Gandhi – The person in timeline

Gandhi in his childhood
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Gandhi in his teens
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in South Africa in 1895
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as Lawyer
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Gandhi in Videshi outfit at 19 years of age
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Young and handsome Gandhi
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Gandhi with his wife Kasturba after returning from South Africa
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Gandhi with his collegues in South Africa
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Mohandas Gandhi with his friends in South Africa
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Gandhi and his wife Kasturba
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Gandhi preaching a group of people
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Gandhi interacting with his followers sitting in a train
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Gandhi in Downing Street, England
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Gandhi in Downing Street, London, UK
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Gandhi giving speach to his followers
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Gandhi on Salt March
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Gandhi on Dandi March
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Gandhiji lifting the salt
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Mahatma Gandhi with a facial expression of peace
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Gandhi with his supporters in the train
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Gandhiji with two women Manu and Abha
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Gandhiji on a walk with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
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The two women Manu and Abha as his walking sticks
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Gandhi-Nehru on a happy mood
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Gandhiji and Nehruji on serious discussions for attaining independence to India
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Gandhiji addressing the huge gatherings pertaining to Salt Satyagraha

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Gandhiji with Jinnah in 1944
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Gandhiji popularly known as Bapu with a sweet smile
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Gandhiji along with his followers for Salt Satyagraha
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A young boy leads Gandhiji for a walk
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Gandhiji spinning the wheel
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Bapu reading newspaper
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Gandhi and Kasturba in their old age
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Gandhiji on fast
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Bapu’s last walk for his prayer on January 30, 1948
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Mahatma Gandhi – The Father of India (1869-1948)
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Indus Valley Civilization

Indus valley Civilization which flourished in north-western part of indian subcontinent, across the banks of river Indus and thus is known as the indus valley civilization.

Some of the key characteristics of Indus valley civilization are

  • It flourished in the time period – 2600 B.C. to 1900 B.C.
  • It was one of the three oldest civilizations of the world.The other two being Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilizations. All three were interconnected with a trade route.
  • It started in the era 5500 B.C with Neolithic pottery, which have been found in Mehrgarh.
  • Horses were absent in India at that time. Bull was predominantly indian animal. These were exchanged in trade between sumerians and indians

Quoting from wikipedia

According to some archaeologists, over 500 Harappan sites have been discovered along the dried up river beds of the Ghaggar-Hakra River and its tributaries,[28] in contrast to only about 100 along the Indus and its tributaries;[29] consequently, in their opinion, the appellation Indus Ghaggar-Hakra civilisation or Indus-Saraswati civilisation is justified. However, these politically inspired arguments are disputed by other archaeologists who state that the Ghaggar-Hakra desert area has been left untouched by settlements and agriculture since the end of the Indus period and hence shows more sites than found in the alluvium of the Indus valley; second, that the number of Harappan sites along the Ghaggar-Hakra river beds have been exaggerated and that the Ghaggar-Hakra, when it existed, was a tributary of the Indus, so the new nomenclature is redundant.[30] “Harappan Civilization” remains the correct one, according to the common archaeological usage of naming a civilization after its first findspot.

Cities

A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilization making them the first urban centers in the region. The quality of municipal town planning suggests the knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene, or, alternately, accessibility to the means of religious ritual.

This urban plan included the world’s first urban sanitation systems

Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes.

The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the Indus region were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in many areas of Pakistan and India today. The advanced architecture of the Harappans is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms and protective walls. The massive walls of Indus cities most likely protected the Harappans from floods and may have dissuaded military conflicts

There is no conclusive evidence of palaces or temples—or of kings, armies, or priests. Some structures are thought to have been granaries. Found at one city is an enormous well-built bath, which may have been a public bath. Although the citadels were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive. They may have been built to divert flood waters.

Among the artifacts discovered were beautiful glazed faïence beads. Steatite seals have images of animals, people (perhaps gods) and other types of inscriptions, including the yet un-deciphered writing system of the Indus Valley Civilization. Some of the seals were used to stamp clay on trade goods and most probably had other uses as well.

Science

They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures. Their measurements are said to be extremely precise. Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal, was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age.

Harappan engineers followed the decimal division of measurement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as revealed by their hexahedron weights.

These chert weights were in a perfect ratio of 4:2:1 with weights of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 units, with each unit weighing approximately 28 grams, similar to the English Imperial ounce or Greek uncia, and smaller objects were weighed in similar ratios with the units of 0.871.

The weights and measures later used in Kautilya’s Arthashastra (4th century BCE) are the same as those used in Lothal.

Unique Harappan inventions include an instrument which was used to measure whole sections of the horizon and the tidal lock.

Some new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. The engineering skill of the Harappans was remarkable, especially in building docks after a careful study of tides, waves and currents.

ater, in April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (i.e., in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Mehrgarh that dates, from 7,500-9,000 years ago. According to the authors, their discoveries point to a tradition of proto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of that region

Religion

Some Indus valley seals show swastikas which are found in later religions and mythologies, especially in Indian religions such as Hinduism and Jainism. The earliest evidence for elements of Hinduism are present before and during the early Harappan period

Many Indus valley seals show animals. One famous seal shows a figure seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position and surrounded by animals was named after Pashupati (lord of cattle), an epithet of Shiva and Rudra.

