Least Known Characters Of Mahabharata – Vrushali
Another relatively mute character of Mahabharata is Vrushali, wife of great warrior Karna. Although Vrushali played a minor role in Mahabharata, she’s been a subject of lots of fantasies and fictions.
Vrushali was also from a charioteer clan. She was sister of Satyasen, charioteer of Duryodhana. The marriage between Karna and Vrushali was an arranged marriage. Karna’s adoptive father Adhiratha wanted Karna to marry to Vrushali. According to known stories, Satyasen and Vrushali hailed from Prayag, the location where Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet together. Vrushali and Karna had ten sons, Vrishasena, Sudama, Vrishaketu, Chitrasena, Satyasena, Sushena, Shatrunjaya, Dvipata, Banasena, and Prasena.
Eight of her sons took part in Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata. Arjuna killed Sudama during Draupadi swayamvar in the chaos, which erupted due to revolt of kings present for swayamvar. He was around 9 years old at the time. In the Kurukshetra war, Arjuna killed Shatrunjaya, Vrishasena, and Dvipata. Bhima killed Banasena. Chitrasena, Satyasena, and Sushena were killed by Nakula. Vrishaketu was the only survivor amongst Vrushali’s sons. Pandava’s came to know who was Vrishaketu after Karna’s death. Vrishaketu had patronage of Arjuna even before Karna’s death. According to Mahabharata, Vrishaketu also took part in battles Arjuna fought during Ashwamedha yagya.
According to Mahabharata, Vrushali gave her life after Karna’s death by going sati. Duryodhana mentioned Vrushali as an extraordinary woman. In Stree Parva, Gandhari without taking the name of Vrushali praises the brave woman, Karna’s wife by taking taking names of two sons, Vrishasena and Sushena. Even though there is nothing much written about Vrushali in Mahabharata, she’s been subject of many fictions and novels.