When Bhima vowed to kill Karna

Strange as the title may seem, it is true that it was Bhimasena who vowed to kill Karna, through Arjuna of course. Similarly, it was Bhimasena who vowed that Shakuni will be killed by Sahadeva.

Popular legends have it that Bhima, during the game of dice, vowed to break the thigh of Duryodhana and drink the blood of Dushashana. It is also wrongly assumed that Arjuna at the same time vowed to kill Karna and Sahadeva vowed to kill Shakuni. The TV serials also show events in this way. But what actually occured was completely different.

It was Sri Madhvacharya, in his magnum opus Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya,  who highlighted the fact that it was Bhima who made all the three vows just after the game of dice. Even the original Mahabharata has the same story. Unfortunately, Mahabharata has been diluted and distorted significantly and this very important aspect has been twisted.

During the game of dice, Bhimasena is the only who protests against the crime (from the Pandavas side of course – along with Vidura from the Kauravas). In fact, he gets extremely upset over Yudhishthira and asks Sahadeva to bring some fire so that he can “burn the hands of Yudhishtira”. When Arjuna objects, Bhima tells him that when elders commit mistakes, insulting them by words is equal to punishing them. The same principle is mentioned by Lord Krishna later during the 17th day of the war when Arjuna intends to kill Yudhishthira (yes, Arjuna tries to kill Yudhisthira! – more about this in another article)!

Later, when the Pandavas lose the game of dice a second time and start to move out of the palace, Dushashana and Duryodhana, aided by Karna and Shakuni, start to heap insults on the Pandavas. At that time, Bhima once again reiterates his vow concerning Dushashana and Duryodhana. And then, he makes two very interesting vows. I quote from the translation available at sacred texts.

I will slay Duryodhana, and Dhananjaya will slay Karna, and Sahadeva will slay Sakuni that gambler with dice. I also repeat in this assembly these proud words which the gods will assuredly make good, if ever we engage in battle with the Kurus, I will slay this wretched Duryodhana in battle with my mace, and prostrating him on the ground I will place my foot on his head. And as regards this (other) wicked person–Dussasana who is audacious in speech, I will drink his blood like a lion”

It is only after this that both Arjuna and Sahadeva take their vows. They both acknowledge Bhima and tell the audience that, as directed by Bhima, they shall slay Karna and Sahadeva.

In the Mahabharata, truly, while Lord Krishna is the “director”, Bhimasena is the “screenplay writer” who ensures that the events unfold as per Krishna’s plans.


51 thoughts on “When Bhima vowed to kill Karna

  1. Bhimsen was very logical and practical in his life.
    He told Yuddhistir not to show any sympathy towards Duryodhan,when the latter was captured by Ghandharvs.
    Which could have surely save millions of lives.

    He also lambasted Arjun ,when they forgived Jayadrath.
    And he was main reason for Abhimanyus death.
    He didn’t allow any help to reach to Abhimanyu.

    But his anger got the best of him many times.

  2. Bhimsen was very logical and practical in his life.
    He told Yuddhistir not to show any sympathy towards Duryodhan,when the latter was captured by Ghandharvs.
    Which could have surely save millions of lives.

    He also lambasted Arjun ,when they forgived Jayadrath.
    And he was main reason for Abhimanyus death.
    He didn’t allow any help to reach to Abhimanyu.

    But he was first one to insult Karna and his father harshly without no reason this incident laid the seed of Bitter relation of Karna and Pandavs

  3. Bhimsen lost not only to Karna but to many others also.
    If anybody reads the Mahabharat through an open eye and without any bias,
    only Lord Krishna was Invincible.

    Bhimsen defeats are many.

    And if someone reads the last few lines of Lord Krishna at Duryodhan death where he mentioned
    Bhisma, Drona and Karna were league apart from others.

    1. Some one please correct me if I am wrong. Doesn’t the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam mention Bheeshma Drona and Karna as timingila fish ?

