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"After praying to Naaraayana, Nara, Sarasvathi and Vyaasa, then one should read the Jayam."




(The N in this name is pronounced like 'n' in 'no'. In the second name, The RI is the special vowel, pronounced like 'ri' in 'krishna'. Both the Ns are pronounced like 'n' in 'no'. )

Arjuna was the third of the five Paandavas. He was the gifted son of Kunthi from the chief of Gods , Indra. He was the manifestation of a divine sage called Nara who was a friend of Naaraayana.

Another king also named Arjuna was mentioned, but he was popularly known as Arjuna, the Kaarthaveerya ( Arjuna, son of Krithaveera), whom Parashuraama defeated. Care should be shown to distinguish between these two different people of the same name but of two different clans and times.

Arjuna was variously called Arjuna, Phalguna, Paartha, Kireeti, Svethavaahana, Beebhatsu, Vijaya, Jishnu, Savyasaachi and Dhananjaya. The first three names were derived respectively from his body color (dark as an Arjuna tree ), birth star ( born in the 12 th star Uththra-Phalguni ) and mother's name ( Pritha) . The remaining names were confered on him for his various achivements . Kireeti means one that has a crown . The gods gave him this name when they awarded him a crown as a token of his help to them in killing the demons Nivaathakavachas and Kaalakeyas . Svethavaahana means 'a person of white horses ' . This epithet comes from his divine white horses gifted by the gods. Beebhathsu means ' a person averse to indecent things '. This title shows how decent and honorable his conduct was in war . Vijaya means 'victorious' . He was called so because he won almost always . Jishnu means ' one who wins or invincible ' . This means the same thing as Vijaya. Savyasaachi means ' an archer who can wield the bow with both the hands ' i.e. lavodextrous . Dhananjaya means ' he who won wealth' . People called him so because he victoriously lead his northern campaign into the deepest of northern regions for their Raajasooya performance and brought lots of wealth . Another reference to him was Gudaakesha(=master of one's senses , or , = a man of thick hair plaits). Occassionaly, he was called Krishna ( = black ) too .
It is a popular belief that chanting of these ten names will save from lightning.

After his father died in the forest, he came to Hasthipuram alongwith his mother and brothers to live with their cousins Kouravas.
Arjuna was an archer par excellence. Most favourite disciple of Kripa first and then of Drona . Grandsire Bheeshma too liked him very much.His bow gaandeevam was a divine one. His dexterity in wielding the bow with both his hands earned him the epithet Savyasaachi (=able to use left hand too). His ardent practice of archery and commitment to improve his weaponry can just fit to be an imulation to any real student of any subject.

The program of exhibition of talent of the princes arranged by Drona before the royal elders proved that Arjuna was the lead archer of the day . Karna too exhibited his skill and challenged Arjuna but was denied the chance for duel with him on the ground of his inferior creed. Arjuna captured Drupada as a gift to his guru Drona on the latter's demand as fee .

He defeated a gandharva Angaaraparna in the forest on their way to Ekachakrapuram . He hit the famous fish-target to win Droupadi in the open competetion anounced by her father Drupada and on that occasion defeated all the dissented suitors including Karna himself. While at Indraprastham, once in his hurry to help a Braahmana , he violated the covenant agrred upon in respect of Droupadi and as a penalty undertook a twelve-year pilgrimage . As a part of it he visited Dvaaraka in a sage's guise and abducted Krishna's younger sister Subhadra with his covert cooperation and begot the celebrated son Abhimanyu from her.

Aided by Krishna , he helped Lord Agni in burning Khaandavaprastham forest when he saved a demon Maya who in turn rewarded them with a majestic majic court hall . He undertook a successful campaign in the North before their Raajasooya sacrifice . Shortly after this, they lost in the dice game and went on a thirteen-year exile to the forests .

In the early years of their exile, he propitiated God Shiva and obtained the great missiles like Paashupatham that made his repertoire impregnable. He was summoned to the heaven by the gods to clear off certain demon groups that were undefeatable to them . He accomplished the task successfully to the pleassure of the gods. They honoured him with the chair of the king of the gods and a divine crown. He was taught music and dance by a Gandharva named Chithrasena during his stay in the heaven. It was then that the lustful divine damsel Oorvashi desired him but was rejected . He was cursed by her to become a eunuch . Of course, this curse and the knowledge of divine music and dance helped him spend his thirteenth year of incognito as a dance teacher in Viraata's palace.

When the great war was about to start, he felt upset and nervous hor having had to kill his near and dear. Krishna taught him the true knowledge of life , death , duty and renouncement in his eternal discourse Bhagavadheetha, which even today is the torch bearer to the seekers of the truth . That settled Arjuna's illusions.

Arjuna was proficient in archery to the highest level. Valorous by himself, Krishna as his charioteer made him invincible. His side heavily depended on him in the war and he played his role of lead warrior without parallel. On many occasions , he was the one to save the situation . His name was a terror to his enemies. He was victorious in many wars against enemies who ranged from humans to celestials.

His valour touched its zenith on the 14th day when he was to kill Jayadratha before sun-set , piercing through the impregnable defence of cordon of such great fighters as Karna, Shalya, Kripa, Asvaththaama, Vrishasena, and Krithavarma , not to speak of Drona himself . His chief task in the war was complete when his arrows claimed arch rival Karna on the 17 th day evening . However, there was a slight blemish on his heroism that he hesitated to face the furious Karna on that day . Some critics find fault with him that he charged at the dismounted Karna struggling with his sunken wheel . But given then situation and Karna's unrighteous deeds to them , that may not be a big flaw . Truely speaking. Karna was not tht 'helplessly strugglimg' at that time, as he could snap Arjuna's bow-string no less than eleven times.

His moral values were of very highy standards. Possibly, the only warrior of no vice those days. The refusal of Viraata's offering of his daughter and the rejection of Oorvashi's desire in the heaven show how estimable his moral standards were. When his adversaries blamed him for chopping off of the hand of Bhoorishravas who was engaged in war with Saathyaki on the 14 th day of the war, he did not blindly defend himself but almost accepted his fault as a forced one .

He had 4 principal wives. The son he begot from Subhadra was the gallant hero Abhimanyu (died in the war on the 13 th day), whose son became the heir- apparant of the Paandavas. Another son Iraavan, from Uloochi (or uloopi ) the serpent princess, too, died in the war on the 12 th day. The son born to Droupadi was Shruthakeerthi who was killed after the war on the 18 th day's night by Asvaththaama. Another of his sons, Babhruvaahana, born to Chithraangada, did not participate in the war.

After Yudhishthira's coronation , he went around the states in guard of the Asvamedha horse and won all those who faced him . Interestingly, It was in this campaign that he was killed by his son Babhruvaahana and was again brought to life by his wife Uloochi.

He learnt from Naarada about the self-destruction of the Yaadavas and went to Dvaaraka only to see his dear allies dead . Feeling bereft , he led Krishna's harem and other women , the children and the aged to Hasthipuram . A troup of waylayers attacked him in the forest . He was unable to employ any divine missiles at his command .He could save with great difficulty only Krishna's eight principal wives . The passing away of Krishna decimated his energies and power. Thus he couldn't even face the raids of common robbers .

He followed Yudhishthira in renounciation walk and fell dead midway.
His character as a disciple, teacher, brother and a heroic fighter are adoptable to any society any time.

"After praying to Naaraayana, Nara, Sarasvathi and Vyaasa, then one should read the Jayam."