Mahabharata is one of the most widely read scripture not only in India but the world over. After various sub-plots and twists, it all boils down to the great war of Kurukshetre, which the righteous Pandavas won against the evil Kauravas.
The Pandavas are, always, praised for showing valour to defeat the Kauravas. However, it is only Arjun, Yudhishthir and Bheem who have received fame and recognition (of course apart from Lord Krishna). Nakula and Sahadeva, a prominent part of the Pandava group, haven’t gotten their due recognition.
So here’s an attempt to have a sneak-peek into their lives and abilities
The name Sahadeva is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘saha’ [with] and ‘deva’ [Gods]. The meaning becomes ‘someone with Gods.’
He was considered the most intelligent of all the five Pandava brothers. Yudhishthira compares his wisdom to that of Brihaspati, the teacher of Gods. Hence, Sahadeva also counselled Yudhishthira.
Sahadeva was well versed in the field of medicine.
If Arjun was a champion in archery, Sahadeva, along with his brother Nakula, was a master in sword fighting.
One of Sahadeva’s divine gifts was his profound knowledge of Astrology. However, he couldn’t disclose future events because of a curse, which would ensure that he would die if he does so. Therefore, he couldn’t reveal about the battle of Kurukshetra although he could foresee it.
Duryodhana, the evil leader of the Kaurava clan, had approached Sahadeva to suggest a mahurat (right time) for the war. Sahadeva unhesitatingly revealed the mahurat despite knowing Duryodhana was their enemy.
Sahadeva defeated a lot of Kauravas during the war. After the gambling loss that also ensured the humiliation of Draupadi, Sahadeva had taken a vow to kill Shakuni, the mastermind behind the plan. He fulfilled his vow on the 18th day of the war.
Nakula was said to be dark and handsome.
He was skilled in diplomacy.
Like his brother Sahadeva, he too had the gift of astrology. But, just like his brother, the knowledge came with a curse. Soon after predicting something he would forget his predictions and futuristic visions.
Nakula was not only a skilled sword fighter, again like his brother, but could also handle an array of unusual weapons. His skills proved to be more than useful during the great war.
He was also said to be an expert in Ayurveda.
He was a master at horse breeding and riding. Due to his knowledge of Ayurveda, he was also able to carry out the treatment of ill horses.
Nakula, along with Bheema, led the Pandava army on the first day of the war of Kurukshetra.
Nakula has to his credit the achievement of defeating a number of important people from the Kaurava side including Dussasana (who was killed by Bheema. He was responsible for humiliating Draupadi, Shalya, Shakuni, etc.
His negative quality of being proud of his looks is also mentioned in the Mahabharata. This is the reason given for his fall while being on the final journey to heaven with the rest of his brothers, Draupadi and the dog Dharma.
With such achievements under their belt, we wonder why Nakula and Sahadeva didn’t receive prominence in the centuries gone by.