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Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: Elapatra’s Suggestion to His Snake Brothers

Note: In the previous post, we read about Elapatra’s advice to his snake brothers. Elapatra had heard the conversation between Brahma Deva and other devas about how only the sinful snakes would perish in Janamejaya’s snake sacrifice and how the virtuous snakes would be saved.

Even though these words gave some relief to Vasuki, they did not remove his anxiety completely because the future still felt uncertain. 

In this post, we will find out how the devas sought help from Brahma Deva for Vasuki.

A very important cosmic event took place soon after Elapatra’s advice to his snake brothers. It was the Samudra Manthan where the devas and asuras got together to churn the ocean.

Vasuki, the chief of serpents who was gifted with great strength, offered to become the churning cord. After the Churning was over, Vasuki presented himself to Brahma Deva. The devas also went with Vasuki and told Brahma Deva that Vasuki was constantly concerned about the fate of  the serpent race. He suffered from great anxiety because of his mother’s curse. The devas represented Vasuki as their friend and someone who had helped them. They requested Brahma Deva to be gracious to Vasuki and remove the root cause of his sorrow.

Note: I like this story because it shows the devas asking for help from one of the Tri-Devas for a friend. The devas tend to be grateful for the kindness and friendship they receive and repay it accordingly.

Brahma Deva replied to the devas, “O immortals, I have thought about the solution. Let the chief of snakes do what his brother Elapatra suggested. Rishi Jaratkaru has been born and is engaging in hard penances. Let Vasuki bestow his sister to the sage at the right time. What Elapatra said about the son born of the union of Vasuki’s sister and the sage is true. He will be a wise Brahmin full of energy and will stop the snake sacrifice as soon as the sinful serpents have perished. No virtuous serpent will be harmed in the sacrifice.”

Hearing Brahma Deva’s words, Vasuki immediately commanded all the serpents to watch rishi Jaratkaru and notify him as soon as he came looking for a wife.

Note: In the next post, we will find out how rishi Jaratkaru got his name.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: The Meaning of the Name Jaratkaru

When Draupadi and the Pandavas returned to Hastinapur after their marriage, King Dritharashtra, divided the Kuru kingdom into two parts. He gave half the kingdom to the Pandavas and the other half to the Kauravas. The Pandavas were given a region called Khandavaprastha which was the most barren part of the Kuru kingdom, while the Kauravas retained the part of the kingdom that flourished. However, even though the Pandavas got the shorter end of the stick, they did not raise any objection. They were content with what they got and worked jointly to turn the barren land into a paradise of abundance, peace, and virtue.

Draupadi lived with her five husbands in the capital city — Indraprastha. It is here that she gave birth to five sons from each of her husbands — the five Pandavas. Each child was born at a gap of one year.

What follows are the names of the five sons of Draupadi along with a description of why that particular name was chosen for the child.

Prativindhya

The first child, Prativindhya, was born to Draupadi and Yudhishthira. He was called Prativindhya because he was very strong and had the capacity, much like the Vindhya mountains, to bear any weapon hurled by enemy warriors.

Sutasoma

Sutasoma, the second child, was born to Draupadi and Bhima. He was known as Sutasoma because he was born after Bhima performed one thousand sacrifices to the moon deity (Soma).

Srutakarman

The third child, Srutakarman, was born to Draupadi and Arjuna. He was known as Srutakarman because he was born after Arjuna had returned from his twelve-year exile where he had performed many brave and valorous actions (karmas).

Satanika

Draupadi and Nakula’s child, Satanika, was the fourth child. He was named after an illustrious ancestor of the Kuru race.

Srutasena

Srutasena, the fifth child, was born from the union of Draupadi and Sahadev. He was born when the Krittika nakshatra was rising in the heavens. Therefore, he was named from one of the many names of Kartikeyan who is considered to be the general of the Krittika nakshatra.

Author’s Note: All of Draupadi’s children were born after Abhimanyu, the son of Subhadra and Arjuna. However, Abhimanyu also wasn’t the eldest of the Uppapandavas (sons of the Pandavas). Abhimanyu had three elder brothers. The eldest was Ghatotkacha (son of Hidimba and Bhima) followed by Iravana (son of Ulupi and Arjuna) followed by Babruvahana (son of Chitrangada and Arjuna).