Birth of Devavrat
Shantanu of the Kuru dynasty, a decendant of Bharat rules Kuru region from
Hastinapur. Shantanu falls in love with Ganga. Ganga marries him on the
condition that he will not question any of her deeds. 7 sons are born to
Shantanu & Ganga. Ganga drowns them all in the river. When the 8th
son Devavrat is born, Shantanu stops her from drowning him. Ganga then leaves
Shantanu for her heavenly abode.
Vyas is born to Satyavati & Parashar.
Satyavati works with her father as a boatman. One day Sage Parashar comes
as a passenger. He falls in love with the beauty. Satyavati gives birth to
a son on an island in river Yamuna. This child is called Dwaypayan
(one born on a dweep) or Vyas.
Devavrat gains title Bheeshma
Shantanu marries Satyavati. Satyavati's father puts a condition that
Satyavati's son shall be the king of Hastinapur. Devavrat (now about 20
years old), relieves his father by taking an oath that he will never become
the king of Hastinapur, he will also stay a bachelor, so that no progeny of
his will claim the throne of Hastinapur. Devavrat earns the title Bheeshma.
Vichitravirya and Chitrangad are born to Satyavati. Shantanu dies after the
birth of the two sons. Chitrangad is killed in a battle with Gandharvas.
Amba vows to kill Bheeshma in next birth
Bhishma captures the daughters of Kashiraj: Amba, Ambalika and Ambika.
Ambika and Ambalika marry Vichitravirya.
Amba returns to her lover, King Shalwa. He refuses to accept her, as she
had been captured by Bhishma. Amba returns to Bhishma and asks him to marry
her. Bhishma declines. Amba gets help from Sage Parshuram, and asks him to
kill Bhishma. Bhishma defeats Parashuram. Sage Parashuram, asks Amba to
forget the idea of trying to take revenge on Bhishma. Angered, insultated
and hurt, Amba commits sucide, vowing to kill Bheeshma in her next birth.
Birth of Dhruturashtra & Pandu:
Vichitravirya dies soon after his marriage. Bhishma becomes the caretaker
of the state. Queen Satyavati, invites her son Sage Vyas to continue the
Kuru dynasty. Dhruturashtra is born to Ambika. Pandu is born to Ambalica.
Vidur is born to a dasi. Though Dhruturashtra is eldest, since he is born
blind, Pandu becomes the crown prince.
Birth of Karna:
Yadav dynasty was established by King Yadu, son of King Yayati. The Yadav
King Surasena's daughter Prutha, was adopted by his cousin, King Kuntibhoj.
She came to be known as Kunti.
Kunti secretly gives birth to a baby boy: Karna. She leaves him in a river.
He is found and brought up by a charioteer Adhirath and his wife Radha.
Marriages of Pandu and Dthruturashtra:
King Pandu marries Kunti. Dhruturashtra marries Gandhari the princess of
Gandhar. Pandu goes for a Digvijay. Returns with another wife: Madri, the
princess of Mardadesh.
Pandu mistakely kills a Sage in the disguise of a deer. He is doomed to
death if he were to touch a woman. Pandu handovers the state affairs to
Dhruturashtra and leaves for Himalayas with Kunti & Madri.
Vasudev under arrest:
Surasena's son Vasudev (Kunti's brother) marries Devaki. (Daughter of
Ugrasen, king of Mathura). After this marriage, Kans (Ugrasen's son),
puts Ugrasen, Vasudev & Devaki under house arrest. Kans becomes the king of
Vasudev sends his first wife Rohini, to Gokul, to live with his brother
Nanda. In the following 8 years, Kans kills 6 infant sons born to Devaki.
Rohini visits Vasudev from time to time. During these 8 years, Rohini has
one son, named Balaram.
Birth of Shikhandi
Shikhandi is born to King Drupad. Shikhandi is the second birth of Amba of
Birth of Pandav & Kaurav:
Dharma, Bheema, and Arjun are born to Kunti. Nakul and Sahadev are born to
Madri. They are born within one year of each other. The 5 brothers are
100 sons (Duryodhan, Dushasan, Karna, Vikarana, etc.) and a daughter
Dusheela are born from the same embryo to Gandhari. Duryodhan is born one
day after Bheema. The rest are born in the following 100 days. The 100
brothers are called Kaurava.
Satyavati, Ambika and Ambalika accept Vanprasthashram.
Birth of Krishna:
8th son Krishna, is born to Vasudev & Devaki. (About a year after
Dharma is born). Vasudev with help from some gaurds, takes the infant to
Gokul. Nanda exchanges his newly born daughter with Krishna. (Hoping that
Kans will not kill a girl.) Vasudev returns to Mathura with the baby
daughter. Kans kills the baby girl too.
