Indian Arts and Culture Hinduism Characters of the Mahabharata: Glossary of Names (A to H) Share Flipboard Email Print Hinduism Important Texts India Past and Present Temples and Organizations Indian Arts and Culture Hindu Gods Hindu Gurus and Saints By Subhamoy Das M.A., English Literature, University of North Bengal Subhamoy Das is the co-author of "Applied Hinduism: Ancient Wisdom for Today's World." He has written several books about Hinduism for children and young adults. our editorial process Subhamoy Das Updated February 06, 2019 The "Mahabharata" is the world's longest epic poem and one of Hinduism's most popular and important scriptures, along with the "Ramayan." The epic is a narrative of the Kurukshetra war but also contains much philosophical and devotional material. Contained within this massive epic are very important works, including the "Bhagavad Gita," the story of Damayanti, and a shortened version of the "Ramayana." There are many forms of the epic and the oldest parts are thought to have been written about 400 BCE. Here is a glossary of over 400 names from among the numerous characters found in the 100,000 verses and 18 chapters of the great epic poem as written by sage Vyasa. 01 of 06 Names from Mahabharata Starting with 'A' Arjuna: The warrior prince of the Pandava dynasty. ExoticIndia.com Abhimanyu: Son of Arjuna and Subhadra, married to Uttara, daughter of King VirataAchuta: Sri KrishnaAdhiratha: Karna's foster-fatherAgastya: This sage with mystic powers gave Lord Rama the bow of Lord Vishnu. Pandavas got acquainted with his life story while on pilgrimage to holy places. His wife Lopamudra was also a great sage.Agni: The god of fireAiravata: Lord Indra's elephant that was produced when gods and demons churned the Milk OceanAjatasatru: Another name for Yudhisthira, meaning "one who has no enemy"Akritavrana: A sage, close companion of ParasuramaAlambasa: A rakshasa friend of Duryodhana who joined his Kaurava forces but was then forced to flee the battlefield by Satyaki Amba: The eldest daughter of the king of Kashi or VaranasiAmbalika: The youngest daughter of the king of KashiAmbika: The middle daughter of the king of KashiAmshuman: A king belonging to the sun dynasty, descended from King AsamanjasAnga: Mlechchha king, a Kaurava supporterAngiras: A sage and mind-born son of Lord Brahma and one of the ten progenitors of mankindAnila: One of the eight Vasus or heavenly beings, responsible for creating windAnu: Son of King Yayati by his wife Sharmishtha, a Daitya (demon) princessApsara: Wives of the heavenly Gandharvas, or angelsArjun: The "Bhagavad Gita" was spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjun who was an undefeatable archer and the third of the Pandava brothers, born of Lord Indra.Arka: An ancient king; also synonym of sun god Arundhati: Wife of sage Vasishtha, family priest of the house of IkshvakuAruni: A devoted disciple of his guru Ayodha-DhaumyaAshtaka: A king of the Puru dynasty descended from AjamidhaAshtavakra: This great scholar became renowned while still in his teens.Ashwapati: Lord of the horses and also the name of many kingsAshwatthama: Son of guru Dronacharya and Kripa, and last supreme commander of the Kaurava forceAshwins: The twin gods—youth and handsomeness; physicians of heaven who restored the youth of sage ChyavanaAsita: A sage who denounced gambling and disciple of VyasaAsmaka: A Kaurava warrior who attacked AbhimanyuAsumanjas: A king of sun dynasty descended from King SagaraAsuras: Demons (atheists); enemies of the godsAtreya: Disciple of Vamadeva, who had the power to go from one planet to anotherAtri: A sage and author of many Vedic hymns, son of Lord BrahmaAyodha-Daumya: A great sage whose disciples were Aruni, Upamanyu and VedaAyus: The king of the frogs 02 of 06 Names from Mahabharata Starting with 'B' Bhishma: The almost immortal great grandfather figure of the Mahabharata. ExoticIndia.com Baladev: Balarama, elder brother of Sri KrishnaBakasura: This voracious, cruel and mighty Rakshasa lived in a cave near the city of Ekachakrapura. Bhima killed him and relieved the citizens from constant fear of the demon.Balarama: Elder brother of Sri KrishnaBalarama: An avatar or incarnation of Adisesha, the thousand-hooded serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines in VaikunthaBali: A good and virtuous Daitya king, son of Virochana and grandson of PrahladBhagadatta: King of Pragjyotisha, a Kaurava allyBhagiratha: King Anshuman’s son who brought the Ganges River to earthBharadwaja: A sage, son of Brihaspati, father of Drona, the military preceptor of the Pandavas, father of YavakridaBharata: Son of King Dushmanta and Shakuntala, he was a partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu.Bhima: Bhima was the second Pandava brother. He had surpassing physical prowess, as he was born of the wind-god, Lord Pavana and Kunti. Another Bhima is the king of Vidharbha and