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In the Hindu epic
Hindu epic
Mahabharata, Bhima
Bhima
or Bhimasena (Sanskrit: भीम) is the second of the Pandavas. The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
relates many events which portray the immense might of Bhima. Bhima
Bhima
is responsible for slaying all hundred Kaurava
Kaurava
brothers in the Kurukshetra War.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Birth and early years 3 Power 4 Trouble with Kauravas

4.1 Escaping fire and killing Purochana 4.2 Slaying Bakasura

5 Marriage and children 6 Conquest for Rajasuya 7 Exile

7.1 Slaying Kirmira 7.2 Searching for Saugandhika flower 7.3 Killing Jatasura 7.4 Cook at Virata's kingdom 7.5 Defeating Jimuta 7.6 Kichaka
Kichaka
Vadha 7.7 Susarma's defeat

8 During the Kurukshetra War 9 Later years and death 10 Citations

Etymology[edit]

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The word bhima in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
means 'terrible' or 'awful'. His other names are-

Bhimasena (भीमसेन) - he who is equivalent to a formidable army. Vrikodara (वृकोदर) - wolf bellied or voracious eater. Gadadhara (गदाधर) - mace-wielder. Jarasandhajit (जरासन्धजित्) - he who won over Jarasandha. Hidimbabhid (हिडिम्बभिद्) - he who pikjerced Hidimba. Kichakajit (कीचकजित्) - he who defeated Kichaka. Jihmayodhin (जिह्मयोधिन्) - fighter against falsehood. Ballava (बल्लव) - cook. Hanyalaurya (हन्यलौर्य) - creator

Birth and early years[edit] Along with other Pandava
Pandava
brothers, Bhima
Bhima
was trained in religion, science, administration and military arts by the Kuru preceptors, Kripa
Kripa
and Drona. Specifically, he became a master in using the mace. Bhima's strong point throughout the epic remains his towering strength. He was so wrathful and strong that it was impossible even for Indra
Indra
to subdue him in a battle.[1] Bhima
Bhima
was also renowned for his giant appetite – at times, half of the total food consumed by the Pandavas
Pandavas
was eaten by him.[2] Power[edit] Bhima
Bhima
had power of 10,000 elephants which he got as a child while Duryodhana
Duryodhana
poisoned his food and had thrown him in the sea. When he reached planet of nagas. The godly snakes bit him and he was cured as poison kills poison. Then king of nagas gave him a heavenly drink which he drank and as a result became as powerful as 10,000 elephants.[citation needed] Trouble with Kauravas[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
fighting with the Nagas

Bhima, being as powerful as his father, was a natural bully. He used to play practical jokes on the Kaurava
Kaurava
brothers; he used to engage in wrestling bouts where he out-powered them with consummate ease.[3][4] His repeated failures and fecklessness against Bhima
Bhima
angered Duryodhana
Duryodhana
so much that he wanted him dead. He hatched a cunning plot where he poisoned Bhima's food and drowned him in River Ganga. Thankfully, the Naga king Vasuki
Vasuki
saved Bhima
Bhima
and also apprised him of Duryodana's hatred for him. It is also Vasuki
Vasuki
who bestowed him the immense strength of ten thousand elephants.[5] Escaping fire and killing Purochana[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
saves Kunti
Kunti
and his brothers from a burning house, folio of Razmnama

Duryodana
Duryodana
with his counsellor Purochana
Purochana
hatched a plan to burn the Pandavas
Pandavas
alive at a lac palace lakshagraha at Varnavrata that Duryodhana
Duryodhana
had built there, (lacquer is highly inflammable). Thanks to Vidura, the Pandavas
Pandavas
managed to escape out from the palace. Bhima played a major role in carrying all five of them ( Kunti
Kunti
and brothers) and escaping to safety. Bhima
Bhima
also barricaded the palace of Purochana and set fire to it, thereby ensuring Purochana
Purochana
became a victim of his own evil plot.[6] Slaying Bakasura[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
fighting with Bakasura

Kunti
Kunti
and the Pandavas
Pandavas
were living in agnyatavaasa (living incognito) after they escaped from the murder plot ( Kunti
Kunti
suggests they be incognito to avoid further problems from the Kauravas). During their stay at Ekachakra or kaiwara (in Karnataka), they came to know of a demon, Bakasura, who troubled people by eating members of their village and their provisions. The powerful Bhima
Bhima
brought his might to the fore and killed Bakasura, much to the delight of the villagers.[7] Marriage and children[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
(right) with his wife Hidimbi
Hidimbi
and son Ghatotkacha.

