Where did the Kings killed In Kurukshetra war go after death?
(Read till the end; Important points are there from the middle of this answer)
(Before reading this Post, Read This Previous Post that made this post necessary!)
First know the rule of higher worlds:
When one performs many good deeds, and some bad karma too, he is given some period in hells and many years in heavenly planets. After heavens, they come back to another material planet like earth to continue their journey.
Kshatriya rules are that they will attain heavens if they are killed in war by another soldier and to the hells if they had some sinful acts also. If anyone is killed directly by Krishna/ Vishnu, he will attain Vaikunta planets.
As per the Mahabharatha, Yuthistra went to heaven with his own body. The Pandavas were shown the scene of hells for very short time as well as for heavens for many years for their dharmic way of life.
Unbelievable? Yes, it is true.
Why did they see the scene of hell for a short period?
Because they made some tricks to kill kauravas, particularly to kill Asvathama, the son of dhronacharya. So, they were just shown the scene of hells.
(Why Krishna delivered Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, not to Other Pandavas or Duryodhana? READ HERE!)
After that they lived in heavens. Pandavas were actually Gandharvas who were arranged to take birth on earth by Krishna to take part in His lilas. So, these gandharvas went back to their heavenly Gandharva planets. Karna, as wished by himself went back to his father Surya deva’s surya Loka that is also a heavenly planet.
There are many such thrilling details in the last chapter of Mahabharatha called Swarga Arogana parva that explains the visit of Pandavas and kauravas to heavens.
Remember, Vyasa did not name it as VAIKUNTA AROGANA PARVA, he named it as SWARGA AROGANA PARVA.
That means, the kings went to Swarga lokas, not vaikunta lokas. The slokas may change, but, here, the TITLE itself is Swarga Arogana Parva.
In Bhagavatham, it has been mentioned as Vaikunta that must be the correction by bhakti cults or brahmanas in the later period to strengthen their claims of going back to Vaikunta. As a balanced writer without the colour of any cult, I have been writing the facts as they are in our site. So, this is also my attempt to clarify how the puranas have been manipulated in later days.
(Why Krishna is Supreme as Vyasa Puranas say many gods as Supreme? READ HERE!)
Puranas have faced many alterations in the later period. The Mahabharatha is the Original record about the Bharatha war and the participants in it. Bhagavatham is the later versions and the puranas are not comparable with Ithikas that are actual incidents.
So, I honestly advise the devotees to omit a few parts of bhagavatham that seem contrary to the same incident in Mahabharatha.
Mahabharatha is more bonadfide than Bhagavatham and both were written by Vyasa deva. Because Mahabharatha is an ITHIKAS that means “THIS HAPPENED”. Bhagavatham was slightly modified ‘here and there’ by some vested interests to strengthen their ideologies as it was spoken through mouth for many generations.
Now, let me give selected texts from the last chapter of Mahabharatha that speaks about where the Kings killed In Kurukshetra go after death:
(LIST OF 18 MAHA PURANAS & UPA-PURANAS CLASSIFED! READ HERE!)
MAHABHARATHA – SWARGA AROHANIKA PAVRA
(DISCUSSION BETWEEN YUTHISHTRA AND SAGE NARATHA IN HEAVEN)
Janamejaya said, “Having attained to Heaven, what regions were respectively attained by my grandsires of old, viz., the Pandavas and the sons of Dhritarashtra ? I desire to hear this. I think that thou art conversant with everything, having been taught by the great Rishi Vyasa of wonderful feats.”
Vaisampayana said, “Listen now to what thy grandsires, Yudhishthira and others, did after having attained to Heaven, that place of the deities. Arrived at Heaven, king Yudhishthira the just, beheld Duryodhana endued with prosperity and seated on an excellent seat. He blazed with effulgence like the sun and wore all those signs of glory which belong to heroes. And he was in the company of many deities of blazing effulgence and of Sadhyas of righteous deeds. Yudhishthira, beholding Duryodhana and his prosperity, became suddenly Blled with rage and turned back from the sight.
……..O Narada. I desire to see, O Narada, Virata and Drupada and the other great Kshatriyas headed by Dhrishtaketu, as also Sikhandin, the Panchala prince, the sons of Draupadi, and Abhimanyu, irresistible in battle”
(Is it wrong for devotees watching Mahabharatha and Ramayana on TV? READ HERE!)
“Yudhishthira said, ‘Ye deities, I do not see here Radha’s son of immeasurable prowess, as also my high-souled brothers, and Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas, those great car-warriors that poured their bodies (as libations) on the fire of battle, those kings and princes that met with death for my sake in battle. Wherever may that child of Surya be, I desire to see him. Alas, his relationship with us being unknown, I caused him to be slain by Arjuna. Bhima also of terrible prowess and dearer to me than my life-breaths, Arjuna too, resembling Indra himself, the twins also that resembled the Destroyer himself in prowess, I desire to behold. I wish to see the princess of Panchala, whose conduct was always righteous. I wish not to stay here. I tell you the truth. Ye foremost ones among the deities, what is Heaven to me if I am dissociated from my brothers? That is Heaven where those brothers of mine are. This, in my opinion, is not Heaven.’
