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Kaurava
Kaurava
(Sanskrit: कौरव) is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term, that refers to the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata. The well-known Kauravas are Duryodhana, Dushasana, Vikarna, Yuyutsu and Dussala.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Birth of Kauravas 3 Children of Dhritarashtra 4 List of Dhritarashtra's children 5 In literature 6 See also 7 Notes 8 Sources 9 External links

Etymology[edit] The term 'Kaurava' is used in the Mahābhārata
Mahābhārata
with two meanings:

The wider meaning, is used to represent all the descendants of Kuru. This meaning, which includes the Pandava
Pandava
brothers, is often used in the earlier parts of popular renditions of the Mahābhārata. The narrower but more common meaning, is used to represent the elder line of the descendants of King Kuru. This restricts it to the children of King Dhritarashtra, as his line is the older line of descent from Kuru. It excludes the children of the younger brother Pandu, who founds his own line, the Pandava.

The rest of this article deals with the Kaurava
Kaurava
in the narrower sense, that is, the children of Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
by Gandhari. When referring to these children, a more specific term is also used – Dhārtarāṣṭra (Sanskrit: धार्तराष्ट्र), a derivative of Dhritarashtra. Birth of Kauravas[edit] After Gandhari was married to Dhritarashtra, she wrapped a bandage over her eyes and vowed to share the darkness that her husband lived in. Gandhari's brother Shakuni
Shakuni
came to live with them to look after the interests of Gandhari. Once Sage Vyasa
Vyasa
came to visit Gandhari in Hastinapur. She took great care of the comforts of the great saint and saw that he had a pleasant stay in Hastinapur. The saint was pleased with Gandhari and granted her a boon. Gandhari wished for one hundred sons who would be as powerful as her husband. Vyasa
Vyasa
granted her the boon and in due course of time Gandhari found herself to be pregnant. But two years passed and still the baby was not born. Meanwhile, Kunti received a son from god Yama whom she called Yudhishthira. After two years of pregnancy, Gandhari gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh that was not a baby at all. Gandhari was devastated as she had expected a hundred sons according to the blessing of Rishi Vyas. She was about to throw away the piece of flesh when Rishi Vyas appeared and told her that his blessings could not have been in vain and asked Gandhari to arrange for one hundred jars to be filled with Ghee(oil). He told Gandhari that he would cut the piece of flesh into hundred pieces and place them in the jars, which would then develop into the one hundred sons that she so desired. Gandhari told Vyas then that she also wanted to have a daughter. Vyas agreed and cut the piece of flesh into one hundred and one pieces and placed them each in the jars. After two more years of patient waiting the jars were ready to be opened.[1] When the first jar was opened the first baby was born and was named Suyodhana who was later called Duryodhana
Duryodhana
(for his bad deeds)which means the unconquerable one or difficult to fight with. As soon as the baby started crying all the beasts of the jungle started howling and many signs of ill omen were seen. Vidura
Vidura
spoke then saying that the child would have to be abandoned as the omens at his birth spelt doom for the Kuru clan. He said, "The scriptures clearly state that for the good of the clan an individual can be sacrificed, for the good of the village a clan can be sacrificed, for the good of the country a village can be sacrificed and for the development of the soul, even the earth can be sacrificed." So for the good of the clan and of the country and of humanity, please sacrifice this son of yours. But both Gandhari and Dhritrashtra were adamant that a baby could not cause any harm and much against Vidura's wishes kept the baby. At the same time Bhima
Bhima
was born to Kunti
Kunti
in the forest. Another son of Dhritarashtra was from a Vaishya servant Sukhada named Yuyutsu was born on the same day as Bhima
Bhima
and Duryodhana.The other children of Gandhari were taken out of the jars and now Gandhari had one hundred sons and a daughter called Duhsala. All the children grew up to be strong and powerful.[citation needed] This story should be read in view of the dispute over the succession to the throne of the kingdom. It attributes a late birth to Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage. This legitimises the Yudhishthira's claim to the throne, since he was the eldest of his generation.[citation needed] Children of Dhritarashtra[edit] The children of Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
by Gandhari are also referred by a more specific and frequently encountered term - Dhārtarāṣṭra, a derivative of Dhṛtarāṣṭra(Dhritarashtra). According to the epic, Gandhari wanted a hundred sons and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. Another version says that she was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa
Vyasa
cut this lump into a hundred and one pieces and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl.[2] The birth of these children is relevant to the dispute over succession of the kingdom's throne. It attributes the late birth of Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, despite his father's early marriage and legitimizes the case for his cousin Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
to claim the throne, since he could claim to be the eldest of his generation. All the sons of Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
excluding Yuyutsu(born of Dhritarashtra's marriage with a Vaysya woman, thus a half-brother of Duryodhana) were killed in the great battle at Kurukshetra. Quote from Mahabharata, Sambava jayesh, Section CXV:[3] "And during the time when Gandhari was in a state of advanced pregnancy, there was a maid servant of the Vaisy class who used to attend on Dhritarashtra. During that year, O king, was begotten upon her by the illustrious Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
a son endued with great intelligence who was afterwards named Yuyutsu. And because he was begotten by a Kshatriya upon a Vaisy woman, he was subject to the constant taunts of the Kaurava. Thus were born unto the wise Dhritarashtra, a hundred sons who were all heroes and mighty chariot-fighters, and a daughter over and above the hundred and another son Yuyutsu of great energy and prowess begotten upon a Vaishya woman." List of Dhritarashtra's children[edit]

Duryodhana Dushasana Gaurav Jalsandha Sam Sudushil Bheembal Subahu Sahishnu Yekkundi Durdhar Durmukh Bindoo Krup Chitra Durmad Dushchar Sattva Chitraksha Urnanabhi Chitrabahoo Sulochan Sushabh Chitravarma Asasen Mahabahu Samdukkha Mochan Sumami Vibasu Vikar Chitrasharasan Pramah Somvar Man Satyasandh Vivas Vikarna Upchitra Chitrakuntal Bheembahu Sund Valaki Upyoddha Balavardha Durvighna Bheemkarmi Upanand Anasindhu Somkirti Kudpad Ashtabahu Ghor Roudrakarma Veerbahoo Kananaa Kudasi Deerghbahu Adityaketoo Pratham Prayaami Veeryanad Deerghtaal Vikatbahoo Drudhrath Durmashan Ugrashrava Ugra Amay Kudbheree Bheemrathee Avataap Nandak Upanandak Chalsandhi Broohak Suvaat Nagdit Vind Anuvind Arajeev Budhkshetra Droodhhasta Ugraheet Kavachee Kathkoond Aniket Kundi Durodhar Shathasta Shubhkarma Saprapta Dupranit Bahudhami Yuyutsoo Dhanurdhar Senanee Veer Pramathee Droodhsandhee Daughter-Dushla

In literature[edit] Harivamsa Purana
Harivamsa Purana
(8th century CE) narrates the Jain version of their story.[4] See also[edit]

Kuru Kingdom

Notes[edit]

^ Mahabharat Chapter 6 - Birth of Pandavas and Kauravas ^ The Birth of the Pandavas and Kauravas ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01116.htm> ^ Upinder Singh
Upinder Singh
2016, p. 26.

Sources[edit]

Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6 

External links[edit]

Persons and Stories from Mahabharata

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

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