Let’s get this straight – Lakshmi’s forms are eight!

Let’s get this straight – Lakshmi’s forms are eight!

Lakshmi – the first lady of the heaven is widely known as the goddess of wealth and remains the focal point during the Diwali festivities. Lakshmi is popularly depicted as an elegant woman, dressed in a red saree, donning gem studded gold ornaments, sitting on a blooming lotus and carrying a pot full of gold coins. But, there is more to Lakshmi than just being the goddess of wealth. She symbolizes holistic wellbeing and prosperity. Here are her eight forms, each one of them comes with a unique blessing:

  1. Adi Lakshmi – Her first ever appearance. She surfaced from the depths of the ocean, as a result of the ‘great churn’ (read more). She came, she chose Vishnu as her consort and made Vaikunth her home. Without her, Vishnu – the preserver of the world’s order, is incomplete.
  2. Dhan Lakshmi – She’s the most popular. After all, especially in our times, less things shine as bright as gold. She bestows wealth, fortune and abundance. She provides for our needs, wants and desires. Her blessings set the ball rolling for human existence.
  3. Dhanya Lakshmi – She’s the one bringing the goodness of nature and the nutrients needed for a healthy human body, in the form of food grains. With her blessings, the granaries brim with abundance. For all the gold coins we might amass, we can’t feed on them.
  4. Veer Lakshmi – Every human endeavour needs courage and she’s the one bestowing it. Be it overcoming obstacles or scaling new heights or defeating adversaries or taking a path less travelled, the blessings of this form of Lakshmi play a pivotal role.
  5. Vijaya Lakshmi – More than victory in all forms of competition, she brings in the sense of holistic achievement in life. Her blessings are sought to accomplish specific objectives. At the end of the day, its success that makes every human endeavour worth it.
  6. Aishwarya Lakshmi – What good are wealth, valour and victory if you can’t enjoy them. She might bless you with the wealth but you still need her blessing for continuous prosperity, comforts, fine living and rich tastes. Here she, in a way, closes the loop.
  7. Gaja Lakshmi – She’s either flanked by magnanimous elephants or mounts one. Since elephants symbolize grandeur, here, she brings royalty. This form of Lakshmi is believed to have a long stay where she stops thus blessing generations with wealth, abundance and fortune.
  8. Santan Lakshmi – She’s the one bringing the joy of parenthood. Here, her blessing not just complete the family but also ensures one’s linage carries on. Procreating, in some Hindu scriptures, is one of the most important duties of an individual.

Obeisance to Lakshmi, the goddess with eight forms. May she bless us this Diwali with a fulfilled life ahead!

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The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

Kunti, the first wife of King Pandu of Hastinapur, was blessed with a special boon. The boon gave her powers to invoke any God of her choice and the God invoked would bless Kunti with a son. Kunti used the boon four times. Before her marriage to King Pandu of Hastinapur, she invoked the Sun god and bore Karn. Fearing questions from people about the birth of the child, she abandoned Karn. After her marriage to Pandu, she invoked Yama (God of Death and righteousness), Vayu (God of Wind) and Indra (God of Sky and the ruler of heaven) and bore Yudhisthir, Bheem and Arjun respectively.  The sons of Kunti were the finest warriors of the Mahabharat. Each of them had their share of testing times and they all came out as winners. Their stories have inspiration for us. Here’s from Bheem: 

