The epic tale of a war between Pandavas and Kauravas led to Mahabharata. There were many mysterious characters in this war. Without them this Kurukshetra war could not be imagined. Barbarika was grandson of Bheema and son of Ghatochkach. Barbarika was a great warrior from his childhood. He was taught by his mother about warfare which made him excel in the skill of warfare. Observing his exceptional skill as a warrior, Lord Shiva granted him with 3 exceptional arrows. Every arrow had its own uniqueness.
There was a saying that Babarika would have ended the war in 60 seconds if he was to fight alone. He always wanted to watch the great Kurukshetra war. He expressed this desire to his mother to which she agreed but before leaving she asked him a question. ‘Which side will you choose if you felt the urge to participate in the war?’. Barbarika answered that he will choose the weaker side and began his journey towards the war.
Meanwhile Lord Krishna who heard about Barbarika wanted to examine his skills ,so he approached him. Lord Krishna asked him ‘How long will it take for you to end this war?’. Barbarika replied it will only take a minute for him to end this. Lord Krishna after hearing this felt this was unreal considering the fact that he was walking towards battlefield with just three arrows.
Barbarika now explained the power of all his three arrows. The first arrow shall mark all the objects he wants to destroy. The second arrow shall mark all the objects he wants to save. Lastly third arrow shall destroy all the objects that are not marked. Finally, the arrows will return to its master once the war his over. Lord Krishna became curious on hearing this and wanted to test it. He challenged Barbarika to mark and shed all the leaves of the tree they were standing under. As Barbarika was meditating , Lord Krishna plucked a leaf from the tree and placed it under his feet.
Barbarika when released his arrow , it attacked all the leaves and then started revolving around Lord Krishna feet. Purposely, Lord Krishna asked him why arrow behaved this way to which Barbarika replied that there must be a leaf under your feet and asked Lord Krishna to lift his feet. As soon as he lift his foot the arrow marked the leaf. Seeing this Lord Krishna became anxious and asked the same question his mother did. ‘Which side will you fight for?’. Barbarika replied since Kauravas are bigger in number I will fight for Pandavas. Lord Krishna knew that whoever’s side Barbarika fights for will win so he was in a dilemma.
If Pandavas started to win he would then switch sides according to the promise he made to his mother. By then the arrows would have already marked everyone he wants to destroy ending up will killing everyone on battlefield except him. Thus, Lord Krishna asked him to sacrifice his head to prevent this from happening. Before sacrificing his head Babarika desired to watch the great war to which Lord Krishna agreed. He placed his head on the top of the mountain from where he could see the view of battlefield. After the war when Pandavas argued on whose contribution was crucial , Lord Krishna suggested that only Barbarika can tell on whose contribution led the war win by Pandavas side. Babarika said it was solely Lord Krishna’s strategies, suggestions and presence led to the victory in the war.