In the earlier phases of their culture, the Harappans buried their dead; however, later, especially in the Cemetery H culture of the late Harrapan period, they also cremated their dead and buried the ashes in burial urns, a transition notably also alluded to in the Rigveda.

The Indus civilization’s economy appears to have depended significantly on trade, which was facilitated by major advances in transport technology. These advances included bullock carts that are identical to those seen throughout South Asia today, as well as boats.

Story – Sage Agasthya

Birth of Agasthya

Once up on a time Mithra (Sun) and Varuna (the God of rain) happened to fall in love with the celestial nymph Urvasi. On seeing the pretty dancer, their semen leaked out of them and this was preserved in a pitcher. Out of the pitcher was born two great sages – Agasthya and Vasishta. Together they were called Maithra Varunas. Because he was born out of a pitcher, Agasthya was also called Kumbha Sambhava or Kumbha muni. He was supposed to have existed some 4000 years before the commencement of Kali Yuga and is believed to be still living in Tamil Nadu by devotees.

A folk lore in the Sidha Medicine has a different story to tell. It Says that Sage Agasthiyar was born about 4573 years prior to the commencement of Kali Yuga at a place in Gujarat. His father Bhargava (Savithru – one of the 14 Adithyas) was well learned while his mother Indumathi was from Punjab on the banks of the Indus River. They were both devotees of the Pasupatha order of the sage Rishabha Muni.

Education

Sage Agasthya was supposed to be one of the very learned sages of his time. Nothing much is known as to who were his Guru etc. In many Puranas, he is being taught by Sage Hayagreeva, who was one of the incarnations of Vishnu. In fact the great Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram and Lalitha Trishathi were taught to him by Sage Hayagreeva at the express orders of Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari to Sage Hayagreeva. Sage Drona who was a teacher of Pandavas learned the art of war from his Guru Agni Vesa, who himself is supposed to have learnt it from Sage Agasthya. Sage Agasthya was the one who is credited to have written the first book of grammar of the Tamil language. He also has been credited to have found and popularized the Sidha system of medicine in Tamil Nadu. He is also supposed to be the founder of the Nadi astrology of Tamil Nadu. The Keralites claim, that he was the one who was responsible for teaching them the martial art of Kalari Payittu.

Marriage

One day Sage Agasthya was traveling through the forest and his Pithru devathas (Manes) were found hanging upside down on forest trees. When he asked them, why this fate came to them, they replied, that since Agasthya did not have a son, they were forced to undergo this type of suffering. Agasthya promised them that he would get married. He collected all that is good from every being on earth and created a baby girl. At that time the king of Vidharbha was doing great penance to get a child .Agasthya presented the king with the baby he had created. She was named as Lopa Mudhra and brought up under great luxurious circumstances. When she reached marriageable age, Agasthya requested her hand in marriage from the king of Vidharbha. Though the king was terribly afraid of the sage, he indicated to him, that he is not willing to give his daughter in marriage to him. But Lopa Mudhra, told her father that she wanted to marry Agasthya. Since he used to walk on forests and mountains, wanting not to trouble his wife, Agasthya used to give her a micro form and carry her in his pitcher. Due to the wish of Lord Shiva, Agasthya traveled south and settled down there. Due to the very odorous journey that he had to undertake, Lord Shiva gave a boon to Agasthya that his pitcher would be full of water always. At that time, the South India was extremely dry with small streams which were seasonal. Once when Agasthya had gone to take bath and Lord Ganesa took the form of a crow and overturned Agasthya’s pitcher. Lopa Mudhra along with the perennial water from the pitcher turned in to the mighty river Kaveri, which is perennial. She was called Kaveri because she was spread by a crow [Kaa (crow) Viri (spread)].

There is yet another story of Sage Agasthya’s marriage from South India. It seems there was a hunter king called Kavera near the Brahma Giri mountain ranges of Coorg. His only aim in life was to do good to his country. He did great penance to propitiate Lord Shiva. At last Shiva came in person. Kavera only wanted the good of his people . Lord Shiva blessed him with a daughter called Kaveri and told him that his wish would be fulfilled through her. Sage Agasthya happened to visit Brahma Giri. Kavera then gave his daughter in marriage to Sage Agasthya. Agasthya and Kaveri lead a very happy life there. But at that time due to the tyrannical rule of an Asura called Surapadma, the entire South India was in the grip of a terrible famine. One day while Sage Agasthya was going to take bath, there was no one to care of Kaveri. So he turned her in to water and placed her in his holy pitcher. Lord Ganesa took the form of a crow and upturned the pitcher. The water which came out of the pitcher became a stream and then a very great perennial river called Kaveri..