At the time Bhima
Bhima
kills the rakshasa Hidimba, he meets his sister Hidimbi; they eventually get married and have a son, Ghatotkacha. Hidimbi
Hidimbi
promises Kunti
Kunti
that she and Ghatotkacha
Ghatotkacha
will stay out of the Pandavas' lives and away from the luxuries of court.[citation needed] Then the Pandavas
Pandavas
attended the Swayamvara of Drupada
Drupada
princess, Draupadi. The Pandavas, led by Arjuna, were successful at the Swayamvara. With his brothers, he was married to Draupadi, who gave birth to a son, Sutasoma. At a later stage, Bhima
Bhima
also married Valandhara, the daughter of the king of Kasi, and had a son named Sarvada.[8] Among Bhima's three sons, Sarvada did not participate in the Kurukshetra war, Sutasoma was killed by Ashwatthama
Ashwatthama
and Ghatotkacha
Ghatotkacha
was killed by Karna. Conquest for Rajasuya[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
slays Jarasandha

When Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
became emperor of Indraprastha
Indraprastha
he sent his four younger brothers out in different directions to subjugate kingdoms for the Rajasuya
Rajasuya
sacrifice. Bhima
Bhima
was sent out to the East, since Bhishma thought the easterners were skilled in fighting from the backs of elephants and in fighting with bare arms, he deemed Bhima
Bhima
to be the most ideal person to wage wars in that region.[9] The Mahabharata mentions several kingdoms to the east of Indraprastha
Indraprastha
which were conquered by Bhima.[10] Key victories include his fights with:

Jarasandha
Jarasandha
of the Magadha
Magadha
empire. This was the most important win, as Jarasandha
Jarasandha
had several allies in the region, including Shishupala
Shishupala
and Bhagadatta. Krishna
Krishna
tricked Jarasandha
Jarasandha
into having a wrestling bout with Bhima. This was an agonizing battle that stretched for 13 long days. At the end, Bhima
Bhima
broke Jarasandha's backbone with his knee and tore apart his body into two.[11] Dasarnas, where the king called Sudharman with his bare arms fought a fierce battle with Bhima, who later appointed the mighty Sudharman as the first-in-command of his forces. Sishupala
Sishupala
of Chedi Kingdom, (who welcomed Bhima
Bhima
and hosted and entertained him for thirty days) Matsya, Maladas and the country called Madahara, Mahidara, and the Somadheyas,Vatsabhumi, and the king of the Bhargas, as also the ruler of the Nishadas and Manimat Southern Mallas and the Bhagauanta mountain. Sarmakas and the Varmakas

Exile[edit]

Pandavas
Pandavas
in Exile

After Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
succumbed to Shakuni's challenge in the game of dice, the Pandavas
Pandavas
were forced into exile for 13 years, one of which was in anonymity. The exile period in the forests, saw the Pandavas come face to face with many rakshasas and Bhima
Bhima
played a crucial role in the epic in rescuing his brothers every time. Slaying Kirmira[edit] Right at the start of the exile, in the woods of Kamyaka, the Pandavas encountered the demon Kirmira, the brother of Bakasura
Bakasura
and a friend of Hidimba. A fierce battle ensued between Bhima
Bhima
and the demon, where the two equally matched fighters hurled rocks and trees at each other. Eventually Bhima
Bhima
emerged victorious.[12] Searching for Saugandhika flower[edit]

Draupadi
Draupadi
showing the flowers to Bhima

Once in Badarikasrama forest, Draupadi
Draupadi
scented the Saugandhika flower and was deeply attracted to it. The lotus species was not to be located easily. Bhima
Bhima
went in search of the flower and ended up at Kubera's palace. He was stopped in his tracks by the rakshasas called Krodhavasas, but he defeated them all and reached the lotus pond. He also slew the rakshasa Maniman a wicked demon, who had in the past, incurred a curse from Rishi Agastya
Agastya
by spitting on his head. Being unused to the water of the pond, Bhima
Bhima
fell asleep on its shore. Later the Pandavas
Pandavas
arrived with Krishna
Krishna
and Draupadi
Draupadi
in search of Bhima. They met Kubera
Kubera
who offered them baskets of Saugandhika lotuses and sent them on their way. Kubera
Kubera
was especially happy, as the slaughter of Maniman had relieved him of the curse too.[13] It was also during this search that Bhima
Bhima
met Hanuman
Hanuman
(his brother, as both were Vayu's children) in the forest and sought his blessings.

