By Swami Harshananda
Sahadeva was the last of the five Pāṇḍavas. Nakula and Sahadeva were twins born to Mādrī by the grace of the Aśvinīdevatās. Like Nakula he was very handsome in appearance. An expert in taming horses and elephants, he was very good in taking care of cows. Before the Rājasūya sacrifice, he toured the southern countries to conquer their kings and collect ransoms for the sacrifice. He is said to have collected the ransom even from Vibhīṣaṇa through Ghaṭotkaca.</ref>He was the son of Bhīma in his wife Hiḍimbā.</ref>
During the sacrifice he had the privilege of performing the agrapūjā to Srī Kṛṣṇa as per the advice of the grandsire Bhīṣma. When the Pāṇḍavas were living incognito at the palace of the king Virāta, he had assumed the name Tantripāla and was in charge of the king’s dairy.
In the Kurukṣetra battle, he killed the villain Śakuni. He was endowed with trikālajñāna or the special power of knowing the past, present and future. He had two sons:
- Śrutasena from Draupadī
- Suhotra from Vijayā
His third wife was Bhānumati.</ref>She was the daughter of king Bhānu.</ref> During the mahāprasthāna he died after Draupadī, the reason for early death being his pride about his intellectual powers. The Mahābhārata mentions three more Sahadevas. They are:
- The first was a great sage attached to the royal court of Indra, the king of gods.
- The second was a king in ancient India.
- The third was the son of Jarāsandha who succeeded him after his death at the hands of Bhīma.
The Bhāgavata also alludes to three Sahadevas, one being a demon and the other two, kings of solar dynasty.
- Mādrī was the second wife of the king Pāṇḍu.
- Vibhīṣaṇa was Rāvana's younger brother.
- Agrapūjā is the worship of the greatest person present.
- She was the daughter of Śalya.
- Mahāprasthāna means the final journey towards heaven.
- Jarāsandha was the emperor of Magadha.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore