Was Duryodhana a Hero?

It is quite a surprising fact that Duryodhana, a name synonymous to evil heartedness, has a temple dedicated to him in Kerala. Malanada temple located at Kunnathur Taluk of Kollam district in Kerala is dedicated to Duryodhana and the same is visited by hundreds of devotees.

Malanada Temple in Kerala dedicated to Duryodhana

It is said that there is almost nothing happening in the world, which is not already mentioned in Mahabharata. Written by the Veda Vyasa, the Mahabharata is the epic that combines all human emotions.

When we read the Mahabharata, we see certain characteristics that are contrary to the identity of some of the characters. Duryodhan is such a prominent character, of whom some of the qualities should be noted, even if he remains an evil character.

1. Duryodhana and Karna were the best friends that could be termed a classic example of true friendship. Duryodhana, when found Karna isolated without an identity, appoint him as the king of Anga Kingdom and keeps him close to his heart.

2. Duryodhana does not reject Karna on any occasion (even in the event of defeat in the Kurukshetra War). It is interesting to note that even though Karna is known to be a son of Kunthi, his faith is not undermined.

3. Duryodhana’s Guru Balarama often says that Duryodhana is invincible in the battle of Gada. Duryodhana is also known as “Suyodhananan” due to his ability to use the weapon in a good and legal manner. Remember that Duryodhana defeated the Gada war through deception.

4. Duryodhana is a character who embodies the quality of “sportsman spirit” in its original meaning. In the final battle, Yudhisthira gives Duryodhana the choice of selecting anyone from Pancha Pandavas to fight with, which is regarded as a great mistake of Yudhisthira by Lord Krishna.

However, though if he select Nakula or Sahadeva he could easily win the battle, Duryodhana chose Bheema who is considered as an equal power to him and finally defeated.
There is something to learn from everything in this world, so is about Mahabharata, though there are a number of so-called wicked characters, there are always lessons to learn from them.