Bhima
Bhima
tries to lift Hanuman's tail (by Asi from Razmnama)

Killing Jatasura[edit] In another minor incident in the epic, Jatasura, a rakshasa disguised as a Brahmin abducted Yudhishthira, Arjuna, Draupadi
Draupadi
and the twin brothers, Nakula
Nakula
and Sahadeva
Sahadeva
during their stay at Badarikasrama. His objective was to seize the weapons of the Pandavas
Pandavas
and to ravish Draupadi. Bhima, who was gone hunting during the abduction, was deeply upset when he came to know of Jatasura's evil act on his return. A fierce encounter followed between the two gigantic warriors, where Bhima
Bhima
emerged victorious by decapitating Jatasura and crushing his body.[14][15] Cook at Virata's kingdom[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
as cook Vallabh

Along with his brothers, Bhima
Bhima
spent his last year of exile in the kingdom of Virata. He disguised himself as a cook named Vallabh (within themselves Pandavas
Pandavas
called him Jayanta).[16] Defeating Jimuta[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
kills Jimuta.

Once during a great festival, people from neighbouring countries had come to the kingdom of Virata. There was a wrestling bout where a wrestler from a different state, Jimuta proved to be invincible. Much to the delight of King Virata
Virata
and his subjects, Bhima
Bhima
challenged Jimuta and knocked him out in no time. This greatly enhanced the reputation of the Pandavas
Pandavas
in an unfamiliar territory.[17] Kichaka
Kichaka
Vadha[edit]

Death of Kichaka

Kichaka, the army commander of Virata, tried to sexually assault Draupadi, who was under the guise of a maid named Sairindhri. Draupadi reported this incident to Bhima. Bhima
Bhima
covered himself with silk robes. He slew him the moment he tried to touch him. Kickaka was crushed and slaughtered in to a meat ball by Bhima. Later Kichaka's allies plotted to murder Sairindri, but Bhima
Bhima
vanquished all of them. [18] Susarma's defeat[edit] The archenemy of Virata
Virata
was King Susharma of the Trigarta Kingdom, under the aegis of Duryodana, waged a battle against Virata
Virata
by stealing the cows in his kingdom. Bhima
Bhima
lead the other Pandavas
Pandavas
and Virata, and helped to rout the army of Susarma easily. Before he was about to strangle Susarma to death, Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
told him to spare him. By this time, the 13-year exile period was completed and the rivalry between the siblings was renewed. During the Kurukshetra War[edit]

Bhima
Bhima
fighting with Duryodhana

Before the battle had begun, Bhima
Bhima
suggested that Satyaki
Satyaki
would lead the Pandava
Pandava
forces, as their general, but Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
and Arjuna opted for Dhrishtadyumna. The flag of Bhima's chariot bore the image of a gigantic lion in silver with its eyes made of lapis lazuli and his chariot was yoked to horses as black as bears or black antelopes.[19][20] He wielded a celestial bow named Vayavya(which was broken by Karna
Karna
on 14th day of war) a massive conch named Paundra and a huge mace equivalent to a hundred thousand maces(destroyed by Karna on 16th day of war). Bhima
Bhima
distinguishes himself in battle several times throughout the war; some of Bhima's major engagements during the war include:

He slayed Kalinga King Srutyusha his son Sakradeva, two Kalinga warriors Satya, Satyadeva and Ekalavya's son Ketumat on 2nd day of the war. Bhima
Bhima
defeated Drona
Drona
on the 14th day of the war, smashing his two chariots and penetrating the Kaurava
Kaurava
formation in order to aid Arjuna in his quest to slay Jayadratha. Bhima
Bhima
defeated karna initially on the 14th day of war but was later defeated when his chariot and weapons were destroyed . Bhima
Bhima
defeated Alambusha on the 14th day. Bhima
Bhima
was the only warrior who refused to submit to the invincible Narayanastra weapon launched by Aswatthama on the 15th day.

Aswasthama shoot on Bhima
Bhima
from razmnama at V & A museum.

Bhima
Bhima
slew Bahlika, the King of the Bahlika kingdom on the night of fourteenth day.

