Bhima: The Indomitable Strength of the Mahabharata

Bhima, the second son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti, is a colossal figure in the Mahabharata, embodying unparalleled physical strength, courage, and loyalty. Renowned for his formidable prowess on the battlefield, Bhima’s life is a saga of triumph over adversity. 

Bhima’s character is characterized by his unwavering loyalty to his brothers, his integral role in the Kurukshetra War, and his indomitable spirit, which resonates throughout the epic.

Family Life

Father:King Pandu, God Vayu 
Wives: Draupadi, Hidimba, Valandhara
Sons:Ghatotkacha  (via Hidimba) , Sutasoma (via Draupadi) and Sarvaga (via Valandhara)
Brothers:Yudhishthira, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Karna
People killed Hidimba, Bakasur, Kichak, All Kauravas including Duryodhana & Dushashana

Birth of Bhima

As, Pandu was not able to father sons due to the curse of the sage; king Pandu urged Kunti to consider having sons through a Brahmana equal to or better than him, but Kunti insisted there was no better man. She then revealed her ability to summon gods through a mantra given by Sage Durvasa. Pandu, eager for offspring, instructed her to summon Dharma. From whom Kunti give birth to virtuous son Yudhisthira.

Pandu again said with Kunti, “It is said that the best thing for Kshatriyas is strength. Therefore, ask for a son who has great strength.” Having been thus addressed by her husband, she invoked Vayu for a son. Through him, she obtained Bhima of terrible strength.

As soon as Bhima was born, an invisible voice was heard. “This son will be the strongest among all those strong.” An extraordinary event occurred upon the birth of Bhima. While Kunti was asleep, Bhima fell from her lap, accidentally shattering a mountain with his sturdy body. Bhima’s cousin Duryodhana was also born on the same day. Bhima was the second of the Pandava brothers. His immense strength and robust physique set him apart from his siblings, earning him the epithet “Vrikodara” or “the wolf-bellied one.”

Bhima’s Childhood

After the death of Pandu & Madri, Bhima, along with his brothers and mother Kunti, were escorted to Hastinapura by ascetics living in the forest. They completed the funeral rites and shraddha ceremony at Hastinapura for their father and mother. Pandavas started living in his father’s, where they enjoyed a life of pleasure and excelled over Dhritarashtra’s sons in various activities, including running, hitting targets, eating, and raising dust.

Bhimasena mainly dominated, effortlessly defeating Dhritarashtra’s sons in games and playfully overpowering them. Despite Bhima’s superiority, he bore no ill will towards them, yet they harbored resentment towards him due to their constant defeat.

Upon learning of Bhimasena’s formidable strength, Duryodhana’s wicked nature surfaced, driven by greed and delusion. He schemed to eliminate Bhima, viewing him as the greatest threat to his ambitions of power and sovereignty. Duryodhana devised multiple schemes to eliminate Bhima.

In one instance, he attempted to drown Bhima by tying him up and rolling him into a swimming pool, but Bhima broke free and emerged unscathed. Another time, Duryodhana unleashed venomous snakes to bite Bhima while he slept, but Bhima’s tough skin thwarted the attack.

Duryodhana also tried poisoning Bhima’s food with a virulent poison called kalakuta, but Bhima remained unaffected. Despite numerous attempts by Duryodhana, Karna, and Shakuni to kill them, the Pandavas remained vigilant and survived, with Vidura advising them to keep these threats secret.

Marriage of Bhima

After setting the House of Lac on fire, the Pandavas and Kunti sought refuge in a dense forest to evade Duryodhana’s retaliation. A cruel rakshasa named Hidimb dwelled in this forest, eager to prey on humans. He sent his sister, Hidimba, to kill the Pandavas, but she fell in love with Bhima.

When Hidimb discovered this betrayal, he attacked them, prompting a fierce battle. Bhima ultimately emerged victorious, slaying Hidimb and ensuring the safety of the Pandavas and Kunti. Later, he married Hidimba and had a son named Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkacha played a crucial role in the Kurukshetra War.

Bhima’s second marriage was to Princess Draupadi. Draupadi became the common wife of all five Pandavas. Draupadi’s vow for vengeance after the Kaurava court’s humiliation during the game of dice profoundly impacted Bhima’s actions and fueled his resolve throughout the epic.

Through a viryashulka marriage, Bhima also married Valandhara (Balandhara), a princess of the Kashi Kingdom and had a son named Sarvaga. Thus Bhima had 3 sons via 3 wives; Ghatotkacha  (via Hidimba) , Sutasoma (via Draupadi) and Sarvaga (via Valandhara).

Kichak Vadha

During their Agyatvas, the Pandavas and Draupadi faced challenges in Matsya’s city, where Draupadi, disguised as Sairindhri, served Sudeshna despite her royal status. During the Pandavas’ exile, Bhima’s role was instrumental in ensuring his brothers’ and Draupadi’s safety and well-being.

One day, Kichaka, Virata’s powerful commander, becomes enamored with Draupadi’s beauty. Despite Draupadi’s rejections, Kichaka persistently pursues her. Upon hearing Draupadi’s plight, Bhima vows to take action against Kichaka, ultimately killing him in a fierce battle.

Read the detail story of Kichak vadha

Draupadi’s Vow and the Game of Dice:

After the infamous game of dice, Bhima played a crucial role in Draupadi’s vow for vengeance against the Kauravas. His support for Draupadi’s resolve became a driving force behind the events leading to the Kurukshetra War.

Encounter with Hanuman:

In the Kishkindha Kanda of the Mahabharata, Bhima encountered Lord Hanuman, who had assumed a monkey form. The encounter tested Bhima’s strength, and his recognition of Hanuman’s divine identity showcased his humility and reverence for higher powers.

Kurukshetra War:

Bhima’s role as a warrior in the Kurukshetra War was central to the Pandava cause. His physical strength, combat skills, and indomitable spirit played a crucial role in tipping the balance in favor of the Pandavas. Bhima’s duels with formidable Kaurava warriors, including Duryodhana, Dushasana, and Karna, became iconic moments in the epic.

Ghatotkacha’s Sacrifice:

Bhima faced the emotional turmoil of witnessing his son Ghatotkacha sacrifice himself in the war. Ghatotkacha’s selflessness added a layer of tragedy to Bhima’s character and underscored the sacrifices made for the greater good.

Major Sayings

Bhima’s character, known for action more than words, is associated with some impactful sayings that reflect his mindset and philosophy:

On Strength and Courage:

“Strength is life, for the strong have the right to rule. Honor is life, for one may as well be dead with no honor.”

Bhima’s emphasis on strength and honor encapsulates his warrior spirit. His belief in the importance of physical prowess aligns with his role as a formidable warrior in the Mahabharata.

On Vengeance:

“I do not desire kingdom nor heaven; what care I for pleasures, Janardana? O Kesava, let this anger of mine, caused by the deceitful dice, be appeased.”

Bhima’s words convey his singular focus on avenging the dishonor suffered by Draupadi in the Kaurava court. His determination becomes a driving force for justice.

On Loyalty to Yudhishthira:

“Even if this entire world were ranged against Yudhishthira in battle, I would still fight for him.”

Bhima’s unwavering loyalty to Yudhishthira is evident in this declaration. His commitment to his elder brother is a recurring theme in the Mahabharata.


Bhima’s character is a symphony of physical strength, unwavering loyalty, and a sense of justice. His pivotal role in the Mahabharata, especially in the Kurukshetra War, solidifies his legacy as a legendary warrior and a central figure in the epic narrative.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

Recent Posts