The greatness of Bhima

|| This is a work-in-progress page ||

In most literature, the character of Lord Bhima has been completely misrepresented. Bhima is often presented as a glutton, bloated fat person, someone who is perenially hot-tempered and so on. It is almost a fashion today to condemn Bhima (and, ironically, praise Duryodhana who is the epitome of evil!).

Only the great Sri Madhvacharya succeeded in bringing out the true facts of Bhima. To the followers of Madhva, Bhima’s true picture is indeed available. But, still, lot of false information is prevalent.

I wish to make my humble contribution in gathering and disseminating the truth about the great Lord Bhima, who re-incarnated as Sri Madhva in Kali Yuga.

  • Avatar of Mukhya Prana, the next Brahma-in-line
  • Amongst Pandavas, he represented “Jnana” or knowledge.
  • He was extremely well-built, handsome, intelligent and righteous
  • When he was very young, he slipped from his mother’s clutches and fell on the Shatha-shrunga mountain. The mountain broke into hundreds of pieces.
  • In the Mahabharata, he was main hero (apart from Lord Krishna, of course).
  • He never violated the words of Krishna even once.
  • In spite of his enormous strength and knowledge, he was the epitome of humility. In the Udyoga parva, when Lord Krishna collects the opinion of the Pandavas before approaching the Kauravas, Bhima is made to give a description of his own capabilities to everyone (by Krishna). At the end of Bhima’s narrative (which is overwhelming for any other warrior), Krishna tells him that his capability is actually 1000 times more than what he has mentioned!
  • He was the first person to attack at the commencement of the Kurukshetra war. He was also the last person to engage in combat, having killed Duryodhana.
  • The Mahabharata describes that when the war commenced, he gave such a fierce and loud roar that horses and elephants standing there passed out.
  • During the wax palace episode, the minister in-charge appointed by Duryodhana to kill the Pandavas wanted to set fire to the palace when all the Pandavas were asleep. After six months, he went ahead with his plan anyways because he realized that Bhima never slept!
  • During the war, he killed six out of eleven Akshouhinis fielded by the Kauravas.
  • Before the war, during the forest exile of the Pandavas, Yudhishthira gives up hopes of any post-exile rule and comforts himself with forest life. He relents from the thought of war. Arjuna does the same just before the commencement of the war. Yudhishthira is brought back on track by Bhima’s
    advice. Lord Krishna does the same to Arjuna. Bhima, though, never once is confused about the necessity of war.
  • The only Vaishnava killed by Bhima was King Bahlika, having received the explicit request from Bahlika himself before the commencement of the war. Every other warrior killed by Bhima was a follower of Kali (Duryodhana).
  • Other important enemies of Krishna killed by Bhima during Mahabharata were Jarasandha, Keechaka, Kirmira, Hidimba, Bakasura, Manimanta and Dushashana.
  • Lord Bhima had 24 wives, 20 of whom were daughters of Vasudeva (father of Lord Krishna)!
  • Out of the 5 Pandavas, the first to marry was not the older Yudhishthira, but Bhimasena, the second Pandava. He married Hidimbi, a Rakshasi, upon Sri Vyasa’s instructions, in accordance with his dharma of not violating the Lord’s words (Krishna/Vyasa/Parashurama) even once!
  • In the Mahabharata, Karna is defeated on numerous ocassions by Bhima, forcing Karna to retreat every single time!
  • Bhima alone kills every single Kaurava cousin!
  • The greatest compliment to Bhima comes from Duryodhana. He names Bhima, Balarama, Keechaka and Shalya as the best warriors and the strongest. He names Bhima first!
  • Bhima killed Dushashana, held his blood in his hand and chanted the “Manyu Sukta” of Lord Narasimha as an offering to the Lord.
  • During the game of dice, Bhima is the one who raises the maximum opposition to the whole incident. Not only does he take a vow to break Duryodhana’s thighs, he also rebukes Yudhishthira for getting into the game by suggesting that his hands should be burnt. When Arjuna tells him that he cannot do that to his older brother, Bhima reveals to everyone the Dharma that when elders commit mistakes, younger ones have to make it known and that mere mentioning of a punishment is enough and actual execution is not required. Thus Bhima punishes Yudhishthira for wrong doing!

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26 Responses to “The greatness of Bhima”

  1. Hariprasad Says:

    Namaskara Sri Chiraan,

    Just like Sri Madhva, Sri Vadiraja Swamy also emphasized on analysis and understanding because “Tattvavada” gives maximum importance to “Anubhava” over everything else. This guidance applies to finding a way to realize GOD. But, this definitely does not mean that any way is acceptable.

    Not just in his works, even in shlokas written by Sri Vadiraja Swamy, Vishnu Sarvottamatva and Vayu Jeevottamatva (and other Tattvavada tenets) are brought out very strongly.

    Thanks for your inputs in the above comment. Your comments on my blog are indeed very valuable.

    Rudra devaru certainly has a very high position in Dvaita philosophy. Rudra upasane is also very important to us. Worshipping devatas according to their taratamya is certainly something Madhvas follow. Even in the Vishnu Sahasranama, Vishnu is called as Rudra, Esha, Shankara, Shambhu, etc.

    Regards, Hari

  2. chiraan Says:

    Namaskar shri Hari ,
    Yes without doubt ,Rudradevaru has a highest position among the souls after parshuklatraya.
    Without his blessings devotion[amlabhakti] is just not possible .Even Arjuna was sent to Indrakeel parvat by Vedavyasa for rudropasana with upadesha of roudri mantra.
    even in peetha pooja rudra is prayed twice as vairagya , and absence of it. Shuka[incarnation of Shiva] is still held as the highest example of vairagya. He is the one who has given us all sweet phala of Bhagavat.

