Pan-Indian Arjun, Indonesian Arjun, Bengali Arjun, Tamil Arjun.
Zapped? Don’t be!
Indonesia, with its huge Buddhist & Hinduist influences has its own Mahabharat. Variations between ‘our’ MB & ‘their’ MB – some quirky, some weird, some hilarious, some disgusting, some beyond imagination.
P.S – As in Vyas’s MB, many facts are probably expanded/ diluted/ masala-fied by interpolations via folklore, literature and poetic license. So PLEASE take these spin-offs with a pinch of salt.
1. Arjun, Bheem & Yudhi are biological sons of PANDU, while the demi-Gods are their spiritual fathers.
2. Other than Draupadi (aka Drupadi), Subadra and Ulupi, his other wives include Supraba and Srikandi. Hooked your interest? Here goes …
a] Supraba is a heavenly nymph or Goddess.
She initially tries to seduce Arjun in order to interrupt his penance, but fails to shatter his concentration. Then follows a fierce duel between Arjun & Kilatnwarna , very similar to the duel with Shiva. Arjun gets Pasupati weapon as his reward.
Thereafter, Arjun learns that Supraba is propositioned by Niwatkavacha, the ogre. The Gods seek Arjun’s help to combat the ogre. On Arjun’s victory, Heaven gifts him Supraba as wife.
b] Srikandi is Draupadi’s sister. She desperately falls in love with Arjun (to the utter disapproval of Draupadi, as expected!). To win his heart, she becomes Arjun’s disciple in archery. As Gurudakshina, she declares that if any woman can defeat her in archery, she would marry Arjun. Srikandi then deliberately loses to opponent Larasati, thus gaining Arjun as husband (Haar ke jeetnewale ko ….Baazigar aka Srikandi kehte hain!)
Srikandi is the warrior-wife who accompanies Arjun on military as well as hunting expeditions. She is portrayed as a go-getter, brave and skilled Amazonian … until our super masculine hero awakens the softer side of her.
c] Subadra is Krishn’s (aka Kreshna) twin sister. There is no thrilling, action packed Subhadra –haran. Vasudeva and Pandu (YES, Pandu is still alive!) make it an arranged marriage.
3. KANGSA (aka Kamsa) is killed by Arjun.
4. BALADEWA (aka Balram) seeks assistance from Arjun to win Eravati (aka Revati) as wife. BTW, Eravati is Shalya’s daughter!
5. Shalya ‘s children are all knotted into weird criss-cross ties with Arjun. Apart from Eravati, he has two more daughters. They are married to Dury & Karna, although both daughters are in love with Arjun. Shalya’s son is infatuated with Subhadra and even tries to abduct her(unsuccessfully).
6. Abhimanyu marries Krishn’s daughter Siti Sundari. Also her sister Titisari marries Iravan. Thus, another heartfelt bond is added to Krishn-Arjun relation!
7. Arjun’s twin daughters are married to GHATOTKACH!
P.S – So, Abhimanyu is Krishn’s nephew & son-in-law; while Ghatotkach is Arjun’s nephew & son-in-law! Speak of COMPLEXITY.
8. Arjun’s disciple Satyaki is younger brother of Satyabhama.
Is your HEAD SPINNING? Had enough of twists & turns? Well, one last punch –
9. Abhimanyu-Siti’s marriage is disrupted by a lady warrior named Suprabawati. To counter her on battlefield, all Arjun’s WIVES (led by Srikandi) fight against the invaders … and win, of course!
SOURCES: Indrajit Bandyopadhyaya (Indonesian MB)