Chapter 46 Arjuna Brihannala Encourage Uttara to Fight Bravely
Virata’s son Uttara eagerly departed the city on his chariot with Brihannala serving as his charioteer, ordering the latter to hasten to the location where the Kauravas had herded the cows.
The horses were willingly pushed to their full pace. The Kaurava army was then seen, initially as a dazzling line that was shrouded in what appeared to be an ascending dust cloud. As he got closer, Uttara could see the large army Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Duryodhana, and Karna had drawn into battle. His bravery, which had been progressively eroding during the hurried sprint to the field, completely vanished at that sight. His hair stood on edge, and his mouth became dry. His entire body was trembling. He covered his eyes with both hands to block out the terrifying scene.
He stated: “How am I supposed to take on an army by myself? Since the king, my father, has gathered all available soldiers, leaving the city undefended, I am without troops. It is ridiculous to believe that one man can defeat an army led by a world-class fighter who is well-equipped. Oh Brihannala, send the chariot back.”
Laughing, Brihannala said: “O prince, the women have high expectations for you because you began out in the city with such a fiery resolve. Additionally, the populace has faith in you. I received acclaim from Sairandhri, and I’ve come at your request. If we go back and don’t get the cows, everyone will be making fun of us. I won’t send the chariot back. Let’s fight and stand our ground. Don’t be afraid.” With these remarks, Brihannala started to pull the chariot in the direction of the foe, and they got pretty near to them.
Uttara was in appalling discomfort. He stated in a trembling voice: “I’m just not able to do it. If the women laugh, then let them. Let the Kauravas march off with the cows. I could care less. Fighting those who are incomparably stronger than we are useless, right? Do not act foolishly! Reverse the chariot. If not, I’ll run back and jump out.” After uttering these statements, Uttara threw down his bows and arrows, jumped out of the chariot, and started to fly toward the city while in a state of fear.
It’s important to remember that things like these do happen in real life. By no means was Uttara’s fear during his first combat unique.
Despite being a powerful innate emotion, fear may be overcome via discipline, willpower, or compelling emotions like love, shame, or hatred. Even mans who later rose to prominence by valiant actions have admitted to experiencing a feeling akin to terror fright the first time they came under fire. Uttara fought and fell gauntly in Kurukshetra, proving that he was by no means an uncommon coward.
Running after the prince, Arjuna yelled at him to stop and act like a Kshatriya. The charioteer’s braided hair started to dance, and his attire started to sway as he pursued Uttara. The prince tried to avoid the hands that would have stopped him by running here and there.
The Kaurava army members who were able to see this performance considered it entertaining. Drona was perplexed to see Brihannala, who, despite being clothed magnificently, appeared to be a male disguised as a woman and somehow reminded him of Arjuna.
Karna responded to his observation by saying: “How on earth is this Arjuna? What difference does it make if he is? Without the other Pandavas, what can Arjuna by himself accomplish to us? The king has gone to battle against Susarma with his entire army, leaving his son behind in the city. The young prince has as his charioteer the attendant of the women of the palace. That’s it.”
Poor Uttara was pleading with Brihannala to release him and offering the king infinite riches in exchange. He pleaded for sympathy: “My mother has one son, and that’s me. I grew up on my mother’s lap as a youngster. I’m paralysed with terror.”
However, Brihannala wouldn’t let him leave since she wanted to save him from himself. He chased him, grabbed him, and then forcibly hauled him to the chariot.
As he started to cry, Uttara said: “How foolish I was to boast! Alas! How am I going to fare?”
Kindly assuaging the prince’s worries, Arjuna (Brihannala) said: “Do not fear. I’ll battle beside the Kauravas. Help me by caring after the horses and driving the chariot, and I shall do the rest. Flight, I assure you, has never resulted in good. We’ll defeat the opposition and get your cows back. All the glory will belong to you.” After saying these remarks, Arjuna helped the prince board the chariot and gave him the reins, instructing him to steer the vehicle toward a tree close to the cemetery.