Bheem – This son of Kunti was different. Strong and well-built since childhood, he relied more on his physical strength than anything else. While the other Pandav siblings were orderly, disciplined and obedient, Bheem had his own ways. He was impulsive and instinctive. He lived to eat and his appetite equalled to that of all his brothers put together. Bheem would bully and thrash all Kaurav cousins and mock them for none could stand his blows. This became a regular feature during their play time. Duryodhan, the eldest of the Kauravs and Bheem’s bête noire couldn’t stand this. With guidance from his uncle Shakuni, Duryodhan decided to end the menace called Bheem once and for all. He decided to invite Bheem for a feast by the river side. Coming from Duryodhan, the invitation surprised Bheem. But the gastronome that he was, he happily accepted the invitation. His love for food was such that he also decided to go all alone, for he didn’t want the other Pandav siblings to reduce his share of the feast. Duryodhan served generous portions of pudding and Bheem didn’t disappoint his host. He licked bowls after bowls clean before letting out a hearty burp. Soon, Bheem felt tizzy and thought it’s the effect of the sumptuous feast he’s just had. Duryodhan had poisoned the pudding Bheem ate copiously and was overjoyed when he saw Bheem lay unconscious. Duryodhan and his brothers immediately carried Bheem to the river bank and rolled him into the running water. Happy their ploy was successful, they headed back to the palace. Bheem’s body flowed into the kingdom of snakes on the river bed. Seeing an alien body in their waters, guarding snakes bit into Bheem’s flesh. The poison from the snakes acted as an antidote and Bheem came back to life. Surrounded by snakes, Bheem’s instinct took over and he starting thrashing them. Soon there was panic among the snakes guarding their kingdom as Bheem turned out to be too much for them to handle. Bheem wreaked havoc and reinforcements were called. When overpowered finally, Bheem was taken to the court of Vasuki – the King of snakes. Surprised with all that had just happened at the hands of a mere boy, Vasuki asked Bheem to introduce himself. On hearing Bheem, Vasuki was overjoyed. The boy who seem to be a threatening enemy turned out to be a long lost kin. Vasuki was Kunti’s granduncle and hence Bheem’s maternal grandfather. Impressed by Bheem’s strength and courage, Vasuki offered him a potion that contained the strength of a thousand elephants. Hungry after all the exertion, Bheem gulped ten portions of that. Vasuki then had Bheem escorted back to the palace, much to the joy of Kunti. Bheem narrated the incidents that took place in the kingdom of snakes and bragged about his strength – now equalling that of ten thousand elephants. Duryodhan stood listening, aghast. Under unusual and difficult situations, Bheem followed his instincts and ended up being more powerful than before!

Read Part 1 – Inspiration from Karn here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

Read Part 2 – Inspiration from Yudhisthir here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

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Varanasi 1.3

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

Kunti, the first wife of King Pandu of Hastinapur, was blessed with a special boon. The boon gave her powers to invoke any God of her choice and the God invoked would bless Kunti with a son. Kunti used the boon four times. Before her marriage to King Pandu of Hastinapur, she invoked the Sun god and bore Karn. Fearing questions from people about the birth of the child, she abandoned Karn. After her marriage to Pandu, she invoked Yama (God of Death and righteousness), Vayu (God of Wind) and Indra (God of Sky and the ruler of heaven) and bore Yudhisthir, Bheem and Arjun respectively.  The sons of Kunti were the finest warriors of the Mahabharat. Each of them had their share of testing times and they all came out as winners. Their stories have inspiration for us. Here’s from Yudhisthir: 

Yudhisthir – Considered the eldest son of Kunti till the time Karn’s true identity was revealed to the world, Yudhisthir was popular for this honesty, righteousness and sound sense of justice. The eldest of the Pandav siblings lost his kingdom and dignity in gamble and was forced into exile as a result, along with his brothers. Wandering forests in scorching heat, the youngest of the Pandav siblings – Sahadev walked to a lake to fetch water. The lake was guarded by a demigod, who warned Sahadev of dire consequences if the water was touched before some questions were answered correctly. Sahadev, usually gentle and mannerly, ignored the warning and drank of the lake. The warning wasn’t a mere hoax and Sahadev died instantly. Not sighting their youngest brother for a long time, one by one each of the Pandav siblings came to the lake. Nakul, Bheem and Arjun too ignored the warning and died on drinking of the lake. Yudhisthir reached the spot and found his brothers dead. The demigod explained the cause of the deaths and warned Yudhisthir too. Being calm in difficult situations came naturally to Yudhisthir who volunteered to answer the questions. The demigod shot one question after another covering philosophy, justice, righteousness and religion. The learned Yudhisthir answered each question to the demigod’s satisfaction. Impressed, the demigod blessed Yudhisthir with a boon. Yudhisthir could now choose one of his brothers to be brought back to life. Without much deliberation, Yudhisthir chose Nakul. Surprised, the demigod questioned Yudhisthir’s choice of Nakul over the powerful Bheem and Arjun. Yudhisthir stated that his father – late King Pandu of Hastinapur had five sons from two wives Queen Kunti and the late Queen Madri. Yudhisthir reasoned that he himself, Kunti’s eldest son, was alive. It would now be fair if Nakul, Madri’s eldest son, too lived. Impressed yet again by Yudhisthir’s sense of justice which prevailed over everything else, the demigod appeared in his actual form. The demigod was none other than Yama, Yudhisthir’s godfather. All that had transpired was nothing but a test which Yudhisthir had successfully passed. Yama granted life to all Pandav siblings who then continued their journey into exile. Given the choice to bring only one brother back to life, Yudhisthir’s fine judgement and poise ensured all his brothers lived!

