga river and advised them to live in the forest for a while. The Pandavas and Kunti followed his advice.
In Kuru kingdom, everybody thought that the Pandavas had died. Duryodhana became crown prince and proceeded to marry Jallandharaa, the princess of Kasi. Jallandharaa wanted to marry Bhima. Vidura knew the Pandavas were not dead. He told Jallandharaa to leave Kuru kingdom. Jallandharaa followed his advice. After a while, Bhima located her and married her. They had a son named Sarvaga.
The Pandavas continued traveling north. They reached a dense forest on the northern boundaries of Kuru. These forests were Rakshasa territories. It was night, so the other Pandavas and Kunti went to sleep while Bhima kept watch.
A Rakshasa named Hidimb lived in this forest. He lived very close to where the Pandavas were resting. He smelled humans and told his sister Hidimba to lure the humans to him. Then he would kill and eat the humans. Hidimba proceeded to the spot where the Pandavas were. She saw Bhima from a distance and fell in love with him. Hidimba turned into the disguise of a beautiful woman and approached Bhima. Hidimba started talking to Bhima and told him that she wanted to marry him.
Meanwhile, Hidimb became impatient. His sister hadn’t come back for a long time. He went looking for her and saw her talking to Bhima. “You fool! You were supposed to lure him to me. But you are talking to him. I will kill him at this instance,” Hidimb shouted. Bhima was shocked when he realized Hidimba was a Rakshasi.
Bhima and Hidimb then had a fierce fight. With the roars of the two warriors, Kunti and the other Pandavas woke up. Finally, Bhima emerged victoriously and killed Hidimb. After the fight, Bhima also wanted to kill Hidimba.
“I am innocent. I just want to marry your son. I fell in love with him the instant I met him,” she begged of Kunti. Kunti prevented Bhima from killing Hidimba. Bhima and Hidimba got married and had a son named Ghatotgacha.
“Let us stay in the Rakshasa territories for a few months. For these few months, I will rule the Rakshasa territories. We will then move on,” Bhima suggested.
“But we had decided that we will constantly keep moving. If we stay somewhere for too long, the Kauravas might realize that we’re still alive,” Arjuna argued.
“I will take up the name of King Virochana. Then, no one will recognize us,” Bhima said.
So the Pandavas started living in the Rakshasa territories. Bhima took up the disguise of King Virochana of the Rakshasas. King Virochana, Arjuna, Sahadeva, and Nakula also came and helped Surasena defeat the Nagas. After the war, King Virochana set up a small Naga kingdom for Uddhava (Krishna’s friend). After a few months, Vyasa told the Pandavas to move on. The Pandavas and Kunti left the Rakshasa territories and proceeded south, passing Trigarta and Matsya.
They soon reached a town called Ekachakra. This town was in Kichaka kingdom. They stayed at the house of a Brahmin family. A part of Kichaka kingdom was ruled by a rakshasa named Bakasura. Ekchakra was a town in his territories. Every day one villager would go to Bakasura with a wagon full of food. The rakshasa would eat the villager and all the food. Now it was the Brahmin family’s turn to go. They were really upset and could not pick who should go. When Kunti found out why they were upset, she told Bhima to go instead. She knew Bhima could slay the rakshasa.
Bhima enthusiastically agreed. The brahmin family was reluctant to let Bhima go since he was their guest but they finally gave in. Bhima set out to go to the place where Bakasura lived. When he arrived there, he started eating all the food from the wagon. This made Bakasura angry. He ran at Bhima. A huge fight started and in the end, Bhima emerged victoriously. He had killed Bakasura. The town of Ekachakra was now safe.
Arjuna attended the swayamvara of Draupadi, the princess of Panchala, and won her. When Arjuna came to their hut, he told Kunti “I have brought a surprise.” Kunti, who was busy in her work, told Arjuna to share it between the five. When Kunti looked back, she was shocked and really sad. Yudhistira refused to disobey his mother’s words so all five of them had to marry Draupadi. Bhima had a son named Sutasoma from Draupadi.