Humbling of Vindhya Mountain

The greatest mountain in India always was Maha Meru , which literally touches the sky. The Sun and Moon were supposed to go round that mountain. The Vindhya ranges which are in the middle of India got very jealous of this state of affairs and started growing taller and taller. A stage came when the Sun and the moon were not able to travel to the South. So Indra requested Agasthya to do some thing about it. It was at this time that Lord Shiva decided to marry Goddess Parvathi. People all over the world started traveling to Himalayas to attend Lord Shiva’s marriage. Due to this earth started tilting north wards. God Shiva had to stop this so he requested Sage Agasthya (whom he thought as equal to all people on earth) to travel towards the south, so that the great penance he did will balance the earth. Unwillingly Sage Agasthya traveled to south. On his way he was forced to cross the Vindhya mountain which was extremely tall. Sage Agasthya requested the Vindhya Mountain to become tiny so that he can easily cross it. The Vindhyas acceded to the request of sage Agasthya. Sage Agasthya requested the mountain to be tiny till he came back to North. The mountain agreed to this also. But sage Agasthya settled in south of India and never went back.

Killing of Vatapi

After his marriage to Lopa Mudhra, she wanted Sage Agasthya to dress himself in finery and be well ornamented. Since he loved her dearly and since he did not have any wealth to buy the dresses and ornaments, Agasthya is supposed to have approached a king called Srutharva. Unfortunately that king did not have excess wealth to share and so in turn Agasthya approached King Bradhnaswara and Rich man Trasadasyu . Both of them expressed their inability to pay the money required by Agasthya. Then Agasthya was directed to approach, a very rich Rakshasa called Ilvala.

Ilwala was living in Manimalpathan along with his brother Vatapi. Once Ilwala had approached a Brahmin sage o bless him with a child. Since the Brahmin sage refused, Ilvala and Vatapi became very angry at Brahmins. Whenever any Brahmin came to their house., Ilwala used to offer them a feast. Vatapi used to take a form of a sheep and this sheep was cut , cooked and served to the Brahmins by Ilwala. Once the Brahmin has eaten his food, Ilwala used to call Vatapi come out. Then Vatapi used to come out tearing the stomach of the Brahmin. The same drama was unfolded before Sage Agasthya. However, when Ilvala called Vatapi come out, Agasthya fondling his stomach, told Digest, Oh Vatapi. Vatapi was digested. Ilvala gave sufficient money to Agasthya.

Agasthya drank the entire sea

When Vruthrasura was troubling the devas, very much, Devendra waged a war against him and killed him by using deceit. Two of his generals of Vruthrasura, Kalakeyas however escaped. Indra requested Agni and Vayu to chase and destroy them. However Kalakeyas went deep in to the sea and hid there. Every day after sunset they used to come out and used to cause lot of trouble to the great sages, Devas and Men. Devas approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu told them that the only method of catching them was by drying the sea and the only one who was capable of doing it was Agasthya. The devas approached Agasthya for help. Agasthya readily agreed and drank all the waters of the sea and made it dry. Kalakeyas were killed. The drying of ocean, lead to famine. Devas again approached Vishnu. Vishnu told them that a king called Bhageeratha would come and fill up the ocean with the water of the Ganges brought from heaven.

Agasthya got a golden bangle

Once Sage Agasthya reached a very huge empty forest. When he walked deep in to the forest he saw some Gandharwas and Apsaras dancing there. Suddenly from their midst a great soul came out. It ate a corpse which was lying there. Then that soul perambulated and saluted Sage Agasthya. He told him as follows, “I am Swetha the son of the great king Vidarbha belonging to the Treta Yuga. I ruled my country for a long time, without doing any charity came to this forest and did Tapas here. Then I left my body and reached heaven. But in heaven I was feeling the pangs of hunger and when I approached Lord Brahma told me that this is because, while in earth, I have not given anything to any body. He told me to visit this forest daily and eat a corpse lying there to satisfy my hunger. He also told me that when I complete eating 10000 corpses, I would be able to see you and with your blessings get rid of my perennial hunger in the heaven”. Thus saying he presented Sage Agasthya with a golden bangle. Agasthya blessed him.

Agasthya cursed King Nahusha

Devendra killed Vruthrasura by deceit. Because of this a sin engulfed him and he was forced to hide in the earth. At this time a king called Nahusha completed the performance of one hundred Aswamedha Yagas. Because of this he got the position of Indra. Once he started ruling the devas , Nahusha started misbehaving with every body. He wanted Sachi Devi, the wife of Indra to live with him as his wife. Sachi Devi did not like this at all. She sought the protection of Brahaspathi, the teacher of all devas. Nahusha called Brahaspathi and threatened him. Then Brahaspathi told Sachi Devi that he was helpless and advised her to find out her husband Indra. Sachi Devi told Nahusha that she was willing to obey his whims but she would like to see her husband who was hiding in earth first. Nahusha agreed to this condition. With the help of Goddess Parvathi, Sachi Devi found out Indra. Indra said that unless he gets rid of his sin, he would not be able to come back but he told her to do a trick to get rid of Nahusha. Sachi Devi went back and told Nahusha, that she will receive Nahusha provided he comes to her house in a palanquin carried by the Saptha rishis(Seven very great sages). The Saptha rishis included Sage Agasthya. Since Nahusha was the king of devas, his order had to be obeyed by them. Since Agasthya was short and fat he was not able to walk fast and the palanquin tilted at his end. Since Nahusha was in a hurry to reach Sachi Devi’s house, Nahusha kept on ordering them, Sarpa, Sarpa(Fast, fast). This infuriated Sage Agasthya and he cursed that Nahusha would indeed become a Sarpa (snake). Nahusha then craved for forgiveness of Agasthya. Sage Agasthya told him that Nahusha would get salvation on seeing his descendents, the Pandavas in the forest.