Drona, who was closely observing everything, informed Bhishma that the charioteer in the extravagant outfit was in fact Arjuna.
Turning to Karna, Duryodhana said: “Why should his identity concern us? Even if he is Arjuna, he will only be strengthening our position because the Pandavas would have to spend an additional twelve years in the jungle if he is discovered.”
As soon as they approached the tree, Brihannala commanded the prince to dismount, climb the tree, and remove the concealed weapons. In distress and despair, the prince uttered: “People claim that the body of an elderly huntress is what is hanging from the tree. How can I get close to a dead body? How on earth can you expect me to comply?”
Says Arjuna: “Prince, it’s not a corpse. I am aware that it houses the Pandava warriors’ weaponry. Bring them down by fearlessly scaling the tree. Do not wait.”
After realising that his attempts to resist had failed, Uttara obeyed Brihannala’s request to climb the tree, took the sack that had been tied there with utter contempt, and then descended. He spotted sun-bright weaponry when the leather bag was unlocked. Uttara hid his eyes in awe at the sight of the shining weaponry. He worked up the confidence to touch them.
He felt as though hope and great bravery were being poured into him by the contact. He fervently enquired: “What a miracle, charioteer! You claim that the Pandavas own these bows, arrows, and swords. They have retreated into the jungle after losing their kingdom. Recognise them? They are where?”
Then Arjuna gave him a quick explanation of how everyone was at Virata’s court. He stated: “Yudhishthira is the one who serves the monarch as Kanka. It is none other than Bhima who cooks such lovely meals for your father as Valala. For insulting the person Kichaka was slain for, Sairandhri is Draupadi. Tantripala, the caretaker of the cows, and Dharmagranthi, who tends to the horses, are Nakula and Sahadeva, respectively. Arjuna, I’m you. Do not fear. O prince, you shall soon see my victory over the Kauravas and recovery of the cows in front of Bhishma, Drona, and Aswatthama. It will teach you a lesson and bring you fame as well.”
Uttara then lowered his hands and said: “How lucky I am to see you in person, Arjuna! Therefore, Arjuna is the conquering hero whose sheer presence has given me heart and bravery. Please pardon the injustices I committed out of ignorance.”
Arjuna told Uttara some incidents about his bravery as they got closer to the Kaurava host so that he wouldn’t lose his newly found courage. He walked up to the Kauravas, knelt down, prayed to God, took off his conch bangles, and put on leather gauntlets. He then fastened a handkerchief to his flowing hair, turned to face east, contemplated his armour, climbed into the chariot, and revelled in the comfort of his renowned Gandiva bow. His sharp note caused the string to be strung and to be twiddled three times, creating an echo from all directions.
The warriors of the Kaurava army exchanged the following words after hearing the sound: “This is definitely Gandiva’s voice.” The Kaurava army was startled and shouted frantically that the Pandavas had arrived as Arjuna, who was standing on the chariot in all of his godlike majesty, blew his conch Devadatta.
The incident of Uttara, who boasted in the company of women in the boudoirs and fled in terror at the sight of the hostile army, is not a central theme of the Mahabharata but rather a humorous interlude. Ordinary people tend to see someone with less skill or behaviour with disdain. The beautiful disdain the plain, the strong scorn the weak, and the affluent scorn the poor. Men who are brave hate cowards. However, Arjuna was no regular person. He was a magnificent man with a heroic spirit who believed that it was his responsibility as a bold, strong man to aid others in overcoming their frailty. Bravery, fighting for dharma and taking revenge befittingly against adharmic enemies is the central theme of Mahabharat. For Dharma to exist, Adharma has to perish.
He had the genuine humility of a truly great person because he understood that strength and bravery were gifts bestowed upon him by nature at birth and that he owed them to no extra efforts on his own. And he did his best to instil courage in Uttara and make him deserving of his ancestry. This displayed the distinctive dignity of Arjuna. His might and strength were never misused. He went by several titles, but among them was Bibhatsu, which meaning one who withdrew from executing a dishonourable act.
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.