Nanda and Yashoda (both know that Krishna is Vasudev-Devaki's son) take
care of the child. Krishna lives a simple life in Gokul. He is loved dearly
by the people of this small village.
Somehow Kans comes to know that Krishna is Vasudev-Devaki's son. He makes
many attempts on Krishna's life.
Pandava enter Hastinapur:
Pandu dies. Madri commits Sati. Kunti returns to Hastinapur with her 5 sons.
Dronaacharya is in a poor state. To support his wife Krupi and son
Ashwathama he decides to get help from Drupad. His childhood friend, and
now the king of Panchal. King Drupad declines to recognize Drona and insults
the Sage. Drona decides to avenge his insult with the help of his disciples.
In search of good pupils, he comes to Hastinapur to Krupachrya (minister
with Dhruturashtra, and Krupi's brother).
Krishna slays Kans
The 8 year old Krishna kills Kans. (This is something amazing. How does he
do this at such a young age?) Krishna installs Ugrasen back on the throne
of Mathura. Releases his parents Vasudev & Devaki from arrest.
Angered by Kans's death, Jarasandha (Kans's father-in-law) attacks Mathura
17 times. Each time he is defeated. Due to these attacks, Krishna moves the
capital from Mathura to Dwarika.
After this Krishna & Balaram go to the ashram of Sage Saandipani for
Education of Kaurav & Pandav
Bheeshma arranges for the education of Kauravas and Pandavas. Dronacharya is
called upon to teach the children. Along with Kaurav & Pandav, Drona's son
Ashwathama also studies. Due to his love for his son, Drona teaches some
weapons, only to his son. Drona also loves Arjun, and to see that no one
becomes better that Arjun, he asks Ekalavya for his right hand thumb.
Kaurav & Pandav complete their education in 12 years. During this time
Kaurav try to kill Bheema twice.
Karna: The King of Anga
Kaurav & Pandav complete their education. Dharma is now about 25 years old.
Karna is 16 years older than Dharma. Arjun and all Kaurav are 21 years old.
In a compitition, Karna challenges Arjun to a duet. This challenge is made
void as Karna is a Sutaputra. Duryodhan makes friendship with Arjun's
compititor & enemy Karna; by making Karna the King of Angadesh. (Today's
Drona asks his pupils to defeat Drupad as his Gurudakshina. Kaurav
fail to defeat Drupad. Arjun and Bheema defeat and bring King Drupad as a
prisoner to Drona. Drona take his earlier revenge to insult Drupad and
Birth of Drusthadyumna and Druapadi
Enraged Drupad performs a yadnya for the birth of a son who would kill
Drona. As a result of this yadnya Drusthadyumna and Druapadi are born.
Kaurav send Pandav and Kunti to the town of Varanavat. There they stay in
Lakshagruha, a house built by Dhruturashtra & Kaurava. They stay here
for over a year. Kauravas set it on fire. Pandav who have been informed of
this by Vidur, escape. In Hastinapur, Pandava and Kunti are taken for dead.
A year in hiding:
Pandav and Kunti go to Ekchakra nagari. Stay there for about a year, with
a Brhamin family. Bheema kills rakshas Bakasur. Pandava and Kunti leave
Ekchakra Nagari and live in the forest. Bheema kills rakshas Hidimba.
Bheema has to marry his sister Hidimbaa. Bheema lives with Hidimbaa for
over a year. A son Ghatotakach is born to them. As decided earlier, Bheema
Krishna marries Rukmini
Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmak of Vidarbha, hears tales of Krishna's
courage. She falls in love with him. Her brother Rukmiya, arranges Rukmini's
marriage to his friend, King Shishupal of Chedi.
Rukmini secretly sends a message to Krishna, and together they plan to
elope. The day before her marriage to Shishupal, Rukmini visits the temple
of Goddess Ekvira. (This is in Amravati, Maharashtra) Krishna kidnaps
Rukmini here. With help from other Yadav, Krishna defeats Rukmini's
brother Rukmiya. King Bhishmak, later arranges the marriage ceremony.
Including Rukmini, Krishna had 8 wives, called Aashtakanya. They are:
||Rukmini: daughter of Bhiskmak. She had 8 sons: (including Pradyumna), and a daughter.
||Satyabhama: daughter of King Satrajeet. She bore seven sons.
||Suryaa: The daughter of King Surya.
||Mitra Vrunda: She had three sons.
||Satya: daughter of King Satyajeet.
||Lakshmanaa: daughter of King Mandra.
||Jambuvati: daughter of King Jambuvan. She had a son named Samb.
||Bhadra: daughter of King Bhadrasen.
Many kings and princes gather at the Swayamvar. All fail the condition to
hit the eye of a moving toy fish. When Karna is about to try, Draupadi
declares that she will not marry a Sutaputra. Pandav are sitting among the
audience, disguised as Brahmins. Arjun is able to hit the target. Enraged
kings attack the Pandav. Bheema & Arjun defeat the kings assembled there.
