Killing of Bhurishravas

Bhurishravaswas a prince of a minor kingdom in the kingdom of Bahlika and played a role in the Mahabharata epic.Bhurishravas’ father, Somadatta, once clashed with another prince called Sini. When Devaki, the mother of Lord Krishna was still unwed, many princes competed for her hand in marriage including Somadatta and Sini who fought a great battle over her. Sini, fighting on behalf of Vasudeva won the battle. This incident launched an hatred between the Sini and Somadatta families leading to a sibling rivalry.

By the time of the Battle of Kurukshetra, Saini’s grandson Satyaki, now a king of the Vrishnis, was allied with the Pandava army while Bhurishravas, now aged, sided with the Kauravas and was one of the eleven commanders of the Kaurava army.

On the 14th day of the battle Bhurishravas challenged Satyaki. When Satyaki began to tire after a long and bloody battle, Bhurishravas battered him and dragged him across the battlefield. Arjuna, the leading warrior on the Pandava army, was alerted to Satyaki’s danger by Lord Krishna. Just as Bhurishravas was preparing to kill Satyaki, Arjuna came to the rescue, shooting an arrow cutting off Bhurishravas’ arm.

Bhurishravas wailed that by striking him without a formal challenge, and from behind, Arjuna had disgraced the honor between warriors. Arjuna in turn rebuked Bhurishravas for attempting to kill an unarmed Satyaki – an act also against the rules of war. Arjuna reiterated that protecting Satyaki’s life at all costs was his responsibility as a friend and comrade in arms.

At this point, realising his folly, Bhurishravas laid down his weapons, and sat in the lotus posture to practice yoga.
But then Satyaki emerged from his swoon, and before Arjuna could stop him, swiftly decapitated his enemy.

The warriors on both sides of the battle universally condemned Satyaki for this act – one of the incidents in the epic showing the superiority of dharma and honor against the uncontrollable power of hatred. Symbolically, as Bhurishravas’ attempt to kill the unarmed Satyaki immediately resulted in his own death in the same manner, Bhurishravas can be seen as representing the binding effects of one’s material actions (karma).

Source – Wikipedia


6 thoughts on “Killing of Bhurishravas

  1. There are only two one two one battles between Satyaki and Bhurisravas in Mahabharata. In first encounter both killed each others steads. Second time Bhurisravas challanged Satyaki when he was tired. Satyaki fought with warriors like Drona and Kritvarma just before that encounter(both KMG and Gita press mentions it). Still Satyaki managed to equal Bhurisravas shot by shot. So we can say that Satyaki performed better than Bhurisravas that day.

    We can not put any warrior in Satyaki’s class on the basis of just one or two performences. Even Harbhajan scores century on his day.That doesn’t mean he is equal to Sachin, Rahul and Lakshman.

    Satyaki performed throughout the kurukshetra war and humbled even Drona and Karna at his best. Where as Bhurisravas could never defeat Arjuna, Bhima, Abhimanyu or even Ghatotkacha.


  2. Bhurishravas was one of the mighty warriors of Mahabharata, though not mightier than Satyaki and other great warriors. Bhurishravas was also not an old man by mahabharata’s standerd regarding age. His grand father was also fighting that war.

    If we see the over all performences of Satyaki and Bhurishravas, Satyaki seems much great a warrior than Bhurishravas in kurukshetra war. Satyaki performed excellenty throughout that war. He was one of the pillars of pandava army. Satyaki though not at par with Bhishma and Karna gave them good fights and defeated even Drona and Karna on his day. Satyaki defeated a furious Ashwatthama three times on 15th day after Drona’s death. Bhurishravas also performed well in kurukshetra war, but he could never defeat a great warrior. He was also unable to show his might when his uncle Bhishma was attacked by Shikhandi on 10th day of battle.

    Satyaki had been fighting with many warriors including Drona, Kritavarman and Duhshasana on 14th day. Bhurishravas challanged him when he got tired. Still Satyaki accepted his challenge. Both fought equally and fell in to swoon, but Bhurishravas came out of swoon before Satyaki as Satyaki was very tired. Bhurishravas hit Satyaki’s head with his foot and he was about to behead Satayaki when Arjuna cut down his hand with an arrow. This act of Bhurishravas can not be justified. Satyaki’s action of killing Bhurishravas in that state was also wrong, though Satyaki did that in a state of rage. It is right that everyone gets the fruit of his karma.


    1. A Maharathi dont get tired in one day fight. And Bhurishrava fighted alone with Satyiki and his sons and defeated them.
      May be someone can point the link to that episode.


      1. Satyaki fought long battles with Drona, Kritverman and Duhshasana and defeated all of them before Bhurishravas engaged him in a dual. Only a maharathi and not any ordinary warrior can achieve such a feat. After such a long battle with so many mighty warriors, no maharathi can feel as fresh and energatic as a warrior, who has just started fighting. Duhshasana’s son who was not so a great warrior, killed a very tired maharathi Abhimanyu.

        Bhurishravas had defeated Satyaki’s sons and not Satyaki himself.


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