Least Known Characters Of Mahabharata – Samba

Although the war Kurukshetra war ends, the Mahabharata doesn’t end at it. Mahabharata talks not only about Kaurava’s and Pandava’s but also about Krishna, his Yadava’s clan and it’s destruction as well. The root of this destruction was a Krishna’s son Samba.

Mausala Parva of Mahabharata talks about Samba in detail. Samba was son of Krishna and Jambavati (daughter of Jambavana, King of bears). The story of birth of Samba is very interesting. All of Krishna’s wives had many sons but Jambavati did not have any. She was very unhappy and sad. She approaches Krishna and asks him for a son who will be as good as Pradyumna. Krishna goes to Upamanyu’s hermitage for penance to pray Lord Shiva. Krishna observed penance for six months and finally Shiva gets pleased and appears before Krishna. Shiva appears in the form of Ardhanarishwara (form of Shiva with half male and half female body) which is also called Samba.

Krishna asked for a boon to give him a son exactly like him ‘Samba’ rather born as son of Krishna. Shiva is god of destruction and Krishna exactly wanted someone to destroy the Yadava’s clan. Because, Krishna knew that Yadava’s will grow so strong that nobody will be able to defeat them and this will lead to imbalance of the nature. Because, undefeatable always generates ego and insults gods and nature. As Krishna wanted Samba played the main role in destruction of Yadava’s. Rather, his prank became the main instrument of the destruction and end of the yuga. Samba, grew as a nuisance and trouble maker.

Samba was once cursed by rishi Durvasa. As a result he suffered through leprosy for 12 years. But it is not part of Mahabharata text.

Samba marries with Laxmana, daughter of Duryodhana. When Duryodhana arranged for the Swayamvara of the Laxmana, Samba interrupted it and abducted Laxmana. But, Laxmana did not like him at all. Samba fought with Maharathi’s of Kuru clan but was ultimately caught by elders. He was thrown in the prison. Duryodhana re-arranged the Swayamvara but, none of the Kshatriya’s got ready to take part in it. When Balarama got to know of Samba’s arrest he goes to Hastinapura and tries to free him. But, Kuru’s did not accept Balarama’s proposal. Balarama got very angry and started smashing the palaces and city. Ultimately Duryodhana who was fond of and was disciple of Balarama goes to him and pacifies. Finally Laxmana is married off to Samba and is set free.

Unfortunately, such incidents did not make Samba mature enough. 35 years after Kurukshetra war, once Vishwamitra, Durvasa, Vashista, Narada and other rishis came to Dwaraka to pay it a visit. Samba plays a prank on them by showing up as dressed up as a pregnant woman. He challenges rishis to guess the gender of the baby in his womb. One of the rishis finds out that it is a prank. He gets angry and in the anger curses Samba that, he will give birth to an iron mace which will become the instrument of the destruction of his whole Yadava race. Samba informs this to Ugrasena and he advises Samba to shred the mace and throw it in Prabhas sea. The shreds were flown back to shore which became Eraka grass. This grass was used to make maces during a fight which erupted during a festival which ended whole clan.

According to lore, one piece of this Eraka grass fell into the sea. A fish swallows this peace of grass. A hunter named Jara, catches the fish and finds out about this strong iron piece. He takes it out and makes the arrow tip out of it. Once while hunting Jara tries to kill a deer with this arrow. But, it was not the deer but left foot of Krishna. This arrow becomes the reason of end of the life of Lord Krishna. So, ultimately the piece of that mace became the instrument of destruction as predicted and wanted by Krishna when asked for Samba as his son.

What an amazing story of a problem child which ultimately destroys the who Yadava clan along with Lord Krishna and ends one Yuga!


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