Top 10 Characters of Mahabharata

With downright magnitude and superfluous philosophical depth, Mahabharata is a mega saga which comprises the essence of war, politics, religion, parenting, ethics and Dharma . This grand epic is all about the friction between two collateral branches of the Kuru clan to overpower the throne of Hastinapur. You’ll become tongue-tied after witnessing the vivid records of fundamental philosophers, mighty warriors, cryptical thinkers, sages and devoted wives of this heroic tale. We’re counting down top 10 characters of Mahabharata with cognition of Yato Dharma Tato Jayah (where there is righteousness, there shall be victory). May these characters inspire you!

 

10. Yudhisthira:

Yudhisthira is a terribly troubled yet harmless-soul character of the worming epic Mahabharata. Also known as “Dharmaraj”, Yudhisthira has a great attachment with morality, truth, commitment and righteousness. His innocent and non-aggressive traits are indeed eye-catching, but it is a matter of fact that he can’t take even the slightest political decision by his own because he lacks the decision-making prowess and is tremendously addicted to the consultations offered by Krishna, Arjuna and Bhima. He gambled like a slack and cheerfully-irresponsible player, and lost his entire kingdom as well as Draupadi to the Kauravas; yet he enjoys our respectfulness.

(img source: vedicgyaan.com)

Top 10 characters of the mahabharata: Yudhistira

9. Shakuni:

Sure enough, Shakuni is one of the most scorned personalities in Hindu mythology. Brother of Gandhari and a proficient king-maker, Shakuni is considered as the great-grandfather of all gamblers throughout the existence of planet earth. He is the person who poisoned the mind of his explosive nephew Duryodhan and fueled-up the destructive war of Mahabharata, thus becoming the cause of the destruction of the Kauravas.

(img source: indianetzone.com)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharta - Shakuni

8. Dhritarashtra:

Dhritrashtra is one of the dominating characters of Mahabharta who has a very low self-esteem and believes that his blindness is a curse, making him unfit to rule. It’s depicted in Mahabharta that Dhritarashtra has a great envy against his brother Pandu and his paragon advices for the betterment of Kuru dynasty. It was Dhritrashtra’s emotional blindness and rapacious look towards the throne which made his son Duryodhana a hot-headed and egocentric human being.

(img source: utkarshspeak.blogspot.in)
Top 10 characters of Mahabharta - Dhritrashtra

7. Gandhari:

A blindfolded mother of a hundred sons, a puppet for her blind husband, and a lady who died every moment she lived; Gandhari is undisputably the wisest female character of the Mahabharata. Gandhari is a lady of immense natural power and always favors Dharma. One by one, she witnessed her hundred sons going down like skittles, but she never left the domain of righteousness and refused her own son to wish victory into the battlefield.

(img source: kamyabology.com)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharata - Gandhari

6. Dronacharya:

The royal guru to Pandavas and Kauravas and a ferocious warrior of tremendous combating skills, Guru Dronacharya is a significant character of Mahabharata. Committed to protect the realm of Hastinapur, Guru Dronacharya supported the Kauravas and remained firm like an inexorable hero in the battle of Kurukshetra where casualties went beyond the human imagination and corpses got piled up, becoming the food for the birds.

(img source: columbia.edu)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharata - Dronacharya

5. Duryodhana:

Duryodhana is a massively strong leader, a magnificent warrior and an epitome of friendship, but in Mahabharata, he stands at one side of a gulf which is seemingly unbridgeable between the parameters of good and evil. Indeed, Duryodhana belongs to the evil side of the gulf, holding the traits of greed and jealousy to a specific magnitude, but here one must remember that Duryodhana is known for his hospitality, bigheartedness and benevolence. And these traits are enough to mark him as a real ‘Kshatriya’. Moreover, he can’t be labelled with the “bad boy” term in the case when Draupadi was disrobed, because in the game of dice, Pandavas were also to blame.

(img source: kids.gen.com)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharata - Duryodhana

4. Arjun:

A gallant warrior and a skilled archer, best known for stringing numbers of arrows in a fraction of second and that with deadly accuracy, Arjun is a Pandava prince as well as the most adorable disciple of Guru Drona. Enlightened with the cognition of selfless action, the character of Arjun in Mahabharata teaches what you should do while confronting an abominable moral crisis. Diverting our minds from the sensual pleasures of the world, he instructs that rather than celebrating the good fortune or crying over the bad, you have to be always joyful as it is the very foundation for daily living.

