Most of the characters in our mythologies were larger than life. They had unearthly births, unearthly powers and no points for guessing, unearthly deaths as well. Their end then was only fitting to the life they had led.
Here are a few mythological characters so larger than life that it is a bit difficult to imagine that they died. Some of them left their earthly incarnation and didn’t ‘die’ per se.
We all know how Ravana met his end, but then there are characters like Lord Ram and Lakshman, who we cannot imagine passing away. But their time too had come. This is what happened:
Lord RamWalked into a river
After his reign of 11,000 years was over, his time on earth had come to an end. He voluntarily walked into the Sarayu river and gave up his earthly body.
SitaWent back inside the Earth
After Ram eventually met his sons, Luv and Kush, he urged Sita to come back to Ayodhya. But Sita refused to go back and suffer in the unjust world anymore. She then asked her mother, Bhoomidevi or Mother Earth, to take her back from the world. The ground split and took Sita back to where she belonged.
LakshmanWalked into a river
After 11,000 years of Ram’s reign, one day a saint demanded a private audience of him. Ram accepted and asked Lakshman to guard the door. Anyone who would enter the room would be put to death. Saint Durvasa arrived at that time and asked Lakshman to allow him in. Lakshman refused. Durvsasa was offended and threatened to curse Lakshman. He then realised that the saint inside was Kal (Time) and all was his play and that their time on earth had come to an end. He then accepted it and walked into the Sarayu river, followed by Lord Ram.
We know how the epic war ended, spelling destruction in an unimaginable scale. The Kauravas lost the war. The Pandavas emerged victorious but all was lost. The five brothers along with Krishna survived the war. But every one succumbs to death in the end. Here is what happened to them:
Lord KrishnaShot in the foot with an arrow by a hunter
This all-knowing deity of the Hindu mythology knew he was going to die. In fact, he acknowledged grief-stricken Gandhari’s curse. So, when the time came, he was resting under a tree when a hunter caught a glimpse of his foot moving and thought it to be a deer. He shot an arrow that pierced Krishna’s foot and he died. It is believed that the hunter was an avatar of Bali, who was killed by Ram. Ram was the avatar of Vishnu preceding Krishna. Thus karma came in full circle, when Krishna was killed by the hunter.
The Pandavas: SahdevHe died because he believed he was the most intelligent
Long after the war was over, new kings were coronated for Hastinapur and Indraprastha. The Pandavas took off on a journey all over India and finally to heaven on Mount Sumeru. The first of the Pandavas to die was Sahdev. He died because he believed he was unparalleled when it came to wisdom.
The Pandavas: NakulDied because he believed he was the most good-looking
The next one to die was Nakul, who believed there was no one as good-looking as him.
The Pandavas: ArjunBecause he was proud of being the greatest warrior
The next to fall was Arjun, who believed he was the greatest warrior there was.
The Pandavas: BheemDied because of his gluttony
The last one to fall was Bheem, who died because of the vice of gluttony.
The Pandavas: YudhishthirWas taken to heaven alive by Indra himself
Yudhishthir was the only one to reach heaven without dying on the way. It is said that Indra descended to take Yudhishthir to heaven himself.
DraupadiBecause she was partial and loved Arjun the most
When the Pandavas embarked on their journey to heaven, Draupadi accompanied them. She was the first one to die because of the vice of partiality as she loved Arjun the most of all her five husbands.
KarnaBreaching war etiquette, Arjun shot him to death
Karna finds a mention on this list because he never really was the wrong one. He was bound by his principles to fight against the Pandavas. On the seventeenth day of the war Arjun and Karna were facing each other in the battlefield. Even devas in the heaven ceased to watch them fight. After a point, the wheel of Karna’s chariot was stuck in mud. Karna got down of his chariot and asked Arjun to pause for a while reminding him of war etiquette. But then Krishna reminded him of everything Karna had done. An enraged Arjun shot an arrow that Karna deflected. Karna shot an arrow and hit Arjun on his chest, rendering him unconscious. After Arjun revived, he struck again, this time killing Karna.
BhishmaLied in a bed of arrows till he decided to die
Bhishma had to face Arjun during the war. Krishna advised Arjun to use Shikhandi as a shield. As Shikhandi was born a woman, it was against Bhishma’s dharm to attack her. Arjun then shot him with arrows, gravely wounding him. Bhishma lied in a bed of arrows for days even after the war was over and eventually accepted death.
DronacharyaWas beheaded while meditating during the war
Drona was tricked into believing that his son Ashwatthama was killed by Bheem. A heartbroken Drona left the chariot, and sat in quiet meditation to look for his son’s soul. Dhrishtadyumna took the opportunity and beheaded the unarmed Drona.