Damayanti’s father.Bhishmaka: Bhishmaka was the King of Vidarbha and father of Rukmini and Rukma. He was the old grandsire of the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the eighth child of King Santanu and Goddess Ganga, and the supreme commander of the Kaurava armies. He vowed abstinence from sexuality so his father could marry Satyavati. He excelled in yielding arms, the Vedas and Upanishads, and the sciences known to Sukra.Bhrigu: A Vedic sage and a son of Lord BrahmaBhuminjaya: Another name of prince Uttara, son of Virata, who fought the Kauravas with Brihannala as his charioteerBibhatsu: One of Arjuna's names, meaning a hater of unworthy actsBrahma: Creator of the universe, one of the Hindu holy trinity born on a lotus sprung from Lord Vishnu’s navelBrihadaswa: This great sage visited the Pandavas in their forest hermitage and reminded them of King Nala of Nishadha. King Nala also lost his kingdom in the game of dice and deserted his wife Damayanti because of a curse, but ultimately regained both.Brihadratha: This celebrated commander of three regiments reigned over Magadha and married the twin daughters of the King of Kashi or Varanasi. The wives shared a mango gifted by sage Kausika and begot half a child each. A rakshasi recovered the two halves and accidentally it joined to form a baby, who later became known as Jarasandha.Brihadyumna: A king, a disciple of sage RaibhyaBrihannala: Arjuna’s assumed name while living at Virata's court incognitoBrihaspati: A son of the Rishi Angiras; great sage and preceptor of the gods, and father of the sage BharadwajaBrihatbala: This daring warrior charged at Abhimanyu who was caught in the Kaurava army's net, Chakravyuha.Burishrawa: A prince of the Balhikas and ally of the Kauravas 03 of 06 Names from Mahabharata Starting with 'C' Chyavana: One of the most important sages of the Hindu scriptures - seen here among other luminaries seated in front of Sage Shukracharya. ExoticIndia.com Charachitra: One of the hundred sons of King Dhritarashtra who died in the battleChitra: One of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra killed in the warChitraksha: One of the hundred sons of King Dhritarashtra who fell in the warChitrasena: Chitrasena was the King of the Gandharvas who prevented the Kauravas from putting up their camp near the pond where he himself had encamped. He was one of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra.Chitrangada: Chitrangada was the eldest son of King Shantanu born of Matsyagandhi (Satyavati) and brother of Bhishma. He was killed in early life in conflict with a Gandharva of the same name. He succeeded his father on the throne of Hastinapur.Chitravarma: A brother of Duryodhana, one of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra who was killed in the warChitrayudha: One of the hundred Kaurava princes, killed in the warChyavana: A sage, son of Rishi Bhrigu 04 of 06 Names from Mahabharata Starting with 'D' Damayanti: The beautiful daughter of King Bhima. ExoticIndia.com Dadhicha: This sage donated his bones to the gods, who used them to create a thunderbolt weapon to defeat the demons.Daksha: Son of Lord Brahma who had many daughters whom he gave in marriage to Kashyapa, Chandra, Dharma, and Lord ShivaDala: Son of King Parikshit and Queen Sushobhana of the Ikshvaku dynastyDamayanti: Daughter of King Bhima of VidarbhaDaruka: Sri Krishna's charioteerDasaratha: King of Ayodhya, Rama's fatherDattatreya: Dattatreya was an incarnation of Lord Krishna and the son of the sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. He gave Kartavirya Arjuna one thousand arms.Devaki: Sri Krishna’s mother and wife of VasudevaDevata: This sage condemned the game of dice as an evil form of gambling, because it offered opportunity for deceit and dishonesty and was not fit for entertainment.Devavrata: Another name of BhishmaDevayani: Devayani was the beautiful daughter of Sukracharya and wife of King Yayati. She bore him two sons, Yadu and Turvasu. She fell in love with Kacha, son of Brihaspati, preceptor of the Devas.Devendra: King of the GodsDhara: Wife of a Vasu, or god, named DronaDharmagranthi: Dharmagranthi was Nakula’s name when he was in disguise at King Virata's court.Dharmananda/ Dharmaraja /Dharmaputra: Names for Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma or YamaDharmavyadha: Dharmavyadha was a meat-seller who possessed the secret of good life and lived in the city of Mithila.Dhananjaya: One of the names of ArjunaDhanusaksha: This great sage was once insulted by Medhavi, son of the sage Baladhi. He took the form of a bull and butted Medhavi until he fell down dead.Dhaumya: Dhaumya was the preceptor of the Pandavas. He accompanied them during their exile to the Kurijangala forest, singing Sama hymns addressed to Yama, Lord of Death.Dhrishtadyumna: Supreme commander of the Pandava forces; eldest brother of DraupadiDhrishtaketu: A kinsman of the