Mahabharata – Epic of Revenge !



Mahabharata is an epic built on Revenge !

Harvest of hate is bitter.  Very bitter.  All those who wanted revenge, got what they wanted in some measure.  BUT, they had to pay a heavy price for their vengeance.  Most lost their lives or someone they could not live without to exact the revenge they so desperately craved.  So if anything, the epic tale teaches us that revenge is a poison not worth taking.


Person Cause of Revenge Result
Abhimanu Abhimanu and his several brothers wanted to avenge the insults Kauravas heaped on their mother Draupadi and Pandava fathers.
All sons of Pandava who took part in the war lost their lives.  Cut down in their prime, theirs was one of the saddest loss in the war.
Amba Amba wanted revenge on Bhishma.  Amba lost her peace of mind and life to get the chance to be the cause of Bhishma’s death.
Ashwashthama * Ashwashthama wanted to kill the Panchalas, and Dhrishtadhuyman in particular, for having killed his father. 
* Ashwashthama wanted to wipe out the Pandavas for having killed Duryodhan in an unfair fight !  Unable to kill the Pandavas, he directed his Brahmasira weapon on the unborn grandson of the Pandavas ! 
* Ashwashthama has earned the revulsion of all decent people for having carried out the night attack.

* Ashwashthama has been reviled as the most base of all men for such a heinous crime of trying to kill an unborn baby.
Bhima * Bhima wanted revenge on Duryodhan for having insulted Drupadi by asking her to sit on his naked thigh.
* Bhima wanted revenge on Dushashan for having dragged Drupadi in public by her hair.
* Bhima had to break the rules of fair play to achieve his victory – thus tainting it.

* Horror of seeing / hearing Bhima drinking the blood of Dushashan made Dhritarastra and Gandhari sad till the day they died.

Dhrishtadhuyman Dhrishtadhuyman wanted to kill Drona to avenge the partition of Panchal. Dhrishtadhuyman earned the animosity of Guru-putra Ashwashthama and was killed in a brutal manner, unarmed and at night.

* Draupadi wanted to see the Kauravas dead to avenge her public humiliation in the Kuru court.

* Draupadi wanted to see Ashwashthama suitably punished for having killed her sons, brother and countrymen in the cowardly night attack.

* War that ensued consumed 18 divisions of men, widowed countless women and she lost all her sons, brother and countrymen.

* No amount of crying could bring back her sons.  If it wasn’t for Krushna, her only grandson would have died too.

Drona Drona wanted revenge on Drupada for having rejected his friendship. Drona earned a lifelong animosity with Panchalas that eventually led to his own death.
Drupada Drupada wanted revenge on Drona for his defeat and partition of his kingdom. Drupada lost his life, his two sons and his vast army to exact a revenge he never got to see or enjoy.
Duryodhan Duryodhan wanted revenge on Pandavas for calling him “son of the blind king Dhurtarashtra”. Duryodhan cheated the Pandavas out of all their wealth to avenge himself, but ended up loosing his life and life of all those who supported him.
Karna * Karna wanted revenge on Arjun and Bhima for being laughed at as a suta-putra.
* Karna wanted revenge on Draupadi for being disallowed from competing for her hand in marriage at her svayamvar.
* Karna died trying to live up to his own exacting standards as a Kshatriya rather than a Suta.
* Having insulted and humiliated Drupadi in the Kuru court, he got his revenge, but it earned him the censor of all morally upright people for all times.
Kauravas Duryodhan and Dushashan wanted revenge on Bhima for having dragged them around the palace as children.  They dragged Draupadi to avenge themselves and Bhima took counter revenge by killing them all in the great war - one by one !
Sahadeva Sahadeva wanted revenge on Shakuni for having cheated them out of their empire and having caused them so much pain. Sahadeva killed Shakuni, but it was so so long after the event, (more than 14 years), it was almost pointless. 
Shakuni Shakuni wanted to be revenged on the Kuru clan for asking his sister to marry a blind prince. 

Shakuni abandoned his own lands and family to wreck a revenge that destroyed his sister’s prosperous house.

Shishupal Shishupal wanted revenge on Krushna for having snatched Rukshmani, his would be bride, from under his nose on the eve of his marriage. Shishupal lost his head to Shri Krushna’s discus.

Takshat and his son Ashvasen wanted revenge on Arjun for the death of their family.

Neither could kill Arjun and so took their vengeance on Pariksheet.  This led to the Sarpa-satra and death of many millions of snakes.




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