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Sahastraarjun, Raajaa

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Sahastraarjun, Raajaa

There are two Arjun - one is Sahstraarjun, because his original name was Arjun, he later was known as Sahastraarjun when he got 1,000 arms from Dattaatreya; and the other one is Paandav brother Arjun. Here we are talking about Sahastraarjun.

According to Bhavishya Puraan, 3/25, it seems that Sahastraarjun was in this Kalp (Shwet Varaah Kalp) only, but in 6th Manvantar (this is 7th Manvantar) - Chaakshush Manvantar. It means that Parashuraam's Avataar was also in the same Manvantar. Taaljangh, Sahastraarjun's grandson was in 12th Chatur-yug Dwaapar of 6th Manvantar.

But according to Bhavishya Puraan, 4/15, Kritveerya, Sahastraarjun's father, lived in Varaah Kalp, 1st Manvantar, Swaayambhu Manvantar, in Sat Yug; but in which Chatur-Yug Sat Yug - that is not given. He ruled for 77,000 years. He had 100 sons but all were burnt by the Shaap of Maharshi Chyavan. It means that Parashuraam Jee was in Varaah Kalp also. Since Parashuraam Jee is Chiranjeevee, he can live in several Manvantar also.

Birth of Sahastraarjun
Bhavishya Puraan, 4/35 gives an interesting story about his birth to Kritveerya. Yudhishthir said - "By worshipping Naraayan, one's all wishes are fulfilled; but there is no greater sorrow than being without son, and a bad son is more sorrowful than being without son. I wish to know such Vrat, which can give a qualitative son." Krishn said - "There is a story famous about this. There lived a king named Kritveerya in Maahishmatee Nagaree. He had 1,000 queens but one queen was chief among all of them - Sheeldhanaa. One day she asked Maitreyee to get a son for him. Maitreyee told her to do Anant Vrat and said, "Whoever does this Vrat his all wishes are fulfilled. O Sheeldhanaa, If you desire for a good son, you should do this Vrat." Sheeldhanaa did this Vrat. [Kritveerya had one wife more her name has been found as Mrinmayee.]

Anant Bhagavaan got very pleased with this Vrat and he gave her a very good son. Kritveerya named him Arjun. But because of being the son of Kritveerya, he was called Kaartveerya also. He did severe Tap for Dattatreya Jee. Dattatreya Jee gave him Var - "You will be a Chakravartee king, and whoever will pronounce "Namo Astu Kaartveeryaaya", he will get the Punya of donating one Prasth sesame seed; and who will remember you their wealth will never be destroyed." His father never had any kind of problem with his son."

It is also said that once Vishnu Bhagavaan got angry with Lakshmee Jee and cursed Her to be born in an impure (Ashuddh) caste. So He also had to take birth on Prithvi and marry Her. They had the son named Kaartveerya - Sahastraarjun.

Arjun, this was his real name, was in the lineage of Pururavaa > Aayu > Nahush > Yayaati > Yadu >> Haihaya >> Kanak > Kritveerya. Since he was the son of Kritveerya, his full name was Kaartveerya Arjun. In fact he was born in Chandra Vansh originally, then Yadu Vansh and then he is known as the King of Haihaya Vansh. (see  Padm Puraan, 1/10). He is known by many names - Sahastrabaahu, Sahastra Bhujaa Dhaaree, Raajraajeshwar, Kaartveerya, Kaartveerya Arjun, Kaartveerya-nandan, Paraakramee Arjun, Haihaya Raaj, Dashagreevjayee, Naagpaal etc. He was known to be one of the seven greatest emperors that had ever lived.

Ganesh Puraan describes infant Kaartveerya as having no arms at birth.
It is also believed that he radiated a bright halo around him. This emitted powerful rays of light in all directions. The intensity of this glow was equivalent to the thousand suns. It blinded enemies and scared them away. It humbled them to surrender to him.
It is also believed, that Arjun was the Avataar (incarnation) of Vishnu's Chakra. As the Chakra has 1,000 spikes, he also had 1,000 arms.

Another Story of His Birth
This story of his birth comes from Mahaabhaarat. It mentions Kaartveerya as one of the best warriors and introduces his Divine origin, attributing it to Padminee Ekaadashee. Kritveerya did Tap for a son and asked for a son who could not be killed by anybody else except by Bhagvaan. His wish was granted. Soon after he came back home from his Tapasyaa, his wife Padminee got pregnant. He had 1,000 sons, but only five survived. All others were killed by Parashuraam Jee.