“The gods said, ‘If thou longest to be there, go then, O son, without delay. At the command of the chief of the deities, we are ready to do what is agreeable to thee.’
Vaisampayana continued, “Having said so, the gods then ordered the celestial messenger, O scorcher of foes, saying, ‘Do thou show unto Yudhishthira his friends and kinsmen.’
(Why and How Ganapati wrote Mahabharatha and Bhagavad Gita? READ HERE!)
Then the royal son of Kunti and the celestial messenger proceeded together, O foremost of kings, to that place where those chiefs of men (whom Yudhishthira had wished to see) were. The celestial messenger proceeded first, the king followed him behind.
(Yuthishtra was shown the look of hell through maya vision for short time as the token punishment for their having made many triscks in the war)
………Of both good and bad there is abundance, O chief of men. He who enjoys first the fruits of his good acts must afterwards endure Hell. He, on the other hand, who first endures Hell, must afterwards enjoy Heaven. He whose sinful acts are many, enjoys Heaven first. It is for this, O king, that desirous of doing thee good, I caused thee to be sent for having a view of Hell Thou hadst, by a pretence, deceived Drona in the matter of his son. Thou hast, in consequence thereof, been shown Hell by an act of deception. After the manner of thyself, Bhima and Arjuna, and Draupadi, have all been shown the place of sinners by an act of deception (Maya).
Come, O chief of men, all of them have been cleansed of their sins. All those kings who had sided thee and who have been slain in battle, have all attained to Heaven. Come and behold them, O foremost one of Bharata’s race.
(Is reading Garuda Purana, Mahabharatha and keeping Krishna Pictures wrong? READ HERE!)
…………..O son of Pritha, thy brothers, O king, were not such as to deserve Hell. All this has been illusion created by the chief of the gods. Without doubt, all kings, O son, must once behold Hell. Hence hast thou for a little while been subjected to this great affliction. O king, neither Arjuna, nor Bhima, nor any of those foremost of men, viz, the twins, nor Kama, ever truthful in speech and possessed of great courage, could be deserving of Hell for a long time. The princess Krishna too, O Yudhishthira, could not be deserving of that place of sinners. Come, come, O foremost one of the Bharatas, behold Ganga who spreads her current over the three worlds.
The Kuru king Yudhishthira then proceeded from that spot. He was accompanied by Dharma, and the great Rishis uttered his praises.
Indeed, he reached that place where those foremost of men, those heroes, viz., the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras, freed from (human) wrath, were enjoying each his respective status.”
Vaisampayana said, “King Yudhishthira, thus praised by the gods, the Maruts and the Rishis, proceeded to that place where those foremost ones of Kuru’s race were. He beheld Govinda endued with his Brahma-form- It resembled that form of his which had been seen before and which, therefore, helped the recognition. Blazing forth in that form of his, he was adorned with celestial weapons, such as the terrible discus and others in their respective embodied forms. 1 He was being adored by the heroic Phalguna, who also was endued with a blazing, effulgence. The son of Kunti beheld the slayer of Madhu in also his own form. Those two foremost of Beings, adored by all the gods, beholding Yudhishthira, received him with proper honours.
In another place, the deiighter of the Kurus beheld Kama, that foremost one among all wielders of weapons, resembling a dozen Suryas in splendour.
In another part he beheld Bhimasena of great puissance, sitting in the midst of the Maruts, and endued with a blazing form. He was sitting by the side of the God of Wind in his embodied form. Indeed, he was then in a celestial form endued with great beauty, and had attained to the highest success.
(How many Qualities required to go back to Goloka for humans and gods? READ HERE!)
In the place belonging to the Aswins, the deiighter of the Kurus beheld Nakula and Sahadeva, each blazing with his own effulgence. He also beheld the princes, of Panchala, decked in garlands of lotuses.
Having attained to Heaven, she was sitting there, endued with a form possessed of solar splendour.
King Yudhisthira suddenly wished to question her. Then the illustrious Indra, the chief of the gods, spoke to him, ‘This one is Sree herself. It was for your sake that she took birth, as the daughter of Drupada, among human beings, issuing not from any mother’s womb, O Yudhishthira, endued with agreeable perfume and capable of delighting the whole world. For your pleasure, she was created by the wielder of the trident. She was born in the race of Drupada and was enjoyed by you all.
These five highly blessed Gandharvas endued with the effulgence of fire, and possessed of great energy, were, O king, the sons of Draupadi and yourself. Behold Dhritarashtra, the king of the Gandharvas, possessed of great wisdom. Know
that this one was the eldest brother of thy sire. This one is thy eldest brother, the son of Kunti, endued with effulgence of fire. The son of Surya, thy eldest brother, the foremost of men, even this one was known as the son of Radha. He moves in the company of Surya.
