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Khatu Shyam Story – Khatu Shyam Katha Full Version - Shyam Baba Story

The story of Khatu Shyam, lovingly known as Shyam Baba, is the story of unfathomable sacrifice. Khatu Shyam was the grandson of Bhima, the second of Pandavas. He willingly gave his head to Lord Krishna before the Mahabharata war. It is said that the head of Khatu Shyam was placed atop a hill near the Kurukshetra and he watched the entire Mahabharata war from there.

Khatu Shyam Katha Full Version

Previous Birth of Khatu Shyam

In his previous birth, Khatu Shyam was a Yaksha. Once when Adharma (evil) grew out of control on earth, Vishnu agreed to the prayers of Devas and humans and agreed to take an avatar to bring back Dharma. A Yaksha named Suryavarcha said that not Vishnu but he alone could relieve earth’s burden. For this arrogance, he was cursed by Brahma to be born on earth and said that whenever there is an opportunity to relieve earth’s burden he would die at the hands of Krishna.

Grandson of Bhima in Mahabharat

Later Khatu Shyam was born as the son of Ghatotkachch and Kamkantakata. Ghatotkachch was the son of Bhima, the second of Pandava brothers.

Khatu Shyam Promises To Take the Side of the Loser in Kurukshetra Battle

The word about Mahabharata battle spread around the world and Khatu Shyam too came to hear about it. He wished to see the battle and went to take permission from his mother. His mother asked how a powerful warrior like him could watch such a battle from the sidelines. She feared that her brave and courageous would not sit on the sidelines and would join the battle.

Khatu Shyam then said that if ever an opportunity came to participate in the battle he will take the side of the loser.

Khatu Shyam Meets Krishna

Khatu Shyam then set out to reach Kurukshetra on his way he met Arjuna and Krishna who were disguise – in the form of Saints. They were on the lookout for great warriors.

When Khatu Shyam displayed his talent in archery, Krishna knew that he was capable of overrunning any opposition. But Khatu Shyam said he would only join the side that will be losing the great battle. Krishna knew that Kauravas were destined to be defeated and Khatu Shyam joining them was not good for Pandavas.

Khatu Shyam Gives His Head to Krishna

Krishna then played a trick. He said that there is no doubt that you are courageous but what about the qualities like performing charity etc. Khatu Shyam said that he can ask him anything and he will give it in charity.

Krishna then asked for his head in charity, which Khatu Shyam agreed without any difficulty.

Thus Khatu Shyam had his curse removed – he had the power to remove Adharma from the face of earth but he wanted to join the side of the losers. He did not realize that those losing the war were on the side of Adharma. Krishna blessed him that he will be worshipped in future as Khatu Shyam for his sacrifice and courage.

Worship of Khatu Shyam - The Wish Fulfilling Deity of Kali Yuga

Khatu Shyam is worshipped today in many parts of North India, especially in Haryana and Rajasthan. 

The most famous temple of Khatu Shyam is located at Sikar in Rajasthan. Thousands of devotees arrive here to offer prayers. It is believed that the Khatu Shyam here is a wish fulfilling deity and many people have had their wishes fulfilled. There is small pond in the temple premises in which people take holy dip. Many people have had their diseases cured after taking the holy dip here.