What Happened After The Mahabharata War? Read To Find Out
To be equitable, there has been a notable absence of information regarding the post-Mahabharata war era. Undoubtedly, the Mahabharata stands as the most monumental epic ever penned, leaving an indelible imprint on Indian culture, traditions, and contemporary behavior. It serves as a moral compass, delineating the boundaries of right and wrong within the Indian cultural context.
Regrettably, a significant portion of the populace derives its understanding of the Mahabharata not from direct engagement with the original texts but rather through cinematic and television adaptations. These adaptations predominantly conclude with the culmination of the Kurukshetra war, leaving the subsequent events unexplored and undisclosed.
While this article delves into the occurrences post the Kurukshetra war as documented in ancient texts, it is essential to acknowledge the mythological nature of the Mahabharata. Readers are encouraged to explore the historical validity of the Mahabharata and its potential portrayal of real events.
Now, let's explore the aftermath of the Mahabharata war:
A mere dozen individuals survived the cataclysmic Kurukshetra war, an ancient equivalent of a global conflict. The casualties surpassed those of contemporary world wars, with nearly 3.94 million soldiers meeting their demise. Notably, among the survivors were no ordinary soldiers, but a select group of 12 individuals.
- The Five Pandavas: Offspring of Pandu by Kunti and Madri, husbands to Draupadi.
- Lord Krishna himself.
- Satyaki: A formidable warrior of the Vrishini clan.
- Yuyutsu: The eldest Kaurava and stepbrother to Duryodhana.
- Ashwatthama: Son of Guru Dronacharya.
- Kritavarma: A Vrishni warrior.
- Kripacharaya: The teacher of both Kauravas and Pandavas.
- Vrishaketu: The son of the great warrior Karna.
Arjuna, renowned as one of Mahabharata's central and valiant characters, experienced a substantial decline in his abilities after the war. Despite his prior prowess, he found himself unable to thwart a group of ordinary thieves attempting to abduct Lord Krishna's wife.
Yudhishthira assumed the throne of Hastinapur, adhering to the ancient practice of passing rulership to the eldest son. Despite his noble nature, he offered his uncle Dhrirashtra the opportunity to retain the throne, a proposition declined as Dhrirashtra willingly relinquished power.
Gandhari, witnessing the gruesome fate of her sons on the battlefield, harbored deep resentment towards Lord Krishna. This resentment manifested in a curse, foretelling the demise of Krishna's human form.
Draupadi, displaying resilience and compassion, organized a council for the widows of the war, ensuring their rehabilitation and financial support through dignified work opportunities.
Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, taunted by Bhima, embarked on a penitent journey, living solely on air for approximately two years.
The central characters of the Mahabharata, including Dhritarashtra, met their demise in a forest fire, choosing a tranquil exit over potential escape.
The Pandavas, renouncing their kingdom and mortal existence, commenced their final journey to heaven from the Himalayas. Along this journey, they encountered significant events, such as returning Arjuna's powerful bow to Lord Agni Deva.
While scaling the Great Himalayas, Draupadi and four Pandavas—Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjuna, and Bhima—fell and met mortal death, leaving Yudhishthira and a celestial dog to continue the ascent.
Yudhishthira underwent a final test, recognizing the dog as the deity Dharma. As a result, he entered heaven with the celestial dog.
Parikshit, from the Kuru clan, ascended to the throne of Hastinapur and played a pivotal role in consolidating the Kuru state.
A heavenly reunion unfolded, transcending past animosities, where Karna, Pandavas, and Kauravas coexisted harmoniously.
Gandhari's curse to Krishna materialized after 36 years, leading to the end of Krishna and the Yadava clan of Dwarka. This period coincided with the continued rule of the Pandavas.
Understanding the events that transpired after the Mahabharata war is crucial for grasping the cultural and philosophical foundations of contemporary Indian society. These post-war events significantly shaped the ethos that prevails today.