The Amazing Story of Vikarna, The Only Kaurava Who Stood For Draupadi Alone

The Amazing Story of Vikarna, The Only Kaurava Who Stood For Draupadi Insult
The Amazing Story of Vikarna, The Only Kaurava Who Stood For Draupadi Insult
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Mahabharata is counted among one of the greatest epics ever written. The fight between right and wrong and the victory of good over evil have many lessons to be learned and characters that we can relate with. 

One fascinating character and his equally amazing story in Mahabharata is very important but is often ignored and somewhat remains partially unknown. This is the story of Vikarana the son of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, who chose to oppose what he considered was evil, yet fought alongside it. 

He is often compared with Kumbhakarana in the epic Ramayana, who even after knowing that his brother Ravana was wrong and is ultimately going to lose the war chose to be on his side. 

Because for both of them the duty to protect the brother was above all. Even if they had to fight the divine powers like Lord Rama and Arjuna who had Lord Krishna by his side.

Vikarna is a perfect example that morality is not absolute and there can be two opposing sides like in the case of his other half Kaurava brother Yuyutsu, yet both can be right and in their own amazing way.

1. The only person in King Dhritrashtra court who was firmly against the game of dice

The only person in King Dhritrashtra court who was firmly against the game of dice
The only person in King Dhritrashtra court who was firmly against the game of dice

When the great King Yudhishtir, who was considered a person of great ideals in Mahabharata, fell into the trap of greed to win the game of dice (Chaupard) to the extent that he even pawned his own wife when he had nothing else left to bet on.

His wife Draupadi was dragged forcefully to the royal court of Hastinapur which was marked by the presence of some of the greatest warriors and righteous men like Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, and Kripacharya.

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These warriors, possessing impeccable strength to bring the unfortunate scene of Vastraharan (disrobing of Draupadi) to an end, preferred being mute spectators when the drunk-with-power Duryodhana ordered the commencement of the shameful act.

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2. Only one man took the stand, he was non-other than Vikarna

Game of dice
Game of dice

Among all the great warriors who by the virtue of their loyalty to the crown of Hastinapur chose to remain silent (mostly), there was only one man, and ironically from the Karurava side that took a firm stand.

Vikarna raised his voice against the game as a whole, and specifically, at the mistreatment of Draupadi, his sister-in-law.

Vikarna echoed the questions Draupadi had already asked the Kuru elders, demanding that her questions be answered. His protests were met with silence, even from wise elders like Bhishma and Dronacharya.

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At this, Karna was enraged and he taunted Vikarna for his outburst, to which Vikarna replied,

“Sister-in-law’s insult is an affront to the entire Kuru clan. If her questions are not answered, our line is doomed.”

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3. Duryodhana was angry after hearing his firm reply and asked Vikarna to quit asserting his opinions

The whole court remained silent to the arrogance of Duryodhan but Vikarna kept his stand despite the presence of some of the greatest warriors in Mahabharata on Duryodhana’s side. Nothing helped.

This event is often related to the incidents in modern India where the person who opposes atrocities against a woman is also harassed.

“Vikarna, one of the 100 Kaurava brothers in the epic Mahabharatam, is the right role model for youth. He is worthy of emulation in the present context of rising atrocities against women”.

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4. Vikarna was a powerful warrior too — He faced the greatest warrior of the time Bhima with pride and honor

Mahabharata is full of complex narrative about right and wrong, and in the same context Vikarna — after all this — chose to fight alongside his brother Duryodhana.

While some of us may say that it was wrong to fight for evil, he fought for a reason that also has a sound argument and logic behind it, even when considered with the context of righteousness and morality.

When on the fourteenth day of the war, Arjuna was focused on his vow of killing Jayadratha before sunset and was navigating the Chakravyuh of Drona, Kauravas had formed a powerful defense to keep Jayadratha safe from the upcoming danger. Bhima, to assist Arjuna, broke through the defenses.

it was then, Duryodhana gave Vikarna the responsibility to check on Bhima.

Bhima, who had previously vowed to kill all the 100 Kauravas, didn’t want to fight Vikarna and expressed his desire before him. Bhima knew Vikarna as the man of dharma, and hence this gesture.

To this, Vikarna replied to Bhima that despite knowing that Kauravas fate has defeat written over it since Lord Krishna was on the Pandavas side, he couldn’t defy the orders of his brother.

The most powerful statement from Vikarna came when Bhima reminded him of the dice game where he stood a hero alone, to which Vikarna replied:

“That was my duty then, and this is my duty now. Fight me, o son of Vayu!”

Vikarna

Following the dialogue, Bhima fought and killed Vikarna in a mace fight, and later lamented,

“Alas, O Vikarna, you were just and knew what was dharma! You fought in loyal obedience to the call of duty. Indeed this battle is a curse upon us wherein men like you…have had to be slaughtered.”

Bhima

He was also a great archer and among the most skilled Kaurava

Bhishma names him as one of the great warriors on the Kaurava side. Vikarna was considered only third, in his skills of archery to that of Duryodhana and Arjuna and was no ordinary warrior. He was one of the best warriors Kauravas had. In fact, it is believed he was the only thoroughly skilled and trained one among his brother.

His skill, however, went unnoticed because of the other infamous personalities from the Kaurava clan. His attribute of a great warrior is mentioned in the Bhagwad Gita’s eighth sloka.

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