The story of Abhimanyu is the story of each and every human being that has and will walk this earth. Even with his great lineage, a young Abhimanyu was left alone to fight his battles in the Chakravyuh (wheel formation), and he did so valiantly until the end.
Abhimanyu was the son of Pandava prince Arjuna and Yadava princess Subhadra, who was also Lord Krishna’s sister. Abhimanyu received rigorous training in the art of warfare from both his father and Krishna.
This training began when Abhimanyu was in his mother’s womb. He overheard a conversation his father, Arjuna, was having about the Chakravyuh. Unfortunately, the conversation remained incomplete because Subhadra fell asleep whilst listening to Krishna’s story. Therefore, Abhimanyu only knew how to break the Chakravyuh, but never heard how he could destroy the formation once he was inside and finally escape it.
During the Kurukshetra war, the Kauravas, led by Dronacharya, knew Abhimanyu did not know how to make his way out of the formation. So, they decided to isolate him from his uncles and formed the Chakravyuh, which Abhimanyu promptly entered. The remaining Pandavas tried to follow him but were stopped from entering the formation.
Abhimanyu knew there was no way out, but he decided to fight and single-handedly defeated great warriors such as Dronacharya, Ashwatthama, Karna, Dushasana and even Duryodhana. The Kauravas, frustrated by Abhimanyu’s valor, broke the rules of war and they all attacked him at once. Abhimanyu stood no chance for survival, and yet he did not give up.
Some say the Chakravyuh is a symbol of human life. We are all ‘Abhimanyus’ who enter the Chakravyuh knowing fully well that death is inevitable and the only way out. Abhimanyu is, therefore, the ideal to which we must all aspire to. Life will throw many temptations, problems and vices at us. It is up to us to decide if we want to die under the weight of the burden or face it bravely and make a heroic exit.