Read Part 1 – Inspiration from Karn here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

Read Part 3 – Inspiration from Bheem here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

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Varanasi 1.2

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

Kunti, the first wife of King Pandu of Hastinapur, was blessed with a special boon. The boon gave her powers to invoke any God of her choice and the God invoked would bless Kunti with a son. Kunti used the boon four times. Before her marriage to King Pandu of Hastinapur, she invoked the Sun god and bore Karn. Fearing questions from people about the birth of the child, she abandoned Karn. After her marriage to Pandu, she invoked Yama (God of Death and righteousness), Vayu (God of Wind) and Indra (God of Sky and the ruler of heaven) and bore Yudhisthir, Bheem and Arjun respectively.  The sons of Kunti were the finest warriors of the Mahabharat. Each of them had their share of testing times and they all came out as winners. Their stories have inspiration for us. Here’s from Karn: 

Karn – Born with a divine armour and a pair of earrings, Karn was abandoned by Kunti at birth. Adopted and brought up by foster parents and braving his share of struggles, he grew up to be one of the finest archers of the time. Circumstances led to a situation where Karn was to fight his brothers at Kurukshetra. Karn, over the years, had loathed the Pandavs siblings, particularly Arjun. Karn’s feelings were equally reciprocated by Arjun. The war at Kurukshetra was expected to be the decider when it came to their rivalry. Only Karn and none other could prove to be the nemesis of Arjun and that’s what kept Indra worried. Indra had equipped Arjun with powerful divine weapons for the war but he also knew none would prove effective against Karn’s divine armour and earrings. Karn’s benevolence was known far and wide. Karn would never let down a request, irrespective of its nature. He had particularly pledged to honour requests that came in right after his prayers and people from all walks of life lined up to see him after his prayers. None ever returned dissatisfied. Indra decided to guise as a sage and request Karn for his armour and earrings as alms. The Sun god, Karn’s godfather, got an inkling of Indra’s plan and warned Karn. On hearing the conspiracy, Karn wasn’t perturbed. Instead, he said that he would happily part with his armour and earrings but wouldn’t go back on his pledge. Sun warned Karn of the dire consequences of losing his divine possessions. Fearless that Karn was, he stood firm on his stance. The next day, Indra played his plan. He appeared as a sage after Karn was done with his prayers and asked for the armour and earnings. Karn smiled and happily scrapped off the armour from his body. He then snapped his earrings. There was no remorse on Karn’s face as he profusely bled and finally handed over the armour and earrings to Indra. Impressed by Karn’s commitment to his pledge and guilty of the pain he had caused, Indra appeared in his actual form and blessed Karn with a boon. Karn thought for a minute and asked Indra for his thunderbolt. Indra’s thunderbolt was a fatal divine weapon, known to never miss its mark. Since Indra had granted the boon, he handed over his weapon to Karn. Indra however added a condition, stating that Karn would be able to use the weapon just once. Karn smiled and assured Indra that he too had no intentions of using the weapon twice. Indra knew Karn would use the thunderbolt against Arjun and his worry only worsened, as he disappeared from the scene. Though devoid of his divine armour and earrings, Karn returned home more powerful than before for he stuck to his principles!  

