In Mahabharata forums often people ask, “Who according to you was the most powerful warrior in the Kurukshetra war?” While, Karna is my instant reply since he was an all rounder with various combats – bow and arrow, mace, sword and spear, the one name I cannot miss to mention is Ghatotkacha.
The reason? Well to begin with – Let me first tell you a small story which has become one of the oral stories that has been passed on from ages by the ancestors.
Lord Krishna during the Mahabharata war asked people, “How many days would they take to finish this Kurukshetra war?”
When Krishna asked Bheeshma Pitama, he replied he would take 3 days. Next was Karna, he replied he would take just a day.
In the end Krishna asked Ghatotkacha, “In how many days can you finish this Mahabharta?” At once the son of Bheem and Hidimba replied, “Days? I can end the entire war in just 3 arrows?”
Lord Krishna was surprised. He asked how?
Ghatotkacha replied, “With the first arrow I shall kill the entire Kauravas army, with the second the entire army of Pandavas. And with the last, …….He then smiled…”
“With the last, what?” Krishna asked
“Well with the last arrow I shall kill you by hitting the arrow right beneath the thumb of your leg.”
While, one may wonder why was Ghatotkacha being over confident, the truth lies in the fact that he was not being over confident. He was indeed that powerful – A strong warrior in the Kurukshetra war whose skill, strength, might and the ability of destruction ultimately saved the Pandavas!
If you check Wikipedia, this story is mentioned wrt Barbarika, that is Ghatotkacha’s son and not Ghatotkacha. However, this story doesn’t find any mention in texts, it is an oral story which family in North India tells including mine as mentioned above. I have no idea who has written the story there, but I can surely affirm you, the story is on Ghatotkacha and not Barbarika as mentioned in Wikipedia which has not cited any source.
Ghatotkacha – The Mighty Man
since Ghatotkacha was half rakshasa and half human, one cannot deny the immense power he possessed. He was a son of human eating rakshasi Hidimba and so he could fly and had all the abilities that a rakshasa had. At the same time, since he was a son of a kshatriya, he possessed the knowledge and skills that Bheem had.
In addition, he had a deep insight of weaponary. No wonder, Mahabharata narrates his heroic tale when he creates havoc in the Kurukshetra war.
There is one thing which often fascinates me about Ghatotkacha’s knowledge and that is his ability to come right in front of his father,the moment he thought about him. This specifies that he had some illustrious shakti, making him worthy of all the little but significant attention he gains in the epic Mahabharat.
Ghatotkacha’s Role in the Kurukshetra War!
It had become really difficult for Duryodhana and Karna to handle this half asura son of Bheem. This compled Shakuni and Duryodhana to take some strict action against him. He became the centre of attraction in the battlefield, enough to create a sense of fear among the Kaurava army as he growled at them. He of course had the ability to alone wipe off the Kauravas all alone.
It was then Duryodhana told Karna to use Indra’s divine weapon against Ghatotkacha which he had safeguarded for Arjuna.
“Use the Indra astura at once and kill Ghatotkacha before he kill the entire Kaurava army” requested Duryodhana to Karna. And this is how Karna had to use his divine weapon against Ghatotkacha.
Such was the power of Ghatotkacha, his presence and his death gave the Panadavas the winning edge against Kauravas. Yes, Ghatotkacha’s death was sure. In fact Lord Krishna had used him rightly in the war but it was only to help the Pandavas to win the war. His death was unfortunate, but it was necessary.
Ghatotkacha was the reason why Arjun remained unbeaten and continued fighting till the last, ultimately bringing victory to the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra war!!!
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