(img source: indianetzone.com)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharata - Arjun

3. Krishna:

Apart from being the most lovable of all Gods in India, Lord Krishna can also be seen as the biggest political reformer from the Mahabharata who can easily beat even the modern-day diplomats man-to-man. No one can describe Lord Krishna in words; he excels in everything. But if one keeps his Godly image out and brings him at par to the level of any other human, Krishna remains the coolest and wittiest character ever. In the Mahabharata, Krishna goes around doing his deeds in a manner justifying his birth as an avatar and fulfilling the promises he made in upholding righteousness.

(img source: 1.bp.blogspot.com)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharata - Krishna

2. Karna:

Karna–the central character and one of the unsung heroes of the Mahabharata–is an invincible warrior despite of being an ill-fated prince ever since his birth. Throughout the epic he justified his never-say-die attitude and courageously confronted all the odds of his destiny. His character in Mahabharata has an everlasting fame because he teaches how can one present himself better than the destiny and accomplish everything with shatterproof determination.

(img source: 4.bp.blogspot.com)

Top 10 characters in Mahabharata - Karna

1. Bhishma Pitamah:

Sentinel of the prosperity of Hastinapur and a great combatant in classic sense, Bhishma Pitamah is the most potent character of the Mahabharata as well as the finest illustration of ethics and fairness. The oldest stalwart of the kingdom of Hastinapur; Bhishma Pitamah’s personal life was full of frustration and solitariness, but for others he was a disciplined spartan and an embodiment of loyalty and truth. Bhishma Pitamah’s peerless statesmanship and other impeccable characteristics still inspire his ardent followers across the world.

(img source: s2.hubimg.com)

Top 10 characters of Mahabharata - Bhishma Pitamah

 

Also read about famous stories from mahabharata

16 Comments

  1. Anand Shankar

    July 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    The correct list of characters in order of importance should be like this : 1. Krishna 2.Yudhishthira 3. Arjuna 4. Duryodhana 5. Draupadi 6. Bhishma 7. Karna 8. Drona 9. Bhima 10. Shakuni

    You have given less importance to Yudhishthira and have highlighted only his negetive side. In Mahabharata he is the protagonist. The whole story of Mahabharata goes around him. He is the leader of Pandvas and most respected person after Krishna. He makes all the decision from Pandavas side. Yes at crucial times he consults Krishna like a true statesman. He is a top class politician and a true leader. Duryodhna is way behind him in this regard. He commands the respect of many people even in Kaurava side. He was able to assemble 7 akshauhani army at a very short notice and commanded the respect of all the kings in his side. In war he led his army more efficiently than Duryodhana. He was a great strategist and general as well. He was the mastermind behind most of the war formation of Pandavas. Kaurava sides entire focus was on capturing Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira, though a kindhearted person was not weak as shown in TV serials. He gave a good fight to Karna before getting defeated by him. He defeated Duryodhana twice. He was furious on 18th day of battle and was able to defeat one of the top 4 warriors of Kaurava side, Shalya.

    You missed out Draupadi in your list and added Gandhari instead. Draupadi was the main reason behind the war of Mahabharata.

    • Raavan

      May 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Hey man! In mahabarat no one can be perform perfect.? Then how to rate it correctly?
      Incase if my chrtr close to be like duryodhan then i like duryodhan. .
      If u like yuthistra then u close to be yuthistra. . .its over…
      Mahabarat was great epic of us..
      Be pride be kings…
      Have a gud time until death

  2. Anand Shankar

    July 13, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Please give your top 10 list of warriors of Mahabharata. In my view it should be like this : 1. Arjuna 2. Bhishma 3. Drona 4. Karna 5. Bhima 6. Abhimanyu 7. Ashwatthama 8. Ghatotkacha 9. Yudhishthira 10. Shalya .

  3. Anand Shankar

    July 13, 2012 at 4:44 am

    If we do not go by myth and give the rankings after reading the encounters of above top warriors with other warriors, then the correct list should be like this : 1. Arjuna 2. Bhishma 3. Abhimanyu 4.Drona 5. Bhima 6. Karna 7. Ashwatthama 8, Ghatotkacha 9. Yudhishthira 10. Shalya.