Read Part 2 – Inspiration from Yudhisthir here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

Read Part 3 – Inspiration from Bheem here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

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Varanasi 1.1

10 Amitabh Bachchan Dialogues That Not Just Entertain But Inspire

10 Amitabh Bachchan Dialogues That Not Just Entertain But Inspire

From the many popular dialogues Amitabh Bachchan has delivered in reel life, I pick 10 of my favorites that haven’t just entertained, but also inspire us to excel in real life, especially at the workplace. Here they are:

1. “Jis Kaam Ke Liye Aapne Mujhe Rakha Hai, Woh Kaam Kaise Kiya Jayega, Yeh Soochna Bhi Mera Kaam Hai” Deewar

Master your trade. In and out. No two ways about this. This is the starting point and nothing that you’re going to read ahead will work for you if you make a mess of what you ought to be a champion at. Excelling at what you’re hired for comes before everything else. Period. Demonstrating it time and again gives you the confidence Vijay Verma had in Deewar, which is visible when he asserts that he knows he can do it when asked if he thinks he can do it! Ensure when it comes to your kaam, you’re the best!

 2. “Hawa Tez Chalta Hai, Dinkar Rao, Topi Sambhalo Udd Jayega” – Agneepath

Keep an eye on the situation. These lines used by Vijay Chavan were more of a threat than anything else. But what they really tell is that you ought to know what’s happening around you. Situations are dynamic and some or the other catalyst is always at play. Some situations are under your control and some aren’t. Some affect you and some don’t. Awareness is something that leads to simulations which eventually help drive calculated actions. More often than not, all this ensures you’re proactive and not reactive. Any clues on how’s the hawa been recently?

3. “Main Paanch Lakh Ka Sauda Karne Aaya Hoon … Aur Meri Jeb Mein Paanch Phooti Kaudiyaan Bhi Nahin Hai” – Trishul

Be enterprising and take risks. Like Vijay Kumar, you might not always have the best resources (or insufficient or even none) at your disposal. But what costs nothing is an enterprising streak. Being enterprising is nothing but visualizing doors where others see none. It helps you identify and seize opportunities others see late (or never) and that ensures you deliver before (or more) than others. As far as risks are concerned, your job won’t need you if there weren’t any risks. Without risks there aren’t returns and the risks that backfire leave learning as precious residue. So get cracking on a sauda.

4. “Main Paani Ke Liye Raasta Banaunga, Uske Baad Paani Hamare Liye Raasta Banayega” – Kala Patthar

Take challenges head-on. When stuck in a flooded coal mine, Vijay Pal Singh made a choice and did what no ordinary individual would have done under the circumstances. He made way for the gushing waters. To find solutions in a difficult situation, you’ll need to address the core issue once and for all, howsoever enormous its size or however big the threat. If not dealt with in totality, the situation will keep pulling you back and you’ll end up wasting time and energy over and over again. This should clear your raasta.

5. “Wahan Se Tumhe Yeh Cheh Dikh Raha Hoga, Lekin Yahan Se Mujhe Yeh Nau Dikhta Hai” – Aakhree Raasta.

Put your point across. David D’Costa beautifully explained his point here. All of us have our own perspectives for we come from different backgrounds, ethos, cultures and have had varied experiences. If you have a point, you can’t just say it, you got to sell it. Feel free to put examples, citations, idioms, metaphors and graphics to generous use. The most important stakeholders usually don’t have the luxury of time, hence it’s important to be crisp. They also hear many perspectives day in and day out, hence it’s important to be novel. Ensure they see your Nau.

6. “Ek Insaan Jo Zubaan Samjhe, Main Uske Saath Usi Zubaan Mein Baat Karta Hun” – Trishul

Talk in a way they understand. Here Vijay Kumar isn’t referring to linguistics. He is talking about being even. He is stressing upon the importance of doing unto others what others do to you (or others). It’s about giving people a taste of their own medicine. It’s about reciprocating. Not everyone you meet understands and appreciates the way you work, so you might need to adapt. Not everyone you work with comes easy on you or is considerate, so you need to have a firm stance. What comes around, has to go around. Good for good and bad for bad. Talk the zubaan they’re used to.

