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.
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.”
Vikarna & Dronacharya’s Guru Dakshina
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.
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.
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.
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
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