Have you heard the tale of Mahabharata? Did you know that there was one single man, a Pandava who defeated all the 100 Kauravas in the Kurukshetra War?
Well, this man was none other than Bhima. He was considered to be the strongest of all the Pandavas. Apart from being the most powerful, he was known to be the most violent among all the five brothers.
If you remember according to the Hindu text, Bhima possessed the strength of ten thousand elephants. He defeated Bahasur, Keechak, Jarasandh and many asuras. But have you ever wondered from where did he get such immense power?
That is what I am here for. But before jumping to the conclusion, let's start from the beginning, about how his parents realized that he was very strong, and how his strength multiplied when he got the power of 10,000 elephants.
According to the Wikipedia sources, Yudhishthira was the son of Kunti and Dharma. Bhima was the son of Kunti and Vayu. Arjuna, the third Pandava brother was the son of Kunti and Indra. Nakula, the fourth Pandava brother was the son of Madri and the Ashwin twin Nasatya and Sahadeva's parents were Madri and the Ashwin twin Dasra.
The strength Bhima possessed was first seen when he was just 2-3 months old.
It is said that soon after Bhima was born Kunti, his mother had dropped him by mistake. She watched in horror as the baby fell on a big rock. She was in for a greater shock when the stone smashed and the infant was lying on the stone as though nothing had happened.
Once while Pandu was on hunting, he killed Rishi Kindama and his wife when they were having intercourse in form of deer. At his death, Rishi Kindama cursed Pandu that he would surely die if he attempted to have sexual relationships with his wives. According to the sources, because of this curse, Kunti had to use her boon to get sons. She also shared this boon with Madri to get her sons, the twins Nakula and Sahadeva.
Do you know how and why Pandu died?
Pandu renounced his kingdom and gave it all to his blind brother Dhritarashtra and started living as an ascetic with his wives.
But one day, even after Madri's several warning, Pandu decided to get intimate with her. This led to his death as cursed by sage Kindama.
As children, the Pandavas and Kauravas often played together. However, Bhima was always at edges with the Kauravas, particularly with Duryodhana, who refused to accept the Pandavas as his family.
Fed by Bhima's acts every day, one day Duryodhana decided to kill Bhima.
According to Wikipedia, he once poisoned Bhima's food while everyone was playing near the Ganga river. And as Bhima started getting affected by the poison, Duryodhana bound Bhima in ropes and drowned him in River Ganga.
According to the sources, Bhima sank to the bottom of the river, reaching the kingdom of snakes. Poisonous snakes living there bit him all over his body, except his chest, which was too hard to be penetrated. The venom of the snakes acted as an antidote to the poison that Bhima had consumed. He regained his consciousness and broke the ropes binding him. The strong Bhima then pushed the snakes down. Soon the oppressed snakes took him to Vasuki, king of the Naga world.
At the Naga court, the naga turned out to be Bhima's mother's ancestor....
At the Naga court, Bhima met a snake, Aryaka, who turned out to be the great-grandfather of Kunti. Humans with asuras, nagas and apsaras mixed together were not uncommon in the epic. The aged old snake was happy to recognize Kunti's son.
He admired the boy's strength and suggested to Vasuki that Bhima should be given Rasakunda (vessels with nectar) that would restore him from his distress. According to the sources, it is also Vasuki who presented him the immense strength of ten thousand elephants.
And this is how Bhima got the strength of 10,000 elephants.
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