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Dhrishtadyumna

Dhrishtadyumna was the son of Panchala king Drupada. He was a major character in the Mahabharata. He was the commander of the Pandavas from the 2nd day to the last day of the Kurukshetra war. He was the brother of Draupadi, the five Pandavas’ wife. Dhrishtadyumna was a partial incarnation of Agni, the god of fire. In his previous life, he had been Ekalavya. Dhrishtadyumna was born to kill Dronacharya.

Family

  • Father: Drupada
  • Sisters: Draupadi, Shikandini
  • Brothers: Shikandi, Uttamaujas, Yudhamanyu, Suratha, Shatrunjaya, Satyajita Jr., Priyadarshana, Dhwajaketu
  • Sons: Kshatradharman, Kshatranjaya, Manad, Satyadhriti

Birth

After Dronacharya had Arjuna capture Drupada, Dronacharya took half of Drupada’s kingdom. Drupada was really mad that half of his kingdom had been taken by Dronacharya. He wanted to kill Drona. He had many sons and a daughter named Shikandini, but none could kill Dronacharya. He decided to do a yagna to create a son who would kill Dronacharya. Under the guidance of Maharishi Yaja and Maharashi Upayaja, Drupada and his wife started the yagna. Soon, the son born to kill Drona emerged from the fire as a young man. Drupada named him Dhrishtadyumna. Then, a beautiful young lady emerged from the fire. Drupada named her Draupadi.

Marriage

Once, Sudhanva (the prince of Kashi) attacked a princess, who was heading towards a tirtha. The princess managed to escape and ran to the tirtha. There she saw Dhishtadyumna offering prayers. She ran up to him and told him about the Kasi prince on her chase. Dhrishtadyumna picked up his Agneya bow and single-handedly defeated the Kasis and Sudhanva. Then, Dhrishtadyumna married the princess. They had many sons named Kshatradharman, Kshatranjaya, Manada, and Satyadhriti.

Battling the Kasis and Paundraka Vasudeva

Paudraka Vasudeva decided to attack Krishna. Paundraka Vasudeva rallied to his side the king of Anga and the king of Kiratas. Kasiraja (the king of Kasi) and his son Sudhanva came to also help Paudraka Vasudeva. The Panchala army, lead by Dhrishtadyumna, came to help Krishna.

In the following war, Krishna, Dhrishtadyumna, and Pradyumna easily defeated their enemies. Dhrishtadyumna destroyed the Kasi army. Kasiraja was killed and Paudraka Vasudeva fled. Sudhanva and Sudakshina (Paudraka Vasudeva’s son) made a Agni Kritya and made her do their bidding. Krishna sent his Sudarshana Chakra at the Agni Kritya. The Sudharshana Chakra destroyed the Agni Kritya and the city of Kashipura. Dhrishtadyumna and Pradyumna then killed Sudakshina and his army.

Kurukshetra War

The Panchalas decided to help fight on the Pandava side in the war because Draupadi was married to the Pandavas. They brought one Akshauhini to the Pandavas led by Dhrishtadyumna. All of Drupada’s sons died in the Mahabharata  war. On the 15th day of the war, Dronacharya killed Drupada. The Pandavas decided it was time for Dhrishtadyumna to fulfill the purpose of his life: killing Drona. They decided that they could only kill Dronacharya using trickery. They knew that Dronacharya cared about his son Ashwastamma a lot. During the war, Bhima went and killed an elephant named Ashwastamma. Then Yudhistira came up to Drona and said,” Ashwastamma is dead.” Drona was shocked. He sat down in his chariot and started meditating. Dhrishtadyumna then went up to him and cut his dead off. But Dronacharya’s soul had already left his body.

In the war Dhrishtadyumna killed:

Warrior Killed:Day Killed:Kingdom:
Dronacharya15thPanchala North
Druma14th NightSivi
Shushubha14thVahlika
Jagha4thBhoja Territories
Damana4thSivi
Salaputra4thVahlika

After the war was over, Ashwastamma entered the Pandavas’ camp while they were sleeping. He brutally killed Shikandi (Shikandini as a male), Uttamaujas, Yudhamanyu and the 5 Upapandavas. When he was about to kill Dhrishtadyumna, he woke up. Dhrishtadyumna pleaded with Ashwastamma requesting Ashwastamma to kill him when he has a sword in his hand like a warrior. Ashwastamma didn’t listen and beat Dhrishtadyumna to death. All of Dhrishtadyumna’s sons had been killed on the fourteenth day by Dronacharya.

Skills

Dhrishtadyumna was an amazing swordsman. He could defeat almost any other swordsman during Mahabharata times. He knew a lot of styles of swordsmanship, more than most warriors. He was also a pretty good archer.

Qualities

Dhrishtadyumna really enjoyed war, unlike his brother Satyajita. But soon, seeing the violence in the Kurukshetra war, he realized war wasn’t a good thing. He also wanted to fulfill the purpose of his (to kill Dronacharya).

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