Open main menu

Kaurava Pandava Yuddh

Kaurava (Sanskrit: कौरव) is a Sanskrit term for the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata. The well-known Kauravas are Duryodhana, Dushasana, Vikarna, Yuyutsu and Dussala.



The term 'Kaurava' is used in the Mahābhārata with two meanings:

  • The wider meaning, is used to represent all the descendants of Kuru. This meaning, which includes the Pandava brothers, is often used in the earlier parts of popular renditions of the Mahābhārata.
  • The narrower but more common meaning, is used to represent the elder line of the descendants of King Kuru. This restricts it to the children of King Dhritarashtra, as his line is the older line of descent from Kuru. It excludes the children of the younger brother Pandu, who founds his own line, the Pandava.

The rest of this article deals with the Kaurava in the narrower sense, that is, the children of Dhritarashtra by Gandhari. When referring to these children, a more specific term is also used – Dhārtarāṣṭra (Sanskrit: धार्तराष्ट्र), a derivative of Dhritarashtra.

Birth of KauravasEdit

After Gandhari was married to Dhritarashtra, she wrapped a bandage over her eyes and vowed to share the darkness that her husband lived in. Gandhari's brother Shakuni came to live with them to look after the interests of Gandhari. Once Sage Vyasa came to visit Gandhari in Hastinapur. She took great care of the comforts of the great saint and saw that he had a pleasant stay in Hastinapur. The saint was pleased with Gandhari and granted her a boon. Gandhari wished for one hundred sons who would be as powerful as her husband. Vyasa granted her the boon and in due course of time Gandhari found herself to be pregnant. But two years passed and still the baby was not born. Meanwhile, Kunti received a son from god Yama whom she called Yudhishthira. After two years of pregnancy, Gandhari gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh that was not a baby at all. Gandhari was devastated as she had expected a hundred sons according to the blessing of Rishi Vyas. She was about to throw away the piece of flesh while Rishi Vyas appeared and told her that his blessings could not have been in vain and asked Gandhari to arrange for one hundred jars to be filled with ghee. He told Gandhari that he would cut the piece of flesh into a hundred pieces and place them in the jars, which would then develop into the one hundred sons that she so desired. Gandhari told Vyas then that she also wanted to have a daughter. Vyas agreed, cut the piece of flesh into one hundred and one pieces, and placed them each into a jar. After two more years of patient waiting the jars were ready to be opened.[1]

When the first jar was opened the first baby was born and was named Suyodhana who was later called Duryodhana (for his bad deeds) which means "the unconquerable one" or "difficult to fight with". As soon as the baby started crying all the beasts of the jungle started howling and many signs of ill omen were seen. Vidura warned that the child would have to be abandoned as the omens at his birth augured doom for the Kuru clan. He said, "The scriptures clearly state that for the good of the clan an individual can be sacrificed, for the good of the village a clan can be sacrificed, for the good of the country a village can be sacrificed; and for the development of the soul, even the earth can be sacrificed. So for the good of the clan and of the country and of humanity, please sacrifice this son of yours." But both Gandhari and Dhritrashtra were adamant that a baby could not cause any harm, and much against Vidura's wishes kept the baby. At the same time Bhima was born to Kunti in the forest. Another son of Dhritarashtra was from a Vaishya servant Sukhada named Yuyutsu was born on the same day as Bhima and Duryodhana. The other children of Gandhari were taken out of the jars; now Gandhari had one hundred sons and a daughter named Duhsala. All the children grew up to be strong and powerful.[citation needed]

This story should be read in view of the dispute over the succession to the throne of the kingdom. It attributes a late birth to Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage. This legitimises Yudhishthira's claim to the throne, since he was the eldest of his generation.[citation needed]

Children of DhritarashtraEdit

The children of Dhritarashtra by Gandhari are also referred by a more specific and frequently encountered term - Dhārtarāṣṭra, a derivative of Dhṛtarāṣṭra(Dhritarashtra).