    • Anand Shankar

      July 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      I want to correct my list of warriors- 1. Arjuna 2. Bhishma 3.Abhimanyu 4.Drona 5. Satyaki 6. Bhima 7. Karna 8. Ashwattma 9. Ghatotkacha 10. Yudhishthira

  4. Anand Shankar

    July 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Bhishma was the best warrior in Kaurava side. He was also the leader of Kuru clan. He was a man of good character, but even he had the lust for power and honor. He was ruling Hastinapur indirectly ever since the demise of his father till Duryodhna became the crown prince of Hastinapur. Dhritrashtra was a dummy for Bhishma and later for Duryodhna. Even after Duryodhana started ruling the kingdom on behalf of his father, Bhishma had a big say in the affairs of kingdom. Bhishma loved Yudhishthira and his brothers , but he was not ready to leave the position of power in the court of Hastinapur. He should have strongly opposed Duryodhna, when Draupadi was being humiliated.

    Karna was not as good a person as you have presented him hear. He was the accomplice of Duryodhana in all his crimes from conspiring to burn Pandavas to humiliating Draupadi and killing of Abhimanyau. His character had a positive side as well as he was an benevolent person, but his for Pandavas and especially for Arjuna had blinded him. No doubt he was one of the strongest warriors of Mahabharata war, but he was not better than Arjuna for sure, as shown in TV serials. He has got the sympathy votes. In reality he lost against Bhima at least at four occasions on 14th day and could vanquish him only at his last attempt when had no weapon left. He did not accept Bhima’s challenge for wrestling. He even lost against Satyaki on 14th day. Abhimanyu also defeated him on 13th day of war. He was an quarrelsome person and hated by many warriors in Kaurava side.

    Duryodhana was a strong warrior. He was weaker than Bhima in physical might, but slightly better than him mace fight, because he had practiced for 13 years for his encounter with Bhima. He was not a good leader. He could not manage and motivate his army as efficiently as Yudhishthira did. Despite having a larger army he could not unite his warriors. he was hated by many in his army. Yudhishthira outclassed him in all departments. He was not a good person and caused a big destruction of Kauravas.

    • Mohan R

      September 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

      You are damn wrong,

      By no means I had read mahabharata fully. But, Karan is the one who is more like a perfect warrior and the greatest human being.

      He didn’t controlled himself for dharma, he did what his mind thought in the case of draupadi

      He stood for his friendship till the end. He dared The God and made The God to think about defeating him. If Lord Krishna is not there, Arjun would have begged Karan to move to his side.

      There is no sentiment in battlefield and he did what is right according to the laws of war in the case of Abhimanyau.

      What is that Arjun did which Karan can’t able to do? He was way bettern than Arjun hitting both of the bird’s eye in one shot. He is the only person who is self taught and did unbelievable things.

      He is the example of how a regular human should fight his own fate without help from anyone. He didn’t ask wish from Lord Krishna but Lord Krishna asked him a wish to donate his Generosity. How about that with Arjun?

      To me, Karan is more than anybody. The list should be 1. Karan, 2. Bhishma, 3. Dhrona, 4. Dhritarashtra, 5. Gandhari, 6. Duryodhana, 7. Krishna, 8. Arjun, 9. Shakuni, 10. Yudhisthira

      • DSJ

        October 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

        You are absolutely fantastic my dear … at least I could laugh at length after a very-very long time, post reading your comment & rating !!!

      • DSJ

        October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

        You are absolutely fantastic my dear … at least I could laugh at length after a very-very long time, post reading your comment & rating !!!

        After your enlightenment, my rating should be like this – 1. Shakuni 2. Duryodhana 3. Duhshashana 4. Vikarna 5. Dhritrastra and that you seems to belong from Karna fan club, hence, rest 5 (top or bottom, whatever you feel like), should be Karna.

      • Anand Shankar

        October 25, 2012 at 3:51 am

        Even I have read Mahabharata. You seem to be a Karna fan and in your overenthusiasm you are endorsing even the wrong deeds of Karna. Was conspiring with Duryodhana to burn pandavas in lakshagrih a great job of Karna ? Was humiliating a woman in public ethical ? Do you think that cutting Abhimanyu’s bow by shooting from behind was according to the rule of war ?

        You have written about the Karna hitting the bird’s eye. But that is not given in Mahabharata. Arjuna had defeated Karna at least on 5 occasions before their final combat. Karna was defeated by even Bhima and Satyaki when they were at their best. Why would Arjuna beg to Karna ? Arjuna never used pashupatastra and brahmshira on Karna. Otherwise he would have killed Karna on day one itself.

