characters of Mahabharata

Abhimanyu (अभिमन्यु ) – son of Arjuna and Subhadra. His son was King Parikshit (परीक्षित)

Arjuna – son of Kunti and Pandu. Third of the Pandavas.

Ashvatthama (अश्वत्थामा )- Son of Drona (द्रोण) and Kripi (कृपी)

Balarama – Krishna’s elder brother. Son of Vasudeva and Renuka.

Barbarika (बर्बरीक) – Ghatotkacha (घटोत्कच) son.

Bhima – Son of Kunti and Pandu. Second of the Pandavas.

Bhishma – Son of King Shantanu (शान्तनु)  and river Ganga. Also known as Devavrata (देवव्रत), by taking his great vow of not of celibacy as is popularly believed, but of not having children in order to facilitate the marriage of Satyavati(सत्यवती) to his father, became Bhishma.

Brihannala (बृहन्नला) – name assumed by Arjuna in Virat’s court during their year-long Agyatvas after spending 12 years in the forest.

Chitrangada – first son and heir of King Shantanu and Satyavati.

Dhrishtadyumna (धृष्टद्युम्न)- Drupada’s son who was born out of the fire. Becomes the cause of Drona’s death in Mahabharata War.

Dhritarashtra (धृतराष्ट्र)- first blind son of Vichitravirya (विचित्रवीर्य) and Ambika (with Vyasa). Pandu’s older brother.

Draupadi – King Drupada’s fire-born daughter. Wife of the five Pandavas.

Dronacharya (द्रोणाचार्य) – Son of Rishi Bharadwaj (भारद्वाज) and an Apsara named Ghritachi (घृतार्ची). Teacher of the Kauravas and Pandavas

Drupada (द्रुपद) – King of Panchala and father of Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna.

Duhsala (दुःशला) – Dhritarashtra’s only daughter and the last child. Wife of Jayadratha (जयद्रथ)

Dushasana (दुःशासन) – Younger brother of Duryodhana. He is the one who dragged Draupadi into the Kaurava court by grabbing her hair.

Duryodhana (दुर्योधन) – Dhritarashtra’s eldest son. Died at the hands of Bhima in the Mahabharata.

Gandhari (गांधारी )- Queen of Dhritarashtra and sister of Sakuni. She voluntarily covered her eyes as a gesture to her husband’s blindness.

Janamejaya (जनमेजय) – Son of King Parikshita, who conducted Sarpa Yaga, the Snake Sacrifice to avenge the death of his father by Takshaka (तक्षक). The story of Mahabharata was first narrated during this Yaga.

Jayadratha (जयद्रथ) – King of Sindh and husband of Duhsala.

Karna – Eldest son of Kunti. Radha, wife of charioteer Adirahta, raised him.

Kichaka (कीचक) – Commander-in-chief of the King Virat army. Sudeshna’s brother; Invited the wrath of Bhima by his advances toward Draupadi during Pandava’s year of Agyatvas in the forest.

Kripacharya – Preceptor to the Kauravas and Pandavas before Drona’s arrival.

Krishna – Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, one of the Gods of Hindu trinity. Charioteer to Arjuna during the war.

Kunti – Mother of Karna as well as the three elder Pandavas (Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna). Adopted daughter of King Kuntibhoja.

Nakula – Son of Madri (with the Ashwini Kumar) and King Pandu.

Pandu – Second son of Vichitravirya and Ambalika (with Vyasa). Younger brother of Dhritarashtra.

Rishi Parasara (पराशर) – father of Veda Vyasa, who was attracted towards Satyavati.

Parikshita – son of Abhimanyu and Uttara. Kali Yuga started in the year of his accession to throne.

Pratipa (प्रतीप) – Bhishma’s grandfather. Santanu’s father.

Sahadeva – the youngest Pandava and brother of Nakula.

Sairandhri (सैरंध्री) – name assumed by Draupadi, in King Virat’s court.

Shakuni (शकुनि)- Gandhari’s brother. Master at the game of dice. He cheated Yudhishthira at the game.

Sanjaya – Dhritarashtra’s charioteer and aide. He narrated the events of the war in real-time as the war progressed.

Satyavati – mother of Veda Vyasa. King Shantanu second wife. Satyavati was found in a fish belly, was fathered by the King Uparichara of Chedi.

Rishi Shringi – The boy who cursed Parikshita to die of a snake bite.

Subhadra – Krishna’s sister. Arjuna’s second wife and the mother of Abhimanyu.

Sudeshna – Wife of King Virat and sister of Kichaka.

Suka – Son of Veda Vyasa. He retold the story to the Gandharvas, the Rakshasas and the Yakshas.

Takshaka – the serpent king who killed Parikshita.

Uttaraa – King Virat’s daughter. Abhimanyu’s wife and mother of Parikshita.

Vichitravirya, Second son of King Santanu and fisher-girl Satyavathi; Legal father of Dhritarashtra and Pandu.

Vidura, Son of a palace girl (in the palace of Satyavathi) with Vyasa. Pandu’s younger brother. One of the few who did not participate in the Great War.

Vikarna, Son of Dhritarashtra; the only Kaurava who objected to the disrobing of Draupadi in the Kaurava court.

Virat – King of Matsya, and father of Uttara. provided shelter to the Pandavas during their Agyatvas.

Veda Vyasa – son of the sage Parasara and Satyavati. He composed Mahabharata and Puranas.

Yudhishthira – Son of Kunti and Pandu. Eldest of the Pandavas.

Yuyutsu – Dhritarashtra’s son by a palace girl. Born on the same day but only minutes after Duryodhana.


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