Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Character Notes: Syoddhan (Duryodhana) Kauravya

Syoddhan is more commonly known by the name Duryoddhan (also sometimes Duryodhana).

The name Duryoddhan, however, has taken on a negative connotation in the minds of many, over the centuries. The prefix ‘dur’ is often understood as meaning ‘bad’ or ‘evil’; when actually, Dur-yoddhan only means a fell warrior, in the positive sense of unconquerable. Su-yoddhan, which means pretty much the same thing, is used frequently throughout the Mahabharata (MbH) to refer to this Prince.

Some rather interesting trivia about Syoddhan (Duryodhana):

- Despite all the ruckus, including a Great War, he never really did become King of his own country – his father Dhritarashtra sat on the Kuru throne for the entire duration of his son’s life.

- Syoddhan was supposedly a more skilled fighter than Bhim. Incidentally, both men trained under Balarama or Balabadra – Govinda’s elder brother. Balabadra, for his part, was known to have much respect and affection for Syoddhan.

- During the Great War, Syoddhan proved himself to be an excellent strategic commander, and a calm, rational thinker.

- Syoddhan had only one wife.

- For all his supposed villainy, Syoddhan has this stubborn, but endearing sense of honour that he clings on to, till the very end. On many occasions, we find him making statements that are shadows, somewhat of the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita. Before the war, he makes a rather interesting comment to his mother, Gandhari; as to how Time had brought him to that particular juncture, and he only plays his role out, as determined by the larger scheme of things. True to his beliefs, at the end of the war Syoddhan dies unrepentant, for he has acted with honour and fulfilled his part in the larger drama.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog