Uttara Kumara

Uttara Kumara with Arjuna

 

Uttara Kumara was the prince of Matsya-Desha in Mahabharata, son of King Virata, brother of Uttara (Abhimanyu's wife). 

He is Virata's youngest son and is also known as Bhoominjaya. Viratas were allies of the Pandavas in the battle of Kurukshetra.

 

Click below to listen to Shri Hari Stotram 

 

Shri Hari Stotram | Meaning in Hindi

 

Uttara Kumara as Arjuna's charioteer

During the ajnatavasa of the Pandavas at Virata, once the army of the Trigarthas attacked Virata from the south in an attempt to steal their cattle. 

King Virata, Yudhishtira, and Bhima (both in disguise) fought them away.

As they were all away, the Kaurava army attacked from the North and took away 60,000 cows.

Uttara Kumara was a prince charming. 

He was playing vina for the girls and women of the palace when this was reported to him. 

He got ready to face the Kaurava army and get back the cows.

Uttara Kumara said: My charioteer recently died in a battle. 

I just need a charioteer, I will kill all the enemies including Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Karna, and Ashwatthama.

Arjuna was in the palace disguised as a eunuch called Brihannala. 

He was teaching the princess of Virata dance and music. 

He went and told the Malini (Draupadi in disguise as a maid): Tell the princess that Brihannala is a good charioteer and was with Arjuna during the burning of the Khandava forest.

Malini did so. 

The princess went and told her brother that Brihannala could be his charioteer. 

Uttara Kumara hesitated saying how he can have a eunuch as his charioteer. 

But since he had already boasted about his power, he had no way but to ask Brihannala to be his charioteer.

Arjuna as Brihannala led Uttara Kumara's chariot towards the Kauravas.

As Uttara Kumara saw the vast Kaurava army, his mouth dried up. 

This was the first time and he was facing great warriors like Duryodhana, Bhishma, Drona, and Karna.

Brihannala: You are going to be the first one ever to fight all of them together, alone.

 Shall I take you forward?

Uttara Kumara: I am scared. 

Let's go back. 

I thought my uncle Keechaka was the biggest fighter. 

Here, each one is twice as fierce as him. 

Even Inda will not be able to defeat them. 

I am just a young boy. 

I am going to faint. 

Take me back to the palace.

Brihannala: Weren't the one who some time back said back there that you are just waiting to kill all of them? 

You are the son of a brave Kshatriya. 

Your blood has courage and valor in it. 

These people are evil. 

They are trying to steal from you. 

You are righteous. 

They will not be able to touch you.

Uttara Kumara: I am not bothered even if the whole world ridicules me. 

This is not the place for a boy like me. 

Let them take away whatever they want. 

If you don't turn around the chariot, I am going to get down and run away.

Uttara Kumara leaped down from the chariot and started running. 

Brihannala went after him trying to persuade him to return. 

Brihannala caught him and held him firmly.

Brihannala: I will not let you do this.

 It will be shameful for yourself and your family. 

If you are so scared, then you be the charioteer and I will do the fighting.

Uttara Kumara agreed. 

Brihannala told him to drive the chariot towards the cremation ground.

By this time, the ajnatavasa was over. 

Arjuna had become a eunuch taking advantage of a curse Urvashi had given him. 

As the curse timed out, Arjuna became a man again.

Arjuna asked Uttara Kumara to stop under a tree in the cremation ground.

Arjuna: There is a bundle on top of this tree. 

Go and get it.

Uttara Kumara thought it must be a dead body.

Uttara Kumara: I am a kshatriya. 

I will not touch a dead body.

Arjuna: It is not a dead body. 

They are divine weapons.

Uttara Kumara climbed up the tree and brought down the bundle.

He was startled when he opened the bundle and saw the weapons. 

Arjuna then revealed their identities to Uttara Kumara, that they were the Pandavas.

Uttara Kumara: I can't believe that you are Arjuna himself. 

If you are indeed Arjuna, then tell me how you got each of your ten names by which you are famous.

As Arjuna narrated the idea behind each of his names, 

Uttara Kumara became convinced.

They both sped back towards the Kauravas.

Uttara Kumara turned out to be a superb charioteer. 

In the battle that ensued Arjuna with Uttara Kumara as his charioteer devastated the Kaurava army and released the cows. 

As the Kaurava leaders such as Duryodhana, Karna, Kripa, and Ashwatthama fell unconscious, 

Arjuna asked Uttara Kumara to collect pieces of silk garments of them to be given as gifts for her sister Uttara. 

She can use them on her dolls.

They both returned to the capital with the cows. 

Arjuna asked Uttara Kumara to take credit for the defeat of the enemies but back in the palace, Uttara Kumara revealed the identities of the Pandavas to his father.

 

Uttara Kumara in the battle of Kurukshetra

His experience with Arjuna had made Uttara Kumara into a matured Kshatriya. 

On the first day itself, he attacked the Kaurava army mounted on a huge elephant and fought with Shalya. 

Uttara Kumara shot down Shalya's charioteer and horses. 

He also smashed Shalya's chariot to pieces.

As Uttara Kumara roared in excitement Shalya took his life by throwing a spear at him.

Uttara Kumara's elder brother Sweta also died on the same day.



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Image attribution

Ramaswamy Sastry and Vighnesh Ghanapaathi

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