Duhsala (also written as Dushala, Dussala etc) was the sister of Duryodhana in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. She was married to Jayadratha the king of Sindhu and Sauvira. Jayadratha was slain by Arjuna in the Kurukshetra War. Dussala had a son named Suratha. Her grandson battled with Arjuna, when he came to the country of Sindhus after the Kurukshetra War, to collect tribute for Yudhisthira’s Aswamedha sacrifice. Arjuna considered Duryodhana’s sister as his own sister. Due to love for his sister Arjuna spared life to Suratha’s son and left the country of Sindhus.

Dussala, daughter of Dritharashtra, is the only girl among the batch of cousins growing up in Hastinapura under the wise tutelage of Bhishma. She becomes a victim of circumstances. She gets married to the powerful king of Sindhu, but the king happened to be a man of split personality often becoming incivil towards women.
Jayadradha, king of Sindhu, is the husband of Dussala. As his best friend Duryodhana might have wished, Jayadradha tries to abduct Draupadi, but fails, and as a punishment, gets his head shaved by Bhima. Immediately after this, as a compensation, he does Tapas to Shiva and gets many boons and returns to Sindhu. The first scene opens here. When Dussala sees him she is ashamed and angry at his irresponsible behaviour. However she becomes quiet after knowing about the boons. Husband and wife make up. Just then a messenger arrives telling that Duryodhana has invited Jayadradha to join him urgently in preparation for the war with Pandavas. Jayadradha prepares his army and leaves.
During the war Arjuna hears of his son’s death at the hands of Jayadradha and vows to kill Jayadradha before the next day’s sunset. It is also achieved by the help of Krishna. Arjuna shoots an arrow cutting Jayadradha’s head and dropping it in his father Vridhakshtra’s hands, as Jayadradha had obtained a boon that anyone who causes his head to fall to the ground, would immediately die with his own head bursting into a 100 pieces.
After the war, Yudhishtira, the new king of Hastinapura, takes out an Ashwamedha Yaga wherein Arjuna follows a sacrificial horse with his army. The horse enters the Sindhu territory. Dussala’s son Suradha, who was ruling this land, dies of heart attack on knowing about the apprroaching army. But he had a small boy. Dussala takes this boy and approaches Arjuna and tells him to show mercy on the boy. When Arjuna learns that he is responsible for the death of Suradha, his nephew, he feels totally shattered. He tells Dussala, “I did not come for war, I came for peace”. Now it is Dussala who is shattered. Arjuna anoints the boy as the next king of the Sindhu kingdom. Dussala tells Arjuna, and perhaps the whole world, “We need peace. Let us end this strife forever. No more, never, this war.”


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Posted on March 1, 2012, in Mahabharata. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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