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Prativindhya

Prativindhya was the son of Yudhishthira and Draupadi, and thus the eldest Draupadeya (son of Draupadi). He was a powerful warrior who ruled the kingdom of Shakala. He also fought on the Pandava side in the Kurukshetra War. Ashwatthama killed Prativindhya during his slaughter of the Pandava camp.

Family

  • Father: Yudhishthira
  • Mother: Draupadi
  • Half-Brothers: Sutasoma, Shrutakirti (Shrutakarman), Shatanika, Shrutasena

Prativindhya’s Birth

This story is told in the Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 213

After the Varnavrata incident, the Pandavas spent a couple years in exile. All five married Draupadi and then returned to Hastinapura. To avoid conflict, the kingdom was divided between the Pandavas and Kauravas. The Pandavas were given the worst, untilled land in the Kuru kingdom. However, the Pandavas were able to transform it into a prosperous kingdom. They build a beautiful capital called Indraprastha. At that time, Narada Rishi visited. He warned the Pandavas that they might fight over Draupadi. To prevent this, he started a system in which each Draupadi would sleep with each Pandava for one year.

Since Yudhishthira was the oldest, he was given first rights to Draupadi. Soon, they had a beautiful son. The Brahmins said that their child’s knowledge of weapons would be as large as the Vindhya mountains. Hence, he was named Prativindhya.

Prativindhya Rules Shakala

This story is told in the Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 23

Prativindhya grew up in Indraprastha with the other Draupadeyas. He was trained in the use of arms, and he became an amazing warrior. Soon, when he matured, he was given a small kingdom in the north. It was called “Shakala”, and it was located near modern-day Sialkot, Pakistan. He probably ruled as a vassal to Madra Kingdom. After a couple years, Yudhishthira decided to do a Rajasuya yagna. He sent his brothers in various directions to conquer kingdoms. Arjuna attacked the north. During his campaign, Arjuna defeated Prativindhya at Shakala. As a result, Prativindhya gave tribute to the Pandavas.

Marriage

Pratvindhya once met a tapasvini lady. Upon seeing her, Prativindhya fell in love with her. He asked her if she would marry him. The lady, whose name was Subalaa, said that if he defeated her in a debate, she would marry him. In the following debate, Prativindhya defeated Subalaa. Hence, Prativindhya married Subalaa. Pravindhya and Subalaa had many sons including Yaudheya, Jayanta, Avagaha, etc.

After that, Prativindhya also married a lady named Sorna. From her, he had a son named Samraja.

Kurukshetra War

This story is told in the Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Bhishma Parva, Drona Parva, Karna Parva

After the gambling game, the Pandavas and Draupadi were forced into exile. Prativindhya and the other Draupadeyas went to Dwarka. There, they lived with Abhimanyu. Subhadra and Rukmini cared for them. Meanwhile, Krishna, Balarama, and others trained them in battle.

After the Pandavas completed their exile, war was declared between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Prativindhya obviously joined the Pandavas. On the first day of the war, he fought against Shakuni. During the war, he also fought against Ashwatthama and Alambusha. Along with that, he had a fierce encounter with Dushasana. Prativindhya pierced him with many arrows. But Dushasana destroyed his chariot and charioteer. He then used a kshurapra arrow to destroy Prativindhya’s bow. Prativindhya had been defeated. He quickly mounted Sutasoma’s chariot and left.

On the sixteenth day, Prativindhya fought King Chitra of Abhisara. Prativindhya used his arrows to destroy Chitra’s flag and charioteer. Chitra then threw a huge spear. However, Prativindhya destroyed it with sharp arrows. King Chitra then attacked with another spear. This spear destroyed Prativindhya’s chariot and pierced him. Prativindhya was enraged and hurled a javelin. Chitra was hit by the javelin and he collapsed, dead.

The Night Slaughter

This story is told in the Mahabharata, Sauptika Parva, Chapter 8

On the eighteenth night, Ashwatthama attacked the Pandava camp at night. First, he slaughtered Dhrishtadyumna. After that, he attacked the Draupadeyas and Shikhandi. He killed Prativindhya, and then the other Draupadeyas.

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