Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Bhagadatta - King of Pragjyotisha


Bhagadatta was the King of Pragjyotisha. He was a renowned warrior, and was know as a great friend of Indra. When Arjuna embarked on a campaign of conquest to help his brother Yudhishtra perform the Rajasooya Yagna, Bhagadatta was one of the first Kings who was conquered by the Pandava warrior.

He was especially skilled in the use of elephants in war. Mounted on his elephant Supratika, he fought valiantly in the battle of Kurukshetra on the side of the Kauravas. At this time, he was very advanced in age. Indeed, he was so old, that he had tied his wrinkled eyelids with a silken handkerchief to keep them from covering his eyes in battle.

On the twelfth day of the war, he was particularly destructive, wrecking havoc on the Pandava army. He nearly crushed Bheema with his elephant, and Bheema was able to escape only by virtue of his superhuman strength. Finally, Arjuna engaged him in combat. Finding it hard to defeat the King of Pragjyotisha, Arjuna managed to break his armor after vicious fight. Angered, Bhagadatta then hurled an elephant goad, charged with the Vaishnava Mantra. It would have killed Arjuna, but Krishna intercepted it and turned it to a garland, accepting it as an offering to himself. It had returned to its owner (for Krishna is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu).

Arjuna fought with renewed energy and slew Supratika with a well aimed shaft. He then sent an arrow that cut the napkin that held the eyelids of the King in place. As a result, Bhagadatta was momentarily blinded. Seizing this opportunity, Arjuna slew him with a crescent-headed arrow, that pierced his chest.

Last Modified At: Sat Nov 27 23:07:51 2004