It is well known that Dhritarashtra had 100 sons and a daughter from his wedded wife Gandhari. However, what most of the people do not know that he had not 100 sons but 101 sons and 102 children in all. Yes, that’s precisely what is mentioned in the Adi Parva section of Mahabharata written by none other than the sage Vyasa. So, who was this additional son and when was he conceived, and by whom?
Dhritarashtra Feared He Would Never Have a Heir Post Gandhari’s Pregnancy Problems
When Gandhari couldn’t deliver baby post Sage Vyasa’s boon even after two years, Dhritarashtra feared whether he would ever become a father going by the present condition and state of Gandhari. Meanwhile, Kunti had already delivered Yudhisthira by the blessing of Lord Yama, because of the boon she had received from Sage Durvasa. This made Dhritarashtra impatient.
Yuyutsu, Dhritarashtra’s Son from a Woman of Vaishya Varna
Yuyutsu was born to Sauvali, a maid servant who attended Dhritarashtra and looked upon the royal household. Sauvali was not kshatriya but belonged to the vaishya class. She was appointed to look after Dhritarashtra when Gandhari was declared pregnant. Dhritarashtra was mesmerized by the maid’s charm and used her, both for his physical and sexual gratification. Thus, was born Yuyutsu, the dasi putra of Dhritarashtra.
No wonder, Dhritarashtra always wished of having a heir before his brother Pandu. So, while Gandhari couldn’t appease him with a heir, Sauvali, the maid did the needful by getting pregnant of Dhritarashtra’s child.
Yuyutsu, however was born after Yudhishtir and the same day as that of Duryodhana. Thus, he was younger to Duryodhana, but elder to rest 99 sons and the only daughter of Dhritarashtra. So, while all the 101 children of Dhritarashtra were blue blood, Yuyutsu was a dasi putra as he was born to a dasi and not queen.
Was Yuyutsu’s Mother Sauvali Married to Dhritrashtra?
Although some of the stories, documents and even data cites Sauvali as wife of Dhritrashtra, it is questionable whether Sauvali was married to the king of Hastinapur. She was if anything more than a maid then “lady-in-waiting” and nothing more. How can a dasi be married to the king? He could use her service even without marrying her, isn’t it? She is also sometimes referred as Sughada.
Was Yuyutsu was Treated Well By Duryodhana And His Brothers?
Yuyutsu being a dasi putra was always taunted by his brothers. In fact, his condition was worse than the Pandavas and Karna. He was never treated as a prince or brother of Duryodhana. Perhaps, that is why his name and his identity doesn’t find much mention in the epic. Worse, even the makers of Mahabharata TV Series, both old and new, Animated Mahabharata film and various other formats too doesn’t dedicate much of his story besides the mention that he warred from Pandavas side.
This makes me wonder, Duryodhana who had immense respect for Karn, the sutraputr, how could he neglect and disrespect his own step brother? Was his friendship towards Karna, only because of his superiority against Pandavas and/or his strength and virility?
Yuyutsu Warred in Kurukshetra War Against Kauravas
The character of Yuyutsu in the Hindu Epic Mahabharata was same as that of Vibhishana in the epic Ramayana and so just like Vibhishana, Yuyutsu too provided Pandavas with all the vital information of Kauravas planning and strategies. He switched sides from Kauravas to Pandavas right before the Kurukshetra War. He was the only surviving son of Dhritarashtra after the 18 days of War.
After, the death of Krishna when Pandavas along with Draupadi decided to go to Himalayas, Yuyutsu was appointed as a guardian of Parikshit, Abhimanyu’s son and the future king of Hastinapur. Like Vibishana, Yuyutsu too was called a kinslayer and traitor.
By: Deepti Verma
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