Story of Brihannala – The Eunuch form Arjuna took in the Mahabharata



Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers, took the form of Brihannala – a eunuch during the incognito (staying in disguise for a year) exile period in the Mahabharata. As Brihannala, Arjuna taught dance and music to Uttara, the daughter of King of Virata.

Arjuna did not need to act like Brihannala as he made use of a curse by Apsara Urvasi – the damsel in the court of Indra. Arjuna once did not show any interest to the sexual innuendos of Urvasi. The frustrated Apsara cursed him to be a eunuch. The curse was later changed by Indra to a year. Thus Arjuna used the curse during the incognito exile period and lived like a Eunuch.

Brihannala was the charioteer of Uttara Kumara who went to fight against the Kauravas. After the death of Kichaka, there was no one to defend the kingdom of Virata. Using this opportunity, Kauravas took away the cattle of Virata.

Uttaran went to fight the Kauravas with Brihannala as charioteer. But the young prince was frightened at the sight of the great warriors in the Kaurava ran. He decided to runaway from the battlefield.

Brihannala then took over and fought against the Kauravas. He defeated the Kaurava army and returned triumphant.