Yudhishthira's Ashwamedham 01 Poem by Unnikrishnan Sivasankara Menon

Yudhishthira's Ashwamedham 01

Rating: 5.0

(1) Abhimanyu

After the Great War of Kurukshetra
Was won by the Pandavas,
The righteous Yudhisthira
Ascended the throne of Indraprastha.

Pandavas tried to relegate to the past
The harsh memories of friends, allies
Kith and kin killed in the war
Many of them by unfair means.

The war had snatched the lives of
All their sons, almost their entire progeny
But for the yet unborn child of Uttara
And Abhimanyu, the slain son of Arjuna.

After Abhimanyu, who has just turned sixteen,
Wreaked havoc in the Kaurava army
Their Commanders joined hands to attack him
And killed him in gross violation of the war codes.

Pandavas could not forget how the young warrior
Had breached the Kaurava's Padmavyuha to barge in
And how Drona, Kripa, Karna and Jayadratha
Attacked him together, disarmed him and killed him.

Whenever she thought of his valor and fighting skills
Even Uttara, widowed at the age of fourteen,
Felt immensely proud and held her head high
Though blinded by incessant flow of tears.

In the all-pervading gloom, the Pandavas realised
That they too had committed their share
Of unfairness in the war and code violations:
"So, whom do we grudge? Why do we complain? "

This realisation lead them to deep remorse.


1. The Great War of Kurukshetra: The poem takes a leaf from the Indian Epic, Mahabharata. Reference is made to the war fought between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, in which almost every kingdom took part on the one side or the other.

2. Pandavas: Sons of Pandu, the king of Hastinapuram. He was anointed the King, because his elder brother, Dhritarashtra, the who was to succeed their father as king, was born blind. The five Pandavas are Yudhishthira (the eldest) , Bheemasena, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva.

3. Kauravas: Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons. They are called the Kauravas. Duryodhana is the eldest among Kauravas. Dusshasana is the second.
Dhritarashtra had a daughter too, named Dusshala.

4. War Codes: After the war was declared, much before its commencement, the senior officials on both sides sat together and formulated a code to be adhered to in the war.

Prominent among the codes is, a yoddha will fight only one of equal status. The fight will be one-to-one. More than one persons shall not join together to fight a single enemy soldier. Both the persons fighting each other shall use the same kind of weapons. Astra versus astra and shastra versus shastra. Gada (mace) versus mace. An unarmed soldier shall not be attacked by an armed one. Similarly, a soldier in Ratham (chariot) shall only fight an enemy soldier in ratham. And one on horse shall fight his enemy on horse. In the case of Abhimanyu, all these codes were violated, that too by the seniormost generals in Kaurava Army.

5. Padmavyuha: A circular military formation of armed forces. Padmavuha can move as one into the enemy camp, but is said to be impregnable and so, can prove disastrous to the enemy. It can also be used to capture an enemy commander by engaging him in a battle on one side and simultaneously closing in on him from all sides.

6. Drona: The Guru (teacher) of both Kauravas and Pandavas. In the war, he decided to stay on the side of Kauravas.

7. Kripa: Kripa and his sister Kripi are foster-children of Maharaja Santanu, great-grandfather of Kauravas and Pandavas. A renowned archer, he was aacharya to them, before Dronaacharya took over. Hence is called Kripacharya. His sister Kripi is married to Drona.

8. Karna: The eldest son of Pritha, mother of the first three Pandavas, born to the Sun God, Surya before her marriage to King Pandu. Discarded by his mother as a new-born, he was rescued by a suutha (charioteer) . But, he went on to master archery under the tutelage of Parashuram and was befriended by Prince Duryodhana. In the GWK, naturally, he takes his friend's side.

9. Jayadratha: King of Sindhu and husband of Dusshala, Dhritarashtra's daughter. He fights the war on the side of his brother-in-law and is killed by Arjuna, in revenge of his dubious role in the murder of Abhimanyu. This episode from the great war is a story in itself, which I may tell you some day.

10. Abhimanyu: Son of Arjuna, the third Pandava and Subhadra, sister of Krishna. The marriage of Subhadra to Arjuna is another story worth recounting. I shall do it sooner or later.
Rose Marie Juan-austin 28 December 2021

A vivid and detailed presentation of the Great War of Kurukshetra. I am looking forward to reading the other series. Very interesting and gripping story.

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Unnikrishnan E S 28 December 2021

If you have read the series fully, you would have gone through the intrigues of life. And finally realise how little are our achievements got by money and Power…

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Unnikrishnan E S 28 December 2021

The story of the Pandavas, as depicted in the epic, is truly intriguing. May I invite you to read my other sseries of poems based on Mahabharata….(1) Yayati, (2) Satyawati and (3) Sarpasatram…. This is the fourth one.

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Susan Williams 28 December 2020

Ah! Life at PH involves reading one of your sagas, my friend. They drop us into a world we never knew but with wide eyes we learn.. oh, yes, we learn! Thank you for writing these sagas! 5++++

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Susan Williams 28 December 2020

Their Commanders joined hands to attack him And killed him in gross violation of the war codes.---sometimes men and their wars puzzle me. They go out on the battlefield to kill but they pass moral laws about . Dead is dead to those whose loved ones never come home

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Geeta Radhakrishna Menon 20 November 2020

Hi Unni, So good to see that you are starting a new series on the Great War of Kurukshetra. I am looking forward to reading this series with keen interest and to refresh my memory of this great epic - The Mahabharata! A brilliant start Unni! .......Top stars

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Unnikrishnan E S 26 November 2020

It is now that Poemhunter is allowing me to post a rejoinder to your post. A big thank you for the kind words. Two more episodes have been posted in the series. Do find time to go through. Thank you again. Obliged.

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Subhas Chandra Chakra 13 November 2020

Beautiful journey through the days of Mahabharat, in such a vivid manner, through your introspecting eyes, loved reading the lovely poem. Thanks for the sharing.

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Unnikrishnan E S 26 November 2020

Thank you, Subhas Sir, for the most encouraging words. I have posted two more episodes. Kindly find time to go through. Thank you.

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Unnikrishnan E S 26 November 2020

Thank you, Subhas Sir, for the most encouraging words.

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Unnikrishnan Sivasankara Menon

Unnikrishnan Sivasankara Menon

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