    2. If you follow Krishna then you might have read this verse of Gita where Krishna says that ‘vrishninam asmi vasudeva pandavanam asmi dhananjayah'(I am vasudeva among vrishnis and dhananjaya among pandavas). You might have also read this verse of Gita- ‘yatra yogeshwarah krishnah yatra partho dhanurdharah, tatra shri vijyo bhuti dhruva nitir matir mam’. What other evidence of Arjuna’s greatness you need ?

      1. Karna was not a pandava. In any case if this makes Arjuna superior to Karna it makes him superior to bhima as well. Dont know about you but the honourable sri hariprasadji and some of my madhava brothers who dont think highly of me may not agree with arjunas supremacy over bhima either.

        1. Karna was a great atirathi and we must accept this. According to Mahabharata he had done some mistakes, but he had many good qualities as well. Though Karna is a great charecter of Mahabharata, yet there are many charecters in Mahabharata that are either equal or superior to Karna. I do not support Arjuna, Bhima, Bhishma or any other charerecter blindly. I only admire the positive qulities in them. I only try to find out truth. I would accept anything in favor of Karna or Drona if that is a fact.

          I am only trying to say that we can not say on the basis of what is given in Mahabharata that Bhishma, Karna and Drona were superior to everyone in Mahabharata.

          Everyone has his favorit and there is nothing wrong in it. I respect madhva brothers. I would say that Bhima was as consistant performer in mahabharata as Arjuna, if not better than him.

          1. bhimsena is the only character in mahabharat who was a real “Man”. He is the only character who does what he says. When he fought against Karna in battle at that time Karna had taken 20 brothers of duryodhana with him to help him in fighting aganist bhima and bhimsena though was alone but he faced karna and twenty brothers of duryodhana alone and killed all those brothers of duryodhana before the eyes of karna. and also compelled karna to ran away. More over BEFORE FIGHTING with karna, bhima had also fought with dronacharya ,ashwathama and kritverma, and was already wounded and tired.

            1. where did you get this foolishness? Bhima is just a stupid big mass. Without Krishna , pandavas would be defeated the first day of the war. No one in the Mahabharat was able to defeat Karna. Also Karna and Bhishma were the persons who strictly followed dharma. If Karna didnt follow dharma , then the 4 pandavas would be dead . Arjuna will survive because, his charioteer was Krishna.

          2. No bhima defeated karna inwar karna his fell his charioteer save karna frm bhima.. but bhima followed karna on the way he saw the dhusyasan then bhin turn to dhusyasan

  4. Some people say that Bhishma, Drona and Karna were invincible and they were superior to Bhima and Arjuna in prowess. This is absolutely wrong. These three people were great warriors but not greater than Bhima and Arjuna. That is why they could not defeat pandavas. Arjuna had blessings of lord Shiva and Krishna.

    These so called invincible kaurava warriors lost many times. In the battle of virat, Arjuna defeated all these greats. Bhishma, Drona and Karna were unable to save Duryodhana’s brothers from Bhima. Bhishma and Drona always said that pandavas can not be defeated in war. Bhima, Arjuna and Satyaki were able to stop Bhishma’s advance at some occasions. Arjuna did not want himself to slay Bhishma and Drona.

    Drona was unable to defeat mighty panchalas on his own. So he asked kauravas and pandavas to capture Drupada. Bhima and Arjuna defeated panchalas. Drona himself accepted that he can not capture Yudhishthira in the presence of Arjuna. Bhima once made Drona unconscious with fifteen arrows. Drona again lost to Bhima and Styaki on 14th day. Even Dristidyumna and Yudhishthira gave tough fights to Drona. Yudhisthira cut down Drona’s bow many times and neutralized even brahmastra of Drona. Dristidyumna sent Drona in to swoon on 3rd day with a powerful arrow. He neutralized all the celestial weapons including brahmastra of Drona on 15th day of war.

    Bhima had brought Karna under his sway at the time of rajsuya yagna. Karna lost to Drupada(not very old then), gandharva Chitrasena and Arjuna before the kurukshetra war, when Karna had his kavach and kundal with him. He lost to Arjuna twice in kurukshetra before their final war. Bhima defeated Karna repeatedly on 14th day of battle. Satyaki also defeated him that day. Karna lost to Arjuna and failed to protect Jayadratha that day. Bhima defeated Karna on 17th day as well and killed Duhshasan in front of him.