 7. “Galat cheez banaya telephone. Udhar se aadmi soochta kuch hai, bolta kuch hai, karta kuch hai” – Agneepath

Go by nothing but the written. Again, Vijay Chavan meant much more than he said. Nothing against the good old telephone but it (or any verbal communication for that matter) is of no good use when people sitting on the same floor exchange emails – which obviously has its merits. You’re in a space where verbal conversations have no tangible value. What’s on circulars, memos or emails is more important than what’s heard. Documentation holds the real value and weight for one can deny or conveniently forget what one stated over the telephone or elsewhere. Don’t rely too much on the galat cheez.

8. “Sahi Baat Sahi Waqt Aur Sahi Mauke Par Ki Jaye To Uska Maza Kuch Aur Hi Hota Hai” – Trishul

Timing as critical as content. Vijay Kumar is talking about three things here. The right thing, the time and the right opportunity. The right thing is a given. You obviously need to have the right thing to say or do, no alternatives to getting this one ‘right’. But that’s seldom enough. The right thing (an idea, for example) can’t be too late or too early. When late, it has no value and when early, no one realizes its value. Post getting the right thing and time, you got to get the right people or forums or situations to set the ball rolling. Now you know you got to get three things sahi!

 9. “Nazdiki Fayda Dekhne Se Pehle Door Ka Nuksaan Sochna Chahiye” – Sarkar

Think long term. Subhash Nagre’s astute mind and experience talking. This isn’t for the fly-by-night operators. If you’re not one, you need to know that things that can take you to peaks today, might create huge craters tomorrow. Might. You need to assess repercussions of your actions in the long term especially when you’re under pressure to deliver. That’s when you’re most vulnerable to fall for short term gains. It’s not just about winning today, there is also a tomorrow you need to secure for yourself. That’s what Sarkar would do!

10. “Duniya Mein Kam Log Hai Jo Dusron Ki Kamyabi Se Khush Hote Hai” – Trishul

Not everyone wants you to succeed. Here, Vijay Kumar goes about stating a harsh reality of life in the most matter-of-fact manner possible. Not everyone you shake hands with or work with is a friend and not everyone likes to clap when you win. Your struggles are yours alone and so are your successes. Your success (or failure) is what it makes people show their real shades. There can be a few who’ll feel happy about you successes and stick around when the chip are down. Check if you’re blessed with some of these kam log around you.

Note: This is my tribute to Big B on his 74th. Dialogues are from his movies I’ve seen numerous times as a fan. The interpretations are my own as a budding writer. This is for inspiration only and no copyright violations intended. 

5 Workplace Lessons From Ganesha

5 Workplace Lessons From Ganesha

Ganesha is a Hindu deity widely worshiped in India. Known for his distinct appearance and unique characteristics, Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles. Thus, his blessings are sough at the outset of all things important. Stories of Ganesha hold some valuable lessons to excel at the workplace:

  1. Do what you ought to do (even if it means losing your head!!):

Parvati, the consort of Shiva, created a boy using her mystic powers. She adopted the boy as her son and asked him to stand guard as she bathed. Exhibiting a firm sense of commitment towards the task assigned, the boy didn’t allow even Shiva to enter the place. Unaware of the developments whilst he was in deep meditation, a miffed Shiva unleased his trident and beheaded the boy. This obviously didn’t go well with Parvati and she demanded her son be brought back to life. Realizing his mistake, Shiva asked his men to fetch the head of the first creature they came across. The men did as instructed and ended up getting an elephant’s head. Shiva joined the elephant’s head and the boy’s body and instilled life – giving the boy a distinctive appearance. Shiva also appointed the boy, his son, the leader of his followers. Which got the boy his name – “Ganesha” or “Ganapati”.  

You could face the wrath for doing what you ought to do, but eventually you’ll end up with something bigger, better and distinct!

