Duryodhana

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Duryodhana was the eldest of all the kauravas. He was the first son who germinated from the one hundred pots that Gandhari kept filled with ghee.

Maharaj Dhritarashtra was blind from birth and had a vast expanse of kingdom. Since, he was the eldest of the two brothers named Pandu and he himself, he ascended the throne. Due to his inabilities, he was unable to rule the kingdom properly.

At the time of marriage, he got a very devoted wife, the epitome of chastity and surrender to husband, Gandhari. He was blessed with 100 sons. Out of them, the first one was Duryodhana.

Gandhari was pregnant for more than a year and when she saw that Kunti had 3 sons, she kicked her womb and a lump of flesh came out. Meanwhile Srila Vyasadeva appeared on the scene and Gandhari showed her anger. In return, Vyasadeva asked her to sprinkle cool water on the mass and it divided into 100 fragments. He asked her to arrange for 100 pots full of clarified butter and then, he put each piece of lump in each pot.

From the first pot, Duryodhana came out and as soon as he came out, his crying resembled braying of an ass.Duryodhana is said to be the incarnation of Kali (demon), the overlord of Kali Yuga and the embodiment of evil source. The day he was born, he unleashed a donkey-like scream which the donkeys outside the home replied to. Despite the advice from Vidura to discard the evil baby,Dhritarashtra kept the child because demons had received a boon from Shiva that the future king would be invincible.

Although loved by his family, Duryodhana and most of his brothers are not seen on the same level as the Pandavas in their adherence to virtue, duty, and respect for elders. Duryodhana is mentored by his maternal uncle Shakuni, who masterminded most of Duryodhana’s plots to humiliate and kill the Pandavas.

He proved himself to be a nice disciple of Kripacharya and Dronacharya.  He was a master in using the Mace. Instigated by his maternal uncle Mama Shakuni, he tried to cheat Pandavas and disrobe Panchali in front of others. He even asked her to sit on his thighs to which Bhima took an oath that he would crush his thighs.

When all of her sons had nearly died, Gandhari called Duryodhana and asked him to present himself before her completely naked so that he would be invincible by her powers. On Krishna’s advice, he covered his genitals and hence, they were unexposed to her powers.

While battling with Bhima, he was almost unconquerable, but Sri Krishna told Bhima to give a sharp blow on his thighs to which he succumbed.

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