Arjuna is an important character of Mahabharata. He was the third son of King Pandu and Kunti. When Pandu was unsuccesful to have an offspring, Kunti reminded him of a boon given to her by saint Durvasa in which she could call upon deities and have their off spring. Pandu and Kunti used it and called Dharamraj, Vayu and Indra. Arjuna was the third son, Indra’s son.
- Arjuna was the best archer. He was the student of Dronacharya. He won Draupadi in her swayamvar.
- Pandu’s first wife, Kunti, was Krishna’s aunt. She gave birth to Arjuna. Indra was his father. Kunti’s other name was Pratha and that is why Arjuna is also called Paartha. He could use his bow with his left hand also and so was known as “Savyasanchi”. He is also known as “Dhananjaya” as he conquered the northern regions and collected vast wealth.
- He was a dear student of Dronacharya. He learned about weapons and fight from Parshuram also. He fought with Shiva during penance in the Himalayas. He got Pashupat Astra, Agneyastra form Agni, Gaandiv Dhanush (bow) and Akshaya Tunir from Shiva. Varuna gave him a huge chariot named Nandighosh.
- Urvashi, a nymph, fell in love with him in Indrapuri. But by not fulfilling her wishes, Arjuna had to live as Brahannala, infertile for a year, and teach dance to Uttara, the daughter of Viraat.
- He had a son, Iravat, from Ulupi who was a Naagkanya (Lady Serpent).
- He married Chitraangad, daughter of Manipur’s king and had a son named Bahu Vahana.
- Krishna’s sister, Subhadra, was also Arjuna’s wife. She gave birth to Abhimanyu. He also won Draupadi in her swayamvar.
- Krishna was Arjuna’s charioteer in the battle of Mahabharata. In the beginning of the battle itself, Arjuna couldn’t agree to fight his own family members. Then Krishna gave knowledge of Gita to him and asked him to fulfill his duties. A large part of Pandava’s victory goes to Arjuna alone. After Mahabharata battle, he went to Himalayas with his brothers and he died there.
- Today, in modern India, “Arjuna Puraskar” is given to players for their brilliant performances.