Pandav marry Draupadi. Declare that they are alive. Pandavas return to
Hastinapur with Kunti and Draupadi. Dhruturashtra divides the kindom. Gives
the barren and forest (Khandava Van) lands to the Pandavas. Duryodhan
becomes the crown prince of Hasinapur.
About 20 years at Indraprastha:
Pandava, with help from Krishna burn parts of Khandava Van. Build a new
city: Indraprastha. (Today's Delhi). They start ruling part of Kuru region
During this time 5 sons are born to Draupadi: Prativindhya, Sutasom,
Shatatik, Shrutakarma and Shrutakirti.
To save a pack of cattle (from wolves?), Arjun has to disturb Dharma &
Draupadi to fetch his weapons. As a result, he goes to exile for 12 years. In
the last year, he meets Subhadra (Krishna's sister), and marries her.
Subhadra is Arjun's third wife. Dharma, Nakul & Sahadev married one princess
each, after their marriage to Draupadi. Bheema had married Hidimbaa before
Draupadi, and had left Hidimbaa within a year of marriage.
Bheema kills Jarasandh:
Pandav decide to perform the Rajasuya Yadnya. It seems that Jarashandha
might create some problems during this. Krishna has also been harrassed
by Jarasandh in the past. Thus Krishna asks Bheema to kill Jarasandha.
Bheema kills Jarasandha in a duet.
Pandav perform the Rajasuya Yadnya. Many kings gather for the Yadnya. Among
them one is Shishupal the king of Chedi. Shishupal is the son of Vasudev's
sister, Shrutvata. Shishupal is Krishna's enemy, and Krishna kills
him, during this time.
Among other kings, Kaurav are also present at the Rajasuya Yadnya. They are
jealous of Pandav after seeing the palace and kingdom of Indraprastha. They
decide to get Indraprastha.
Dyut and departure for 12 years exile:
Dharama is now about 59 years old. Dharma is invited to play dyut with the
Kaurav. Kaurav cheat in the play. Dharma looses his kingdom. Pandav and
Draupadi become slaves of Kaurav. Dushasan drags Draupadi to the court.
Duryodhan & Karna speak badly to this great queen. Nither Bhishma, nor
Dhruturashtra, nor Drona object Duryodhan, Dushasan & Karna.
Enraged Bheema openly takes a vow to kill Dhushasan and Duryodhan for their
behaviour. Everyone in the court is terrified by the Bheema's voice and
know that he is capable of fulfilling his vow. Frightened Dhruturashtra asks
for forgiveness for his sons. He asks Draupadi to demand any two wishes.
Draupadi asks for the liberation of herself and her husbands from slavery.
Before leaving Hastinapur, Dharma again plays and looses in Dyut. This time
the loosing party goes in exile for 12 years followed by one year of
hinding. Pandav and Draupadi leave for the the forest for 12 year exile.
Kunti and Subhadra go to Krishna at Dwarika. Abhimanyu is born to Subharda.
Jayadrath set free:
During the stay in the foreest, Jayadrath tries to kidnap Draupadi. Bheema
follows Jayadrath and captures him. When Bheema is about to kill Jayadrath,
Dhrama intervenes and asks him to be left alive as Jayadrath is their
sister Dusheela's husband.
Krishna kills Nakrasur
Krishna and Satyabhama fight a battle against the king Nakrasur. Krishna
kills Nakrasur. Nakrasur has captured many girls, with a view to marry them
someday. Krishna releases these girls. They all plead to Krishna, to accept
them as his wives, otherwise they would have to end their livees. (Kashi
princess Amba had to commit sucide, when Bheeshma did not marry her.)
Krishna married all these girls.
A Year In Hiding:
At the end of 12 years, Pandav hide their weapons on a Shami tree and enter
Matsyadesh. Here Dharma (Kanka) become a minister to the king Virat. Bheema
(Ballav) becomes the chef. Arjun becomes a dance teacher to the princess Uttaraa.
Nakul and Sahadev take care of the horses. Draupadi (Sairandhri) becomes the
maid of queen Sudeshana.
Bheema kills Keechak:
Sudeshana's brother Keechak tries to kidnap Draupadi. This time Bheema does
not inform any of his brothers. Bheema kills Keechak. 105 brothers of
Keechak (Anu-Keechak), try to burn Draupadi with the body of Keechak. Bheema
kills 105 Anu-Keechak at the middle of the night.
Marriage of Uttara & Abhimanyu:
After the end of one year hiding, Pandav and Draupadi declare their identity.
The king Virat, is ashamed of the fact that these great people worked for
him. He asks Arjun to marry his daughter Uttaraa. Arjun, who looks upon his
disciple as a daughter, accepts her as his daughter-in-law. Marraige of
Uttaraa and Abhimanyu.
