Mahabharata Trivia: How Well Do You Know The Mahabharata

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Who sent the Brahma Astra into Uttara's womb when she was pregnant with Abhimanyu's child? 

Answer: Aswatthama
In the Mahabharata, after the Kurukshetra War, Aswatthama, who was furious and grief-stricken over the death of his father Dronacharya and the Kaurava warriors, sought revenge. He directed the Brahmastra, a powerful celestial weapon, towards the womb of Uttara, the wife of Abhimanyu and the daughter-in-law of Arjuna. Uttara was pregnant with Abhimanyu's posthumous child, who would later be named Parikshit. To protect the unborn child, Lord Krishna intervened. He entered Uttara's womb and saved the child from the destructive power of the Brahmastra. Due to Krishna's divine intervention, Parikshit was unharmed, and he later became a significant figure in the Mahabharata, eventually succeeding Yudhishthira as the king of Hastinapura.a

Who was Satyavati's father? 

Answer: Uparichara Vasu
Satyavati's father was Uparichara Vasu. Uparichara Vasu was a king and the ruler of Chedi. He played a significant role in the Mahabharata as the father of Satyavati, who later became the queen and mother of Bhishma. Uparichara Vasu's lineage and family connections are notable aspects within the larger narrative of the Mahabharata.

What was Bhishma's real name?

Answer: Devavrata
Bhishma's original name was Devavrata. He was the eighth son of King Shantanu and Queen Ganga in the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic. His mother Ganga took him away after his birth and raised him, eventually returning him to his father. His name "Devavrata" signifies his devotion ("bhakti") to the gods ("devas"). Later, he earned the name "Bhishma," which means "the terrible" or "one who has taken a terrible oath." Bhishma swore an oath of celibacy, lifelong service, and loyalty to the throne of Hastinapura, which played a crucial role in the events of the Mahabharata.

Bhishma had a boon that let him choose when he must die. Who granted him this boon?

Answer: Shantanu
In the Mahabharata, Bhishma received the boon of choosing the time of his death from his father, King Shantanu. The story goes that Shantanu fell in love with Ganga, who later became his wife. However, Ganga had a condition that Shantanu should never question or interfere in her actions. Ganga, in turn, had to raise their sons, but due to various circumstances, she ended their lives. When Ganga was about to drown their eighth son, Devavrata (who later became Bhishma), Shantanu could not bear to lose another child. He questioned Ganga's actions, breaking his promise. Ganga then revealed her divine identity and took Devavrata away, promising Shantanu that he would not have to suffer the pain of losing another son. As a result of this incident, Devavrata, out of his love for his father, made a vow of lifelong celibacy (Bhishma Pratigna) and unconditional service to the throne of Hastinapura. In return for this sacrifice, Shantanu granted him the boon to choose the time of his death, giving Bhishma control over when he would leave his mortal coil. This boon allowed Bhishma to remain alive until the end of the great war, the Kurukshetra War, where he played a crucial role.

Who succeeded in stopping Janamejayan from destroying all the serpents in the world? 

Answer: Asteekan
In the Mahabharata, Janamejaya, the son of Maharaja Parikshit, performed a snake sacrifice (sarpa satra) with the intention of annihilating all the serpents. This sacrificial ritual was prompted by the death of his father, who had been bitten by a serpent. Janamejaya sought revenge by attempting to exterminate all the snakes in the world. During this sacrificial ceremony, a sage named Astika intervened. Astika was the son of Jaratkaru and the nephew of Vasuki, the king of serpents. Being knowledgeable about the scriptures, Astika knew the power of the sacrifice and its potential consequences. He approached Janamejaya and requested him to stop the ritual, explaining the importance of maintaining the ecological balance and preserving all living beings. Impressed by Astika's wisdom and understanding, Janamejaya granted him a boon. Astika used this boon to ensure the safety of the serpents, thus preventing their mass destruction. This intervention by Astika showcased the significance of wisdom, compassion, and the preservation of all life forms in the Hindu mythology depicted in the Mahabharata.

What does "Bhishma" mean?

Answer: One who took a deadly vow
The name "Bhishma" refers to someone who took a deadly vow. This is derived from the character Bhishma in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, who took a vow of lifelong celibacy and loyalty to his father's throne, which led to his name being associated with this meaning.

Who taught Kunti the mantras that helped her beget children by invoking the blessings of the Devas? 

Answer: Sage Durvasa
Kunti was taught the mantras by Sage Durvasa. Sage Durvasa was known for his hot temper and unpredictable nature. Kunti served him with devotion and impressed him, so he granted her the boon of invoking any Devas she desired through his mantras. This allowed her to beget children from the Devas, resulting in the births of Karna, Yudhishthira, Bhima, and Arjuna.

Who cursed Parikshit that he would die bitten by a snake? 

Answer: Shringi
Parikshit was cursed by Shringi, the son of Sage Shamika, that he would die bitten by a snake. This curse was a consequence of an incident where King Parikshit had placed a dead snake around the neck of Sage Shamika during his meditation. In retaliation, Shringi, the son of Shamika, cursed Parikshit with the specific fate of being bitten by the snake Takshaka. This curse played a significant role in the later events of the Mahabharata, leading to Parikshit's encounter with Takshaka and his eventual death.

Who was Vasudevar's sister? 

Answer: Kunti
Vasudeva's sister was Kunti, also known as Pritha. She was an important character in the Mahabharata, being the mother of the Pandavas. Kunti was married to King Pandu of Hastinapura and played a significant role in the epic's narrative, especially in relation to her sons and their adventures.

Who is Shakuntala's biological father?

Answer: Vishwamitrar
Vishwamitrar is the correct answer because he is mentioned in Hindu mythology as the biological father of Shakuntala. According to the story, Shakuntala is the daughter of Menaka, who was sent by the gods to distract Vishwamitrar from his meditation. They fall in love and Shakuntala is born as a result of their union. Therefore, Vishwamitrar is Shakuntala's biological father.

Who was Kamsa's biological father?

Answer: Drumila
Drumila is mentioned as the biological father of Kamsa in Hindu mythology. Contrary to the widely held belief that Kamsa is the offspring of Queen Padmavati and King Ugrasena of Mathura, the Bhagavad Purana and various other Puranas present a different narrative, indicating that King Ugrasena is not the biological father of Kamsa. He was a king and a Yadava prince. He is infamous for his attempts to kill his nephew, Lord Krishna, as he feared a prophecy that predicted his death at Krishna's hands. Drumila's role as Kamsa's father is an important aspect of the story and explains the familial relationship between Kamsa and Krishna.

How many sons did Satyavati have?

Answer: 3
Satyavati, a character from the Indian epic Mahabharata, had three sons: Vyasa, Vichitravirya, and Chitrāngada. Vyasa was born before her marriage, known for his wisdom and as the author of the epic. Vichitravirya and Chitrāngada were born through her marriage to King Shantanu.
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