        It is strange that you have missed Draupadi in your top ten list.

  5. akshadh

    January 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    For all karna’s Fans:

    (SOURCE-TRANSLATION OF ORIGINAL MAHABHARAT OF VYAS BY KESARI MOHAN GANGULY
    & WHICH IS THE ONLY PRECISE TRANSLATION AVAILABLE ON PUBLIC DOMAIN):

    Incident 1:Karna fled rom battlefield from Arjuna(Virata Yudh):

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04060.htm

    Incident 2:Karna defeated by Gandharwa chitrasena:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03239.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03240.htm

    Incident 3:Arjuna defeat Ghandarwas & rescued Duryodhan & kurus:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03243.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03244.htm

    Incident 4:Karna defeated & freightened by Abhimanyu in chakruvyuhu:

    Hearing these words, Karna, afflicted with the shafts of Arjuna’s son, once more said unto Drona, ‘Exceedingly afflicted with the shafts of Abhimanyu, I am staying in battle, only because (as a warrior) I should stay here. Indeed, the arrows of this south of great energy are exceedingly fierce. Terrible as they are and possessed of the energy of fire, these arrows are weakening my heart.’

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m07/m07045.htm

    What Karna’s own friend Ashwathama & kripacharya think of karna:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04049.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04050.htm

    what Lord Krishna think of karna’s bravery:

    Krishna said(To Arjuna):.I swear by Truth to thee, O friend, that my limbs are burning at the thought that while the son of Subhadra was thus advancing, consuming the hostile army with his shafts, even on that occasion the wicked-souled Karna was engaged in acts of hostility to that hero,Unable, O Partha, to stay in that battle before Abhimanyu’s face, mangled with the shafts of Subhadra’s son, deprived of consciousness, and bathed in blood, Karna drew deep breaths, inflamed with rage. At last, afflicted with arrows, he was obliged to turn his back upon the field.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08073.htm

    & Finally karna himself accepting Arjuna’s supeority:

    Narrative:

    “‘Karna said(about Arjuna), “As far as I have heard,
    such a superior car-warrior has
    never been born on earth! Behold
    my prowess, since I will contend in
    battle with even that Partha who is
    such. This prince of Kuru’s line, this
    foremost of car-warriors, careers in
    battle, borne by his steeds white in
    hue. Perhaps he will despatch me to
    Yama’s abode today. Know, however,
    that with Karna’s death, these all
    will be exterminated. The two arms
    of this prince are never covered with
    sweat. They never tremble. They are
    massive and covered with cicatrices.
    Firm in the use of weapons, he is
    possessed of great skill and endued
    with great lightness of hands.
    Indeed, there is no warrior equal to
    the son of Pandu. He taketh a large
    number of arrows and shooteth them
    as if they were one. Quickly fixing
    them on the bow-string, he
    propelleth them to the distance of
    two miles. They always fall on the
    foe. What warriors is there on earth
    that is equal to him? That Atiratha,
    endued with great activity, with
    Krishna as his ally, gratified the god
    Agni at Khandava. There, on that
    occasion, the high-souled Krishna
    obtained his discus, and Savyasaci,
    the son of Pandu, obtained his bow
    Gandiva. There that mighty-armed
    one, endued with might that knows
    no decay, also obtained his terrible
    car unto which are yoked those white
    steeds, as also his two great
    celestial and inexhaustible quivers,
    and many celestial weapons, from
    the God of Fire. In the region of
    Indra he obtained his conch
    Devadatta and slew innumerable
    Daityas, and all the Kalakeyas. Who
    is there on earth that is superior to
    him? Possessed of greatness of soul,
    he gratified Mahadeva himself in fair
    fight, and obtained from him the
    terrible and mighty weapon Pasupata
    that is capable of destroying the
    three worlds. The several Regents of
    the world, united together gave him
    their weapons of immeasurable
    energy, with which that lion among
    men quickly destroyed in battle
    those united Asuras, the
    Kalakhanjas.