Reason of Kaartveerya Arjun's Birth
Found on Internet - Once Sage Naarad visited Vishnu's abode Vaikunth. Now Vishnu's main weapon is Chakra (Divine Disc - sharp-edged swinging wheel), known as Sudarshan Chakra. Nobody can face it and it is without fail. This Chakra is associated with a Deity named Sudarshan (that is why it is called Sudarshan Chakra). Sudarshan always boasted that Vishnu was all powerful only because of him, He could not have killed anybody if he had not been with Him. Naarad ignored his boasting and praised Vishnu, but hearing that he got angry. Hearing this Vishnu called him and said to him - Dear Sudarshan, It is true that I could kill many demons only because of you, but now you go and be born on Prithvi as a 1,000-armed hero and I will also come as a son of a sage and then we will match our powers there." Sudarshan could not live in Vaikunth any more.

Kritveerya was born in Chandra Vansh (Lunar Race) and was childless for a long time. Later a son was born to him, unfortunately he was without arms. But he practiced austerities for Daattaatreya Bhagvaan and got 1,000 arms from him along with other boons and became well known with many names - Sahastraarjun, Sahasbaahu, Sahastrabaahu. Vishnu incarnated as Parashuraam in Jamadagni's house, fought with him, and killed him. Thus Vishnu killed him without the help of Sudarshan or Sudarshan Chakra.

Adult Sahastrabaahu
He was a good Kshatriya. He had pleased Bhagavaan's Ansh Avataar Dattaatreya and got four Var from him. First he asked 1,000 arms (that is why he was called Sahastrabaahu or Sahasbaahu; Sahastra=1,000, Baahu=arms). Secondly he asked that people of his kingdom should not even think about A-Dharm and there should not be any A-Dharm in his kingdom. Thirdly he asked that I should win Prithvi in a justified way. Fourthly he asked that he should be killed in a battle fighting with the hands of mightier person than him. (Shiv Puraan says that he asked a Var that "Agni should perpetually live on the tip pf his arrow" and with this he burnt many villages.) Not only this, he learned Laghimaa, Animaa etc Siddhi from him. He could produce his 1,000 arms at his wish. Devtaa used to attend all his Yagya them in person.

Vaayu Puraan says that he got a chariot also from Dattaatreya, it could go anywhere at his wish.

His story comes in Bhavishya Puraan, 4/19 also. Krishn says to Yudhishthir praising him - "One day Haihaya king Kaartveerya Arjun of Maahishmatee Nagaree came to him and started serving him day and night. Dattaatreya got very pleased with his services. He granted him four Var at his request - (1) he should have 1,000 arms, (2) he should rule Prithvi with Dharm and there should be no A-Dharm in his kingdom, (3) he should not be defeated by anybody in battlefield, and (4) he should be killed only by Vishnu. Thus Hey Kaunteya, He gave him kingdom with eight Siddhi and Arjun also started ruling seven Dweep (island) Prithvi with Dharm. All this was the effect of his 1,000 arms. He could produce chariot with flag through his Maayaa. Ten thousand Yagya were always being performed in his kingdom. Their Vedee, Mandap and pots etc were always of gold. Braahman used to get lots of Dakshinaa in those Yagya. Devtaa, Gandharv and Apsaraa etc used to come to attend those Yagya.

There was a Gandharv, named Naarad. He sang the stories of his Yagya like this - "Hearing the stories of Kaartveerya's bravery this is come to know that there is no king who can do Yagya, Daan, and Tap like him. He is the only one with sword, shield and bow and arrow in all the seven Dweep. All kings fear him. His wealth never decreases, nobody is grieved in his kingdom. He maintains his kingdom with Dharm." Hey Raajan, Kaartveerya Arjun ruled this Prithvi for 85,000 years. He has so much power that he used to protect his animals and farms, and used to make rains when needed. He had churned the sea with his 1,000 arms. He won Karkotak etc Naag in Naag Lok and inhibited a city of his own there also. Because of his power he had kept Raavan as a prisoner in Maahishmatee, then Pulastya Rishi had to come to free him. Once he gave whole Prithvi in donation to hungry and thirsty Chitrabhaanu (Agni Dev)."

