Kauravas and Pandavas

Similarities between Kauravas and Pandavas

Someone asked me what are the similarities between Pandavas and Kauravas;

Draupadi had asked Duryodhana, what is the reason that in spite having many common things in between Kauravas and Pandavas – 

  • Family
  • Same Grandfather Bheeshma
  • Same Guru Drona
  • Same relations Vidura, Somadatta, Krishna, Balarama and others

Kauravas still always followed the path of ‘adharma‘ and Pandavas always the path of ‘Dharma‘?

Here, not only Draupadi but also Duryodhana are clearly identifying who is on side of Adharma and Dharma. Krishna does not need to. Duryodhana does it for him.

जानामि धर्मं न च मे प्रावॄज्ञिल्त;ा: |
जानाम्यधर्मं न च मे निवॄज्ञिल्त;ा: ||

  • Duryodhana says, “It’s not that I didn’t know or even knew what was ‘Dharma’ and what was ‘Adharma’. But in spite of knowing what is ‘Dharma’, I couldn’t follow it (It did not become my habit pravrati!) and even though I knew what was ‘adharma’ I could not desist from not doing it as that was my habit pravrati”.

Many people know what is right and what is wrong. Still why is it that they still follow the wrong path? That is where habit or pravrati comes in and overcomes education, sanskara and family values.

यस्य नास्ति स्वयं प्रज्ञा शात्रं तस्य करोति किम् |
लोचनाभ्याम् विहीनस्य दर्पण: किं करिष्यसि ||

  • What is use of knowledge to a person who does not have intellectual capacity? what is use of mirror to a person who is blind?

The poet says that, knowledge is like a mirror, which reflects world in it. Indeed knowledge is something through which we perceive the world. The person’s pragya or intellect is like his eyesight hence the title Pragyachakshu for Dhritrashtra as a epithet. Unless one has it, one can’t use a mirror. Similarly if one does not have power to perceive the knowledge or one does not the have aptitude, then this knowledge is useless to him.

Dhritrashtra did not use that knowledge. He did not use the mirror of knowledge to identify the faults in him and his sons and thus, never corrected them.

Hence, he is the root of the tree of Adharma.

Asal aisa hoga to fasal waisi hi hogi. The roots, the seeds determine the crop.

Duryodhana had a great memory but no education to organize and use that great memory. He surrounded himself with yes men and men who fed his ego and his false ambitions. He had advisors like Kunika, Purochana, Karna, Kuniti, Kuchakra and Kudharma themselves.

By the way, I had never an intention to write similarities between Kauravas and Pandavas;


विद्या विवादाय धनं मदाय शक्ति: परेषां परिपीडनाय |
खलस्य साधोर्विपरीतमेतज्ज्ञानाय दानाय च रक्षणाय ||

  • A bad person uses his knowledge for argumentations, his wealth for egotistic actions, and his power for harming others. The opposite is true concerning a good person: He uses his knowledge, wealth, and power for providing to others knowledge, financial help, and protection, respectively.

Literally, the traits displayed by Pandavas who even ended up protecting Virata from Trigartas and Uttara from Kauravas. They provided their knowledge and even financial help to the kingdom of Matsaya and the societies.

However, I’m at some points follow the Dharma called Swadharma, when I’m challenged for answer, I can’t refuse. #LOL, It’s sounds like Yudhisthira’s words.

Let’s start the similarities,

  • Family
  • Same Grandfather Bheeshma
  • Same Guru Drona
  • Same relations Vidura, Somadatta, Krishna, Balarama and others
  • Kaurvas used power of his father, Panadvas used power of his grandfather (Vyasa – Krishna Dwipayana).
  • Kauravas made alliance with Karna, Jarasandha and more who were Pandavas enemies. Pandavas made alliance with Krishna and Panchala who were Kauravas enemies.
  • Duryodhana used force of his father to kidnap the prince of Kalinga and married with her. Arjuna used force of his father figure Yudhisthira to kidnap Subhadra.
  • Pandavas used their force and supported Krishna with their power against Shishupala and Krishna slain Shishupala (son of mother’s sister and Nakula father-in-law) in Yudhishthra’s court. Everyone’s were silent before Pandavas powers. Durydodhana used the same power in his court and made everyone silent to not support Pandavas. Duryodhana did what he likes in same way as what Yudhishthira or Pandavas did in their court.
  • Dhritrashtra plus Duryodhana force them out through Lakshagriha at Varnavata, same trick was use by Yudhisthira to won Duryodhana’s kingdom by Game of Dice.
  • Bhima, Arjuna and others insulted Duryodhana when he fell down in the water. In the same way, Duryodhana insulted Pandavas when they fallen in distress of water and made him nude. – Power of strengths and empire.
  • Pandavas made Krishna’s as master of his empire, Duryodhana took the shelter of Drona and gave him Indraprashtha.
  • Duryodhana became made like Arjuna, when his son Lakshamana was killed in battle and order to kill Abhimanyu. Arjuna became same on 14th Day.
  • Pandavas used Ghatotakcha against Karna is same way, how Drona used Trigartas and sampatkas against Arjuna.
  • Kauravas used false battle in night against Pandava camp to kill Arjuna through Karna’s shakti. In same way Yudhihthira used false news to bring down to Drona.
  • Pandavas used Ghosha Yatra in same way on 18th Day against Duryodhana, how Duryodhana used Ghosha Yatra when Pandavas were in exile.
  • Finally there were glorious death of Duryodhana in the battle and Pandavas like Sadhu – They had achieved their death what they deserved.

I’ll add more (suggest if you have).

Now, I would say for Pandavas;

महाजनस्य संसर्ग: कस्य नोन्नतिकारक: |
पद्मपत्रस्थितं तोयं धत्ते मुक्ताफलश्रियम् ||

  • Company of great person is always beneficial. even drop of water on lotus leaf appears like a pearl. (You identify your bad habits and correct them.)

जलबिन्दुनिपातेन क्रमश: पूर्यते घट: स हेतु: सर्वविद्यानां धर्मस्य च धनस्य च

  • And when water is added to a vessel drop by drop, it gets filled slowly. Similarly, knowledge, dharma (punnya, virtuous deeds) slowly imbibed and learned and bad habits removed.

And there is the critical action too:

परो अपि हितवान् बन्धु: ,बन्धु: अपि अहित: पर: |
अहित: देहज: व्याधि: , हितम् आरण्यम् औषधम् ||

  • The person with whom we have no relation, but who helps us in our difficult times is our Real relative/brother. In contrast the person who may be our relative/brother (With whom we have blood relations) but who always does bad things for us should not be considered as our relative/brother.

Literally, Krishna was the best relatives of the Pandavas.

Read more: The Pandava Allies

Post Author: Mahabharata World

2 thoughts on “Kauravas and Pandavas

    Lakshmi Seshu

    (February 15, 2019 - 11:13 am)

    I understand Arjuna kidnapping Subhadra is in BORI edition. I grew up listening to Andhra mahabharatam. It describes a sweet love story between Arjuna and Subhadra with active collaboration by Krishna (No surprise here 🙂 )

    With all due respect to BORI edition, Andhra mahabharatam’s narration of this marriage is more in line with Arjuna, Krishna and Subhadra’s characters than BORI’s narration.

    Tirumala temple’s web site has full andhra maha bharatam available online

      Arjuna The Victor

      (February 24, 2019 - 11:46 am)

      Thank You for providing one of the great resource of Andhra Mahabharata.

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