    So also, in Virata’s city,
    moving on a single car he
    vanquished all of us, and snatched
    from us that wealth of kine, and took
    from all the foremost of car-warriors
    (portions of) their garments.
    Challenging that foremost of
    Kshatriyas, that hero having him of
    Vrishni’s race for his ally, that
    warrior who is endued with such
    energy and such attributes, I regard
    myself, O Shalya, to be the foremost
    of persons in all the world in point
    of courage. He is, again, protected by
    that Keshava of great energy, who i
    Narayana himself and who is without
    a rival, that high-souled Vasudeva,
    that ever-victorious Vishnu armed
    with conch, discus, and mace, whose
    attributes all the world united
    together, cannot (in narrating)
    exhaust in 10,000 years. Beholding
    the two Krishnas together on the
    same car, fear entereth my heart
    together with courage. Partha is the
    foremost of all bowmen!

    Source:origial mahabharat by vyas..trans by km ganguly!

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08079.htm

    FINAL KARNA ARJUNA BATTLE(DAY 17 OF MAHABHARATA):

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08089.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08090.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08091.htm

    ACCORDING TO MY ANALYSIS OF THIS TRANSLATION IN THE FINAL BATTLE OF MAHABHARATA,ARJUNA & KARNA ASSAULTED EACH OTHER 35 TIMES WITH NUMEROUS, THOUSANDS & LAKHS OF ARROWS ………8 TIMES THEY NULLIFIED EACH OTHER ARROWS ,12 TIMES BOTH KARNA & ARJUNA PIERCED EACH OTHER BUT THE REMAINING 15 TIMES ARJUNA PIERCED KARNA IN EVERY PART OF HIS BODY & KARNA’S LIMBS,YOKE,STANDARD,STEEDS,CHARIOT WERE RIPPED APART & KARNA WAS LEFT MANGLED BATHED IN BLOOD & KARNA HAD NO ANSWER FOR ARJUNA’S ARROWS!!!

    Authenciaty of vyas original mahabharat by km ganguly:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kisari_Mohan_Ganguli

    • Ash

      February 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Shut up

  6. Raavan

    May 2, 2014 at 12:25 am

    In my point of view is…
    1.Eklayva(no remarks on him in entire epic)
    2.Bhisma(he scrifice his life for nation)
    3.Karna(born to dead he have a painful life)
    4.Duryodhan(bad half better half)
    5.Shakuni(symbol of inteligence)
    6.Jarasandha(being gud but opposite to krishna bcoz he is visualized like bad)
    7.Drona(gud father but not gud teacher)
    8.Asvathama(best son, gud friend, but fate)
    9.Lord krishna(gud words from bad man)
    10.Pandavas(five pieces of karna). . .
    . . . . . . . .
    Lord krishna being gud bcoz if anyone against krishna.. And he will be visullize be bad man it is formula of mahabarat. . .

  7. Sahil Ahir

    October 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    1.karna,2.bhishma,3.drona,4.druyodhan,5.jaydrath,6.krishna,7.arjuna,8.bhima,9.shakuni,10.ashwthama

  8. suresh kumar

    October 27, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    in my point view is 1,Greatest heart karna 2,scarify bhisma 3,never back druyodhan 4,honor ashwathama 5, king maker krishna 6,best jarashandh 7,honest yudhistra 8,aiming ambalika vs sikandi 9,unbelievable sakuni 10,best scriptwriter of mahabharat guru veyasar

  9. Santhosh

    October 28, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Mahabharat was a great epic, in point of their character:
    1.Yudhistra : The only thing that is stronger than god is dharma, Krishna supported padavas because of this, and padavas has dharma because of Yudhistra
    2.Karna : The only one who’s hand is above god’s king Indra, Krishna. A man for friendship.
    3.Krisha : The one who protects dharma as his primary duty.
    4.Barbarike : Given his life as a fee to Krisha, and praised by Krisha as Mahatma Barbarike.
    5.Bhishma : The honest one who left his kingdom for his father.
    6. Gandhari : Sacrificed 100 sons for dharma
    7.Bhima : Given the life of his son, grandson for the sake of dharma.
    8. Eklayva : Given up his dreams for teacher
    9.Drona : A honorable teacher of all and a good father.
    10. Arjuna :

    Coming to power : Ruling out Krisha (He is a God)
    1. Barbarike
    2. Karna ( with Kavacha, Kundala)
    3. Bhishma
    4. Eklayva
    5. Drona
    6. Bhima (He is never second to Arjun in dharma or destruction)
    7. Aswadhama
    8. Kripacharya
    9. Arjun
    10. Ghatotkacha

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