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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sisupala, ZiZupAla, shishupaala

Śiśupāla was one of the villains depicted in the Mahābhārata. He was the son of Damaghoṣa[1] and Śruta- śravā.[2] He was born with four hands and three eyes. A voice from the void declared that he, in whose lap the child will lose its extra limbs, will ultimately be its killer. When this happened in Kṛṣṇa’s lap, Śrutaśravā begged Kṛṣṇa to forgive him a hundred times. Kṛṣṇa consented.

When Śiśupāla ascended the throne of the kingdom of Cedi, he proved to be a great tyrant and womanizer. During the Rājasuya sacrifice, he abused Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa forgave his abuses upto a hundred times and then killed him with his Sudarśana discus. He was the third incarnation of Jay[3] who had been cursed by the four sages.[4] Hiraṇyakaśipu and Rāvaṇa were his earlier incarnations.


  1. He was the king of Cedi.
  2. She was the sister of Kuntī.
  3. Jay was a gatekeeper of Vaikuṇṭha.
  4. The sages who cursed him were Sanaka and his brothers.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore