Hinduism for kids

7 Jul 2022

Lord Shiva in Mahabharatha war.

We know about the Kurukshetra war, the way Pandavas killed prominent Kaurava warriors like Bheeshma, Drona, Jayadratha, Karna and others and adorned the throne. But there is a secret mention about Lord shiva in the war.

When Drona was killed in the battle, Arjuna was heartbroken. Infact Drona was his guru. So Arjuna calls Vyasa to speak to him and vent out his melancholy. Sage Vyasa consolidates him and at that moment Arjuna poses a question to Vyasa.

He mentiones about a man whom he saw in the battle, floating in the air, not visible to anyone other than him. He says that the man had a fierce form as if fires emerging from him, holding a weapon in the form of a trident, from where thousands of other tridents emerged and killed the Kauravas. The warriors he wanted to kill were already being killed by those tridents, even before his arrows hit them. Superficially, though it felt that Arjuna was shattering the army of Kauravas with his arrows, Arjuna says, it was that man who actually killed Kaurava warriors but none knew about this. He asks for details about that person whom he saw.

Hearing this Vyasa smiles propitiously and says that the person whom Arjuna did see in the battle was lord Shankara. He says that one who prays to Him will not face defeat. He was there to protect Arjuna as he did penance for the lord. He further explains Shiva's two forms- Ghoraachanya and Shivaachanya- ferocious and mild forms. He composes a hymn called Shata rudram which he explains to Arjuna, thus narrating the greatness of Maheshwara to him.

This is called Shata rudreeya adhyayam or Shata rudram in the Mahabharatha.

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