Vikarna, the third Kaurava brother next to Dussasana was not only a follower of Dharma but a great archer. He was also the biggest critic of Duryodhana. Read here to know the complete story of Vikarna

Among the Kauravas in Mahabharat, Dussasan is one amongst the most familiar names after Duryodhan. However, not many know about the third born, that is Vikarna. While, Dussasan and Duryodhan are famous for their Adharma, their younger brother Vikarna, the third true born son of Dhritarashtra is known for his Dharma.

Here Is An Excerpt on Vikarna:
vikarna karna duryodhana Vikarna, The Only True Born Kaurava Who Followed Dharma

Bhagavad Gita Prounces Vikarna As A Great Warrior(Archer)

If there was any archer from Kauravas side minus Karna and Ashwathama, it was Vikarna. In fact, among the Kaurava brothers, he was the only one truly good at it. So, if Duryodhana was good with mace, Vikarna was good with bow and arrow. However, with mighty archers like Karna, Arjuna, Eklavya and Ashwathama, his name was sidelined, and so we do not know much about his archery skills. However, he being a great warrior is mentioned in the 8th Shloka of Bhagvad Gita by Dr. P V Nath.

“Bhavan Bheeshmascha Karnascha Kripascha Samattinjayaha Ashwathama Vikarnascha Soumadatis Tathaiva Cha.”

archer vikarna Vikarna, The Only True Born Kaurava Who Followed Dharma

Trained under Dronacharya, Bhismha and Kripacharya, Vikarna became the most powerful archer among the Kaurava brothers. It is all together a different tale that the Kauravas had the mightiest archer with them in the form of Karna, the Maharathi.

Vikarna & Dronacharya’s Guru Dakshina

When Kauravas finished their training under Guru Dron, they asked their teacher about his Guru Dakshina. We are all well versed with the story that Guru Dron asked the Kauravas to attack the Panchala King Drupad, what we miss is the story that it was not just the might of Duryodhan and Dussasan but also Vikarna and Yuyutsu that played a major role in the battle.
mahabharat vikarna drupad Vikarna, The Only True Born Kaurava Who Followed Dharma
No wonder, they lost to Drupad and could not defeat his army. After which Guru Dron sent the Pandavas and they defeated Drupad, bringing him on Guru Dron’s feet. Had the Kauravas defeated the Panchal King, the chances of we knowing Vikarna as an archer would have increased. Perhaps, everybody would be well versed that the great Archer Vikarna in his young age could defeat Drupad, the Panchala King.

Vikarna & Draupadi’s Cheer Haran

Majority of the people know Vikarna for standing with Draupadi during the cheer haran when even the greatest of great personalities present in the court became blind spectators to witness a horrible scene.

draupadi vikarna Vikarna, The Only True Born Kaurava Who Followed Dharma

Yes, even when Dronacharya, Dhritarashtra, Kripacharya, Vidur and Bhishma Pitama maintained their mum, it was Vikarna who not only protested the whole cheer haran act but also tried to convince his two elder brother Duryodhan and Dussasana to drop the act. This scene is well depicted in Star Plus Mahabharat where he was silenced by Karna, making one wonder whether Vikarna and other Kauravas were controlled by Karna?

Encounter of Bheem & Vikarna In the Kurukshetra War

The Star Plus Mahabharat shows that Bheem challenges Vikarna and even Vikarna reiterates in the Kurukshetra War. Both arguing and infusing each other. However, according to books this wasn’t the case. On the 14 day of the Kurukshetra war when Arjun wanted to kill Jayadrath, Bheem went on to help his brother by destroying the sakatvyahu sent by Drona.

Meanwhile, Duryodhana sent Vikarna to find Bheem along with his other 19 brothers. However, Bheem did not want to kill Vikarna as he remembered his support during the vastra haran unlike shown in the serial where Bheem infuriates Vikarna. He even insisted him to step aside but Vikarna, being the true follower of Dharma mentioned that it was his dharma to support his sister in law then and it is his dharma to side with his brother now in the Kurukshetra war. He requested Bheem to fight against him. After a prolonged mace fight, Bheem killed Vikarna, saying that the Kurukshetra war was indeed a curse for them to kill warriors like Vikarna, who were not only powerful but also followers of Dharma.

Why The Famous Writers Compare Vikarna With KumbhaKaran?

Vikarna is often compared with Kumbhakaran of Ramayana by mythologists because, both their characters shared the same value and principles. Just like Kumbhakarana was compelled to side with Ravana in the war against Rama in spite knowing the fact that his elder brother is against Dharma, Vikarna too followed the suite though he knew no ways could the Kauravas win against Pandavas who had Krishna on their side.

Does That Mean Vikarna Was The Greatest Human In Mahabharat?

No one in the entire Mahabharat apart from Vikarna could display the quality of Dharma. No not even Yudhisthir or Karna. The reason? Well, Yudhishtira and Karna although were known for their dharma, they had their own flaws. One diplomatically betrayed Dronacharya by saying Ashwathama was killed in the war, the other insulted Draupadi.

mahabharata poster Vikarna, The Only True Born Kaurava Who Followed Dharma

So, today when Pandavas are considered to be the real heroes, courtesy Shree Krishna, I feel, we shouldn’t miss the name “Vikarna” when we talk about Dharma. He not only objected Adharma but even questioned the people who turned their deaf ears towards Adharma. Doesn’t that make him great among all the characters in Mahabharat?

By: Deepti Verma

With Inputs from Mahabharat Retold By C Rajagopalachari,  The Mahabharat Book Volume 2, Section 67, Bhishma Parva, Mahabharata translated 

Also See:

Yuyutsu, Dhritarashtra’s Son from Sauvali, A Vaishya Dasi

Lesser Known Facts of Kurukshetra War in Mahabharat

Image Source: Vikarna, Archer, Drupad

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