It was in Subhadra’s womb that Abhimanyu learnt the first lessons of war craft, those valuable lessons of his life, that will eventually immortalize him in the time and history of his land,Bharatvarsha. A puny Abhimanyu had his ears trained to the deep, complicated discussions between his father, Arjun and Krishna, to which only Subhadra could be privy to,as Arjuna’s beloved wife, I say beloved because, she was of course, more beloved to him that Panchali or Draupadi whose love he had to share with other Pandava brothers.
It is said that while Abhimanyu learnt the how to break the Chakravyuh, a battlefield formation, while still in the womb, he could not learn how to extricate himself of it as either Subhadra fell asleep ‘or as Krishna tactfully took Arjuna aside to discuss it further.
Apart from Krishna and Arjuna, then Abhimanyu, the youngest son of Arjuna and Subhadra was the only warrior among the Pandavas who knew how to break the formidable army formation known as Chakravyuh.
A young Abhimanyu was newly betrothed to the charming Uttara who was carrying his first and only child in her womb, Parikshit, who would later be one among the few survivors of the great war and be known as a just and impartial ruler,when he was called to the battle field by his uncle, Yuddhisthira in a moment of great frenzy and was trapped and killed in a most unjust manner by the vengeful Kauravas, led by the arrogant and jealous, Duryodhana, aided by Jayadratha, married to Dushala, the only sister of the mighty Kauravas and Karna, the King of Anga.
So, what makes Abhimanyu, is it his untimely death, his valour, his courage in rising up to the challenge though he was only 16 years of age despite the knowledge that he was walking into a death trap with half-baked knowledge of chakravyuh. It is difficult to tell what exactly makes this young lad such a darling to those who have read the grand story, the Mahabharatha, but it is impossible not to be moved by him, his youthfulness, his handsomeness, his love for his beloved wife, Uttara and the untimely ending of it all.
What is there to learn to ponder over from the life and death of this young lad?
Of the impact of the thoughts and actions of the pregnant mothers on their children to be.
Of rising to the call of duty even in the face of obvious danger of defeat and death.
Of the importance of learning what is to be learnt in full, for truly in Abhimanyu’s case, a little knowledge did prove to be a dangerous thing.
Subhadra: Lord Krishna’s sister
Arjuna: The greatest archers of his time
Yudhistira: The eldest of the Pandavas
Uttara: Abhimanyu’s wife
Duryodhana: The eldest of the Kauravas
PS: This April is going to be a humble attempt at the re-reading of Mahabharatha, the greatest stories of all times, retold even to this day. Stay close!