Agasthya helped Lord Rama

During his sojourn in the forests Lord Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita is supposed to have visited the hermitage of Agasthya and stayed there. They also took his advice as where they should live in the forests.

During the war with Ravana in Sri Lanka, Lord Rama fought with Ravana for a long time and was tired and was not able to kill Ravana. At that stage the devas sent sage Agasthya to advice him. Sage Agasthya then taught Lord Rama, a prayer to Lord Sun called Adhithya Hrudaya. Rama chanted this prayer and got the ability to kill Ravana.

Agasthya cursed the King Indra Dhyumna

There was a very great king called Indra Dhyumna in the Pandya dynasty. This king was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once when Agasthya came to visit him, the king was so drowned in his devotion to Lord Vishnu, that he did not see or show hospitality to Sage Agasthya. Sage Agasthya cursed to him to become an elephant for 1000 years. This elephant was called Gajendra. At this time another sage called Devala cursed a Gandarwa called Huhu to become a crocodile because he disturbed his penance. Once the Elephant got in to the river in which the crocodile was living. The crocodile caught hold of the feet of the elephant. After a very long time , the elephant called Lord Narayana, who came and killed the crocodile. He also removed the curse on Indra Dhyumna and gave him salvation.

Agasthya cursed Thataka

Thataka was the daughter of a Yaksha called Sukethu. She was born to him because of the blessing of Lord Brahma. She had the strength of 1000 elephants. She married another Yaksha called Sunda and a son Mareecha was born to them. In a quarrel with Agasthya ,Sunda was killed. Thataka and Mareecha became very angry and attacked the hermitage of Agasthya. Agasthya cursed them and they became Rakshasas. Later they were killed by Lord Rama and both of them attained salvation.

Agasthya turned a Vaishnavite temple to that of Shiva

Agasthya when he arrived from the northern parts of India was a shaivite. He along with his wife reached a place called Kutralam in Tamil Nadu. There was a temple for Lord Vishnu in Kutralam. Agasthya being a shaivite was refused entry in to the temple. Agasthya by his miraculous powers converted the statue of Vishnu in side the temple to Shiva Lingam and demonstrated to the people that Shiva and Vishnu were the same one God.

Some Great Indian Wars

Great wars and India

India has a long military history dating back several millennia. The first reference of armies is found in the Vedas. The epics Ramayana and Mahabaratha contain information on standing armies and warfare techniques like the Chakravyuha used in the Kurukshetra War. The epics contain information on the usage of chariots, war elephants and even flying machines in wars.

Dynasties in India

There were many powerful dynasties in India like the Magadha empire, Shishunaga dynasty, Nanda dynasty, Maurya Dynasty, Satavahana dynasty, Kushan empire, Gupta dynasty, Harsha’s empire, Pandiyan and Chola empire, Chera dynasty, the Pratiharas, the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Rajputs, the Yadavas, Vijayanagar empire, Chalukyas and Pallavas, Mughal Empire, Maratha Empire etc.


The Mahabharata

Time period – 18 days

Date – 5000 years ago

Place – Kurukshetra india

Mahābhārata states that the war lasted eighteen days during which vast armies from all over ancient India fought alongside the two rivals. The relative importance of this war is evident from the fact that while the duration of epic lasts spans centuries dealing with generations of the warring families, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, yet deals with the events of a mere eighteen days.

The chapters (parvas) dealing with the war (from chapter six to ten).

Prelude to the war – Some important events

  • The dispute between the Kauravas and the Pandavas arose out of a game of dice, which the Kauravas won by deceit, forcing their Pandava cousins to go into exile for thirteen years. The dispute escalated into a full scale war when Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, driven by jealousy, refused to restore the Pandavas to their throne after the exile.
  • As a last attempt at peace, Krishna traveled to Hastinapur to persuade the Kauravas to embark upon a peaceful path with him. At Hastinapur, Krishna took his meals and stayed at the house of the Prime Minister, Vidura, who was a religious person and a devotee of Krishna. Duryodhana felt insulted that Krishna turned down his invitation to eat with him and stay in his royal palace. Determined to ensure that the peace mission failed, Duryodhana plotted to arrest Krishna.