Soon, the Pandavas, Draupadi, and Kunti returned to Hastinapura
Indraprasta and Rajasuya Military Campaign
Dhitrastra and Bhishma decided to give a part of Kuru kingdom to the Pandavas. They gave the Pandavas a region called Khandavprastha. This region was every infertile. It was hard to grow crops here. The Pandavas first focused on the northern parts of their part of the kingdom. They went and defeated the Nagas, Yakshas, and Gandharvas that resided there. After securing their part of the kingdom, they built many great cities including Indraprastha (the capital), Swarnaprastha, and Panaprastha.
Once, Narada came to visit the Pandavas. He told them the story of Sunda and Upasunda. He then created a system for sharing Draupadi. Each Pandava would get one year with Draupadi.
Yudhistira decided to perform the Rajasuya yagna. His 4 brothers went and defeated all the kingdoms of India. Bhima defeated all the eastern kingdoms.
Kingdoms and Kings Bhima defeated:
- 6 kingdoms of Panchala
- Gandakas and Videha Kingdom
- Sudharma of Dasarna Kingdom
- Pulinda Kingdom
- Karusha Kingdom
- Sishupala of Chedi Kingdom
- Dirghayagna of Ayodhya
- Brihadbala of Central Kosala
- Uttar Kosala Kingdom
- Malla Kingdom
- Suparsava Kingdom
- Kasi Kingdom
- Maddhara and Somdheya States
- Malda Kingdom
- Vardhamana Kingdom
- Vatsa Kingdom
- Manimana of Nishada
- Dakshina Malla Kingdom
- Sarmakas and Varmakas
- Vanga Kingdom
- Anga Kingdom
- Pundra Kingdom
- Lauhitya Kingdom
- Ashwamedha Kingdom
After Bhima’s military campaign, Krishna took Arjuna and Bhima to Maghada, Jarasandha’s kingdom. This kingdom was still free. Krishna told Bhima to challenge Jarasandha to a duel. Bhima did so and the duel lasted for a long time. Krishna took a twig and split it in half, gesturing that Bhima should tear Jarasandha in half. Bhima understood and ripped Jarasandha’s body in half. Jarasandha immediately died.
Duryodhana and Shakuni made another cruel plan. They invited the Pandavas and Draupadi to Hastinapura (capital of Kuru) for a gambling game. Not knowing of the cruel plan, the Pandavas accepted. The Pandavas and Draupadi went to Hastinapura. Shakuni, with his magical dice, made the Pandavas lose everything, including their wealth, jewelry, chariots, Indraprasta and lots more. Soon Yudhistira also lost his brothers and himself.
In the end, Dushasana dragged Draupadi to the court and attempted to disrobe her. Krishna saved Draupadi by continuing to magically add more to her clothing. After a long time. Dushasana gave up. In anger, Bhima took a vow that he would rip off the hands that Dushasana used to drag Draupadi to the court. He also took a vow that he would kill Duryodhana. In the end, it was decided that the Pandavas would go into exile for 12 years and incognito for 1 year. If they were identified during incognito they would repeat their exile and incognito.
Exile and Incognito Year
The Pandavas immediately went to Kurujangala forest. Here, a rakshasa named Kirmira spotted them. He realized Bhima was there. He hated Bhima since he had killed his brother Bakasura and friend Hidimb in the past. He attacked Bhima. Both started uprooting trees and throwing them. They also wrestled. After some time, Bhima choked and killed Kirmira. After that, the Pandavas met Krishna and other Pandava allies.
After staying at Kurujangala for a few months, they stayed at Dwaitavana for 1 year. Here, they met Markandeya Rishi. Then, while Arjuna did penance for the Pashupashastra for 4 years, the Pandavas stayed at the Kamyaka Forest.
Then, while Arjuna was at Swarga, the Pandavas went on a 5-year pilgrimage with Lomasha to the Himalayas. They passed various Himalayana peaks. They then arrived at Nara-Narayana’s hermitage (Badri Ashraam).
Draupadi loved this place. Every day she would go and offer prayers to Surya deva on the banks of the Ganga river. Once after finishing her prayer, she smelled a beautiful aroma. She realized it was coming from a Saugandhika flower. She ran to Bhima and said “Bhima, Bhima, look at this. It is so beautiful.” Bhima replied, “I could find some more if you want.” Draupadi eagerly said yes. Bhima said,” I will be back with many more flowers just like this.” He departed from the hut with his mace in search of the beautiful flowers. He walked along the Ganga river.
