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Bhima and Draupadi, as depicted in Yakshagana

In the Mahābhārata, Bhima (Sanskrit: भीम, IAST: Bhīma) was the second of the Pandava brothers. He was the son of Kunti by Vayu, but like the other brothers, he was acknowledged son by Pandu. He was distinguished from his brothers by his great stature and strength.

His legendary prowess is celebrated in the epic: "Of all the wielders of the mace, there is none equal to Bhima; and there is none also who is so skillful a rider of elephants. In fight, they say, he yields not to even Arjuna; and as to might of arms, he is equal to ten thousand elephants. Well-trained and active, he who hath again been rendered bitterly hostile, would in anger consume the Dhartarashtras in no time. Always wrathful, and strong of arms, he is not capable of being subdued in battle by even Indra himself. Bhima a Maharati is he, capable of fighting 60,00 warriors at once, so mighty was he that when he were to roar in anger he would put to shame the proudest lion and frighten the most fearless warrior".[1]

He was furious when the game of dice between his brother, King Yudhisthira, and Duryodhana reached its final stages. Duryodhana told draupadi to sit on his lap (thighs)enraged by this bhima he swore to himself and Duryodhana that he would with his mace crush those very thighs that he told draupadi to sit on But when Dushasana dragged draupadi into the royal court by her hair and attempted to strip Draupadi in the court, bhima swore that he would kill him one day and drink his blood, and that he would wash draupadi's hair with dushaasan's blood During the second exile of the Pandavas, he visited Alakapuri and was blessed by Kubera. At the end of their exile at the court of Virata, he disguised himself as Bhallava and acted as a palace cook.

Contents

Marriage alliances

Bhima as seen in the Javanese shadow puppet show (wayang)

He lived for a time in hiding with his brothers during their first exile. In this period, he came across Hidimba, alias Smritika and Hidimbi, alias Pallavi, a rakshasha brother and sister. Because of the enmity of the rakshasha to the people of the Kuru kingdom, Hidimba asked Hidimbi to lure Bhima to a trap. However, Bhima and Hidimbi were attracted to each other. Bhima fought and killed Hidimba, and lived for a year in the forest with Hidimbi, by whom he had a son, Ghatotkacha.

With his brothers, he was married to Draupadi, who give birth to a son by him by the name Sutasoma. The child that Draupadi bore to Bhimasena was born after Bhima had performed a thousand Soma sacrifices, he came to be called Sutasoma. Bhima also obtaining for a wife Valandhara, the daughter of the king of Kasi, offered his own prowess as dower and begat upon her a son named Sarvaga. Chedi king Sisupala's sister also was wedded to Bhima.

Ghatotkacha

Bhima's wife Hidimbi bore a child named Ghatotkacha. He was giant same like his uncle Hidimba and his mother. Ghatotkacha possessed magical skills and war tactics like his father who used a mace as his primary weapon. His father had the strength of 1000 elephants whereas Ghatotkacha was 10 times more powerful than his father. He brought great havoc and distress to the Kaurava army. Karna killed him upon the request of Duryodhana, with divine power that Indra granted.

Battles of Bhima

After the first return of the Pandavas to the Kuru lands, he challenged the king of Magadha, Jarasandha, to a wrestling bout and killed him, thus making it possible for his brothers to take part in the Rajasuya Yajna.

Bhima's military expedition to the eastern kingdoms, as per epic Mahabharata. He seemed to have followed the Uttarapatha route to reached the eastern ocean near Vanga

Bhima also embarked on a military expedition to the east as directed by his elder brother Yudhisthira, the king, to collect tribute for the Rajasuya sacrifice. It is believed that Yudhisthira chose Bhima to lead the army to eastern kingdoms because these kingdoms were famous for their strong armies protected by war-elephants and Bhima was an expert in defeating any army consisting of war-elephants with his great skill in mace-fight. In his expedition Bhima defeated using either diplomacy or military might, many kingdoms in the east including the hostile tribes of Panchalas who were enemies of Panchala king Drupada, the Chedis, the Kosalas, Kasis, Mallas, Videhas, Magadhas, Angas and Vangas. In Mahabharata, 2 chapters (MBh 2.28, 2.29), are dedicated to this eastern military expedition of Bhima.

Bhima and Hanuman

The Kurrukshetra war was nearing, Pandavas as per sri Krishna's words preparing themselves for the war. Among the pandava Arjuna and bhima were most prominent and valiant in nature. And they both were very much enraged and furious awaiting for the war. They were confident in their strength and abilities. Bhima's ego was subdued by his brother vayu puthra Hanuman. Bhima once wandering in a forest. On doing so he found an old monkey resting beneath a tree with its tail placed in path of bhima. Bhima with bold voice "Hey old monkey, move your tail aside!" The monkey slowly turned to him and spoke "I'm very old as you see, tired to move my tail kindly don't mind to move my tail aside or ignore in passing through!"

Bhima in his vanity tried to move in light blow using his leg, the tail failed to shake. Bhima tried again with force, nothing happened. He was stunned tried with his left hand, followed by right and with his full strength. Bhima strength is equivalent to 1000 elephants. Ultimately the tail couldn't be moved even a bit. Egotism and pride of bhima melted and he prostrated before the monkey in admitting his excessive pride and requested to disclose your identity. Hanuman stood slowly and revealed his identity and embraced him where bhima could feel the mystical power and strength growing. With blessings from his brother, Bhima won his ego.

