The Slaying of Sisupala: Mahabharat Katha

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The slaying of Sisupala happens in the Sabha Parva of the Mabharatha. Sisupala was the son of Damagosha, a chedi king. He was part of the massive and grand Rajasuya Yagna that Yudishthira was organizing. To start the yagna, Arghya (sacred water to be offered to people of high-esteem to wash their hands and feet) was to be offered to important people at the Yagna. Bhishma suggested that the Arghya should be offered first to the foremost person present there in the sabha. He compared Shri Krishna’s presence to the sun which is the foremost of the luminous bodies and emphasised that he alone deserved the first arghya. Yudhishthira cheerfully agreed and Sahadeva offered the first arghya to Shri Krishna. Sisupala could not bear this and he vehemently opposed Yudhisthira, Bhima and Krishna. His words became harsher and harsher. He pointed to the virtues of other kings present there and asked why they were not offered the first arghya though they were much accomplished(according to him) than Shri Krishna . Yudhishthira tried his best to convince Sisupala through his sweet words and then Bhima tried in vain. Sahadeva cried out in rage and asked if there was anyone else who supported Sisupala. Unfortunately, there was no one. Sisupala narrated the incidents of several beings killed by Krishna and questioned his superiority. His insulting remarks towards Bhishma and Krishna were so terrible that the whole sabha was shaking with terror. When it became bearable no more, Shri Krishna thought of the Sudarshana Chakra. As soon as the disc appeared in his hand, he swirled it at Sisupala, severing his head from the body. A mighty energy entered Shri Krishna’s body as soon as Sisupala was killed. Some kings applauded, some secretly admired and some jumped with joy.
Who was Sisupala?

Sisupala was born in the line of the king of Chedi with three eyes and four hands. As soon as he was born, he screamed and
brayed like an ass. Scared of this, his parents thought of killing him. A divine voice told them that the child was destined to become a powerful king and added that the person on who’s lap the extra limbs of Sisupala would disappear will be his slayer. Shri Krishna visited the child as Sisupala’s mother was the sister of Shri Krishna and Balarama’s father. As soon as the child was placed on the lap of Shri Krishna, his extra limbs disappeared. Terrified on knowing the slayer of her child, Sisupala’s mother pleaded to Shri Krishna. Taking pity on her, Shri Krishna said that he will be ready to bear a 100 insults (offences)  and pardon him.  In the sabha, Vaasudeva was patiently listening to the insulting remarks of Sisupala and once they crossed a 100, he slayed him. Sisupala was none other than Jaya (the dwarapalaka of Lord Vishnu cursed by Sanat kumaras) reborn to be killed by Vishnu.




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