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Barbareek: The Great Son of Pandava, Bhima and Ahilawati

Barbareek: The Great Son of Pandava, Bhima and Ahilawati

Sarthak Mittal

We all have heard the name of Lord Khatu Shyam and most of us worship him as the form of Lord Krishna. But what’s the story behind Lord Khatu Shyam? Only very few people know the story behind who was Lord Khatushyam and why he is worshipped in the form of Krishna?

1. We all know the 5 Pandavas of Mahabharata. The 2nd Pandava amongst the five was Bhima. The son of Bhima was Ghatotkach, and he was married to Ahilawati, daughter of Bashak Snake; a snake which stays around Lord Shiva’s neck.

2. Ghatotkach and Ahilawati gave birth to their son, Barbareek. During the time of Mahabharat war, when Ahilawati asked Barbreek, which side would he support. The son promised that he would be on the side of those who would be losing, and he would be honest by being on the weaker side.

3. By promising so, Barbareek didn’t realize that he would swing between both sides as his powers would make the weaker side more powerful.

4. This meant Barbreek alone would survive the war. Krishna knew about this. So, He went to him with a very sensible solution to this problem. He convinced him to not participate in the war.

5. He went to Barbreek in the form of Brahman. After some conversation, Krishna asked him how he was prepared to participate in the war? Here, Barbreek opened the mystery of his power in front of Krishna.

6. Barbreek had 3 arrows which were very powerful and that he had received after penance. Krishna, to test his power, laughed at him. Krishna asked Barbreek that there’ll be so many other warriors who will carry several Divyastras (powerful weapons given by Gods). How will he be able to confront them with only 3 arrows?”

7. Barbreek tells Krishna the power of the 3 arrows. The first arrow aims to destroy as many as he wants. The second arrow targets the people/object that is to be saved. The third arrow totally destroys, killing the aim that is marked by the first arrow. After completing the task, all the 3 arrows move back to Barbreek.

8. Krishna asked Barbareek to show his powers to Him. He asked Barbareek to penetrate the leaves of the nearby peepal tree. Barbreek agreed on this and meditated before launching the first arrow. At the same time, Krishna plucked out one leaf from the tree and put it under his foot. Barbreek opened his eyes and launched the first arrow. After making a hole in all leaves of a tree arrow reached Krishna’s Foot and began revolving his feet.

9. Lord Krishna thus removed his foot from the leaf and said that he was impressed to know the power of his arrows. Now the real reason behind the guise of a Brahman appears. Barbareek asks him what he wished for. Krishna replies that he wants his head in charity, which stuns Barbareek.

10. Barbareek realized that Brahman is not an ordinary being. He comes to this conclusion as firstly, his arrow could not penetrate Brahman’s foot. Secondly, He asked in charity Barbareek’s head. Barbareek requests the Brahman to reveal his real identity and the reason behind His disguise.

11. Krishna gave him the divine vision and revealed himself. Barbareek was overwhelmed. Then, Krishna explains the reason behind his disguised identity. Krishna tells him the repercussions of his promise.

12. Barbareek agreed to give his head to Krishna, extremely happy and blessed by Krishna’s divine form.

13. Before cutting off his head, Barbareek expressed to Lord his great desire to view the forthcoming battle, requesting him to facilitate the same. Krishna agreed to this and placed the head of Barbareek on top of a hill overlooking the battlefield. From that hill, the head of Barbareek watched the entire battle.

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14. At the end of the battle, the victorious Pandavas debated around who was responsible for the victory. When they asked Krishna about the same, he told them the story of Barbareek, suggesting that Barbareek’s head, which had watched the whole battle, should be allowed to judge.

15. When they climbed the hilltop and asked Barbreek’s head about it, he replied that Krishna is the only one who was responsible for the victory. He further says that, throughout the battle, everywhere, instead of warriors, he was only able to see Krishna. He saw Krishna in his warrior form, killing the evil enemies with his Sudarshan Chakra, and Maa Kaali drinking the blood of all enemies.

16. Krishna, extremely happy with the devotion and the great sacrifice of Barbareek, granted him a blessing that he would be known by Krishna’s own name (Shyam) in the Kali Yuga (present era) and would be worshipped in his form only.

Krishna declared that Barbareek’s devotees would be blessed just by pronouncing his by heart. If they worshipped Shyamji (Barbareek) with true piety, their wishes would be granted and troubles removed. 

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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