Importance of Krishna

Krishna had one of the largest armies and was Himself a great warrior. Duryodhana and Arjuna thus both went to Krishna at Dwarka to ask for His help. This is a famous part of the story, especially dear to Krishna devotees. Duryodhana arrived first, and found Krishna asleep. Being arrogant and viewing himself as equal to Krishna, Duryodhana chose a seat at Krishna’s head and waited for Him to rouse. Arjuna arrived later, and being a humble devotee of Krishna, chose to sit and wait at Krishna’s feet. When Krishna woke up, He saw Arjuna first and gave him the first right to make his request. Krishna told Arjuna and Duryodhana that He would give His mighty Narayani sena, ‘opulent, Lordly army’ to one side, and Himself unarmed to the other. Since Arjuna was given the first opportunity to choose, Duryodhana was worried that Arjuna would choose the mighty army of Krishna. When given the choice of either Krishna’s army or Krishna Himself on their side, Arjuna on behalf of the Pandavas chose Krishna, unarmed on His own, relieving Duryodhana, who thought Arjuna to be the greatest fool. Later Arjuna requested Krishna to be his charioteer, and Krishna, being an intimate friend of Arjuna, agreed wholeheartedly, and hence received the name Paarthasaarthy, or ‘charioteer of the son of Prithaa’. Both Duryodhana and Arjuna returned satisfied.

The two parties

The pandavas-

Pandavas led by Dhristadyumna- the main warriors were Arjuna,Bhima,Yudhishthira,Nakula,Sahadeva,Ghatotkacha,Satyaki.

Army – 7 Akshauhinis comprising of 1,530,900 soldiers. primarily comprising of the Panchala and Matsya forces, the Rakshasa forces of Bhima’s son, and Vrishni-Yadava heroes.

Atirathis: Yudhisthira, Bhima, Dhristadyumna, Ghatotkacha, Satyaki

Maharathis: Arjuna.

The kaurwas-

Commanders in Chief: Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Shalya

Atirathis: Shalya, Somadatta, Bhurisrava, Bhagadatta, Jayadratha, Kritavarma

Maharathis: Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Ashwathama

An army of 11 Akshauhinis is formed by the kingdom of Hastinapura in alliance with races like the Samshaptakas, Trigartas, the Narayana army, the Sindhu army and Shalya of Madra.

Definitions – A atirathi is one capable of contending with 10,000 warriors simultaneously.

A maharathi is a warrior capable of fighting 60,000 warriors simultaneously; circumspect in his mastery of all forms of weapons and combat skills.

An Akshauhini was an ancient battle formation that consisted of 21,870 chariots (Sanskrit ratha); 21,870 elephants; 65,610 horse-mounted warriors and 109,350 infantry, as per the Mahabharata (ratio – 1 chariot : 1 elephant : 3 horse-mounted warriors : 5 infantry soldiers) It should be noted that in each of these large number groups (65,610, etc.), the digits add up to 18 which further add upto 9.

This setup is preserved in the game of chess.

Day 1

The Kaurava army was formed such that it faced all sides: elephants formed its body; the kings, its head; and the steeds, its wings. Bhishma, in consultation with his commanders Drona, Bahlika and Kripa, remained in the rear.

The Pandava army was organised by Yudhisthira and Arjuna in the Vajra formation. Because the Pandava army was smaller than the Kaurava’s, they decided to employ the tactic of each warrior engaging as many enemies as possible. This involved an element of surprise, with the bowmen showering arrows from hidden behind the frontal attackers. The attackers in the front were equipped with short-range weapons like maces, battle-axes, swords and lances.

Ten divisions (Akshauhinis) of the Kaurava army were arranged in a formidable phalanx. The eleventh was put under the immediate command of Bhishma, partly to protect him. The safety of the supreme commander Bhishma was central to Duryodhana’s strategy, as he had placed all his hope on the great warrior’s abilities. Dushasana, the youngest brother of king Duryodhana, was the military officer in-charge of Bhishma’s protection.

Before the battle began, Yudhisthira did something unexpected. He suddenly dropped his weapons, took off his armour and started walking towards the Kaurava army with folded hands in prayer. The Pandava brothers and the Kauravas looked on in disbelief, thinking Yudhisthira was surrendering before the first arrow was shot. Yudhisthira’s purpose became clear, however, when he fell on Bhishma’s feet to seek his blessing for success in battle. Bhishma, grandfather to both the Pandavas and Kauravas, blessed Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira returned to his chariot and the battle was ready to commence.

When the battle commenced, Bhishma went through the Pandava army wreaking havoc wherever he went. Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son, seeing this went straight at Bhishma, defeated his bodyguards and directly attacked the commander of the Kaurava forces. The Pandavas suffered numerous losses and were defeated at the end of the first day. Virata’s sons, Uttara and Sweta, were slain by Shalya and Bhishma. Krishna consoled the distraught Yudhisthira saying that eventually victory would be his.