    1. Get this straight. Bhishma, Drona and Karna could not prevail over Arjuna or Bhima because they were fighting for adharma and Lord Krishna was with the Pandavas who were with Dharma. Karna’s kavach and kundal were taken away by Indra, else he alone could have wiped out the entire Pandava army save the Great Lord Krishna. Even without his armor and earrings, he nearly killed Arjuna with the Nagastra. Bhishma, Drona and Karna had to defeated by unfair means beause these warriors are invincible in fair battle. Had Krishna not been there, the battle would have ended on day one. I still stay this – Arjuna and Bhima were not superior to these three, but Lord Krishna and Dharma ultimately made the difference.

      1. If Karna was invincible, then why couldn’t he defeat Arjuna in Draupadi’s swayamwar and virat war when he had his ‘kavach and kundal’ ? He lost to gandharva Chitrasena as well with kavach and kundal on. No kavach and kundal can be superior to the blessings of Lord Shiva and Maa Durga. Only Arjuna and not Bhishma, Karna and Drona could greatify lord Shiva and Krishna.

        Arjuna defeated all kaurava generals including Bhishma, Karna and Drona. Arjuna had an upper hand in his encounter with Bhishma in kurukshetra as well. Bhima and Arjuna defeated Karna repeatedly in kurukshetra. Satyaki also defeated him on 14th day. Bhima defeated Drona twice in kurukshetra. Satyaki also defeated him. I accept that Karna gave a tough fight to Arjuna after Vrishsena’s death on 17th day but same day he lost to Bhima and Yudhishthira made him unconscious for a moment with a deadly arrow. If we see the over all performence of Arjuna and Karna in their entire career as warrior, Arjuna seems much superior to Karna. Karna himself said to Shalya that though Arjuna is invincible in war he want to fight with him.

        Only Arjuna had pashupat astra. He could have easily killed Bhishma and Drona, if he wanted to do so. But Arjuna did not want to kill them. All great persons of that time including Krishna, Vyasa, Bhishma and Drona praised Arjuna. Krishna says that ‘vrishninam asmi vasudeva pandavanam asmi dhananjah'(I am Vasudeva among vrishnis and Arjuna among pandavas). You might have read the verse of Gita that says ” yatra yogeshwarah krishnah yatra partho dhanurdharah tatra shri vijayo bhuti dhruva nitir matir mam”. Only Krishna and Arjuna were invincible in kurukshetra war. Bhishma, Karna and Drona were great warriors but they were not invincible.

      2. Karna’s so-called superiority over Arjun is mostly fiction, concocted by the modern-day admirers of Radheya. He was ignominiously put to rout by Vaayuputra Bhimasen, more than convincingly defeated by Arjun, Satyaki and Abhimanyu and nearly met his end at Ghatotkach’s hands. If one waxes eloquent about his Nagastra, the sheer armoury of divyastras – especially Lord Shiva’s Pashupataastra – at Arjun’s command would have wiped out a million Karnas. That Arjun did not even contemplate using them to settle individual scores speaks volumes of his pure and lofty character – unlike Karna, who wouldn’t have minded masaccaring millions of innocent human beings by using the Brahmastra against Arjun, if he had managed to learn it. Thank Lord Parashuram, that he did not allow this liar to learn the most potent of astras. Much is made of Karna’s supposedly “invincible” and “impenetrable” kavach (armour) and kundalas (earrings). Evidently, his invincible armour could not prevent his defeats at Kampilya (against Drupada) and Arjun (at Kampilya again, at Draupadi’s swayamvar and at Viratnagar, where Arjun truly inflicted a most ignominiuous defeat on him (Karna had his famed coat of armour still on then), apart from putting to rout the other Kuru warriors, aka, Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and Ashwatthama.

        1. If Lord Shivas pashupat astra is so superior to any weapon then its Lord Shiva who is supreme. Arjunas regular failure against naryana weapons like vaishnav astra bhargava astra and narayana astra is also leaves some food for thought. If arjuna did not fire pashupat astra at kurukshetra and it gives him a clean chit then karna did not fire bhargava astra at virata yudha or any other celestial weapon.