As Bhima was walking, he noticed that there was a garden in the distance. He realized that was where the flowers were. Bhima was approaching the garden when an old monkey came in his way. Bhima said, “Move out my way, you silly old monkey.” The monkey said,” Are you talking to me.” Bhima screamed,” Get your tail out of my path!” He screamed at the top of his voice. The monkey said,” I was not in your way.” He also added that this place was dangerous for humans. Bhima said” Do you even know you I am. I am a son of Vayu, brother of the great Hanuman. I am really strong compared to you.” The monkey said” You said you are strong. Well then, why don’t you lift up my tail.” Bhima took his mace and slipped it under the monkey’s tail. He tried to lift his mace but failed. Bhima looked unhappily at the monkey and said” I am sorry for everything I said. Will you tell me who you are?” The monkey said that he was someone like Bhima. At that moment it dawned upon Bhima that it was Hanuman.
He fell at Hanumana’s feet. He apologized over and over. The two brothers then embraced each other. Hanumana said” I came here to warn you. I know you are looking for the Saugandhika flower. It is in the garden over there, but be careful, there are powerful beings over there.”Hanumana also informed Bhima that he would always be with Bhima in battle and promised and promised to be present in Arjuna’s chariot’s flag in any war. Bhima then requested Hanumana to grow into his full size. He grew and grew until Bhima could nor even see him anymore. Then Hanumana shrunk back to normal. He blessed Hanumana and disappeared.
When Bhima entered the garden he faced an army of rakshasas. He easily defeated most of them and the remaining ran to their chief. His name was Manimantha. He came up to fight Bhima.
Meanwhile, back at the hut, Draupadi was worried about what had happened to Bhima. When she told Yudhistira this he laughed. He said “Do you how strong Bhima is. He can defeat any rakshasa, yaksha, or gandharva” with a hint of pride. Draupadi still looked worried. Yudhistira sensed her anxiety and called Ghatotgacha. Ghatotgacha flew to the ashram. Yudhistira told him about the situation. He requested Ghatotgacha to take him and Draupadi to Kubera’s garden. Ghatotgacha nodded and in an instant, they were there.
There were dead rakshasas everywhere, including Manimantha. Draupadi spotted Bhima lying on the ground. He was asleep. She shook Bhima awake happily. At that moment, a huge appeared there. Yudhistira introduced himself, Draupadi and Bhima. The yaksha said that he was Kubera. He said” You have freed Manimantha from his curse. I am grateful to you.” He turned to his soldiers. “Prepare a feast.”Nakula and Sahadeva soon arrived there and they all enjoyed Kubera’s hospitality. Kubera also gave Draupadi a basket of Saugandhika flowers. They lived with Kubera in Alaka for a few months.
The 5 Pandavas and Draupadi then went to Nara-Narayana’s ashraam. Just as life was becoming too routine, a Rakshasa named Jatasura captured Draupadi, Yudhistira, Sahadeva, and Nakula. Bhima had gone hunting at that time. When Bhima came back, he was deeply upset about Jatasura’s act. He found Jatasura and defeated him, rescuing his brother.
The Pandavas then headed north and passing Kailasha, meeting Vrishparva at his ashraam, and then reaching the Malyavana Mountains and then finally Gandhmadhana Mountain. Here they met Arishtasena at his ashraam. They stayed here for a year, listening to Lomasha’s stories. Finally, Arjuna rejoined them and they headed south back to Kamyaka Vana, where they met Krishna, Satyabhama, and Markandeya.
Once, Jayadratha (Sindhu king) tried to capture Draupadi. Bhima ran after Jayadratha’s chariot and stopped the chariot. The other Pandavas then joined him. Bhima was about to kill Jayadratha, when Yudhistira prevented Bhima. He told Bhima to spare Jayadratha and only shave Jayadratha’s hair off to humiliate him. Bhima did so. Jayadratha then ran away.
When it was time for the year of incognito, the Pandavas made a list of kingdoms they could stay in disguise in. They finally decided to stay in Matsya kingdom. Each Pandava and Draupadi disguised themselves as someone and took up an occupation. Bhima became Vallabha and worked as a royal cook.