Day – 2

Arjuna, realising that something needed to be done quickly to reverse the Pandava losses, decided that he must try to kill Bhishma. Krishna skillfully located Bhishma’s chariot and steered Arjuna toward him. Arjuna tried to engage Bhishma in a duel, but the Kaurava soldiers placed around Bhishma to protect him attacked Arjuna to try to prevent him from directly engaging Bhishma. Arjuna and Bhishma fought a fierce battle that raged for hours. Drona and Dhristadyumna similarly engaged in a duel during which Drona broke Dhristadyumna’s bow numerous times. Bhima intervened and rescued Dhristadyumna. Duryodhana sent the Kalinga forces to attack Bhima and most of them lost their lives at his hands. Bhishma immediately came to relieve the battered Kalinga forces. Satyaki, who was assisting Bhima, shot at Bhishma’s charioteer and killed him. Bhishma’s horses, with no one to control them, bolted carrying Bhishma away from the battle field. The Kaurava army had suffered great losses at the end of the second day.

Day -3

Bhishma arranged the Kaurava forces in the formation of an eagle with himself leading from the front, while Duryodhana’s forces protected the rear. Bhishma wanted to be sure of avoiding any mishap. The Pandavas countered this by using the crescent formation with Bhima and Arjuna at the head of the right and the left horns, respectively. The Kauravas concentrated their attack on Arjuna’s position. Arjuna’s chariot was soon covered with arrows and javelins. Arjuna, with amazing skill, built a fortification around his chariot with an unending stream of arrows from his bow.

Bhima and his son Ghatotkacha attacked Duryodhana in the rear. Bhima’s arrows hit Duryodhana, who swooned in his chariot. His charioteer immediately drove them out of danger. Duryodhana’s forces, however, saw their leader fleeing the battlefield and soon scattered. Bhishma soon restored order and Duryodhana returned to lead the army.He was angry at Bhishma, however, at what he saw as leniency towards the five Pandava brothers and spoke harshly at his commander. Bhishma, stung by this unfair charge, fell on the Pandava army with renewed vigour. It was as if there were more than one Bhishma on the field.The Pandava army soon began to retreat in chaos.

Arjuna attacked Bhishma trying to restore order. Arjuna and Bhishma again engaged in a fierce duel, however Arjuna’s heart was not in the battle as he did not like the idea of attacking his great-uncle. During the battle, Bhishma killed numerous soldiers of Arjuna’s armies. This enraged Lord Krishna, who grabbed a chariot wheel to kill Bhishma. Bhishma wanted Lord Krishna to break his vow not to pick up any weapon in the battle. Bhishma at once fell at his feet and requested Krishna to kill him, as there would be nothing greater than attaining death at the hands of the supreme lord himself. Seeing this, Krishna calmed down and smiled and the battle between Arjuna and Bhishma continued. And both of them killed several soldiers of the opposite armies.

Day-4

The fourth day battle was noted for the valour shown by Bhima. Bhishma commanded the Kaurava army to move on the offensive from the outset. Arjuna’s son, Abhimanyu, was surrounded and attacked by a number of Kaurava princes. Arjuna joined the fray in aid of Abhimanyu. Bhima appeared on the scene with his mace aloft and started attacking the Kauravas. Duryodhana sent a huge force of elephants at Bhima. When Bhima saw the mass of elephants approaching, he got down from his chariot and attacked them single handedly with his iron mace. They scattered and stampeded into the Kaurava forces killing many. Duryodhana ordered an all-out attack on Bhima. Bhima withstood all that was thrown at him and attacked Duryodhana’s brothers, killing eight of them. Bhima was soon struck by an arrow on the chest and sat down in his chariot dazed. Ghatotkacha seeing this, fell upon the Kaurava army in anger. Bhishma, realizing that no one could stand against the angry Ghatotkacha, sounded retreat. Duryodhana was distraught at the loss of his brothers.

Duryodhana, overwhelmed by sorrow at the loss of his brothers, went to Bhishma at the end of the fourth day of the battle, and asked his commander how could the Pandavas, facing a superior force against them, still prevail and win. Bhishma replied that the Pandavas had justice on their side and advised Duryodhana to seek peace.

Day -5

When the battle resumed on the fifth day, the slaughter continued. The Pandava army again suffered against Bhishma’s attacks. Satyaki bore the brunt of Drona’s attacks and soon could not withstand them. Bhima drove by and rescued Satyaki. Arjuna fought and killed thousands of soldiers sent by Duryodhana to attack him. The unimaginable carnage continued during the ensuing days of the battle.

Day -6 and 7

The sixth day was marked by a prodigious slaughter. Drona caused immeasurable loss of life on the Pandava side. The formations of both the armies were broken.

Day – 8

On the eighth day Bhima killed eight of Dhritarashtra’s sons and Arjuna’s son Iravan was killed by the Kauravas.

Day -9

On the ninth day Krishna, once again overcome by anger at the apparent inability of Arjuna to defeat Bhishma, rushed towards the Kaurava commander, but Arjuna stopped him. Realising that the war could not be won as long as Bhisma were standing, Krishna suggested the strategy of placing a woman in the field to face him.