  1. Pause and play smart:

One day Ganesha and his brother Kartikeya disagreed over issue. Shiva intervened and declared that the one to go around the universe thrice and emerge victorious in the ‘race’ would be have the final say on the issue. Without a thought, Kartikeya zipped into action. Ganesha contemplated for a minute and smiled. All he did was went around Shiva and Parvati thrice and waited for Kartikeya to return. A gasping Kartikeya arrived claiming himself as the winner. Ganesha argued, stating Shiva-Parvati to be his universe, which he circled much before Kartikeya could compete the three rounds of the entire universe. A delighted Shiva declared Ganesha the winner, much to the dissent of Kartikeya.    

Before you jump into obvious solutions, do pause and think if there are smarter ways to solve problems. With lesser efforts leading to desired results. 

  1. Give it back:

Kuber, the treasurer of the gods, lived a life of abundance and riches. In his bid to show off his wealth, Kuber invited Shiva for dinner to his city Alkapuri. Shiva declined the invitation and asked Kuber to invite Ganesha instead. Ganesha understood the intent behind the invitation and decided to teach Kuber a lesson. Ganesha ate all that was cooked. The hosts kept serving portions as Ganesha emptied platter after platter. Ganesha kept asking for more and soon the kitchens of Alkapuri ran out of food. Distressed, Kuber approached Parvati who happily shared the secret of satiating Ganesha’s appetite. Kuber apologized to Shiva and Ganesha, promising never to repeat the mistake. In another instance, the Moon mocked Ganesha’s pot belly. Enraged, Ganesha cursed the haughty moon to lose its glow and disappear. Moon apologized and plead for mercy. Ganesha forgave only partly and left the Moon with some dark spots, diminishing its beauty, its pride.  

There is no alternative to giving it back when needed. Simple!

  1. Ensure work doesn’t stop:

Vyas requested Ganesha to the pen the story of the Mahabharat as he dictated. Ganesha agreed conditionally, asking Vyas to ensure the dictation doesn’t stop until the epic is complete. Vyas agreed and the dictation began. Vyas kept reciting the verses and Ganesha filled leaves after leaves. In what turned to be a marathon writing session, Ganesha’s quill pen gave in and broke. Ganesha realized he would end up being the cause of disruption that he himself insisted Vyas to avoid. Holding the agreement sacrosanct, Ganesha didn’t spare a second thought as he broke his own tusk. Using the sharp end as a pen, Ganesha continued writing to Vyas’s amazement and appreciation.  

Let nothing come in the way of achieving goals. Not only will you reach the goals, you’ll also end up being recognized and appreciated. 

  1. Synergize:

A demon called Gajamukha did what most demons did. He pleased Shiva with rigorous penance and ended up getting a boon. Misusing his powers, Gajamukha wreaked havoc and conquered the heavens. Ganesha was tasked with taking the demon head-on and overpowering him. In what turned to be a fierce battle, the demon took the form of a mouse thinking a large and heavy Ganesha wouldn’t stand the agility of a small mouse. Gajamukha was captured and Ganesha did realize the merit in the trick. As the victor, Ganesha commanded Gajamukha to permanently retain the form of a mouse. He appointed him as his carrier for together the two distinct sized partners complemented each other well.

You should look at developing symbiotic working relationships. No one has it all and no one is too insignificant to offer nothing at all! 

The 10 Avengers of the Mahabharat

The ancient Indian epic of Mahabharat saw a war at Kurukshetra. The war was nothing but a calumniation of grudges. Here are the avengers and their stories:

Shakuni – the sweet and silent avenger. Shakuni was no well-wisher of the Kauravs. He wished for and systematically worked towards the downfall of the Hastinapur kingdom. Fuelling jealousy, false pride and hatred, Shakuni made a mess of Duryodhan’s life. His cunning ideas ensured the relations between Kauravs and Pandavs reached a point of irreversible collapse, eventually leading to bloodbath at Kurukshetra. Shakuni had his reasons to hate the royal family of Hastinapur. His family was ruined at their hands and he wanted to give back what he got. He silently did what he wanted to and no one realized what he was up to. For deception was the best weapon Shakuni had. When Shakuni got killed in war, the Kauravs were on the brink of defeat.

