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The Slaying of Sisupala: Mahabharat Katha

The slay­ing of Sisu­pala hap­pens in the Sab­ha Par­va of the Mab­haratha. Sisu­pala was the son of Dam­agosha, a che­di king. He was part of the mas­sive and grand Raja­suya Yagna that Yud­ishthi­ra was orga­niz­ing. To start the yagna, Arghya (sacred water to be offered to peo­ple of high-esteem to wash their hands and feet) was to be offered to impor­tant peo­ple at the Yagna. Bhish­ma sug­gest­ed that the Arghya should be offered first to the fore­most per­son present there in the sab­ha. He com­pared Shri Krish­na’s pres­ence to the sun which is the fore­most of the lumi­nous bod­ies and empha­sised that he alone deserved the first arghya. Yud­hishthi­ra cheer­ful­ly agreed and Sahade­va offered the first arghya to Shri Krish­na. Sisu­pala could not bear this and he vehe­ment­ly opposed Yud­histhi­ra, Bhi­ma and Krish­na. His words became harsh­er and harsh­er. He point­ed to the virtues of oth­er kings present there and asked why they were not offered the first arghya though they were much accomplished(according to him) than Shri Krish­na . Yud­hishthi­ra tried his best to con­vince Sisu­pala through his sweet words and then Bhi­ma tried in vain. Sahade­va cried out in rage and asked if there was any­one else who sup­port­ed Sisu­pala. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there was no one. Sisu­pala nar­rat­ed the inci­dents of sev­er­al beings killed by Krish­na and ques­tioned his supe­ri­or­i­ty. His insult­ing remarks towards Bhish­ma and Krish­na were so ter­ri­ble that the whole sab­ha was shak­ing with ter­ror. When it became bear­able no more, Shri Krish­na thought of the Sudar­shana Chakra. As soon as the disc appeared in his hand, he swirled it at Sisu­pala, sev­er­ing his head from the body. A mighty ener­gy entered Shri Krish­na’s body as soon as Sisu­pala was killed. Some kings applaud­ed, some secret­ly admired and some jumped with joy. Who was Sisu­pala?

Sisu­pala was born in the line of the king of Che­di with three eyes and four hands. As soon as he was born, he screamed and brayed like an ass. Scared of this, his par­ents thought of killing him. A divine voice told them that the child was des­tined to become a pow­er­ful king and added that the per­son on who’s lap the extra limbs of Sisu­pala would dis­ap­pear will be his slay­er. Shri Krish­na vis­it­ed the child as Sisu­pala’s moth­er was the sis­ter of Shri Krish­na and Balara­ma’s father. As soon as the child was placed on the lap of Shri Krish­na, his extra limbs dis­ap­peared. Ter­ri­fied on know­ing the slay­er of her child, Sisu­pala’s moth­er plead­ed to Shri Krish­na. Tak­ing pity on her, Shri Krish­na said that he will be ready to bear a 100 insults (offences) and par­don him. In the sab­ha, Vaa­sude­va was patient­ly lis­ten­ing to the insult­ing remarks of Sisu­pala and once they crossed a 100, he slayed him. Sisu­pala was none oth­er than Jaya (the dwara­pala­ka of Lord Vish­nu cursed by Sanat kumaras) reborn to be killed by Vish­nu.


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