Abhimanyu

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Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna and his wife Subhadra. Subhadra is the sister of Krishna, the yogmaya potency of Lord Sri Krishna who appears alongwith his form of Sri Jagannath, the worshippable deity of Kaliyuga.

He appears there as Lord Baladeva, Sri Subhadra and Lord Jagannath, the trio which is in their highly elevated stage of love of godhead due to the remembrance of their dear devotees, the gopis of Vrindavan, crying and feeling separation from them.

He was married to Uttara, the mother of a great devotee Maharaj Parikshit.

He was an incarnation of Varchas, son of Chandra. Abhimanyu was killed on the 13th day of the Kurukshetra War. Abhimanyu possessed incomparable courage, valor and fighting ability. He was considered to be a warrior equal or perhaps superior to his father (Arjuna) owing to his prodigious feats.

His story is very nicely remembered and attached to the chakravyuh formation. On the 13th day of the war, he was caught in a chakravyuh which is a deadly death rampage of seven people. It was originally meant for Yudhishthir maharaj, but abhimanyu thought that he will be able to let it open for other pandavas to come in.

Inside the Chakravyuha, the trapped Abhimanyu went on a killing rampage, intending on carrying out the original strategy by himself and killing tens of thousands of Kaurava soldiers.

He defeated great warriors like Drona, Kripa, Karna, Ashwatthama, Duryodhana, Salya, Dussasana, Bhurisrava and killed many prominent heroes including Duryodhana’s son Lakshmana, Salya’s son Rukmaratha, Kritavarma’s son Matrikavata, Salya’s brother, King Brihadbala and many others.

Finally, a strategy was formed and a joint attack on Abhimanyu followed. Karna cut off Abhimanyu’s bow, Kripa killed his two chariot-drivers, and Kritavarma killed his horses; Abhimanyu took up a sword and a shield but these weapons were cut off by Drona and Karna (though in other versions of the story, the perpetrators change while the acts remain the same).

Abhimanyu then took up a chariot-wheel and threw it at Drona but Karna and Aswatthama saved Drona by cutting the wheel. With variations depending on the version of the story, Abhimanyu continues to fight, picking up discarded weapons as he requires. He is killed when numerous warriors simultaneously attack him from all sides.

 

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