Day – 10

On the tenth day the Pandavas, unable to withstand Bhishma’s prowess, decided to put Shikhandi, who had been a woman in a prior life in front of Bhishma, as Bhishma has taken a vow not to attack a woman. Shikhandi’s arrows fell on Bhishma without hindrance. Arjuna positioned himself behind Shikhandi, protecting himself from Bhishma’s attack, and aimed his arrows at the weak points in Bhishma’s armour. Soon, with arrows sticking from every part of his body, the great warrior fell from his chariot. His body did not touch the ground as it was held aloft by the arrows protruding from his body.

The Kauravas and Pandavas gathered around Bhishma and, at his request, Arjuna placed three arrows under Bhisma’s head to support it. Bhishma had promised his father, King Shantanu, that he would live until Hastinapur were secured from all directions. To keep this promise, Bhishma used the boon given to him by his father of ‘self wished death’. After the war was over, when Hastinapur had become safe from all sides and after giving lessons on politics and Vishnu Sahasranama to the Pandavas, Bhishma died on the first day of Uttarayana.

Day -11

With Bhishma unable to continue, Karna entered the battle field, much to Duryodhna’s joy. He made Drona the supreme commander of the Kaurava forces. Karna and Duryodhana wanted to capture Yudhisthira alive. Killing Yudhisthira in battle would only enrage the Pandavas more, whereas holding him as hostage would be strategically useful. Drona formulated his battle plans for the eleventh day to this aim. He cut down Yudhisthira’s bow and the Pandava army feared that their leader would be taken prisoner. Arjuna rushed to the scene, however, and with a flood of arrows made Drona retreat.

Day -12

With his attempts to capture Yudhisthira failed, Drona confided to Duryodhna that it would be difficult as long as Arjuna was around. The king of Trigartadesa, Susharma along with his 3 brothers and 35 sons who were fighting on the Kaurava side made a pact that they would kill Arjuna or die. They went into the battle field on the twelfth day and challenged Arjuna. Arjuna gave them a fierce fight in which the brothers fell dead after fighting a brave fight. Drona continued to try and capture Yudhisthira. The Pandavas however fought hard and delivered severe blows to the Kaurava army.

Day -13

Duryodhana summoned King Bhagadatta, the monarch of Prajayogastha (modern day Assam, India). Bhagadatta had thousands of gigantic elephants in his stable and was considered the strongest warrior on this planet in elephant warfare. Bhagadatta attacked Arjuna with his gigantic elephant named Suprateeka. It was a fierce battle in which Bhagadatta matched Arjuna astra for astra.

On the other side of the battlefield, the remaining four Pandavas and their allies were finding it impossible to break Dronacharya’s Chakravyuh formation. As Arjuna was busy fighting with the Trigartadesa princes and the Prajayogastha monarch on the other side of the battlefield, he could not be summoned to break the Chakravyuh formation, which could only be broken by entering and exiting the formation. Yudhisthira instructed, Abhimanyu, one of Arjuna’s sons to break the Chakravyuh formation. Abhimanyu knew the secret of entering the Chakravyuh formation, but did not know how to exit it. Eventually he was trapped in the Chakravyu, which led to his death.

Upon learning of the death of his son, Arjuna vowed to kill Jayadratha on the morrow before the battle ended at sunset, otherwise he would throw himself into the fire.

Day-14

While searching for Jayadratha on the battlefield, Arjuna slew an akshouhini (hundreds of thousands (109,350)) of Kaurava soldiers. The Kaurava army tightly protected Jayadratha, however, preventing Arjuna from attacking him. Finally, in late afternoon, Arjuna found Jayadratha guarded by Karna and five other great warriors. Seeing his friend’s plight, Lord Krishna raised his Sudarshana Chakra to cover the sun, faking a sunset. All took off their arms believing the day had ended and Jayadratha was exposed. As the sun shone its last ray, Arjuna shot a powerful arrow decapitating Jayadratha.

The battle continued past sunset. When the bright moon rose, Ghatotkacha, son of Bhima slaughtered numerous warriors, attacking while flying in the air. Karna stood against him and both fought fiercely until Karna released the Indrastra, a celestial dart given to him by Indra. Ghatotkacha increased his size and fell dead on the Kaurav army killing thousands of them.

Day – 15

After King Drupada and King Virata were slain by Drona, Bhima and Dhristadyumna fought him on the fifteenth day. Because Drona was very powerful and unconquerable having brahamastras, Krishna hinted to Yudhisthira that Drona would give up his arms if his son Ashwathama was dead. Bhima proceeded to kill an elephant named Ashwathama, and loudly proclaimed that Ashwathama was dead. Drona approached Yudhisthira to seek the truth of his son’s death. Yudhisthira proclaimed Ashwathama Hatha Kunja, but the last two words Hatha Kunja implying that the elephant had died were drowned out by trumpets sounded in triumph, on Krishna’s instruction.

