ARJUNA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'White.' The name of the third Pandu prince. All the five brothers were of divine paternity, and Arjuna's father was Indra, hence he is called Aindri. A brave warrior, high-minded, generous, upright, and handsome, the most Prominent and the most amiable and interesting of the five brothers.
He was taught the use of arms by Drona, and was his favourite pupil. By his skill in arms he won Draupadi at her Swayamvara. For an involuntary transgression he imposed upon himself twelve years' exile from his family, and during that time he visited Parasurama, who gave him instruction in the use of arms.
He at this period formed a connection with Ulupi, a Naga princess, and by her had a son named lravat.
He also married Chitrangadi, the daughter of the king of Manipura, by whom he had a son named Babhruvahana.
He visited Krishna at Dwaraka, and there he married Subhadra, the sister of Krishna. By her he had a son named Abhimanyu.
Afterwards he obtained the bow Gandiva from the god Agni, with which to fight against lndra, and he assisted Agni in burning the Khandava forest.
When Yudhishthira lost the kingdom by gambling, and the five brothers went into exile for thirteen years, Arjuna proceeded on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas to propitiate the gods, and to obtain from them celestial weapons for use in the contemplated war against the Kauravas. There he fought with Siva, who appeared in the guise of a Kirata or mountaineer; but Arjuna, having found out the true character of his adversary, worshipped him, and Siva gave him the pasupata, one of his most powerful weapons. Indra, Varuna, Yama, and Kuvera came to him, and also presented him with their own peculiar weapons.
Indra, his father carried him in his car to his heaven and to his capital Amaravati where Arjuna spent some years in the practice of arms. Indra sent him against the Daityas of the sea, whom he vanquished, and then returned victorious to Indra, who "presented him with a chain of gold and a diadem, and with a war-shell which sounded like thunder."
In the thirteenth year of exile he entered the service of Raja Virata, disguised as a eunuch, and acted as music and dancing master, but in the end he took a leading part in defeating the king's enemies, the king of Trigarta and the Kaurava princes, many of whose leading warriors he vanquished in single combat.
Preparations for the great struggle with the Kauravas now began. Arjuna obtained the personal assistance of Krishna, who acted as his charioteer, and, before the great battle began, related to him the Bhagavadgita. On the tenth day of the battle he mortally wounded Bhishma, on the twelfth he defeated Susarman and his four brothers, on the fourteenth he killed Jayadratha; on the seventeenth, he was so stung by some reproaches of his brother, Yudhisthira, that he would have killed him had not Krishna interposed. On the same day he fought with Karna, who had made a vow to slay him. He was near being vanquished when an accident to Karna's chariot gave Arjuna the opportunity of killing him.
After the defeat of the Kauravas, Aswatthaman, son of Drona, and two others, who were the sole survivors, made a night attack on the camp of the Pandavas, and murdered their children. Arjuna pursued Aswatthaman, and made him give up the precious jewel, which he wore upon his head as an amulet.
When the horse intended for Yudhishthira's Aswamedha sacrifice was let loose, Arjuna, with his army, followed it through many cities and countries, and fought with many Rajas. He entered the country of Trigarta, and had to fight his way through. He fought also against Vajradatta, who had a famous elephant, and against the Saindhavas.
At the city of Manipura he fought with his own son, Babhruvahana, and was killed; but he was restored to life by a Naga charm supplied by his wife Ulupi.
Afterwards he penetrated into the Dakshina or south country, and fought with the Nishidas and Dravidians: then went westwards to Gujarat, and finally conducted the horse back to Hastinapura, where the great sacrifice was performed.
He was subsequently called to Dwaraka by Krishna amid the internecine struggles of the Yadavas, and there he performed the funeral ceremonies of Vasudeva and of Krishna. Soon after this he retired from the world to the Himalayas. (See Mahabharata.)
He had a son named Iravat by the serpent nymph Ulupi; Babhruvahana, by the daughter of the king of Manipura, became king of that country; Abhimanyu, born of his wife Subhadra, was killed in the great battle, but the kingdom of Hastinapura descended to his son Parikshit.
Arjuna has many appellations: Bibhatsu, Gudakesa, Dhananjaya, Jishnu, Kiritin, Pakasasani, Phalguna, Savyasachin, Swetavahana, and Partha.
ARJUNA (2). [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] Son of Kritavirya, king of the Haihayas. He is better known under his patronymic Kartavirya.
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