(Last Updated on : 16/03/2016)
Jarasandha was a great and legendary King of Magadha
. He was the son of a Vedic king named Brihadratha. He was also a great devotee of Lord Shiva
. Jarasandha is a legendary character mentioned in the great Indian epic "Mahabharata
". He is the King of Magadha and the son of Brihadratha.
Story of the Birth of Jarasandha
There is a mythical story relating to the birth of Jarasandha. Jarasandhas father, Brihadratha was ruling King of Magadha. Brihadratha had 2 wives who were twin princesses of Kashi
. He led a happy life and was a renowned king but had no children. Brihadratha was impotent, he was frustrated over his incapability to produce child. Brihadratha, mentally disturbed went to the forest and served a Rishi or Sage
Chandakaushika. The Rishi showed mercy towards him. The sage came to know of Brihadrathas disappointment. He then gave him a fruit upon him and on finding the cause of his sorrow, gave him a fruit blessed with fertility, instructing Brihadratha to give it to his wife. The sage was unknown that Brihadratha had 2 wives.
Brihadratha did not want to upset either of his wives, so he cut the fruit into 2 halves and gave the both queens to eat. After few days the 2 of his wives gave birth to 2 half born lifeless babies. Brihadratha ordered they be thrown outside his city.
Jara, a Rakshasi or demoness who was a man-eating witch picked the two half and joined them together to carry them off. When the two half bodies of the babies were joined then a boy was formed and he cried out aloud. Not having the heart to kill a living child, the demoness gave it up to the king, explaining what had happened. Brihadratha named the boy Jarasandha after the witch, because he had been put together by Jara.
Chandakaushika, the sage came to the kingdom of Magadha. He saw the child and forecasted to Brihadratha that his son would be specially gifted, and would be prominent as a disciple of Lord Shiva.
Jarasandha as the King of Magadha
Jarasandha became a renowned and powerful king, extending his fathers kingdom far and wide. He succeeded over many rulers and was made the monarch of Magadha. On one hand Jarasandhas power continued to grow but on the other hand he had anxiety about his future, as he had no heir.
Jarasandha had a close friend King Banasura
. Upon his suggestion Jarasandha decided to get his 2 daughters, Asti and Prapti
married to the Crown-Prince of Mathura, Kansa
. Jarasandha also provided his army to Kansa.
When Kansa was killed by Lord Krishna
, Jarasandha developed extreme revulsion for him and was strong-minded to defeat and kill him. Jarasandha was very discontented when he saw his widowed daughters. He promised to attack Mathura
and take over the Kingdom from Krishna. But he failed before Lord Krishna and Balarama
Jarasandha failed repeatedly but still attacked Mathura and continued this for 18 times. After his last attack, Krishna persuaded King Ugrasena and his father, Crown-Prince Vasudeva not to support to Jarasandha and establish a new Kingdom at Dwarka
Death of Jarasandha by Lord Krishna
Many kings where under the imprisonment of Jarasandha. When Krishna returned from Dwarka, he, with Bhima
, went to Jarasandhas capital for the purpose of killing him. Jarasandha was against Yudhisthira
becoming the Emperor by performing the Rajasuya Yagna
and liberating the kings.
Krishna with the 2 Pandavas
, disguise as 3 Brahmins
went to meet Jarasandha and told Jarasandha to choose one of them to fight with. Jarasandha preferred Bhima, renowned for his strength and stature. Jarasandha refused to release the kings, and accepted the alternative of a combat, in which he was killed by Bhima. The fight or the wrestling
lasted long, for 27 days. Bhima tore apart Jarasandha in 2 pieces sideways and threw away the 2 pieces in opposite directions. Jarasandha could not be joined together. After his death, all the imprisoned Kings were released and Lord Krishna installed his more virtuous son to succeed his throne, making him the ally of Indraprastha