By Swami Harshananda
Śalya was one of the great heroes of Mahābhārata. He was the son of Ṛtāyana, the king of Madradeśa. Mādrī, the second wife of Pāṇḍu and the mother of Nakula and Sahadeva, was his sister. He had two sons, Rukmāṅgada and Rukmāratha. Though he wanted to join the Pāṇḍavas in the Kurukṣetra war, the wily Duryodhana managed to get him on to his side. He served as the charioteer of Karṇa. After Karṇa’s death, he was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava army. He was killed by Yudhiṣṭhira in the battle.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore