Warriors Classification By Bheesma


These facts are from K m Ganguli translation of mahabharat
My thanks to MR. K M ganugli for translating the mahabharat which is available freely online.

Bhisma classifies people form both sides as maharathi, atirathi and ratha warriors, the literal meanings are ratha means a car warrior, atiratha means a car-warrior capable of fighting at one time with sixty thousand foes and maharatha means a great car warrior. It is hard to tell which is greater atiratha or maharatha. But i think atiratha has the same meaning as maharatha, reasons are at the bottom of the text

Bheesma doesn’t classify himself .But vyasa calls him athiratha

Kaurava side

Maharathas

Drona
Aswathaman
Vrishasena
Satyavan
Alambhusha
Bhagadatta


Atirathas

Kritivarman
Salya
Bhrusivas

2 rathas

Jayadrathan

Rathas

100 Kauravas
Sudakishna
Vinda
Anuvinda
Nila
Five trigadha warriors
Laksmana
Dussana’s son
Dandadhara
Vrihadvala
Sakuni
Jalasandha
achala
vrisha

Then karna is first called by bheesma as half a ratha , but on his bed of arrows bheesma calls karna as equal to 2 maharathas and also says that karna is equal to arjuna or Krishna in terms of strength , vyasa calls him an athiratha too

Pandavas side

Maharathas *

satyaki
abhimanyu
Virata
Drupada
Dhrishtaketu
Dhridadhanwan
Rochamana
Ghatotkacha
Draupadi 5 sons
Jayanta from panchala
Amitaujas from panchala
Satyajit (draupad’s son )
Aja
Bhoja
Vardhakshemi

Atirathas

Dhristadhyumna
Satyajit (draupad’s son ) #
Srenimat
king Vasudeva
Kuntibhoja

8 rathas
bheema

rathas

Yuddi
nakul
sahadeva
Yudhamanyu
Sikhandin
Kshattradeva
Chitrayudha
Chekitana, and Satyadhriti
Chandrasena
Kasya
Pandya
uttra
Uttamaujas
Five brothers (Kasika,Sukumara,Nila,Suryadatta and Sankha)
Vyaghradatta

Half ratha
Kshattradharman

Then arjuna is not classified by bhisma, but bhisma said that arjuna is great. But arjuna is called as atiratha by vyasa

Also a warrior called Senavindu is said equal to bheema ,he is not classified too

* I don’t know why bheesma classified many as maharathi’s from pandavas side
# two times satyajit name is mentioned by bheesma , both correspond to the same person satyajit son of draupada who was killed by drona .

Reasons for thinking athiratha and maharatha as same

1)This process of classification is called in KMG as “numbering the Rathis and Atirathas.” and not as “numbering the Rathis,maharathas and Atirathas”,There is no separate class maharatha is mentioned here
2)Then duryodhana addresses bheesma as “O Kaurava, to know who amongst all the warriors of the foe and my own are to be counted as Rathas and who Atirathas.” here also maharatha is left ,this may mean that there are only two classifications Rathas and Atirathas
3)Drona who is called as maharatha by bheesma , then drona is also called as athiratha by vyasa
4)abhimanyu who is called as maharatha by bheesma , then abhimanyu is also called as atiratha by vyasa
5)karna is called as 2 maharathas ,then he is also called as atiratha

Complied
by
Gandherva

You can also view or download this compilation from here

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One thought on “Warriors Classification By Bheesma

  1. Ratha is the base classification, on top of ratha is athi-ratha and after athi ratha maharatha. A ratha or athiratha may be killed in a battle, but in a straight battle a maharatha cannot be killed how many ever surround and attack them. Bhishm- Fought down by Arjuna with the cover aid of Shikandi. Drona-Yudishtira told lie that Ashwathama was killed Drona sat ib hos charriot and Drushtadhumna killed him. Karna was killed while trying to lift his charriot. Abhimanyu -Surrounded and killed when he was not conscious.

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