Abhimanyu was the son of the Pandava warrior, Arjuna born to Subhadra, his second wife who was also the younger sister to Lord Krishna. The story thus begins just before Abhimanyu was born.
While Abhimanyu was still in his mother’s womb, Sri Krishna used to take Subhadra on day trips. To humor her, Krishna used to relate many of his adventures to the pregnant Subhadra.
On one such excursion Krishna was narrating Arjuna’s experience with the technique of Chakra-vyuha (a circular grid) and how step-by-step the various circles could be penetrated.
Nonetheless, Subhadra was not intrigued by the warfare techniques and she soon fell asleep while Shree Krishna recounted the tales of the Chakra-vyuha. However, although Subhadra wasn’t –someone else was interested in Sri Krishna’s narration– the yet to be born Abhimanyu.
While Subhadra dozed off, Abhimanyu continued to carefully follow Sri Krishna’s narrative of the Chakra-vyuha. But, after talking for some time and not receiving any response from Subhadra, Sri Krishna realised that she was savouring a sweet nap.
Sri Krishna, who had at that time come up to the seventh step of the Chakra-vyuha, gave up his narration and returned with Subhadra to the palace. The unfortunate Abhimanyu could never obtain the technique of breaking all the circles in the chakra-vyuha, but whatever he had heard Sri Krishna say, he carefully preserved in his memory.
Abhimanyu grew up to be a brave, handsome young man. And years later, during the war of Kurukshetra, on the 13th day of the war the Kauravas set up a Chakra-vyuha and challenged the Pandavas to come forward and break it. While it was only Arjuna (who was deliberately kept busy on another side of the battlefield, along with lord Krishna) knew the technique of breaking in and getting out of the dreaded formation, Abhimanyu came forward to take up the challenge of breaking the chakra-vyuha.
Despite Yudisita's refusal, he insisted and he accepted promising that he and his brothers would follow him close into the circle and thus, despite his incomplete knowledge of the technique he entered the grid and overcame one circle after another.
Cunning and clever however were the Kuaravas who gave no chance for the Pandavas to follow Abhimanyu and he was left alone. He continued nevertheless and broke each circle until he came to the seventh one, the breaking of which he had no knowledge. Brave and ambitious as he was, he fought valiantly in the unequal struggle but in vain. Duryodhana and Dussasana shot him arrows from behind and killed him in the most gruesome and ruthless manner. He was disarmed yet they had no mercy.
His strength and bravery proved no match against the skillfully laid out maze of warriors, upon fighting whom, he met his end- smiling and proud of himself.
The death of Abhimanyu was a turning point of the war and the very next day Arjuna avenged the death of his son by unleashing a reign of terror on the Kauravas and slaying a thousand of them.
Abhimanyu remains the symbol of bravery and sacrifice. His deed has inspired generations and continues to do so.
Abhimanyu, the brave warrior has inspired artisans from across India to create masterpieces in tribute to him.
ArtisansCrest, features the Prakranta in Woodcraft – accolade the bravery of the young Abhimanyu who gave up his life for the honor of his family. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to own this piece of Indian tradition or contact us to have our dedicated team of artisans make you a customized artifact, based on your tastes.