He also killed 10 Kauravas, 5 of Shakuni's brothers and Durmasena, Dushasana's son as a revenge for Abhimanyu.

Bhima
Bhima
defeated and brutally killed Dussasana
Dussasana
on the 16th day. Bhima
Bhima
is generally credited with killing all sons of Dhritrashtra
Dhritrashtra
and Gandhari Bhima
Bhima
engaged with Duryodhana
Duryodhana
several times throughout the war and always managed to defeat him. On the last day of the war Bhima
Bhima
killed Duryodhana
Duryodhana
in a mace fight by striking his thighs.[21]

Later years and death[edit]

The blind Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
attacks the statue of Bhima

After the war, Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
was enraged by Bhima's slaying of all his sons. When the Pandavas
Pandavas
arrive at Hastinapur
Hastinapur
to claim the kingdom and pay their respects, Krishna, sensing his anger, placed an iron statue of Bhima
Bhima
in front of Dhritarashtra. When embracing Bhima, Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
crushed the statue into pieces, but later realised his folly and apologised to Bhima. Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
appointed Bhima
Bhima
as the commander of Hastinapur.[22] Upon the onset of the Kali yuga, Bhima
Bhima
and the other Pandavas
Pandavas
retired. Giving up all their belongings and ties, the Pandavas
Pandavas
made their final journey of pilgrimage to the Himalayas. On the journey, the group, one-by-one, begins to fall. When Bhima tires and falls down, he asks his elder brother why he, Bhima, is unable to complete the journey to heaven. Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
explains his brother's vice of gluttony. In some versions of the story, Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
points out Bhima's boastfulness, pride, and battle-lust as the reasons for his fall. Citations[edit]

^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ Kapoor, edited by Subodh (2002). The Indian encyclopaedia : biographical, historical, religious, administrative, ethnological, commercial and scientific (1st ed.). New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. p. 7535. ISBN 9788177552577. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Rao,, Shanta Rameshwar (1985). The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
(Illustrated). Orient Blackswan. pp. 25–26. ISBN 9788125022800.  ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. p. 93. ISBN 9780595401871.  ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. p. 103. ISBN 9780595401871.  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text". Archived from the original on 16 January 2010.  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ Gupta, Rashmi (2010). Tibetans in exile : struggle for human rights. New Delhi: Anamika Publishers & Distributors. p. 625. ISBN 9788179752487.  ^ Kapoor, edited by Subodh (2002). The Indian encyclopaedia : biographical, historical, religious, administrative, ethnological, commercial and scientific (1st ed.). New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. p. 4462. ISBN 9788177552577. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. p. 645. ISBN 9780595401871.  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text".  ^ Kapoor, edited by Subodh (2002). The Indian encyclopaedia : biographical, historical, religious, administrative, ethnological, commercial and scientific (1st ed.). New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. p. 4462. ISBN 9788177552713. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 9: Shalya
Shalya
Parva: Section 58". www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2018-01-16.  ^ " Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Text". 

v t e

Mahabharata

Books (parvas)

Adi Sabha Vana Virata Udyoga Bhishma Drona Karna Shalya Sauptika Stri Shanti Anushasana Ashvamedhika Ashramavasika Mausala Mahaprasthanika Svargarohana Harivamsa

Kuru Kingdom

Shantanu Ganga Bhishma Satyavati Chitrāngada Vichitravirya Ambika Ambalika Vidura Dhritarashtra Gandhari Pandu Kunti Madri Pandavas

Yudhisthira Bhima Arjuna Nakula Sahadeva

Draupadi Kauravas

Duryodhana Dushasana Vikarna Yuyutsu Dushala

Hidimbi Ghatotkacha Ahilawati Subhadra Uttarā Ulupi Chitrāngadā Abhimanyu Iravan Babruvahana Barbarika Upapandavas Parikshit Janamejaya

Other characters

Amba Ashwatthama Balarama Bhagadatta Brihannala Chekitana Chitrasena Dhrishtadyumna Drona Drupada Durvasa Ekalavya Hidimba Jarasandha Jayadratha Kali (demon) Karna Kichaka Kindama Kripa Krishna Kritavarma Mayasura Sanjaya Satyaki Shakuni Shalya Shikhandi Shishupala Bahlika Sudeshna Uttara Kumara Virata Vrishasena Vyasa

Related articles

Avatars Hastinapur Indraprastha Kingdoms Kurukshetra War Bhagavad Gita Vedic-Puranic chronol

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