In the epic Mahabharata, Jayadratha abuses and insults Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. The story relates that the Pandava were sent for twelve years in exile in the forest by the Kauravas.
One day the Pandavas went hunting and their wife Draupadi was with their domestic priest. Then King Jayadratha passed through the forest with large attendants on his way to the South, when he was going there to marry the princes of Chedi. King Jayadratha suddenly saw Draupadi and was struck with her beauty, that he at once entertained the desire of possessing her.
Jayadratha send a messenger to her hermitage to ascertain her name and family, and to get him introduced to her as a guest. Draupadi, ignorant of the danger that endangered her, welcomed him and greeted him. Jayadratha however soon disclosed his treacherous intentions, and when Draupadi indignantly repelled them, he carried her off forcibly. He tried to kidnap Draupadi and forcibly marry her. Jayadratha is caught by Bhima, one of the Pandavas but is not killed as saved by Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira makes him the slave.
Bhima then shaves Jayadratha's hair, making him bald. Jayadratha was very infuriated and wanted to take revenge against the Pandavas. In vengeance Jayadratha prayed and meditated to please Lord Shiva. He asks for the power to conquer the Pandavas, but Shiva said that it was not possible. Shiva blessed Jayadratha with the power to hold the Pandava brothers for one day in battle except for Arjuna who was protected by Lord Krishna. Arjuna defeats Jayadratha in the battle.
Jayadratha was fighting against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War, using his advantage to stop the Pandava brothers from entering the near-impenetrable Chakra Vyuha battle formation. Arjuna's son Abhimanyu enters the chakra and is ultimately murdered by unfair means. Arjuna blamed Jayadratha for Abhimanyu's death, and swears to kill him the next day.
The next day Arjuna killed many soldiers in the battle. When Arjuna was about to kill Jayadratha then suddenly the sun had nearly set. Seeing this Lord Krishna, Arjuna's charioteer, sent his Sudarshana Chakra to mask the sun, creating a solar eclipse and thus faking a sunset. The Kaurava warriors rejoiced over Arjuna's defeat and his imminent suicide, exposing Jayadratha from his hiding for a crucial moment. But on the urge of Krishna Arjuna shot a powerful arrow that decapitated Jayadratha.
The father of Jayadratha, old and sinful king Vridhakshtra had blessed his son that the person who will kill Jayadratha would suffer by having his own head burst. When Arjuna beheaded Jayadratha, he faced imminent death due to the blessing but Krishna used his divine powers and saved Arjuna's life. Krishna carried Jayadratha's by the decapitating arrow to his father, who was meditating near the battlefield. Vridhakshtra was shocked to see the head of his son Jayadratha and dropped his son's head, which caused his own head to burst.
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