Subhadra Harana: Arjuna and Subhadra Marriage

Arjuna has to enter a room where Yudhisthira was with Draupadi because he has to take his weapon to fight the dacoits. As a rule, he went for 12 years vanavasa (sojourn in the forest). While in the forest, he encountered Ulupi, the daughter of the king of the Nagas, and married her. He also met and married with Chitrangada.

After that he continued his journey, visiting sacred sites (trithas) and tirthas until he reached Prabhasa. Meanwhile, upon hearing of Arjuna’s arrival in Prabhasa, Krishna went to meet him. The two friends warmly embraced each other, inquiring about each other’s well-being. In Krishna’s inquiry, Arjuna narrated the journey and the purpose behind visiting the sacred sites.

They enjoyed themselves in Prabhasa before moving to the mountain Raivataka, where they spent a night. The following day, Arjuna was awakened by the melodious sounds of singing and music and greeted by Krishna. Then, Arjuna and Krishna traveled to Dvaraka in a golden chariot.

The huts and streets of Dvaraka were decorated in anticipation of Kuntea and Vasudeva’s arrival. Thousands of citizens, including the king, were eagerly gathered to greet Kunti’s son. Arjuna spent many nights in Krishna’s splendid home, enjoying the company of his dear friend and the luxurious surroundings.

After a few days, the Vrishnis and the Andhakas grand festival was held on Mount Raivataka. Musicians played, dancers danced, and singers sang while energetic Vrishni youth rode colorful chariots. Hundreds and thousands of citizens, accompanied by their wives, attended the festival. The presence of prominent figures further enlivened the scene.

During the bustling festivities, Vasudeva and Arjuna were strolling in Mount Raivataka when they encountered Vasudeva’s adorned daughter, Subhadra, accompanied by her friends. Arjuna was instantly smitten by her, a fact Krishna astutely noticed. With a smile, Krishna remarked on Arjuna’s unexpected desire, revealing Bhadra as his own sister and proposing to speak to his father on Arjuna’s behalf.

Arjuna, acknowledging Bhadra’s beauty and attraction to her, expressed his willingness to marry her and seek Krishna’s guidance. Vasudeva (Krishna) suggested considering the possibility of abduction (Haryana) for marriage, given the uncertainty of a svayamvara. Krishna said that abduction for marriage is permissible for kshatriyas, who are warriors.

Arjuna and Krishna decided to proceed with the plan. They dispatched messengers to inform Dharmaraja in Indraprastha, who agreed to the proposal. Arjuna also obtained Vasudeva’s approval for the course of action. He then prepared a golden chariot, yoked with powerful horses and adorned with weapons, ready for the mission. Arjuna, fully armed and equipped, embarked on the journey.

After seeking blessings from the gods and Brahmanas, Subhadra left Raivata mountain and was heading toward Dvaraka. Arjuna swiftly approached her, forcibly took her onto his chariot, and began the journey back to his city. As Subhadra was being abducted, her guards raised an alarm and rushed towards Dvaraka to report the incident. They informed the presiding officer in the assembly hall, who sounded the war drum upon hearing the news. Upon hearing the drum, the Bhojas, Vrishnis, and Andhakas abandoned their activities and gathered at the assembly hall.

When the presiding officer and his companion told about Arjuna’s conduct, the leaders of the Vrishni and Andhaka clans, seated on their golden thrones adorned with jewels, became enraged and hastily prepared for battle. They commanded their charioteers to yoke the chariots, fetched their weapons, and readied themselves for war with a tumultuous uproar.

Balarama, adorned in blue and towering like Mount Kailash, intervened, rebuking the warriors for their impulsive anger towards Arjuna. He urged them to await Krishna’s decision calmly and to follow his wise counsel. His words brought silence and restored order to the assembly.

Balarama addressed Vasudeva, expressing outrage at Arjuna’s actions and accusing him of dishonoring their alliance by abducting Subhadra. He vowed to eliminate all the Kouravas (here, Kouravas means all the descendants of the Kuru lineage, including Pandavas) due to Arjuna’s transgression. His words resonated with the assembly, garnering support from the Bhojas, Vrishnis, and Andhakas.

Vasudeva intervened to pacify the Vrishnis. He explained that Arjuna’s abduction of Subhadra was not dishonorable but rather aligned with dharma, considering the uncertainty of svayamvara outcomes and the dignity of Subhadra.

He emphasized Arjuna’s illustrious lineage and unmatched valor, suggesting no one could match him in battle. Vasudeva encouraged the Vrishnis to reconcile with Arjuna, urging them to soothe him with gentle words and bring him back with a happy mind.

Following Vasudeva’s counsel, the Vrishnis reconciled with Arjuna, who married Subhadra. Arjuna spent a year with her before moving on to Pushkara. After completing twelve years, Arjuna returned to Khandavaprastha.

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.

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