          1. Not that I am a very strong advocator of K. M .Ganguly but its widely accepted that his translation is more or less closest to accuracy. Let me quote an incident which clarifies that in Mahabharata Pashupat astra was NOT most powerful weapon

            “ Whatever feats Drona performed for vanquishing the son of Kunti, were all counteracted by Arjuna’s performing similar feats. When Drona failed to gain any ascendency over the son of Pandu, the son of Bharadwaja, that warrior acquainted with the course of all weapons, invoked into existence the Aindra, the Pasupata, the Tvashtra, the Vayavya, and the Yamya weapons. As soon as those weapons, issued from Drona’s bow, Dhananjaya destroyed them quickly. When his weapons were thus duly destroyed by Arjuna with his own weapons, Drona shrouded the son of Pandu with the mightiest of celestial weapons. Every weapon, however, that Drona shot at Partha from desire of vanquishing the latter, was shot by Partha in return for baffling it. Seeing all his weapons, even the celestial ones, duly baffled by Arjuna, Drona applauded the latter in his heart. That chastiser of foes, O Bharata, regarded himself superior to every person in the world acquainted with weapons, in consequence of Arjuna having been his pupil. Thus resisted by Partha in the midst of all those illustrious warriors, Drona, struggling with vigour, cheerfully resisted Arjuna (in return), wondering all the while. Then the celestials and Gandharvas in thousands, and Rishis and bodies of Siddhas, were seen on all sides in the welkin. Filled with (those as also with) Apsaras and Yakshas andRakshasas, it once more seemed that the welkin”

            My observation – Here we see the Pasupata weapon fired by drona and arjuna standing up to it. But Arjuna could not stand up to the naryana weapons and bhargava astra. He did not make any comment on dronas pasupata as he made on karnas bhargavastra. He could stand up to pasupata weapon but not naryana weapon. Hence Arjuna did not use Pasupat weapon as it was very dangerous and hence cut a sorry figure is an invalid excuse and Pasupat being the most powerful weapon too is invalid purely going by MB as Arjuna stood up to Pasupat but could not stand up to the narayana weapons and bhargavastra.

          2. Lord Shiva’s supremacy is a given – it is unquestionable. The “failure” against the Narayana astra, as you say, was NO failure of Arjun at all. He simply obeyed Maha Vishnu’s (in Shri Krishna form then) command to not oppose the astra and simply bow in reverence to it. The reason is simple, Krishna is the Supreme Narayana, Arjun is his Nara, an inseparable part of Narayana. The question of failing against their own astras is ridiculous. Arjun was blessed by Lord Shiva with the supreme and unvanquishable knowledge of Dhanurveda. This blessing of Shiva comes ONLY after the bhakti of Shri Maha Vishnu, the Supreme. Arjun’s bhakti of Vishnu won him the bhakti of Shiva, i.e., combined blessings of Shri Harihara, and was blessed with the supreme Dhanurveda, which resides only in Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Such a one is truly invincible, a thousand Karnas notwithstanding. Arjun did not fail against Bhargav astra or any other astra Karna despatched against him. Dhananjay had an answer to all of them. The reason for Karna not using more powerful celestial astras was not his “goodness”, but because he did not posses the proper knowledge of those astras. Lord Parasuram (and Dronacharya before him) wisely denied him this knowledge. Given Karna’s nature, those great acharyas were right. Moreover, Karna was soundly defeated by Vayuputra Bhimsen, and made to flee the battlefield five times. He managed one small victory against Bhim, and this was sufficient for him to crow about, as though he’d won the war for the Kauravas ( a feat he clearly was incapable of).

            1. Sri Jaganniwas Iyer
              “ Lord Shivas supremacy is given its unquestionable. “ “ with the supreme Dhanurveda, which resides only in Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva” Ie my comprehension says that you consider Lord Shiva on Par with Lord Vishnu. If so As a humble devotee of Lord Shiva I am actually thrilled to hear this. Humbly request you to prove from our Vedas puraanas ( satvik ) or Upanishads this statement that Shiva is supreme or on par with Sri Vishnu me and my descendants will be indebted to you for life.

