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In the epic Mahabharata, King Shalya
Shalya
(Sanskrit: शल्य, lit. pointed weapon) was the brother of Madri
Madri
(mother of Nakula
Nakula
and Sahadeva), as well as the ruler of the Madra kingdom. Shalya, a powerful mace fighter and a formidable charioteer, was tricked by Duryodhana
Duryodhana
to fight the war on the side of the Kauravas. Shalya
Shalya
was an incredibly calm and deliberate fighter, which is why he made a good charioteer and why he could excel at mace-fighting despite his slight build.[1]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Becoming Pandu's brother-in-law 3 Falling prey to Duryodhana's trick 4 Kurukshetra War

4.1 War with Uttar Kumara 4.2 Fourteenth day of battle 4.3 Karna's charioteer

5 The eighteenth day 6 References

Etymology[edit] Shalya
Shalya
means 'a pointed weapon'. His other names are Madraraj which means the King of Madra Becoming Pandu's brother-in-law[edit] On his way to Hastinapur, King Pandu
Pandu
encountered Shalya's army. At parlay, Shalya
Shalya
and his general met with Pandu; Pandu
Pandu
was very impressed by Shalya's slight general. Shalya
Shalya
proposed that they could either decide the victor by war, or, by marriage. He then revealed that his general was none other than his sister Madri. Looking at her beauty, Pandu
Pandu
accepted the lady willingly and took her to Hastinapur, and Shalya
Shalya
bent the knee to Hastinapur.[1] Falling prey to Duryodhana's trick[edit]

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Duryodhana
Duryodhana
and Salya

When Shalya
Shalya
heard of the impending Kurukshetra War, he marched forth with his army to join his nephews. On the way, Shalya
Shalya
was tricked by Duryodhana, who arranged a huge feast for Shalya
Shalya
and his men, entertaining him for hours. Impressed, Shalya
Shalya
is generous with his praise and asks to see Yudhishthira, who Shalya
Shalya
thought was his host. When Duryodhana
Duryodhana
reveals the treachery, Shalya
Shalya
is astounded but is compelled to grant a boon due to the hospitality. Unable to turn down Duryodhana's request to join the Kauravas, Shalya
Shalya
met the Pandavas
Pandavas
and apologized for his mistake. Nakula
Nakula
and Sahadeva
Sahadeva
became enraged, saying that Shalya
Shalya
had truly proven that Nakula
Nakula
and Sahadeva
Sahadeva
weren't real brothers to the Pandavas, but only step-brothers. Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
quickly stepped in and reprimanded the twins, commanding that they were never to again cheapen their relationship by saying they were "step" brothers. At this point, Shalya
Shalya
realised he had underestimated their brotherly bond. Kurukshetra War[edit] Prior to the start of the war, Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
met with his elders on the Kaurava
Kaurava
side, asking for their blessings. Shalya
Shalya
readily gave his blessings to Yudhishthira, blessing him with victory. He requested Yudhisthira
Yudhisthira
to ask for a boon. Deducing why Duryodhana
Duryodhana
had desired Shalya
Shalya
in the first place, Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
demanded from Shalya
Shalya
that he would demoralize Karna
Karna
and dampen his spirits when he eventually became Karna's charioteer. Shalya
Shalya
promised to do so.[2][3] War with Uttar Kumara[edit] Though not spirited in his fight, Shalya
Shalya
confronted many great warriors during the war. Shalya
Shalya
killed Uttar Kumara on the first day of the war. Shalya
Shalya
killed the boy with his spear after a fantastic duel; Shalya
Shalya
saluted Uttar's brave death.[4] Fourteenth day of battle[edit] On the fourteenth day of battle, Shalya
Shalya
was charged with keeping Jayadratha
Jayadratha
away from Arjuna. Shalya
Shalya
attempted to check Arjuna's advance. Arjuna
Arjuna
responded by tying Shalya's to his chariot using his arrows, much in the same way Abhimanyu
Abhimanyu
had done the day before.[citation needed] Karna's charioteer[edit]