According to the epic, Gandhari wanted a hundred sons and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. Another version says that she was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a hundred and one pieces and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl.[2]

The birth of these children is relevant to the dispute over succession of the kingdom's throne. It attributes the late birth of Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage and legitimizes the case for his cousin Yudhishthira to claim the throne, since he could claim to be the eldest of his generation. All the sons of Dhritarashtra excluding Yuyutsu(born of Dhritarashtra's marriage with a Vaysya woman, thus a half-brother of Duryodhana) were killed in the great battle at Kurukshetra.

Quote from Mahabharata, Sambava jayesh, Section CXV:[3]

"And during the time when Gandhari was in a state of advanced pregnancy, there was a maid servant of the Vaishya class who used to attend on Dhritarashtra. During that year, O king, was begotten upon her by the illustrious Dhritarashtra a son endued with great intelligence who was afterwards named Yuyutsu. And because he was begotten by a Kshatriya upon a Vaisy woman, he was subject to the constant taunts of the Kaurava.

Thus were born unto the wise Dhritarashtra, a hundred sons who were all heroes and mighty chariot-fighters, and a daughter over and above the hundred and another son Yuyutsu of great energy and prowess begotten upon a Vaishya woman."

List of Dhritarashtra's childrenEdit

  1. Duryodhana
  2. DushshAsana
  3. Dussaha
  4. Dushshala
  5. Jalsandha
  6. Sama
  7. Saha
  8. Vinda
  9. Anuvinda
  10. Durdarsha
  11. SubAhu
  12. Dushpradharshana
  13. DurmarShana
  14. Durmukha
  15. DushKarNa
  16. KarNa
  17. Vivimshati
  18. VikarNa
  19. Shala
  20. Sattva
  21. Sulochana
  22. Chitra
  23. Upachitra
  24. ChitrAksha
  25. ChAruchitra
  26. SharAsana
  27. Durmada
  28. DurvigAha
  29. Vivitsu
  30. VikatAnana
  31. Vibasu
  32. UrNanAbha
  33. SunAbha
  34. Nanda
  35. Upanandaka
  36. ChitrabaNa
  37. ChitraVarma
  38. SuvarmA
  39. Durvimochana
  40. AyobAhu
  41. MahAbAhu
  42. ChitrA~Nga
  43. ChitakuNDala
  44. BhImavega
  45. BhImabala
  46. BalAki
  47. Balavardhana
  48. UgrAyudha
  49. SuSheNa
  50. KuNDadhara
  51. Mahodara
  52. ChitrAyudha
  53. NiSha~Ngi
  54. pAshi
  55. VR^indaraka
  56. DR^iDhavarmA
  57. DR^iDhakShatra
  58. SomakIrti
  59. AnUdara
  60. DR^iDhasandha
  61. JarAsandha
  62. Satyasandha
  63. Sada
  64. SuvAk
  65. UgrashravA
  66. Ugrasena
  67. SeNAnI
  68. DuShaparAjaya
  69. AparAjita
  70. KuNDashAyi
  71. VishAlAkSha
  72. DurAdhara
  73. DR^iDhahasta
  74. Suhasta
  75. VAtavega
  76. Suvarchasa
  77. Adityaketu
  78. BahvAshi
  79. NAgadatta
  80. AgrayAyi
  81. Kavachi
  82. Krathana
  83. KuNDi
  84. KuNDAdhara
  85. Dhanurdhara
  86. Ugra
  87. BhImaratha
  88. VIrabAhu
  89. Alolupa
  90. Abhaya
  91. RaudrakarmA
  92. DR^iDharathAshrya
  93. AnAdhR^iShya
  94. KuNDabhedi
  95. VirAvi
  96. DIrghalochana
  97. Pramatha
  98. DIrgharoma
  99. DIrghabAhu
  100. VyUDhorA
  101. Kanakadhvaja
  102. DushshalA (the only daughter)
  103. Yuyutsu (born to Vaishya dAsi)


In literatureEdit

Harivamsa Purana (8th century CE) narrates the Jain version of their story.[5]

See alsoEdit



  • Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6

External linksEdit