Malayadwaja Pandya (Tamil:மலயத்வஜ பாண்டியன்) (also known as Sarangadwaja Pandya) was a Pandya king who ruled over the Pandya empire during an unknown period. He is also mentioned in the epic Mahabharata whose father, Sarangadhwaja, was slain by Lord Krishna. His queen consort was Kanchanamalai.
According to a legend found in the Tamil text Tiruvilaiyatarpuranam, king Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai performed a yajna to Lord shiva seeking a son for succession.However, a 3 year old girl emerges from the yajna and which has three breasts. Shiva appears as a divine voice and says that the parents should treat her like a son, and when she meets her husband, she will lose the third middle breast.They follow the advice and names the girl as Thaadagai .They raise the girl teaching her all forms of Indian martial arts and governance that were required of a Kshatriya king. She eventually grows up to be a mighty and unbeatable warrior.As time passes by,King Malayadhwaja Panya dies and Thaadagai is crowned as the successor of the Pandya empire.She is renamed as Meenakshi by sage Agastya during her crowning ceremony.During the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar ,Yama ,the god of time and death , is said to have brought King Malayadhwaja to witness and bless his daughter's marriage from the heavens.
Appearance in Mahabharata
King Malayadhwaja has numerous appearances in the epic Mahabharata.His father,Kulashekara Pandya was said to have been slain by Lord Krishna and his country invaded.To avenge the death of his father,prince Malayadhwaja is said to obtain weapons from Bhishma,Drona,Balarama and Kripacharya.Then, prince Malayadadhwaja is said to became, in weapons, the equal of Rukmi ,Karna,Arjuna and Achyuta. He then desired to destroy the city of Dwarka, Krishna's capital and subjugate the whole world.Sage Agastya and Varuna, however, counselled him against that decision and said to have granted him back his fathers kingdom and made king.He is said to have been present during the Swayamvara of Draupadi and said to have brought jars of Sandalwood and Agarwood perfumes and jars of gold for Yudhishthira's Rajasuya.During the Kurukshetra War,he is said to have sided the Pandava and mentioned as a mighty and powerful charioteer and warrior.He is said to be slain by the Kaurava's Ashwatthama.
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