Shikandi – the patient avenger. First as Amba, a woman and then as Shikandi, a woman in a man’s body. Bhishma accidentally ruined Amba’s life and did what he considered his best to salvage the situation. Amba didn’t get what she wanted as reparation. Amba pleased Shiva with her penance and was blessed with a boon that were to materialize in the next birth. Shikhandi had waited too long and was actually helping himself when he agreed to help Arjun in the war at Kurukshetra. Bhishma lowed his weapons sighting Shikhandi on Arjun’s chariot. What Arjun did as a result not only changed the course of the war but gave immense happiness and a sense of retribution to Amba.

Duryodhan – the tit-for-tat avenger. Full of despise for his cousins, the Pandavs since childhood and jealous of their recent success, Duryodhan was already a volcano waiting to erupt. Draupadi’s laughter and mocking was something his bloated ego couldn’t take sportingly. What Duryodhan considered insulting had to be avenged by a stronger insult. With Shakuni’s trickery by his side, Duryodhan ensured the Pandavs lost everything they had in gamble, including Draupadi. Not stopping there, he had Dushasan drag Draupadi into a packed court and humiliate her, taking the politics of Hastinapur to its nadir. Draupadi’s cries was music to Duryodhan’s ears. It was his day to laugh.

Bheem – the most ruthless avenger of his time. Draupadi’s insult didn’t go down well with the Pandavs, particularly Bheem. We vowed to break Duryodhan’s thigh into pieces and sip blood from Dushasan’s chest to quench his anger. Known for his abilities to accomplish arduous tasks, Bheem’s words sent shockwaves across the court. In the war at Kurukshetra, Bheem brutally killed Dushasan, mutilating his body and dancing around it. Later, flouting rules of the war, Bheem used his mace to land massive blows on Duryodhan’s thigh, leaving him bleeding profusely. Bheem’s revenge was what brought victory to the Pandavs for only he could kill Duryodhan.

Arjun – the quickest of all avengers. The war at Kurukshetra was at its peak. Drona as the chief of the Kaurav forces decided to end the war by capturing Yudhisthir. Arjun ensured every attempt failed which lead Drona into a masterplan. The Kauravs got Arjun busy elsewhere and arranged their army in the circular formation. Arjun’s son Abhimanyu rescued his side from the crisis that ensued but was brutally killed. Jayadrath was the one who didn’t allow any help reach the lone Abhimanyu. Arjun vowed to kill Jayadrath within a day, failing which he promised to commit suicide. With help from Krishna and using his fine archery, tearing apart layers of Kaurav protection, Arjun put Jayadrath to rest in the nick of time.

Drupad, Drona, Eklavya, Dhrishtadyumna & Ashwathama – a messy circle of revenge. Drupad made a promise to Drona which he never fulfilled. Drona took it as an insult and carried a grudge. Drona ruined Eklavya’s career as an archer for he was seen as a potential threat to Drona’s favourite pupil Arjun. Eklavya wanted to repay it to Drona and died after a boon from Krishna. The boon ensured Eklavya would be reborn to kill Drona. Drona later got Drupad captured by Pandavs and usurped half of Drupad’s kingdom for his son Ashwathama. Now, Drupad carried the grudge and sought divine help to settle scores with Drona. He was blessed with Dhrishtadyumna as his son who already had the martial skills needed to kill Drona. Dhrishtadyumna arrival was also the rebirth of Eklavya. Certain that Drona would die at the hands of Dhrishtadyumna, Drupad waited patiently. In the war at Kurukshetra, they all came face to face. Drona and Ashwathama were by the Kaurav side and Drupad and Dhrishtadyumna fought by the Pandav side. Drona killed Drupad and Dhrishtadyumna killed Drona. Ashwathama later killed Dhrishtadyumna. Ashwathama’s attempt to end the Pandav lineage was reversed by Krishna. Krishna’s curse sent Ashwathama into oblivion, putting an end the horrid cycle of revenge that killed almost all involved.

For detailed stories, read: The Avengers of the Mahabharat – Full Stories — storysellersid