    I agree with you that discission was going astray , as it started with a madhva analysing some other tatva , then madhva garb was thrown off and Advaiti appeared ,suddenly these inner wears were also shed and came Hariharamata [shiva vishnu aikya] ,i think next would be an appearance for JGK, follow none ,follow your heart .
    It was neccessary to remind that this page is about Greatness of BHeema .
    Mukhyaprana is father and Guru of Shiva .
    It was mukhyaprana who had primarily drunk the halahal and gave a pint to Shiva and Shiva became neelkantha.
    Thank you for bringing back the discussion.
    Chiraan

  3. chiraan Says:

    errarta:
    Namaskara Shri Hari ,

    grab :- garb

    kindly moderate the spelling mistakes
    and Namaskara [address] , its a typo mistake.

  4. vamsi Says:

    you are right Bhima defeated Karna many times

  5. Gaurav Kotian Says:

    Bhima was the grea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!test

  6. Gaurav Kotian (@GauravKtn) Says:

    After MADHVACHARYA himself has written that he is BHEEMSEN .. he proves it by showing the place where BHEEMSEN had buried his gada [ mace ] at kurukshetra .. when it was dug .. a large gada made of gold was visible .. but scores of elephants and hundreds of men together with lots of efforts pulled it out .. .. what took hundreds of men and elephants to pull .. MADHVACHARYA lifted the gada with ease showing and proving that HE IS BHEEMSEN ..

  7. Anand Shankar Says:

    Bhima was the greatest all rounder of Mahabharata. He was not only a great mace fighter but also a top class archer. I rate him above even Drona. It is given in mahabharata that at one occasion Bhima neutralized even BRAHMASTRA of Ashwatthaman with a brahmastra of his own. Once when Bhishma became unstoppable, he checked his advance by killing his charioteer. At another occasion he made Drona faint with fifteen arrows.

    No one was equal to Bhima in physical might. He was also a great general. He always led pandava attack. He used to attack enemy ranks with so much force and speed that not even Bhishma and Drona could stop him. Bhishma and Drona could not save Duryodhana’s brothers from Bhima. Bhima alone checked 10 kaurava warriors including Drona and Ashwatthaman and Arjuna joined him after some times on 10th day of war.

    Bhima defeated Drona on 14th day of battle. He defeated Karna repeatedly that day. Karna could not save Duryodhana’s brothers from Bhima on 14th day. Bhima defeated Karna again on 17th day and checked many kaurava warriors till Arjuna joined him.

    • shailesh Says:

      I don’t know which mahabharat you have read but I never read in any mahabharat book that bhim was having brahmastra. And in context to ashwathama brahmastra incident it was arjun who counter attack with his brahmastra.

  8. Hariprasad Says:

    Namaskara Sri Karthik,

    Many thanks for your kindest words. Yes, Lord Bhimasena is incomparably greater than the other Pandavas. Hopefully, in the coming years, we can bring out the real picture of this great Pandava and remove the misconceptions that exist in public minds today about Bhima being a glutton, fat person and so on.

    Pajaka Kshetra is undergoing renovation currently. It may have been completed already. I am sure you will find a very ‘different’ Pajaka this time :-)

    Wish you all the best!
    Regards, Hari

  9. Hariprasad Says:

    Namaskara Sri Chiraan, Sri Raghu,

    Many thanks for your valuable inputs on this topic. The page is getting even better with your insights.

    Thanks again!
    – Hari

  10. Hariprasad Says:

    Namaskara Sri Chiraan,

    When I write my articles, I try to not create an impression about my beliefs at the cost of others. Which is why I found the previous comment on me berating Karna and Ashwathama strange. Thanks for this detailed reply by you. I fully agree with the points you have mentioned. In fact, I kept thinking about these exchanges yesterday and revisited Mahabharata (not just Tatparya Nirnaya). In Karna Parva alone, I found multiple instances of Karna being badly defeated. After every such episode, Dhritarashtra makes it a point to ask Sanjaya something to the effect of …”what happened after Karna had to retreat from the battle…”. But still, to say that Karna was defeated by Bhima does not constitute beration or insult to Karna.

    As rightly said by our Guru “….Bheemasena samo nasti senayor ubhayorapi. Panditye cha patuthve cha shooratvepi balepi cha….”

    This article simply subscribes (and whole heartedly at that) to the above declaration.

    Thanks, Hari

  11. Hariprasad Says:

    Namaskara Pranav,

    Certainly I do not want my blog to become a battleground for arguments about the various philosophies. Also not for personal abuses and counter-arguments. You have given us your email address and any one interested in taking this discussion further – we will talk to you over personal email. I am sure Sri Chiraan did not mean any personal abuses to you.

    Your comments on Dvaita philosophy are very “strong”, to say the least. You mention “Ved Vyas the so called guru of Madhvacharya”. I find it disturbing to take this comment on my blog. The discussion started with you mentioning that I was berating others on this blog, which I contested. The whole discussion is going astray now. Let us take it up over email, if necessary.

    Regards, Hari

  12. ravi Says:

    aapne jo kha wo shi hai lekin bhim archery me drona aur karna ke samne khi bhi ni tikte the…..karna defeated him but older brother hone ke karan aur kunti se promise ke karan bhim ki jaan ni leta.


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