Prior to this incident, the chariot of Yudhisthira, proclaimed as Dharma raja (King of righteousness), hovered a few inches off the ground. After the event, the chariot rode on the ground.

Drona was disheartened, and laid down his weapons. He was then killed by Dhristadyumna to avenge his father’s death and satisfy his vow.

Later, the Pandava’s mother Kunti secretly met her abandoned son Karna and requested him to spare the Pandavas, as they were his younger brothers. Karna promised Kunti that he would spare them except for Arjuna.

Day -16

On the sixteenth day, Karna became supreme commander of the Kaurava army, killing countless warriors during the day. A fierce battle took place between Arjuna and Karna. Even Krishna praised Karna for his valour. Karna finally succeeded in breaking Arjuna’s Gandiva bow string. Just as Karna was about to slay Arjuna, sunset occurred. Observing the rules of warrior conduct, Karna spared Arjuna.

Day-17

On the seventeenth day, Karna defeated Bhima and Yudhisthira in battle but spared their lives. Later, Karna resumed duelling with Arjuna. During their duel, Karna’s chariot wheel got struck in the mud and Karna asked for a pause. Krishna reminded Arjuna about Karna’s ruthlessness unto Abhimanyu while he was similarly left without chariot and weapons. Hearing his son’s fate, Arjuna shot his arrow and decapitated Karna. On the same day, Bhima swung his mace and shattered Dushasana’s chariot. Bhima seized Dushasana and killed him, thus fulfilling his vow made when Draupadi was humiliated.

Day -18

On the 18th day, Yudhishthira killed king Shalya, Sahadeva killed Shakuni, and Bhima killed Duryodhana’s remaining brothers. Realizing that he had been defeated, Duryodhana fled the battle field and took refuge in the lake, where the Pandavas caught up with him. Under the supervision of the now returned Balarama, a mace battle took place between Bhima and Duryodhana in which Duryodhana was mortally wounded.

Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, and Kritvarma met Duryodhana at his deathbed and promised to avenge him. They attacked the Pandavas’ camp later that night and killed all the Pandavas’ sons, including Dhristadyumna and Shikhandi.

At the end of the 18th day, only eleven warriors survived the war – the five Pandavas, Krishna, Satyaki, Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, Yuyutsu and Kritvarma. Yudhisthira was crowned king of Hastinapur. He renounced the throne after ruling for more than 30 years.

Forgotten Indian Heroes….

Yes i say he is forgottern.His sacrifice is no less than that of Mahatama Gandhi.If Gandhi is our father of nation than he was real son of our country.His sacrifice was true,with a single aim,that was freedom of country by hook or crook.

Notes of bhagat singh written in imprisonment

Do any hearts beat faster

Do any faces brighten

To hear your foot steps on the stair

To meet you ,great you ,anywhere ?

Are any happier today

Through words they have heard you say ?

Life were not worth the living

If no one were the better

For having not met you on the way

Any known the sunshine of your stay.! “

Some couplets in Urdu

Jfar Admi usko na janiey ga

Vo ho kesa bhee sahibe fahmo jada

Jise aish mein yade khuda na rahi ,

Jise taish mein khofe khuda na raha

Main garon se hargij nahin rota

Kinu ke mere sath jo kush kia

vo mere ashna ne kia

In todays world we have completely forgotten him.We just respect him and feel proud when we hear about him but do we really follow for what he sacrificed.In todays world when a small kid sees a 10 or 100 or 1000 rupee note he will learn about Mahatama Gandhi.Is there no place for Bhagat Singh in Indian currency.Can’t we put one of his pics in 100 or 10 rupee note.It will make our children to know him better and to follow him truely.

Had he lived, Subhas Chandra Bose could have given a new turn to Independent India’s political history. But he lives on eternally in the Indian mind, more famous after his death.

While the Gandhi /Nehru faction of Congress has garnered much of the credit for India’s freedom struggle, it is important to remember that India’s freedom movement was in fact a movement of the masses and there were a number of great leaders with fierce patriotism and  great visionary ideas who sacrificed their entire lives for the nation’s cause. We continue our series on the freedom fighters, on the occasion of Netaji’s 102nd   birthday

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By Dr. Jytotsna Kamat
First Online: January 26, 1999
Page Last Updated: June 16,2008

While the Gandhi /Nehru faction of Congress has garnered much of the credit for India’s freedom struggle, it is important to remember that India’s freedom movement was in fact a movement of the masses and there were a number of great leaders with fierce patriotism and  great visionary ideas who sacrificed their entire lives for the nation’s cause. We continue our series on the freedom fighters, on the occasion of Netaji’s 102nd   birthday.
-Jyotsna Kamat
January 26, 1999
India’s Republic Day
Known as Netaji (leader), Mr. Bose was a fierce and popular leader in the political scene in pre-independence India . He was the president of the Indian National Congress in  1937 and 1939, and founded a nationalist  force called the Indian National Army. He was acclaimed as a semigod, akin to the many mythological heroes like Rama or Krishna, and continues as a legend in Indian mind.