1) Birth. The fourth of the Pandavas. Madri, the ‘second of the two wives of Pandu meditated on the twin gods Asvinidevas, and recited one of the Mantras given to Kunti by the hermit Durvasas and the two sons Nakula and Sahadeva were born to her from those gods. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 111 that Nakula and Sahadeva were immensely handsome.
2) Story of #Nakula till the Bharata battle. Naming and such other rituals after birth were performed for Nakula also as in the case of the other Pandava children, by the hermits who lived in gatasrfrga The ceremony of investiture with the Brahma st ng was conducted by Kasyapa the priest of Vasudeva. The royal hermit guka taught Nakula archery and swordsplay, in his boyhood. When Pandu died, Madri jumped into the funeral pyre and died leaving her two sons with Kunti. After this the hermits of Satan rnga took Kunti and her five sons to Bhisma at Hastinapura.
At Hastinapura, Nakula learned archery under the great teacher Drona. According to the instruction of the teacher, rlrjuna had to fight with him (teacher) on the completion of the teaching and during that fight Nakula and Sahadeva were the guards of Arjuna’s chariotwheels. As Nakula was such an expert in wielding t:ie weapons, he got the name `Atirathi’. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 138, Stanza 30 ). When the lac-palace was completed at Varanavata, the Pandavas shifted to that mansion by the instruction of Dhrtarastra. When the lac-palace was set fire to, the Pandavas escaped by way of an underground passage and reached the banks of the Ganga. There Naknla and Sahadeva fell down weary and exhausted. Bhima carried them on his shoulders. After Baka had been killed, they proceeded to Paficalapura; where at the Svayariivara (marriage) Pancali became the wife of the Pandavas. They returned to Hastinapura. A son named 8atanika was born to Nakula by Paficali. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 75 ).
After that Nakula married Karenumati, the daughter of the King of Cedi. A son named Niramitra was born to the couple. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 70) .
Nakula was then sent to the kingdoms of the west for regional conquest, by Dharmaputra. The wealth of the kingdoms he had conquered, was carried on ten thousand camels to the capital Hastinapura. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 32). After the Rajasuya (imperial consecration) of Yudhisthira, Nakula went to Gandhara to escort Subala and his sons. After the defeat of Yudhisthira in the game of dice, the Pandavas went to live in the forest. At that time Nakula put soil all over his body and sat on the ground because of his profound grief. In the forest, once Jatasura carried away Nakula. (See under Jat5sura). Nakula killed Ksemaitkara, Mahamaha and Suratha in the forest At Dvaitavana (a forest) Nakula went to a lake to fetch water and was killed by Dharmadeva who appeared in the form of a crane. At the request of Dharmaputra, who came afterwards, all the Pandavas including Nakula were brought to life again, by Dharma.
During the pseudonymity of the Pandavas at the city of Virata, Nakula assumed the name Granthika. When the period of pseudonymity expired, Nakula fought with the Trigartas on behalf of the King Virata. On the return of the Paridavas after the expiry of their forest-life and pseudonymity, when Duryodhana announced that he would give not even a single dot of land to them, Nakula was very eager to decide the matter by a battle. He proposed that the King Drupada should be made the chief captain of the army.
3) Nakula in th • Bhdrata-battle. The following is the part played by Nakula in the battle of Kuruksetra.
(i) There was a combat between Nakula and Dussasana on the first day of the battle. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 23) .
(ii) Nakula fought with ~alya and was wounded. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 83).
(iii) He fought with gakuni. (M.B. Bhi sma Parva, Chapter 105, Stanza 1 l ).
(iv) He engaged Vikarna in a combat. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter I10, Stanza I1).
(v) Nakuia defeated Vikarzla. (NNI.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 106, Stanza 12).
(vi) Nakula defeated ~akuni. (M.B. Drona Chapter 169, Stanza 16) .
(vii) He defeated Duryodhana in a fight. Drona Parva, Chapter 187, Stanza 50) .
(viii) Nakula killed the King of Anga. (M.B. Parva, Chapter 22, Stanza 13).
(ix) He retreated on being defeated by Karna. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 24, Stanza 45 ).
(x) He fought with Droria. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 48, Stanza 34 ).
(xi) Nakula fought with Duryodhana again and was wounded. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 7).
(xii) He fought with Vrsasena. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 36).
(xiii) Nakula killed Citrasena, Satyasena and Susena the sons of Karna. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 10).
4) After the Bhdrata-battle.
(i) After the battle, Nakula explained to Yudhisthira, the duties of a house holder. (M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter 12).
(ii) On the instruction of Yudhisthira, Nakula became the chief captain of the army. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 41, Stanza 12) .
(iii) After the battle, the palace of Durmarsana the son of Dhrtarastra was given to Nakula by Dharmaputra. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 10).
(iv) After the battle when Yudhisthira performed the horse sacrifice, Nakula and Bhimasena stood as protectors of the city. (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 72, Stanza 19).
(v) Nakula went to the forest to see Kunti, who was engaged in penance during her latter days. (M.B. Asramavasi a Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 8) .
5) The end. At the `great departure’ (Mahaprasthana) of the Pandavas, Nakula died in the forest. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 9, that after death Nakula and Sahadeva attained the position of the Asvinidevas.
6) The name Nakula. It is stated in Mahabharata, Virata Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 25 that the name `Nakula’ was given to him because there were none more handsome than he in the family (Kula) of the Pandavas.
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