Once, a wrestler named Jimuta came to Matsya and claimed that nobody could defeat him in wrestling. Bhima, in the disguise of Vallabha, challenged Jimuta. He easily defeated Jimuta. Virata (King of Matsya) was very happy.
Virata’s wife’s name was Sudeshna. Her brother’s name was Kichaka. He was the commander-in-chief of the Matsya army. He tried to have Sairandhri, Draupadi under disguise as a queen’s maid, marry him. When Bhima got to know about this, he slew Kichaka and his brothers who were called Upakichakas.
Kichaka was a close friend of Duryodhana. When Duryodhana got to know about the killing of Kichaka, he knew Bhima was the only one who could have defeated Kichaka. He and Shakuni devised a plan. They told Susharma (King of Trigarta) to attack Matsya from the north while the Kuru army would attack from the south. Susharma agreed to this plan as he was an enemy of Virata. Susharma attacked first. Virata and his army went to attack the Trigartas. Meanwhile, the Kuru army came from the south. There was nobody and no army to attack the Kurus. Uttar, Virata’s young son, said he could defeat the entire Kuru army. Brihanalla, Arjuna in disguise as a eunuch, agreed to be Uttar’s charioteer.
When Uttar saw the massive Kuru army he became afraid. He got off his chariot and started to run away. Brihanalla chased after him. When Brihanalla caught up, she informed Uttar that she was Arjuna. Uttar was shocked. Arjuna retrieved his Gandiva bow from the tree he’d hidden it on and the two switched positions, Uttar becoming the charioteer and Arjuna becoming the warrior. Arjuna single-handedly defeated the entire Kuru army and great maharathis such as Bhishma, Drona, and Karna.
Meanwhile, the Trigarta army had defeated most of the Matsya army. Susharma had captured Virata. Suddenly, Bhima and Yudhistira arrived on the scene and Bhima freed Virata. He was about to strangle Susharma when Yudhistira said to spare him.
The year of incognito had been successfully completed by the Pandavas and Draupadi. They revealed their real identities to Virata, who was shocked.
The Kurukshetra War
Duryodhana refused to give the Pandavas Indraprastha back after the exile. He also ignored all peace treaties. Hence, the war was declared. The war occurred at the battlefield of Kurukshetra and lasted 18 days. The Pandavas won the war.
In the war Bhima killed: 100 Kaurava brothers, Bahalika, Ashwastamma (elephant), Samudrasena, Kshemadhurti, Nandaka, Ketumata, Bhanumata, Shakradeva, Satya, Satyadeva, Aparajita, Dhruva, Jayarata, Nagadatta, Dhridharatha, Viravahu, Ayobhuja, Dridha, Suhasta, Viragas, Pramatha, Ugrayayin, Satachandra, Gavaksha, Sarabha, Bibhu, Subhaga, Bhanudatta.
Ghatotgacha and Sutasoma also participated in the Mahabharata war.
Later Life and Death
When the Pandavas returned to Hastinapura, Dhitrastra got really mad on Bhima since he had killed his 100 sons. He was about crush Bhima in a hug. Before he could do this, Krishna told Bhima to put a statue instead. Dhitrastra crushed the statue. After he realized what had happened, he apologized to Bhima. After the war, Bhima became commander of the Hastinapura army. He also participated in Yudhistira’s Ashwamedha yagna.
After some time, the Pandavas and Draupadi left for their last journey. They went on a final pilgrimage to the Himalayas. Along the way, Nakula, Sahadeva, Arjuna, and Draupadi fell to death. Soon Bhima also fell to his death. Bhima asked Yudhistira why he was dying. Yudhistira said he was being dragged down because of his sins. After dying, Bhima met Arjun, Sahadeva, Nakula, and Draupadi at swarga along with all his enemies. Soon, Yudhistira joined them.
Bhima was the strongest of his brothers. He was as strong as ten-thousand elephants. Balarama and Dronacharya had made him master mace-fighting. He was also good at sword-fighting and chariot driving. Because of his immense strength, he was a really good wrestler. Adding on to that, he was a skilled chef.
Bhima was really ferocious and was always ready for a fight. He also loved to eat. He always ate way more than his brothers did. Bhima was also the fastest of his brothers.