Belalasen: The Witness
Before the commencement of the Mahabharata battle at Kurukshetra,
the king of Indraprastha Dharmaraj Yudhisthira asked his younger brother Sahadev, ‘O wise Sahadev! Please tell me the exact strength of both the troops and the warriors on both sides. Blessed as you are with the celestial prowess of knowing the future. I trust your answer.’
All the four Pandavas waited anxiously as Sahadev called on his power. He elaborately described Duryodhana's troops to be far more in number than their side, moreover, their enemies also had accomplished and powerful warriors at their side.
Yudhisthira released a deep sigh. Worry lined his features as he asked, ‘O the youngest Pandava! Is there anyone who can beat them?’
‘O noble King! There is one warrior in this universe on our side who can finish the war within a second!’, Sahadev’s response was prompt. The oldest brother was stunned, who could be the one to hold such earth-shattering powers that could end their war in a second.
A ray of hope lit up Yudhisthira’s face as he excitedly asked after the identity of the warrior. Sahadev answered, ‘Belalasen- son of our brother Bhimsen! He was born after Bhimsen had been poisoned and thrown into the Yamuna by the scheming Duryodhan.
Luckily, the cobra king Vashuki’s daughter Belabali was taking her bath in the Yamuna. She found Bhimsen and took him to her father. With Vashuki’s magical power Bhimsen got back his life again.
In due course of time, Belabali fell in love with Bhimsen and got married. But before the birth of their son Belalasen, Bhimsen was forced to return to Indraprastha. The second Pandava requested Belabali to keep their baby’s name combining both their names. Thus he is named Belalasen. He’ll be here instantly if Bhimsen wants.’
All the Pandavas became extremely delighted! Bhimsen summoned Belelasen and father and son were reunited after many years of being apart.
Nothing was a secret to Lord Krishna- the creator of this universe! He performed his trick so brilliantly that nobody had any power to go beyond it! His glinting lotus eyes, a bewitching smile and supreme personality hypnotised all. In the end, His decision is the final decision! Of course, he knew of Belalasen’s arrival, Lord Krishna smiled and started his journey to Indraprastha to meet his dear friends at once.
As he approached Indraprastha, Pandavas welcomed him with open arms. Krishna was surprised to see the overjoyed faces of all five brothers at that crucial time.
Overwhelmed with happiness Yudhisthira described Belalasen in detail. Lord Krishna was very happy and showed his interest to meet him instantly. Dharmaraj directed Krishna to the river bank Belalasen was bathing at. After a bath, he was sharpening his arrows. But with his divine power, he recognised Krishna and bowed down before him. Pretending unaware of him, Shree Krishna asked about his parents.
Belalasen narrated the whole incident before him.
‘O Janardan! You are well aware of the strength of both sides. Distraught, my father searched for help, so he called me from Pattala.’
‘B-but, but Belalasen, don't you know the exact power of Kauravas?’ Lord Krishna feigned innocence.
‘I know that.’
Do you know Pitamaha Bhishma, preceptor Dronacharya, King Salya, mighty Karna and others- the most powerful warriors are unparalleled? Till the weapons are intact with them, no one on this earth can win over them! They are all Maharathis! How can you think about defeating them?’
Belalasen smiled triumphantly said, ‘Hah! They are just small game for me I’ll crush them into pieces in a second. No need to worry!’
“Hm..but..”, Krishna paused a while, then continued, ‘Their troops- army, elephants, chariots everything is too strong. On the battlefield, both Kauravas and Pandavas would be mixed up. How would you identify the enemies in the war?’
Belalasen laughed aloud. ‘O, Lord! If you want to behold my power, then put some mark on the tip of my arrow. I’d mark all Kaurava’s troop at once.’
Lord Krishna grinned at him and put a red mark(vermilion) on his arrow tip. Belalasen revoked the celestial power and released the arrow. Within a fraction of a second, all the Kaurava troops were marked with red colour on their forehead. Krishna was amazed! He mused for a second, then said, ‘O Belalasen! I am amazed by your prowess! But- yet I have doubt. Can you search out if I hide?’
Belalasen overwhelmed with joy to win over Lord Krishna’s trail. Instantly he said, ‘Agreed my Lord. Try for the whole universe, I’ll expose you to sunlight. That’s a promise from Belalasen.’
With the most effulgent smile, Krishna vanished from Belalasen’s eyesight. As he disappeared, the mighty son of Bhim reminisced his divine weapon. As he released one arrow, it passed across the whole universe at lightning speed. It searched Devlok, Martyalok, Pattal but couldn't trace out Krishna. At last, the arrow touched the little finger of Belalasen. Immediately he said, ‘O Janardana! Are you afraid of my divine power? Why are you hiding in my little finger?! Please present yourself.’
Krishna was spellbound at once. He was totally fascinated! He murmured himself, ‘If Belalasen would be alive then eighteen days Mahabharata would be finished in one day! He would never kill the warriors on Pandavas side. My target wouldn't be fulfilled. Let me be crafty.’
He praised Bhimsen and Belabali for having such a wonderful boy. Out of joy Krishna hugged him and showered his blessing on him. Artful Krishna said, ‘O son! Can you give me what I ask?!’
‘Of course Lord. Whatever you want,’ triumphantly Belalasen announced.
‘Then- grant me your precious head!’ Krishna hesitantly uttered.
Belalasen was taken aback! He couldn't imagine such a shocking gift. After a short discussion, Belalasen urged, ‘O Transcendental Form! Why did you do injustice to me? You smashed my wish against Kauravas!’
Krishna spoke in a deep voice, ‘Behold my noble son! You are the mighty of mightiest warriors! As the war going to start, the sacred pillar of the battlefield has to be inaugurated with the sacrifice of a wise and worthy warrior. Who would be better than you?!’
Belalasen smirked and said, ‘I know you- Lord. As you wish! But before beheading, grant me a boon.’
‘Except for your head, you can ask anything.’, the Lord granted.
Belalasen laughed at his heart’s content. ‘You are great Swami! You are the entity of body and soul- my lord! You read my mind and offered me the boon! However, being a Kshatriya I’ll keep my word. But do me a favour. Keep my head on the top of the pillar till the end and bless me with a supernatural power to behold the whole Mahabharata Yudh even after being beheaded. That’s my wish!’
The wish was granted and the Sudarshana chakra beheaded Belalasen. Lord Shree Krishna installed it on the top of the sacred pillar.
Belalasen was the only one who witnessed the legendary war from beginning to end.
After the bitter war ended, Belalasen had been asked, "Oh witness, who was the mightiest warrior on the battlefield?"
Belalasen smiled and replied, "None other than the one who cut down down all the sinners without hesitation: The Sudarshan Chakra."