Yuyutsu – The Kaurava who survived

Before we begin the actual story of Yuyutsu himself, we need to take a small walk down another path.

Once when Gandhari was hostess to Veda Vyasa at Hastinapura, he was so pleased with her services that he granted her a

Veda Vyasa grants a boon to Gandhari
Veda Vyasa grants a boon to Gandhari

boon. The queen immediately asked the sage for one hundred sons who would be as powerful as her husband, which was immediately granted to her. In due course of time, Gandhari got pregnant. And this, my friends, is where the story of Yuyutsu starts.

While it was a matter of great joy that the queen was pregnant, what was extremely worrying was the fact that she remained pregnant for almost two years. And this worried Dhritarashtra to no end as he was disturbed about the fact that he might not have any heirs to the throne by his wife Gandhari. During this timeframe, he had a fall from grace and conceived a child through a maidservant in the palace.

When Gandhari learnt of this, she was gracious enough not only to forgive this mistake of her husband, but also went on to accept and acknowledge the son born of the maid, Yuyutsu.

Yuyutsu was Dhritarashtra’s second son, younger only to Duryodhana but elder than the rest of the 99 Kaurava brothers. He grew up alongside them, and was treated lovingly by all of them including Duryodhana. That being said there were more than a few traits of his Kaurava brothers that Yuyutsu did not quite agree with.

Draupadi being disrobed in court
Draupadi being disrobed in court

It is said that after the game of dice, when Duhshasana brought Draupadi to the Kaurava court and tried to disrobe her, Yuyutsu was the only Kaurava brother to openly protest the injustice that was being meted out to a daughter in law of the family. And this was not the only instance when he openly showed dissent.

When Duryodhana was planning for the war with the Pandavas, he mentioned that the war was necessary to teach the Pandavas a lesson for their ‘treachery’ in demanding for a portion of the kingdom from him. Upon hearing this Yuyutsu immediately stood up and berated his elder brother and told him “If you really didn’t want war, then you would not have tried to cheat the Pandavas of what was rightfully theirs nor would you have tried to disrobe their wife in open court.

At the beginning of the war, Yudhisthira comes over to the Kaurava camp and takes the blessing of his elders such as Bhishma and his teachers Drona and Kripa and then addresses the army. He tells that anybody who believed that the truth was with the Pandavas were more than welcome to their army and that they would be treated with due respect accorded to all warriors.

On hearing this, Yuyutsu, without any hesitation immediately orders his charioteer to take their chariot to the Pandava army to join his cousins in the war against his own brothers. For Yuyutsu, the truth was more important than relationships or the bond of brotherhood. He clearly realized that in the end truth alone triumphs.


After 18 long days of battle, he ended up being the only Kaurava brother to have survived the great war of Kurukshetra, cementing his belief in truth, justice and fairness.

Vatsalya Rasa – The blind love of Dhritarashtra


Read this post about an introduction to the Rasas.

Read this post for the shringara rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Ganga and her love

Read this post for the hasya rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Draupadi and her laughter

Read this post for the raudra rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Amba and her anger

Read this post for the karunya  rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Chitrasena and Duryodhana

Read this post for the bibhatsa rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – The effect of Vyasa on Ambika and Ambalika

Read this post for the bhayanaka rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Hidimba and his hideous Asura form

Read this post for the santha rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Yudhisthira and his attempts for peace

Read this post for the bhakti  rasa referred to in the Mahabharata – Krishna and the Vishwaroopa


My earlier post [Link to post] detailed how Dhritarashtra was born blind as his mother closed her eyes during her union with Veda Vyasa. To compensate for his blindness Dhritarashtra was granted with the strength of 10,000 elephants by Veda Vyasa.

After the events of the Kurukshetra war where he lost all his sons with the exception of Yuyutsu, Dhritarashtra was both sad and angered at the turn of events despite the fact that he knew fully well that his sons had grievously wronged their Pandava cousins. Therefore, when the Pandavas came to seek his blessing before ascending the throne of Hastinapura, he was in an extremely agitated and conflicted state of mind. And when he proceeded to embrace all the Pandavas one by one, his grief and rage overcame him completely.

Sensing his mind, the wise Krishna moved Bhima aside and instead pushed an iron statue of Bhima into Dhritarashtra’s embrace. When he embraced the statue, the thought that Bhima was responsible for the death of all his sons completely clouded Dhritarashtra’s senses and he embraced it with such strength that the statue was completely crushed to powder.

A moment later when he composed himself, Dhritarashtra was shocked at his own action and anger and regretted believing himself to have killed one of his own nephews. It was only after Krishna told him how he had only crushed an iron statue did the blind king come back to his senses.

This incident from the Mahabharata is a clear example of the display of vatsalya rasa, parental love and affection that the blind king had for his sons even though he clearly knew that they were in the wrong.