Bhagadatta was the mythological son of Naraka, king of the Pragjyotisha Kingdom and second in line of kings of Naraka dynasty. He was succeeded by his son Vajradatta. He sided with kauravas in the Mahabharata war as the result of his defeat to Karna during digvijaya.
In the Battle of Kurukshetra, Bhagadatta fought on the side of the Kauravas. He was very well known for his skill on his elephant. On the 12th day of the war, he was involved in a fierce battle with Arjuna on his World Elephant Supratika, who was being attacked by Bhima. During the course of this battle, Bhagadatta fired an irresistible weapon called Vaishnavastra on Arjuna. However, Arjuna was saved by the timely intervention of Krishna. Krishna let himself to be cushion for that potent weapon, which turned into a garland and fell on Krishna and Arjuna was saved. The Vaishnavastra was only known to a very few people during the Mahabharata age. In the Ramayana age the Vaishnavastra was known only to Lord Rama and Indrajit. Finally, Bhagadatta was beheaded by a lethal arrow shot by Arjuna.
- Menon, Ramesh (2006) The Mahabharata: A Modern Rendering iUniverse, Inc., New York, page 231-232, ISBN 978-0-595-40187-1
- "Bhagadatta - King of Pragjyotisha - Indian Mythology". Archived from the original on 2005-08-28.
- "The Mahābhārata, Book 6: Bhishma Parva: Bhagavat-Gita Parva: Section LXIV".
- Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 75.
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