Arjun was the third of the five Pandavas. Born as a son to Pandu who was the king of Hastinapur and his wife Kunti. During that period of time, Kunti called upon Lord Indra (The Lord of the Devtas in the heaven) with the help of the mantras given to her by the Sage Durvasa. She was blessed with a boon that she could call for a Deva to father a child with that particular Deva. Through the communication between Indra and Kunti, Arjun was born to her and Pandu.
Arjun’s mother Kunti had an another name ‘Prutha’ and this is why Arjun is also called as ‘Parth’. Arjun was well-known for his strong archery skills, using each of his hands. That is the reason why he was called “Savyasachi”. Arjun took control of many provinces and kingdoms. He became wealthy and so was he came to be known as “Dhananjay”. In fact, Arjun was such a sharp archer, incomparable to any other man that he is often referred to as “Jishnu” – the unbeatable. Arjun is considered to be an avatar of Nara, the younger brother of Narayan.
Guru Dronacharya was his mentor, whose favorite student was Arjun himself. A well-known story about Arjun explains his powers of concentration. Guru Dronacharya once decided to examine his students’ archery skills. He placed a wooden bird suspended from a branch of a tree and then gathered his students. He asked the first one to aim for the bird’s eye but not to shoot yet. Then he asked the student to describe what he could see in his sight. The student replied that he could see the bird, trees, sky, garden, leaves, etc. Drona asked him to step aside and was not permitted to shoot. He repeated the same process with a few other pupil and received
He repeated the same process with a few other pupil and received an insincere reply. When it was Arjun’s turn, Arjun told his Guru that the only thing he could see was the bird’s eye. This response relieved his Guru and Arjun was allowed to shoot the bird. The lesson here is the capacity of focusing on a particular object. One day Arjun once noticed his brother, Bhima, who was a much inclined to feed himself, eating in the dark night with as much ease as if it was bright daylight. He thought that if he could practice archery in the darkness of the deep night he would be a master in this art.
Parshuram(The sixth avatar of Vishnu)
Arjun learned the science of arms from Parshuram(The sixth avatar of Vishnu). The time when the Pandavas’ were on an exile in the forest, Arjun left his brothers on the very palace and began his journey towards the Himalayas to peacefully meditate upon Lord Shiva. Shiva was won over with his passion and dedication so he gifted him with the Pashupati Astra, Agneya Astra, GandivDhanush and the AkshayaTunir (A quiver of arrows which never get empties). Along with all these, he has also gifted a huge carriage named Nandighosh by Lord Varun (The Lord of Waters). Arjun was a courageous warrior, a skillful archer and an expert at using arms. He was known as a righteous, justice- loving and a person full of ethics. Arjun practiced dance and music which he learned from Chitragupta.
Another tail of Arjun’s focusing power is when Drupad , The King of the Panchal region organized a Swayamvar (in which a princess chooses a husband for her in a public ceremony) for his beloved daughter Draupadi. For the selection a task was given to the aspirants in which a wooden fish was hung high above a glittering pool of oil which was reflective enough to cause illusion and create reflections of objects; furthermore, the fish rotated at a particular speed. Contestants had to hold a heavy bow and then hit the eye of the circulating fish with an arrow. but the condition was that they could only aim by looking at the fish’s mirror-image formed in the pool of oil.
Urvashi love towards Arjun
It was Arjun, the matchless archer, who alone was able to complete the mission. Shri Krishna’s sister Shubhdra was also the wife of Arjun and with this marriage his son, Abhimanyu was born. Later by marrying Chitraganda, who was the daughter of the King of Manipur, he was blessed with a son named Babhruvahan. While his visit to Indralok(Indrapuri), an apsra (a heavenly fairy) named Urvashi got attracted towards him. Urvashi explained the depth of her love to Arjun but he rejected her, and said as she belonged to Indra’s court she was like a motherly figure to him. At this, Urvashi got angry and cursed him to become an ineffectual man for the next twelve months.
The agents of Duryodhana were searching for the Pandavas everywhere as Duryodhana himself ordered to kill the five of them. During that one year period, the Pandavas spent their life in disguise at working as undercover servants at King Viraat’s house. In the King’s palace, Arjun taught music and dance to Viraat’s daughter Uttara in the disguise of Vrihannla(the ineffectual) as Urvashi’s spell was still upon him.
Arjun and Shri Krishna’s bond:
Arjun and Shri Krishna loved and cared for each other very much. It was due to this fondness Krishna became the one who drove the carriage of Arjun in the war of Mahabharata. At the starting of the war, he saw Bhishma pitamah, Guru Dronacharya, and his brothers Kauravas in front of him. Ready to fight to the death, he was surprised to see his beloved elders whom he valued the most in such a position. Arjun became shocked when he thought of what he was about to do the very moment. He immediately dropped his bow and arrows, thinking that he would not be able to continue with the war further.
Then, Krishna opened up his identity to him in a channel-of-communication which known as the Bhagavad-Gita. Therefore encouraged him to go on and fight the war without any uncertainty in his mind. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Shri Krishna regarded it Arjun’s duty to struggle to hold on what is right. And convinced to fight the war without thinking of his personal loss, result or reward; to uphold one’s moral duty. He said, replaces all other tasks in life, whether spiritual or related to worldly things.
Arjun and the war of Mahabharata:
Mahabharata considered Arjun as ‘fourth’ Krishna yet to reveal him this duty and educate him better Krishna himself clarified Arjun with the concept of Mahabharata and the ideas of the Bhagavad-Gita. He also explained Arjun a wider idea of dharma or universal harmony and his responsibility towards it. He began with the theory that, the soul present in a body is undying and endless. Any ‘death’ caused on the battlefield would only be the separation of the body from the soul. But the soul itself was permanent and evergreen which would never die.
Arjun’s worrying thoughts were produced due to a lack of correct understanding of the ‘characteristics of things that the Supreme has created,’ and this lack of knowledge leads to the advantage of the untrue over the true things. The horror he had and the silence that occurred in him to kill his relatives and teachers served as the major obstacle to the proper understanding and balancing of the universal dharmic order, which called for Arjun to fight the warfare and defeat Duryodhana.
Arjun wished to leave the battlefield
Definitely, Arjun wished to leave the battlefield, and stop himself from doing this action. Krishna warned him that without this step the universe would be ended. Falling out of order and truth would be blurred and hidden. The warriors in front of him were born with the luck to die at any point of time and in any case. Then why not die in a dharmic war, the announcement of which was made by God Himself? In order to clarify his statement, Krishna talked about the various Yoga methods about absorbing the real nature of this universe.
Krishna described the yogic practices of sacred rituals, deeds, meditation and wisdom. Primarily, the Bhagavad-Gita says about that true light of knowledge comes from developing beyond being recognized. Without the thought of self-importance and disbelieving the ‘Unreal-Self’ which is a mask that a person wears in this short-lived world. So that one accepts being of an ‘immortal’ self which is the Soul or Atman.
Lord Krishna explained Death
Through separation from self-valuation and materialism, the Yogi, or follower of a particular path of Yoga, is able to rise above his/her false death (Death of the body). And attachment to the material world and enter the Kingdom of the creator. Thus the “sin” of damaging a family or society which contains the whole of the human race is included in and achieved by, the ‘dharma’ of fighting an ‘honest war.
Arjun being a strong warrior played a key role in the victory of the Pandavas in the war of Mahabharata. When the battle came to an end, Arjun, along with his four brothers and his mother Kunti, decided a journey to the Himalayan range. And from there he left for his dwelling which was present in the heaven Kismat.