- June 18, 2021
By Aditya Sen
The battle of Mahabharata is regarded as the greatest war. The strategies that were adopted to win the war changed the way they were fought forever. One of these indigenous battle strategies was the ‘Chakrayvuha’. This was a wheel-shaped labyrinth designed in such a complex way that only one with knowledge of the formation could break in and break out of it. On the thirteenth day of battle, Drona, as the commander, called for the formation of the Chakravyuha.
The only ones with the knowledge of penetrating the formation were Krishna, Arjuna, Pradyumna and Abhimanyu. With Arjuna and Krishna away responding to a challenge to combat, and Pradyumna not participating in the war, Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son, was the only one present in the Pandava camp who could enter the Chakravyuha. However, he only knew how to penetrate the formation and not how to find a way out. Having no choice, Yudhishthira promised Abhimanyu that the bravest Pandava warriors would follow his lead and break in with him, and would ensure his safe exit.
Illustration: Dilip Kadam
Convinced, Abhimanyu entered the Chakravyuha and tried to lead the Pandavas through it. But that day, Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu, invoked a boon he had received from Lord Shiva. This boon gave him the power to oppose the Pandavas in warfare, thus he was able to hold them off from entering the Chakravyuha. Meanwhile, Abhimanyu was trapped inside the Chakravyuha and with no backup, he was killed after fighting the unfair attack from all sides....