This is true that nobody could be at par to Kaartveerya Arjun in giving alms, Yagya, Tapasyaa, Yog, knowledge of Shaastra and  bravery etc. A story is mentioned about his alms in MBH, Stories-8-Shaanti that once he gave alms to Agni Dev and so Agni Dev burnt many villages, mountains, forests etc. He burnt Apav's place also so he gave Shaap to Arjun - "You have burnt my forests without any exception so Raam of Bhrigu Vansh will chop off your thousand arms." So Parashuraam Jee cut his 1,000 arms.

Besides he attained Indriyaan's unlimited powers, wealth etc. So he became Yogeeshwar. He could take minutest or largest form also. He enjoyed his Indriyaan's powers for 85,000 years, still he neither felt weak, nor tired. His mother used to observe Padminee Ekaadashee sincerely and faithfully, that is why he was the mightiest person in the whole world, that is why even Raavan could not defeat him. He could not be defeated by anybody except Naaraayan. He was the lone emperor of seven Dweep (islands). He was a Chakravartee Raajaa.

Sahastraarjun and Raavan
Once Sahastraarjun was playing in Narmadaa River wearing his Vaijayantee Maalaa. At that time he topped the flow of Narmadaa River through spreading his 1,000 arms. Ten-headed Raavan was also there nearby. He came there with the desire of having a fight with Arjun, but he found the place very beautiful, so he started worshipping Shiv Jee there on the shore of Narmadaa.

When Arjun stopped Narmadaa water with his 1,000 arms, river started flowing backwards and Raavan who was worshipping there got disturbed. His worship materials flowed in Narmadaa, his tents etc floated over that water. Raavan considered himself very mighty, so he could not tolerate this. He went there and said some bad words to him. Then Sahastrabaahu caught him in his arms and kept him as captive in his capital Maahishmatee Puree (habited on the banks of Narmadaa River. (see also Raavan)

Later when Maharshi Pulastya Jee heard about this, he himself came to Arjun. Arjun welcomed him and politely asked - "What can I do for you?" Maharshi said - "I accept your bravery, but this is my grandson, so free him." Arjun respected him and freed Raavan. He even gave him Divine clothes and jewelry and extended his friendship to him too.

Vaayu Puraan says that Arjun invaded Lankaa and made Raavan prisoner there.

Sahastraarjun and Parashuraam
Read also    Parashuraam-2

One day Sahstraarjun went to forest for hunting and came to Jamadagni Rishi's Aashram. Maharshi Jamadagni had the Kaamdhenu in his Aashram. Her name was Susheelaa. So he entertained Raajaa and his army very well with it. When Arjun saw this glory of a Muni which was more than his own, he did not even ask for the Divine cow, but he untied the cow and took her forcefully to Maahishmatee Puree. The cow started crying. When they had gone, Parashuraam Jee came at the Aashram and heard the incident, he rushed after them taking his Pharasaa etc.

Sahastraarjun was about to enter his city that he saw Parashuraam Jee coming towards himself. He sent his 17 Akshauhinee army to fight with him, but Parashuraam Jee killed all of them in a few moments. Then Sahastraarjun himself came to fight with him. He took 500 bows together and aimed his arrows at Parashuraam Jee. But He cut all of them with his one arrow and then he cut his head too. Seeing this his 10,000 sons got frightened and ran away from there. Later Parashuraam Jee killed them also leaving his five sons - Jayadhwaj, Shoorsen, Vrishabh, Madhu and Oorjit. His eldest son had a son named Taaljangh who had 100 sons - they all were called Taaljangh Kshatriya. Later Maharshi Aurv helped Raajaa Sagar (King Baahu's son) to kill them.

Among the 100 sons of Taaljangh, Veetihotra was the eldest. Veetihotra had one son named Madhu who had 100 sons, the eldest one of them was Vrishni. This dynasty was called Maadhav, Vrishni or Vaarshneya and Yaadav after the names of three great people - Madhu, Vrishi and Yadu.

Parashuraam Jee brought Susheelaa Kaamdhenu back to his Aashram and told everything happened there. Hearing all that Jamadagni Muni said - "You did not do good, you are very brave but you killed the King without any purpose. Son, we are Braahman. We should have pardoned him. Pardoning is our greatest quality. Even Brahmaa Jee also got Brahmpad because of pardoning. Killing of a king is more than the killing of a Braahman. Go now to Teerth and wash away your sins."



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/27/13