              1. Niraj, I am a humble devotee of the Supreme One, in His Manifestation in the Forms of Shiva and Vishnu (Brahma too, but the Pitamaha isn’t much worshipped in the Kali Yuga). I do not claim any scholarship. However, since you are a fellow devotee of Lord Shiva, permit me to offer a few humble offerings at the Lord’s feet. The Shri Shiva Mahapurana explicitly FORBIDS comparisons like “Shiva is greater; or Vishnu is greater”. Such comparison-mongers are guilty of sowing divisions amongst the adherents of Sanatana Dharma and destined for Narak, i.e., hell. The Shri Mahavishnu Purana says “Mahavishnu ev Mahashiva” (Vishnu is verily Shiva). I don’t have the exact shloka numbers and references right now, but will obtain them and post them later. The Mahabharat is our fifth Veda. Its Van Parva (the episode of the Pandavs’ 12-year exile), narrates Arjun’s successful tapasya of Lord Shiva, and is blessed with His Divine Darshan (after the Lord puts him to test by doing battle with him) and Shiva’s Pasupataastra. In his obeisance, Arjun sings the praises of the Lord thus: “अजेयस्त्वं त्रिभिर्लोकै: सदेवासुरमानुषै: । शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय विष्णवे शिव रूपिणे ॥” Lord! Thou art completely invincible for all the worlds; completely unconquerable for any one amongst the devas, asuras or humans. Lord, Thou art Shiva in the Form of Mahavishnu! And Thou art Mahavishnu in the Form of Shiva! Thou art the Supreme Lord of all Creation. I bow to Thee!” Shiva is the foremost Vaishnav and Mahavishnu is the foremost Shaivite. Shri Mahavishnu in his Shri Ram Avtar says (Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas), while worshipping Lord Shiva at Rameshwaram, before setting forth to Lanka: “लिंग थापि विधिवत करि पूजा। शिव समान प्रिय मोहि न दूजा॥ शिवद्रोही मम भगत कहावा। सो नर सपनेऊ मोहि न पावा॥” “Of all, Shiva is most dear to Me; he who turns away from Shiva can forget about attaining Me”. Need we say anymore? Jai Shiv Shankar! Jai Shri Narayan Hari!! May the Blessings of Shri Harihara be upon all of us.
                Jaganniwas Iyer

            2. so @Jagan Iyer jii

              what happened to Arjuna against the Naagaastra ???? what happened to Arjuna against the Bhhaargavaastra ????? what happened to Arjuna against Bhhaagadutta’s Vaiishnaaastra ????

              what happened to Arjuna against Dwaarkaa robbers ???? why on earth was Arjuna not able to even lift the Gaanddeeva bow after Lord Shree Krishnna’s demise ?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              why didn’t Karna use the VBaasava Shakti against Arjuna at Virata War ??????? ——————- Karna had donated away his Kavacha and Kunddalas to Lord Indra before the Viraatt War ——————— if he would have wanted to kill Arjuna, he could easily have done so in that Viraatt War ———————– it was his greatness that he decided to spare Arjuna’s life so that these 2 warriors can go face to face in the main War

              Arjuna always used the divine celestial Gaanddeeva bow {swayam Lord Brahhmadeva’s dhhanush} ————————————— whereas, Karna, despite having Trayambak Vijaya, used it only ever once —————————- on the 16th Day, when Arjuna was wielding the Gaanddeeva & Karna was with ordinary bow, Karna did indeed succeed in repeatedly routing Arjuna time and again even before the use of the Naagastra weapon ——————— on the 17th Day, when for the first time these 2 warriors were up against each other with divine bows, Arjuna proved to be of no match to Karna as Karna broke the Gaanddeeva bow many a times ————————— a feat which no else had ever achieved ———————- on the 16th Day too, he had unstringed the Gaanddeeva multiple times —————— but, Arjuna being extremely skillful and swift, had managed to swiftly restring his bow almost every time

              & BTW Jagan jii
              Arjuna used the Paashupataastra to slay Jayadrathh

    1. this is all fake evenin mahabharat there is mentioned karna could kill the bhim also he give him life during the war

      1. What a joke! Check out Karna’s record against Bhim in the battlefield. Against his one solitary success against Bhim, Vayuputra humiliatingly defeated him FIVE times in Kurukshetra, and FOUR times in a single day. Had Bhim so wished, the miserable saga of Karna would have been over much earlier. Karna managed to save his own life by fleeing the battlefield each time Bhim put him to utter rout. Bhim was invincible. he used a mere 10% of his strength. Had he used even a little more, you know what might have happened.
        Jai Hanuman! Jai Bhimsen! Jai Shri krishna!!!

