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The Tale of Kartavirya Arjuna - The King Who Defeated Ravana

On March 19, 2019


Sanathana Dharma holds enormous prowess and power, which makes it invincible even after many years to come. It has given a lot of messages, teachings and other precious traditions which is also preserved today. The country of India has an elaborate history, where many people have lived and stood as examples. Among them “Kartavirya Arjuna,” the king who defeated the King Ravana holds a significant place. He ruled the kingdom of Haihayas of Yadava Dynasty.

The Tale of Kartavirya Arjuna

The Boon of Kartavirya Arjuna

Though being an emperor, King Kritavirya the father of King Kartavirya Arjuna had enormous riches, and a great dynasty, but he was constantly taunted by the fact that he was childless. One of His wives Padmini approached Anusuya, the daughter of Sage Kardama and Devahuti and the wife of Sage Atri. Anusuya asked her to perform severe penance and observe several rituals to appease the lord and gain the boon for begetting a child. So Padmini and Kirtavirya went to the forest and observed severe reparation. During the Padmini Ekadasi, the couple was blessed by the Lord Dattatreya and gave them the divine Darshan. The couple asked a particular boon of a special son, who cannot be defeated by humans, Gods, Demigods or devils. The powerful child, blessed by Lord Dattatreya was none other than King Kartavirya Arjuna, also known as Sahasrara Arjuna.

The list of boons received by Kartavirya Arjuna are

  • One thousand powerful arms that would reappear, whenever they are cut from the body.
  • Supreme skill to conquer the whole world
  • Be a distinguished king
  • The epitome of knowledge in Dharma, law, and justice
  • Triumph over his enemies
  • Invincibility over humans and all races
  • The Inexhaustible wealth and Knowledge
  • Ability to prevent calamities that may affect his kingdom
  • Death at the hands of a warrior more powerful than him
  • Upon gaining on these powers, he ruled the world as “Samrat Chakravarthi,” The Emperor of the universe. He was unable to be defeated by anyone and ruled the world for more than 85000 years.

    King Kartavirya Arjuna and King Ravana

    When the King Kartavirya Arjuna, along with his wives were having a bath in the river Narmada, he was stopped the force of the river with his thousand arms from both sides. King Ravana, who was singing the hymns of Shiva and praying to him, made him lose his concentration. As the King Kartavirya Arjuna was furious, he challenged the King Ravana former for combat. In the fight, King Ravana was defeated and was put to humiliation. King Kartavirya Arjuna, then arrested the King Ravana and was released by the request of King Pulatsya, the great grandfather.

    The Decline of King Kartavirya Arjuna

    Ego, pride, and anger are the few negative characters which lead to the downfall. As King Kartavirya received a boon that he should be invincible, he cannot be defeated by a Human or even a Demigod. So Lord Vishnu, in the incarnation of Lord Parasurama beheaded King Kartavirya Arjuna. He met his end by the hands of Lord Narayana Himself.

    Once King Kartavirya Arjuna and his army visited a rishi named Jamadagni, who fed his guest and the whole army with offerings from his divine cow Kamadhenu. The king demanded the cow for the betterment of his subjects. Jamadagni refused because he needed the cow for his religious ceremonies. King Kartavirya Arjuna sent his soldiers to take the cow. As the conflict developed among the Jamadagni and the King, Kartavirya Arjuna lost his cool and chopped off the head of Jamadagni. Lord Parasurama, the son of Saint Jamadagni, took revenge for the evil action of the king and beheaded him.

    The Lineage of King Kartavirya Arjuna

    The most notable descendants of Kartavirya Arjuna were the Vrishnis. These included men like Bhagawan Sri Krishna, Balarama, Kamsa, Ugrasena, Vasudeva, Sini, Satyaki, Hridaka, Kritaverma, Pradyumna, Charudeshna, Samba, and Aniruddha King Arjuna, the son of Pandu and one among the Pandavas was named after the king Kartavirya Arjuna. Like the king Kartavirya, the Pandava Arjuna also burnt a forest (Khandava) to appease the hunger of Agni.


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