(12 THINGS TO FOLLOW TO GO BACK TO KRISHNA’s GOLOKA AT THE END OF THIS BIRTH ITSELF! READ HERE!)
Even he is the mighty bowman Abhimanyu, now endued with the gentle effulgence of the great luminary of the night. Here is the mighty bowman Pandu, now united with Kunti and Madri. Thy sire frequently comes to me on his excellent car.
Behold the royal Bhisma, the son of Santanu, now in the midst of the Vasus- Know that this one by the side of Vrihaspati is thy preceptor Drona. These and other kings, O son of Pandu, who had warred on thy side now walk with the Gahdharvas or Yakshas or other sacred beings.
Some have attained to the status of Guhyakas, O king. Having cast off their bodies, they have conquered Heaven by the merit they had acquired through word, thought and deed.”
“Bhishma and Drona, those two high-souled persons, king Dhritarashtra, and Virata and Drupada, and Sankha and Uttara, Dhrishtaketu and Jayatsena and king Satyajit, the sons of Duryodhana, and Sakuni the son of Suvala. Kama’s sons of great prowess, king Jayadratha, Ghatotkacha and others whom thou hast not mentioned, the other heroic kings of blazing forms, tell me for what period they remained in Heaven. O foremost of regenerate persons, was theirs an eternal place in Heaven ? What was the end attained to by those foremost of men when their acts came to an end ?
Vaisampayana replied, “Every one, O king of men, is not capable of returning to his own nature at the end of his deeds. Whether this is so or not, is, indeed a good question asked by thee. l Hear, O king, this which is a mystery of the gods, O chief of Bharata’s race……………
(Are Rituals alone sufficient to go Back to Godhead / Krishna / Vaikunta / Goloka? READ HERE!)
Bhisma of mighty energy and great effulgence attained to the status of the Vasus. Eight Vasus, O chief of Bharata’s race, are now seen.
Drona entered into Vrihaspati, that foremost one of Angirasa’s descendants. Hridika’s son Kritavarman entered the Maruts.
Pradyumna entered Sanatkumara whence he had issued.
Dhritarashtra obtained the regions, so difficult of acquisition, that belong to the Lord of treasures.
The famous Gandhari obtained the same regions with her husband Dhritarashtra.
With his two wives, Pandu proceeded to the abode of the great Indra.
Both Virata and Drupada, the king Dhrishtaketu, as also Nishatha, Akrura, Samva, Bhanukampa, and Viduratha, and Bhurisravas and Sala and king Bhuri, and Kansa, and Ugrasena, and Vasudeva, and Uttara, that foremost of men, with his brother
Sankha, all these foremost of persons entered the deities.
Soma’s son of great prowess, named Varchas of mighty energy, became Abhimanyu, the son of Phalguna, that lion among men.
Having fought, agreeably to Kshatriya practices, with bravery such as none else had ever been able to show, that mighty-armed and righteous-souled being entered Soma.
Slain on the field of battle, O foremost of men, Kama (Karna) entered Surya.
Sakuni obtained absorption into Dwapara, and Dhrishtadyumna into the deity of fire. The sons of Dhritarashtra were all Rakshasas of fierce might. Sanctified by death caused by weapons, those high-souled beings of prosperity all succeeded in attaining to Heaven.
(Why and How did we fall down from Goloka? How to avoid it? READ HERE!)
Both Kshattri and king Yudhishthira entered into the god of Righteousness (the world of dharma devatha).
The holy and illustrious Ananta (who had taken birth as Balararama) proceeded to the region below the Earth.
Through the command of the Grandsire, he, aided by his Yoga power, supported the Earth.
Vasudeva was a portion of that eternal god of gods called Narayana. Accordingly, he entered into Narayana.
thousand women had been married to Vasudeva as his wives.
When the time came, O Janamejaya, they, plunged into the Saraswati.
Casting off their (human) bodies there, they re-ascended to Heaven.
Transformed into Apsaras, they approached the presence of Vasudeva. Those heroic and mighty car- warriors, viz, Ghatotkacha and others, who were slain in the great battle, attained to the status, some of gods and some of Yakshas.
Those that had fought on the side of Duryodhana are said to have been Rakshasas.
Gradually, O king, they have all attained to excellent regions of felicity.
Those foremost of men have proceeded, some to the abode of Indra, some to that of Kuvera of great intelligence, and some to that of Varuna. I have now told thee, O thou of great splendour, everything about the acts, O Bharata, of both the Kurus and the Pandavas.”
Hope this article has cleared about where the Kings killed In Kurukshetra war went after death.
(SRUTIS & SMRUTIS : BHAGAVAD GITA Vs RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATHA! READ HERE!)