        1. @Jagan Iyer

          “Bhhema used a mere 10% of his strength. Had he used even a little more, you know what might have happened” ——————– are you a fool or what ???? it was Karna who knew that he was fighting against his younger sibling; thus that “not fighting with all his strength” is applicable to Karna ——————– whereas, Bhheema, completely unaware of Karna’s identity, was fighting with all his strength and might

          as far as defeats are concerned, let me remind you that your favourite that Bhheema had lost to Alamvusha ———————– the same Alamvusha who was easily defeated by Ghhattotkacha ————————— now, Ghhattotkacha could never ever defeat Karna ———————- Ghhattotkacha threw\hurled an Asanii (of Lord Shiva’s craft) at Karna & Karna had managed to catch it and throw it back at Ghhattotkacha ——————– it was after this loss {at the hands of Karna} that Ghhattotkacha started using his demonic illusions and witchcraft and black–magic

          as far as those defeats are concerned, Bhheema overpowered Karna only on a single day ——————— whereas, Karna had defeated Bhheema repeatedly many times over multiple days ————- despite fighting without an intent as he already knew that Bhheema was his younger brother

        2. also, Karna spared Bhheema’s life & this was one of the most shameful events of Bhheema’s career as a warrior

          you also mentioned about Yudhhishtthhira defeating Karna ———————— LOL 😛 maybe you are so selfish urself that you hate the greatest Daanveer of all times pathologically ———————– & that is why you make up concocted stories & yarns ————— you said that Bhheema had defeated Karna five times !!!!!!!!!!!!! —————————————— Bhheema had defeated Karna only once, whereas, Karna had defeated him on at least four occasions —————————— also, Bhheema had along with him Lord Hhanumaana’s energy and aide and support ——————————————- Bhheema alone (solitarily) could never ever have defeated Karna ——————————— & had Karna not had that softness for these 4 Paanddvas [bcoz of the revelation of the secret by Shree Krishnna & later again by Kuntii], he would have defeated Bhheema hands down & would have brought down the number\count of the Paanddavas right then and there

          Jaii Shree Krishnna !!!! Jaii Lord BalaRaama !!!!! Jaii Lord ParashuRaama

        3. also aadarneeya @Jagan Iyer jii

          after karna became the Commander in Chief,,,,,,, Bhheema, Saatyakii, Dhhrishttadyumnya, the 5 Upapaanddavas, the Paanchaalas etc. combined together made many group attacks against Karna {even the diadem decked Savyasaachii Arjuna too was present in a few of these group attacks} ———————- Karna overwhelmingly pulverized these repeated group attacks with consummate ease


    1. “BHEEMASENA IS INVINCIBLE.AND IS SUPERIOR TO ALL EXCEPT KRISHNA” —————————– why then did Bhheema lose against Alayudhha ???? why Bhheema couldn’t defeat Duryodhhana on the 18th Day ?????? why did Bhheema lose to Karna 4 times more trhe no. of times he defeated the latter ??????????? why did Bhheema flee the battlefield so many times whilst facing Ashwatthhaamaa ?????

      1. Hello All,
        I would like to bring out some old facts.. Go back to treta Yuga (Ramayana).. Many people don’t know Karna (Surya) was Sugreeva , Arjuna (Indra) was Vali and Bhimasena (Vayu) was Hanuman now these facts matters a lot for our understanding..
        1. The reason for not defeating Duryodhhana on 17th bcoz, Krishna had already decided the battle would end on 18th day.. Hence the significance…
        2. Never heard of any story regarding Bhimasena fleeing battlefield.
        3. Bhimasena was having affection with karna who was sugreeva at the time of treta Yuga and also a great devote to sriman narayana. So he didn’t hurt him.

