Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Jatasura - An Asura Killed by Bheema


When the Pandavas went into exile after Yudhishtra lost the game of dice for the second time, many Brahmanas accompanied them. An Asura named Jatasura, who coveted Draupadi, disguised himself as a Brahmana and remained concealed among the retinue of the Pandavas, biding his time.

As it chanced, one day, Bheema left for hunting, and Ghatotkacha and his followers, who normally would be staying behind to guard the settlement were also out on another errand. The Pandavas were not expecting an attack and were taken by surprise when Jatasura attacked them. Before they realized what was happening, he had succeeded in tying the arms of the four Pandavas and that of Draupadi.

However, Sahadeva was able to extract himself from the bonds and started calling out in a loud voice to summon Bheema. He then fell upon the Asura with his sword.

Using his illusory powers, the Rakshasa then fled away, carrying the three remaining Pandavas and Draupadi, and the weapons of the Pandavas. Yudhishtra upbraided the Asura for breaching the laws of hospitality, but Jatasura paid no heed to these admonitions.

Since the Pandavas were rather heavy, the Asura had not gone long before he was overtaken by Sahadeva. Before Sahadeva could give battle, Bheema appeared on the scene, in a foul mood, and armed with his trusty mace.

Seeing that escape was impossible, the Asura then tried to take Bheema by surprise and catch him in a wrestling hold. Bheema shook him off, and the battle was joined in earnest. They uprooted the nearby trees and struck each other mighty blows. When they ran out of trees, they struck each other fierce blows with their fists.

Bheema struck with all his might to the jaw of the Asura and caused him to faint. Before he could regain his consciousness, Bheema lifted him up and smashed him to the ground and killed him by dashing his head to pieces.

The Pandavas were grateful to Bheema for the rescue, and returned back to their abode with the weapons which the Rakshasa had tried to steal from them.

The slaying of Jatasura caused enmity between the Pandavas and the kinsmen of the Asura. The kinsmen, led by the son of Jatasura, fought for Duryodhana in the great battle at Kurukshetra. Jatasura's son was killed by Ghatotkacha on the twelfth day of the war.

Last Modified At: Sat Nov 26 21:42:22 2005