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Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
kills Shalya
Shalya
with Shakti
Shakti
of Shiva

Karna
Karna
and Shalya
Shalya
relations were not good. Karna
Karna
insulted him for allowing change of caste in his kingdom and not following strict caste system while Shalya
Shalya
insulted him for selling of woman in his kingdom. But somehow Duryodhana
Duryodhana
persuades him and he agrees. On the 16th and 17th days of the war, Shalya
Shalya
served as Karna's charioteer, while continuously praising the Pandava
Pandava
prince and citing Karna's shortcomings. On the 16th day, Karna
Karna
is fighting Arjuna
Arjuna
and has the upper hand. He aims the Nagastra at Arjuna. Shalya
Shalya
interrupts, telling Karna
Karna
to aim at Arjuna's chest. Disgusted at Shalya's constant praise of Arjuna, Karna
Karna
thinks that that advice must be inaccurate, and aims at Arjuna's head. Krishna
Krishna
pushes Arjuna's chariot into the ground; the astra only takes off Arjuna's crown instead of his head and hence he was saved. During the next day's battle, Karna
Karna
defeats but spares Nakula
Nakula
and Sahadeva, saying that they are younger and not his equals, therefore not deserving of death by his hands. Against his will, Shalya
Shalya
finds his respect for Karna
Karna
growing. Still desiring Arjuna's victory, he continues to deride Karna, and doesn't come to Karna's aid when, during the epic fight with Arjuna, Karna's chariot-wheel gets stuck in the mud. Karna
Karna
jumps to move the wheel instead of taking other chariot. As Karna
Karna
was not interested in taking Shalya's advice he couldn't help him much. Karna
Karna
dies at hands of Arjuna
Arjuna
as the latter attacked Karna when he was lifting the chariot wheel by Anjalika astra. The eighteenth day[edit]

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Being highly impressed by Karna, Shalya, now impassioned to fight for the Kaurava
Kaurava
cause, takes over as the commander of the Kaurava
Kaurava
forces, rallying them from retreat. Krishna
Krishna
suggested that Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
should not show mercy on Shalya
Shalya
taking him to be his uncle. Yudhisthira
Yudhisthira
had already chosen Shalya
Shalya
as his rival and Krishna
Krishna
wanted him to not take him lightly. Shalya
Shalya
used his intelligence and countered Pandavas bravely. Arjuna
Arjuna
was busy fighting Ashwathama while Nakula
Nakula
was fighting three sons of Karna. Shalya
Shalya
was protected by Ashwatthama, Kripa, Kritvarma and their armies on the day. Group attack started from both sides and shalya was targeted fiercely. Shalya
Shalya
wisely used his protection and kept fighting. However, once he got injured and fell down from chariot but returned on other chariot. Yudhisthir then declared that only he will kill Shalya. So other warriors attacked shalya only to break the protection and allowing yudhisthir to slay him. Yudthishtir them became angry and started fighting with full force Bhima
Bhima
then faced Duryodhana
Duryodhana
and by his arrows Duryodhana fainted. Bhima
Bhima
also broke chariot of Kritverma and he ran away. on seeing this Ashwatthama, Kripa
Kripa
and Kritavarma
Kritavarma
left to help Duryodhana leaving Shalya
Shalya
with his army and younger brother. Then Yudhishthira rushed towards Shalya
Shalya
and started clearing his army, on this Shalya attacked him. Shalya
Shalya
in an arrow play broke Yudhishthira's chariot. Shalya
Shalya
even slayed his charioteer and steeds. Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
invoked his Kala Ratri Astra and launched it on Shalya, killing him. Shalya's younger brother was also killed by Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira
on the same day. References[edit]

^ a b Ganguly, Kisari. "The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa".  ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. ISBN 9780595401888.  ^ Shalya
Shalya
giving boon to Yudhisthira http://sacred-texts.com/hin/m06/m06043.htm ^ Menon, [translated by] Ramesh (2006). The Mahabharata : a modern rendering. New York: iUniverse, Inc. p. 151. ISBN 9780595401888. 

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
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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