Family of Bheem

Bheem's Marriages to Hidimbaa, Draupadee, and Balandharaa

On Vidur's advice, Paandav started living in hiding in villages and Van. Once all Paandav were sleeping along with Kuntee in a forest. Bheem was on guard. There lived a Raakshas nearby, named Hidimb along with his sister Hidimbaa. On that night when Hidimb came back, he smelled human being's flesh and asked Hidimbaa to bring human meat. Hidimbaa went there where Paandav were sleeping, but she got attracted to Bheem. She came back and said to her brother that she wouldn't kill him as she loved him and wanted to marry him. Then Hidimb himself came there to eat them, but Bheem fought with him and killed him. By then other Paandav and Maa Kuntee also woke up and surprised to see a Raakshas killed and lying there. Hidimbaa requested Kuntee to accept her for Bheem. Kuntee accepted her on Bheem's consent. Bheem lived there until he had a son - one year. His son's name was Ghatotkach. He also fought very bravely in Mahaabhaarat war like Abhimanyu and was killed there.

Bheem then married to Draupadi and had a son from her named Sutsom. He was married to the princess of Kaashee also - Balandharaa and had a son from her too - Sarvaang. Thus Bheem had three sons from his three wives - Ghatotkach from Hidimbaa, Sutsom from Draupadi, and Sarvaang from Balandharaa. All sons of Bheem were killed in Mahabharata war.

In Kurukshetra War

Bhima tears Duhshasana's body in the Mahabharata field

Bhima was a great general in the great battle of Kurukshetra, second in command only to the generalissimo Dhristadyumna, killing six out of the eleven akshauhinis of the other side (Kauravas). Six Akshauhinis adds up to the astronomical figure of around 1,705,860 men and 787,320 beasts which is testimony to the portrayal as the character of supreme physical prowess. In the battle, his charioteer was Krishna's son himself. During the battle, the Kauravas were frightened to face his might and sent elephants to fight him. An entire sub-chapter is devoted to describing the "light chat" or banter that he used to maintain with Krishna's son whilst fighting the enemies - yet another glimpse into the power that VedaVyasa invests in Bhima's persona. Bhima's weapon of choice was the mace - in the use of which he was second to none

"Bheemascha, Balabhadrascha(Balarama), Madrarajasya(Shalya) veeryavan".... (The 4 greatest mace wielders of that time were reputed to be Bhima, Balarama, Shalya and Keechaka, with there being none to be considered close enough to be named the 5th, so that slot was left unnamed). Amongst the most important personalities that he quelled were Baka (head of a cannibalistic race), Kirmira (Baka's brother), MaNiman (leader of the anger-demons in Kubera's garden), Jarasandha, Dushasana etc. He also defeated mighty Dronacharya by breaking his chariot eight times while Arjuna was trying to find and kill Jayadratha, and initially held his own against Karna; Karna defeated Bhima, but left him alive due to his promise to Kunti. Bhima let Karna eventually leave as he was destined to die at the hands of Arjuna. During the battle, he killed the elephant Ashvatthama, which enabled the Pandavas to spread the falsehood that Ashvatthama, son of Drona, had been killed. At the end of the battle, he also wounded Duryodhana in a duel, after striking him a foul blow below the waist. At this time, Balarama criticised Bhima for the foul blow, but was calmed down by Krishna. Bhima refrained from killing any respectable elders in the Kaurava's side out of respect for their virtue. The only elderly person he killed was the king of Bahlika (Bhishma's paternal uncle) - and he does this because the king of Bahlika asks Bhima to kill him to release him from the sin of fighting for the kauravas (Bahlika had to fight with the kauravas on account of Bhishma, his nephew).Bhima is also credited to have killed all 100 sons of Drithrastra.

He finished his days with his brothers and Draupadi, on their great and final journey toward Heaven. He was the last to die on the journey, leaving Yudhisthira alone to complete the journey by himself.[2][3]

Miscellaneous

Two characters in Hindu mythology are great cooks. One is Bhima and the other is Nala. Bhima is credited with the invention of the famous dish "Aviyal"[citation needed].

While he did possess superhuman strength, he has been portrayed as a man with no lenience for duplicity or tact in many cases - he is portrayed as the only pandava who constantly pointed out the faults of others, even if they were older or much respected. Being highly sensitive, he swayed between extreme emotions of love and hatred. Draupadi is often seen to turn to him to salvage her honor (be it in the case of Duryodhana's defeat or in the case of Kichaka's slaying).

Also, his name is synonymous with anyone who has short-temper or a large appetite. It is said that Bhima's appetite was so huge, that he always had to eat below his means, because there wasn't enough grain in the world at one time. He hence had a very thin waist and hence was called "Vrikodara" or wolf-bellied, because wolves seem to lack a belly even if they are well-fed.

Bhima is also infamous for having sown the seeds of hatred between the two collateral branches of the Kuru family by mercilessly beating up his cousins, almost unto the point of death, during his childhood & adolescence, when they tried to harass the pandavas. Bhima is also condemned for his brutal killing of Dushasana, where he tore open his cousin's chest and drank his blood in deference to his promise to Draupadi who had been insulted by Dushasana. However later he reveals to Gandhari that he spat out Dushasan's blood without swallowing it.

References

This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

See also

  • Ekachakrapura: now called: Kaivara

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BHIMA (Sanskrit, "The Terrible"), in Hindu mythology, a hero, one of the Pandava princes who figure in the Mahabharata. He was distinguished by his huge body, strength and voracity.


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