Padmavyuha: What if Ghatotkach accompanied Abhimanyu
After the downfall of Bhishma on the tenth day of Mahabharata, the dharma quotient in the war started declining at a very fast pace. The evil tactics and unfair means started prevailing violently.Then came the thirteenth day of the war, which recorded adharma and bloodshed to a all-time low. The newly appointed commander of Kaurava’s i.e. Dronacharya derived a deadly plot of Padmavuha or chakravuha as we better know it, to capture Yudhisthir and end the war in a flash. And placed seven of his best warriors at different levels of vyuha in ascending order of their caliber namely Jayadratha, Ashwathama, Duryodhan, Dushashan, Karna, Kripacharya and off course himself at the center, along with many others. Let’s discuss the basics of Padmavyuha before going an further. Padmavyuha consists of soldiers arranged in seven layers of spiral-shaped patterns. There is only one entry point of the Vyuha and no exit. According to Ved Vyasa, author of Mahabharata, even “God cannot break a Pamavyuha”. The only way to ace or win a charkravyuha is to reach the center, defeating every warrior and still being alive. It means first the warriors have to defeat and then the lakhs of soldiers have to be dealt to get through it. I thought, what would have happened if the eldest prince of pandavas “Ghatotkach” accompanied Abhimanyu in the quest of Padmavyuha. Ghatotkach despite being the eldest prince of pandavas was a concoction of power from Bhīma and demonios power from his mother Hidimba, spent his life in the forest playing along with the demons, and played games of outdoing their cruelty. Besides him, Abhimanyu led a real prince’s life in the kingdom, learned the art of confronting a chakravyuha in his mother’s womb and lessons on dharma from his maternal uncle “Krishna”.
He possesseThe structure of chakravyuha is such that neither destruction nor the right strategy could win it. It’s the combination of both the things, required for acing it. When Abhimanyu started his rendezvous with the vyuha, he chose a place other than the mouth of the vyuha for his first attack. He attacked the place where Duryodhana was placed, due to which every other maharathi, rushed to protect him, and the power balance of vyuha got disturbed. This shows his strategy to tackle chakravyuha was right and appropriate. The presence of Ghatotkach would have fulfilled the destruction part of the play. Thus duo of Abhimanyu and Ghatotkach would have been a perfect combination in the quest of Padmavyuha. Abhimanyu alone defeated almost every maharathi of the chakravyuha and even Karna fainted for a while due to a mighty blow from his bow. The presence of ghatotkach would have avoided the most unethical act from taking place. The murder of Abhimanyu was considered the most unwanted act of the Mahabharata war and was never expected to happen in the way it took place. This act broke all the rules laid down before the war started and took adharma to a whole new level of low. All the maharathi’s once being defeated by Abhimanyu, came together to fight with him. The presence of ghatotokach would have definitely ended in the victory of both the princes in padmavyuha. Also after the defeat of maharathi’s at the center, the whole army would have hopped on the Abhimanyu and ghatotkach, then the destructive power and giant structure, of the latter would have helped them to get through. As we already discussed in the beginning, that a combination of strategy and destruction power could only win a Padmavyuha. Therefore we can conclude that it would have been the right decision to send Ghatotkach along with Abhimanyu on the expedition of Padmavyuha.