PandavasDhritarashtra: Dhritarashtra was the elder son of Vichitravirya and Ambika and he was born blind. He was the father of Duryodhana and the hundred Kauravas and the brother of Pandu.Dhartarashtras: Sons of DhritarashtraDhundhu: This demon harassed the sage Utanka while he was meditating. He was killed by King Kuvalashva.Dhundhumara: King Kuvalashva, killer of DhundhuDilipa: Son of King Anshuman and father of Bhagiratha of the Ikshvaku or solar dynastyDrahyu: Son of King Yayati, born from SharmishthaDraupadi: Draupadi was the daughter of King Drupada, King of Panchala. She married all five Pandavas, though Arjuna had won her in the Swayamvara, because of the vow that the brothers would share everything in common.Dridhasyu: Dridhasyu was a great scholar and ascetic. He was the son of the sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra.Drona: Drona was the son of a Brahmana named Bharadwaja. He married Kripi and fathered Ashwatthama. He learned military art from Parasurama, the master, and taught military art to the Kaurava and Pandava princes.Drupada: Drupada was the king of Panchala. He was the father of Shikhandi and of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas.Durdhara: One of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima in the warDurjaya: Durjaya was Duryodhana’s brother. He was sent to attack Bhima to save Karna's life, but lost his own.Durmarsha: One of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra killed by BhimaDurmata: One of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra killed by BhimaDurmukha: A chariot-borne warrior on the Kaurava side Durvasa: This sage was the son of Atri and Anasuya. He was known for his irascible temper, curses, and blessings.Durvishaha: A warrior fighting on the Kaurava sideDuryodhana: Duryodhana was the first son of King Dhritarashtra. He was the leader of Kauravas, who illegally wrested the throne from the Pandavas.Dushkarma: A warrior belonging to the Kaurava sideDushmanta: Dushmanta was the valiant king of the Lunar race, descended from Puru. He was the husband of Shakuntala, by whom he had a great son, Bharata.Dushshala: Daughter of King DhritarashtraDushasana: Dushasana was Duryodhana's brother, who dragged Draupadi to the hall of assembly by her hair and tried to strip her naked. He failed, due to Lord Krishna’s divine intervention.Dussaha: One of the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra killed by BhimaDyu: Dyu was one of the eight Vasus, gods who stole the cow Nandini from sage Vashishtha. He was reincarnated on earth as the warrior Bhishma.Dyumatsena: Dyumatsena was king of Shalva and father of Satyavan, Savitri’s husband. Savitri saved her husband's life by following Lord Yama to his abode. 05 of 06 Names from Mahabharata Starting with 'G' Ganga: The goddess, mother of Bhishma. Sacred River Ganges. It flows from the toe of Lord Vishnu and was brought down to earth by King Bhagiratha. Exoticindia.com Gadhi: A king of the Kushika race and father of sage VisvamitraGanapati: Ganapati was Vvasa’s scribe. He agreed to write down, without pause, the complete story of the Mahabharata as dictated by Vyasa.Gandhari: Gandahari was the daughter of King Subala, the king of Gandhara. She was also King Dhritarashtra's wife and queen and the mother of the Kauravas.Gandharvas: These celestial beings were specialists in music and medicine. They prepared soma juice for the gods.Ganga: This goddess is mother of Bhishma. The sacred River Ganga or Ganges flows from the toe of Lord Vishnu and was brought down to earth by King Bhagiratha.Gautama: Sage Saradwat, a son of Gotoma, and the husband of AhalyaGhatotkacha: Son of Bhima from demoness HidimbaGovinda: Govinda is a name for Sri Krishna or Vishnu. This name means cowkeeper and refers to Krishna's occupation as a cowherd in Gokula.Gritachi: A heavenly nymph who sings and dancesGuhyaka: A yaksha or member of Kuvera’s courtGurnika: A companion of Devayani 06 of 06 Names from Mahabharata Starting with 'H' Hiranyakashipu: A demon king who was killed by Vishnu in the form of Narasimha. ExoticIndia.com Haihaya: Haihaya was a prince of the Lunar race and the great grandson of King Yadu.Hamsa, Hidimbaka, Kamsa: Hamsa, Hidimbaka, and Kamsa were allies of King Jarasandha. Kamsa married the two daughters of Jarasandha. Kamsa was Krishna's step-uncle, whom Krishna killed.Halayudha: Plough-weapon wielder, an epithet of BalaramaHanuman: Hanuman was the wise learned monkey god and devotee of Sri Rama. He possessed extraordinary powers and searched and found Sita in her confinement in Lanka.Hari/ Hrishikesha: Sri KrishnaHiranyakashipu: This king of the Daitya (demon) race was known for his severe austerities. Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha killed him to protect His devotee Prahlada.Hiranyavarman: This king of Darsana's daughter married Shikhandi.Hotravahana: This saintly king was Amba’s grandfather.