Krishna goes to Kauravas to ask back for Indraprastha. Kauravas decline.
Krishna asks for 5 towns. Duryodhan replies he would not give even a small
piece of land to Pandavas. Talks continue for about 10 days. Krishna is
unable to bring peace arrangements between Kaurav & Pandav. War is
On the new moon of Margashirsha, armies of Pandav & Kaurav reach Kurukshetra.
Pandav get 7 Akshouhini army. Kaurav get 11 Akshouhini army. The armies
spend 10 days in preparing for the war, setting up camps and drills.
At this time, Bheeshma is about 120 years old. Dharama is about 70 years
Arjun is overwhelmed by the fact that he is going to fight with his near
and dear ones. Krishna tells him Geeta the philosophical dialogue that
reminds Arjun of his work. This takes about 3 hours, after which war
Arjun strikes showers of arrows, from behind Shikhandi on Bhishma.
Fall of Bhishma.
Jayadrath, Karna and many Kaurav kill Abhimanyu.
Arjun kills Jayadrath.
Dharma tells Drona, that Ashwathama (an elephant) is dead. Drona thinks its
his son, drops his weapons and sits down. Arjun kills Drona.
Arjun kills Karna.
Bheema kills Dushasan.
Bheema kills Duryodhana.
Night of day 18:
Pandav & Krishna are away from the camp. Krupacharya, Krutavarma &
Ashwathama attack the Pandav camp at night. Ashwathama kills 5 Pandav sons,
4 Drupad sons and Drupad's grandsons. When Pandav & Krishna return to the
camp, Bheema & Krishna follow Ashwathama. Krishna punishes Ashwathama.
The cost of the war
The 18 day war leaves Pandav victorious. On the Pandav side: 5 Pandava,
Krishna & Satyaki remain alive. And on Kaurav side: Krutavarma, Krupa and
Ashwathama are the only living people. 100 Kaurava, Karna, Drona, Drupad,
his 4 sons including: Shikhandi and Drushtadymna, all 7 Pandava sons
including Ghatoakach and Abhimanyu are killed. Bheeshma dies about 3
Dharma becomes the king of Hastinapur. Abhimanyu's son Parikshit becomes
the crown prince.
After a few years, Kunti, Dhruturashtra and Gandhari accept
vaanprasthashram. All three die in a forest fire, few years later.
Krishna is sleeping in a garden, when a hunter mistakenly hits Krishna.
This becomes the reason for Krishna's death. His 8 main wives (Ashtakanya)
commit sati. Balaram dies soon after Krishna.
In the following couple of months, the Yadavas fight amongst themselves.
In this fight, nearly all major figures of the Yadava dynasty are killed.
Another major incedent: Dwarika submerges under sea.
Krishna's grandson Ushneek (son of Samb) moves to Kashyapur, (near
Multan, Pakistan) to his maternal uncle, and rules the Multan area.
(His desendants ruled until Nabi Mohammed defeated Devendra the last king
in early 7th century. Devendra's son Asvapati was forced to Islam.
Another son Gajpati came to Surat and established a small kingdom there.)
Arjun fetches the Yadava widows and Krishna's grandson Aniruddha (son of
Pradyumna) to Hastinapur. On the way he is attacked by tribals. Arjun and
Aniruddha are unable to save the women folk. A dejected Arjun returns to
Pandav decide to retire. Parikshit (Arjun's grandson, son of Abhimanyu) is
crowned as the king of Hastinapur. Aniruddha is crowned as the king of
Indraprastha. Pandav are now free.
Pandav and Draupadi leave for the Himalayas. Dharma is about 100 years old.
Sage Vyas has been noting down all the minute details of the War. He starts
writing Mahabharat. (Probably the technique of writing was newly invented.
Very few sages could read & write.) Vyas requested Sri Ganesh to write
Mahabharat. Ganesh agreed on the condition that, Vyas will dictate without
stopping. Vyas agreed, and whenever he needed some time to think, he gave a
puzzle for Ganesh to solve. As Ganesh could not write, until the puzzle was
solved, Vyas gained time.
After 3 years the compilation was complete. The details of Mahabharat are
written in about 100,000 shloka.
King Parikshit performs a yadnya. Vyas recites the Mahabharat to the
kings and people gathered there.
Parikshit is killed by a naga Takshak. Angered his son Janmejaya starts
killing all Naga people. Sage Astik stops this holocaust. Naga people start
calling themselves Astek after their saviour.
Decendants of Pandava continue to rule the Kuru region for another 1200
years. The aftermath of the great war was so mammoth that for a few
centuries to come, history stood still. In this long stretch of time,
there was no major event to be noted by the historians. This phase of
history was stagnant until the rise of Gautam Budhha and Mahavir Jain