I do not know how I arrived at this question about the different names of Arjuna in Mahabharata. Arjun or Arjuna has got 14 different names. The names are based on physical appearance, skills and some of his names are given to him due to his birth.
Here is the list of different names of Arjuna
- Partha or Paarth
Let us delve more into the names and reasons behind them
Arjun or Arjuna
He is called Arjuna because he was white-skinned. Some people also deduce that his name symbolizes that his acts were always stainless. That means he never does the wrong thing.
Falgun or Phalgun
It is related to the birth time of Arjuna. He is called Falgun or Phalgun because when he was born, the constellation Uttara Falguna or Denebola was on the ascendant.
The name Jishnu signifies being who is unsurpassed and uncontrollable. This also signifies and also a tamer of enemies.
Kiritin or Kiriti
He is called Kiriti because of the splendid and gorgeous crown given to him by Lord Indra during my clash with Danavas.”
Swetavahana or Shwetvaahan
Because he always rides the white horses.
Vibhatsu or Bibhatsu
One who never fought in the battle by unfair means.
One who nerver returns from the field without defeating the opponent in the battle.
Arjuna was called Krishna because of Lord Siva. When Lord Shiva gave Arjuna the Pasupatastra, he addressed him as “Krishna.” because Arjuna was Krishna’s favorite, and seeing him reminded one of Krishna.
Savyasachin or Savyasachi
Arjun’s bow was called Gandiva. He was called Savyasachin as he could draw his bow with both the hands.
Because he lived in the middle of the wealth having conquered many kingdoms and acquired their wealth.”
one who conquers sleep. Gudaka means sleep.
Partha or Paarth
Parth means son of Pritha. Pritha was the original name of Kunti. That is why out of affection, Krishna calls him Parth.
Krishna addresses Arjun as Prantapa in Bhagavad Gita. It means the scorcher of enemies and subduer of enemies.
Kapi refers to Hanuman ji and Dhwaja means flag. Thus Kapi-Dhwaja is the one who has flag of Hanuman on his chariot.
Incident When He Reveals Names of Arjuna
There is an incident in Mahabharata when Arjun reveals his different names.
During Agyatvas [Agyatvas means incognito. After they lost everything in gambling, they were asked to spend 12 years in jungle and after that one year as Agyatvas or incognito. They were not supposed to be found during this period of Agyatvas otherwise they would need to spend another 12 years in exile]
So after spending 12 years in jungle, they lived in disguise in Viratdesh or Virata kingdom, ruled by Virata who was, a Matsya [ tribe].
Arjun disguised es as a woman named himself Brihannala. He became the dance teacher of Uttara who was the daughter of King Virata [and later married to Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu.
During the last of their Agyatwas, after having scanned for Padavas everywhere, Duryodhana becomes suspicious that they may be in the Virata Kingdom.
He attacks the Kingdom when the King Virata is busy fighting with Susharma, king of Trigartas. Yudhishthira and Bhima accompanied him. Duryodhan knew that King Virata is occupied.
When the news reached the palace, everyone becomes concerned. Uttar, the son of King Virata was overconfident and bragged that he would take down Duryodhn’s army all by himself.
However, he is persuaded by Sarindhari, the maid in disguise that Draupadi was, to take Brihannala along with him as his charioteer.
Seeing the massive army and warriors like Duryodhana, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Ashwathama, etc., Uttar became nervous and ran away.
Brihannala or Arjuna asks him to fight but Uttar did not agree. Seeing this, to restore Uttar’s courage, he reveals that he is actually Arjuna.
Uttar, petrified, refused to believe him and asks him 10 different names of Arjuna to confirm his identity.
This is what Arjuna said
“My ten names are Arjuna, Jishnu, Falguna, Vijaya, Kiritin, Swetavahana, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Krishna, Savyasachin and Dhananjaya”.
Still, Uttar asked him about the origin of these names and Arjuna which Arjuna did.
After that, Arjuna fetched his Gandiv from the hiding place.
With Virata as charioteer, Arjuna fought alone all the warriors and defeated Duryodhan’s army.