        1. Dear all,
          I believe a few clarifications are in order.
          1) The different characters appearing in different Yugas, who have some divinity in them are Anshas of their original Devata, not their manifestation in entirety. Thus, Karna, who was begotten out of Surya’s Ansha in the Dwapar Yuga, is not Sugreeva, also begotten of Surya in the earlier Treta Yuga. While Sugreev sided with Dharma (Shri Ram), Karna was an ardent follower of Adharma (Duryodhan and his evil gang).
          2) Pavan Kulkarni is right when he says there is NO record of Bhimsen fleeing the battlefield on ANY day. In fact, it was he who made Karna flee for his life after inflicting a humiliating rout on him many times.
          3) The reason for Bhimsen sparing Karna’s life even after having him at his mercy is because his younger brother Arjun had vowed to slay Karna.
          4) Bhim could have defeated and slain Duryodhan on earlier occasions too. During the Kurukshetra War, Duryodhan barely escaped death at Bhim’s hands, only to be rescued in the nick of time.

  6. Among pandavas only wise Shahdeva really knew the true capacity & essence of Krishna.neither Bheema nor Yudhishthira.Arjuna was required to be told the truth in form of Bhagvat Greta.why can’t we consider him the “assistant director” of Krishna-the director.he knew most of the things in advance but interfered only when he was required.Why he asked only Sahdeva for fire?only because he was the youngest and most obdient or he was expecting some brilliant solution to escape the situation?Perhaps he didn’t interfared as he was aware about the over positive nature of Dharmraj.Bheema was no doubt the “main lead” but never a screenplay writer as most of the decisions-weather right or wrong-were taken by Nobal Yudhishthira.
    Secondly by taking the oaths on Arjuna’s and Sahdeva’s behalf Bheema demonstrated the confidence he had on his younger brothers.he knew very well that Arjuna and Sahdeva were capable enough to slay the kings of Anga and Gandhara with their brothers,sons and armies.

  7. With due respect to Shri Madhwachaya and his revered followers, following are my view points based purely on the present day details of Mahabharata, be it corrupted or twisted beyong recognition and not an attempt to argue against the great scholor or hurt the sentiments of his followers.

