A Peek into the rare pages of Epics

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

In the rich literature available for us from our Ancient Indian epics and Puranas, some of the characters ,their stories and their specialties might skip away from our radar. We wish to bring some of such facts about our beloved characters today.

1)Lord Rama had a sibling named "SANTHA" elder to him,who was given away as adoption to their maternal aunt because they needed the eldest kid to be a boy inorder to carry the Raghu dynasty further and then proceeded to PUTRAKAMESHTI YAGA.

2)King Ravana had 3 wives and 7 sons. From Mandodhari he had the sons Indrajit,Akshaya kumara. And from Dhanyamalini he had sons Atikaya,Narantaka,Devantaka,Trishira,Prahastha.

3) Actually lord Brahma was panchamukha(five headed) not chaturmukha(four headed).Lord Shiva cut off his head when he lied about touching the head of Shivalingam during the dispute between Brahma and Vishnu about who being greater. When lord Shiva cut the head of Brahma he was sinned with Brahmahatyapatakam. So he had to go to Kashi as a beggar with Brahma’s skull as his bowl. In order to satisfy his hunger, Parvati incarnanted herself as mata Annapurna and used to feed lord Shiva thus proving her importance to the materialistic world.

4)The measurement of time in our epics is quite different and follows various units. Let us look into it. Each manvantara contains 71 Mahayugas, or aeons, of which a thousand form the Kalpa. Each Mahayuga is in turn divided into four yugas or ages, called Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. Their lengths are respectively 4800, 3600, 2400 and 1200 “years of the gods,” each of which equals 360 human years. Each yuga represents a progressive decline in piety, morality, strength, stature, longevity and happiness. We are at present in the Kali-yuga, which began, according to tradition, in 3102 BCE, believed to be the year of the Mahabharata War.

5)Sikhandi(who changed gender from Sikhandini)who was the rebirth of Amba was born to Drupada who happens to be the Draupadi's father.The blue lotus garland that she wore to conquer Bheeshma was originally given to Amba by LORD SUBRAHMANYA.

6) Kunthi devi,the mother of The Pandavas was biological siblings with Vasudeva, Lord krishna's father Vasudeva, bearing the name PRUTHA, who was adopted by her childless paternal uncle Kuntibhoj, and hence the name kunthi.

7) Ghatotkacha, belonging to a demon clan couldnot fight in war during daytime, wasn’t nocturnal and so was killed by karna using the "BRAHMASTRA" which was originally saved to kill Arjun and hence comes the idiom karnastra meaning despite having the right resources/knowledge one may not have the wisdom of when/where to use them.

8) "BARBARIKA",the son of Ghatotkacha is strong enough to fight the whole army alone and promised to fight from the side of the weakest everyday in the war. It might be Pandavas being the weakest in the beginning,the next day would be Kauravas and so on.To bring him out of this cycle and to save the principles of war,Lord Krishna disguised as brahmin,talks about Mahabali before any war and Barbarik volunteers to sacrifice himself,noting a death even before the war began.

9) Chief army Generals during Kurukshetra war:

For Kaurava's:

1.Bheeshma pithmaha :Day 1-10.

2.Dronacharya :Day 11-15.

3.Karna :Day 16-17.

4.Sahalya :Day 18(Daytime)

5.Ashwadhama :Day 18(Night time).

For Pandava’s :Dhrustadhyumna

10) Let us learn about the names of various shankha (conch) of Srikrishna and pandavas.







11)Another specific concept that exists in our epics is Bhuvanas or lokas. We have 18 of them, 7 upper and 7 lower lokas. They are:

01 Satya-loka

02 Tapa-loka

03 Jana-loka

04 Mahar-loka

05 Svar-loka

06 Bhuvar-loka

07 Bhu-loka

08 Atala-loka

09 Vitala-loka

10 Sutala-loka

11 Talatala-loka

12 Mahatala-loka

13 Rasatala-loka

14 Patala-loka

12) Panchakanya's of Indian Mytholigy:

Ahalya ,the wife of Gauthama maharshi;

Tara,the queen of Kishkindha and wife of Vali;

Mandodari,queen of Lanka and wife of Ravana;

Sita,wife of lord Shreeram;

Draupadi,wife of Pandavas.

The irony lies in calling them Kanya despite the fact that all of them were married.