    Bhima was one of the pandavas must have had some great powers. On the perception and implementation of dharma, accredition is given to Yudhistir, pure physical strength and pragmatic thinking are to Bhima, great qualities and yet human tendencies to Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva as followers of the first three. Garlanding by Draupadi does amount to selection and gandharva type marriage to Arjuna and not to all pandavas. If that were to be the case, then Hidambi should have married all the pandavas or even Subhadra. Also King Drupada worked for begetting a daughter whom he can get married off to Arjuna alone and not Bhima or others. Whether it is Ramayana where Shri Rama used Hanuman as an able accomplice or in Mahabharata where Shri Krishna did use Bhima sparigly while killing Jarasandha, no where it is mentioned that Shri Vishnu’s incarnations were close only to the incarnations of Vayu. There is nothing wrong in making Vayu or his incarnations as heros.
    Secondly Shiva or Rudra is depicted as a just another devta and his job is to wait for some rakshasa to to panace so that he can go give all the boons just to create disturbance in the creation. When we mention trinity, it is Bhrahma, Vishnu and Shiva/Mahesh/Rudra. Vayu never gets mentioned. During vedic period and earlier, it was Shiva and the nature-agni, indra, varuna, surya, soma(not chandra) were given prominence and Vishnu brought into prominence in the last 1500 years or so. Still Shiva being so compassionate and can destroy the worlds would surely know the impact of his boons and he can never behave like a cat on hot tin. Nothing is mentioned about Ganesha. If bhima knew everything before hand and were to be capable, why Mahabhata war went on for 18 days? May be only Shri Krishna might have had that power and hence he did everything without taking part in it. His charioter role probably signifies that it’s him and nobody else was controlling everything even in enemy side.
    Thirdly, why panadava did not go to Hidimba/Ghatotkaja’s area so that they could have spent fearlessly in their protection?
    Fourth: When Abhimanyu did break the chakravyuh, Bhima with all the might should have cracked the riddle and smashed them. Yes I have read about the boon by Shiva to Jayadhrath that except for Arjuna, Jayadhrath could hold other pandavas at bay for a day. I don’t think so if you consider Vayu is at a higher place than Shiva. During the war, Bhima did face Karna, defeated him and got defeated by him. Why then he did not kill Karna or vice versa.
    Even in the present day world also, we Indians have the habit of giving larger than life image especially to film stars and political leaders – like Gandhi, Nehru(most undeserving), Ambedkar(the name he borrowed from his brahin guru), Indira Gandhi, Sonia, Rahul, MGR, Jayalalithaaaa, Bal Thakre, now Narendra Modi(we should allow him to do his work only) etc and made pandavas heros and all others who opposed them as villains. Shri Krishna probably never resorted to miracles but had a tremendous presence of mind, political and trade acumen, common sence and excellent discretion. He used to find out others’ weakness and used to hit them there with much sweating it out. He must have been an engineer and a strategist who was thorough with war fare and the ammunitions. Hence he succeeded and made others succeed who trusted him.
    Shri Krishna did emphasise on agriculture and related allied activities when he was young, to warfare just protect his land and assets-never declared war on anybody but did safeguarded his territoty on most of the times, later on concentrated on trade for most part of his life whereas he lived like a brahmin – with out any attachment and never become a king.
    Summarily, Mahabharat is a riddle and unless we know how to read it, we end up in drawing wrong, far from factual conclusions. Shri Madhwacharya should have thrown more light on some aspects like why Shri Krishna’s sons did not participate in the war, why Abhimanyu was sacrificed, why Balarama wanted to take revenge for the death of Duryodhan knowing fully that his brother Shri Krishna did oppose Duryodhan and if suppose Bhima were to be killed by Balarama, then what Arjuna and Krishna would have done to Balarama? Why Arjuna got defeated by Babruvahana and where was he during kurukshetra war(he must have been a small kid probably), why only Yidhistir went to heaven with mortal body and why not Bhim?, why Hanuman pledged his support to Arjun and not to Bhim, Why Bhim did not recognise upfront when he went fetch the flower to Draupadi? Daughter of Drupad has to a ‘Draupadi’ and all pandavas must have married one such daughter each.

  8. These vaishnavaites in order to uphold the supremacy of one form of god got so confused as to whether to glorify Krishna or Bhima. Bhima was great no doubt about it. Bhima never lived on past glory, nor for future aspirations, nor too much god fearing etc. He was more practical than most of the characters in Mahabharata. Whether he was an incarnation of Vayu deva or some other divine personality is left for individual perception. If the mahabharata is read without bias, then one can see all pandava brothers are actually above average in their respective strengths but always tried to be within the natural limits. They might have performed extrordinary deeds only out of compulsion.

    Vaishavaites better desist from glorifying the Bhima character. Having said that nobody can take the credit away from his deeds. Duryodhana did not go through the hardship as Bhima had undergone and kept all his energy saved while allowing or making others to fight for him where as Bhima right from day one was engaged in fight, used to cause heavy casualities to enemy army and naturally was more whethered at the time of mace fight. With proper preparation, like what did with Kichaka and Jarasandha, he would have been victorious in no time against Duryodhana. What is not understandable is why did they wait until the end to finish Duryodhana? Bhima, in the beginning itself should have challenged Duryodhan, Arjuna with Karna and should have settled the scores once and for all in the first day itself. What our vaishnavaites say in this regard?

  9. Too much of hype. some are having blind faith on bhima and some have on Karna.Real hero was only Arjuna and that is the reason why Krishna chose him as the closest. All the boons and other extra faciliries are filmy additions. If Bhima was that strong and invincible, why he could not massacre entire Kaurava army when Abhimanyu has made an entry into Chakravyuha and got caught inside? Maximum loss to Kaurava side was inflicted by Arjuna and not by Bhima. Also Bhima having no emotional weakness to anybody could not defeat and kill Bhishma or Drona. Mahabharata war was fair to everybody though some have adopted unfair means.

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