Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Duryodhana Mean?

Duryodhana is a key character in the “Mahabharata,” the epic Hindu text, which is also significant in yoga. He is the eldest of the Kauravas and the first son of the incumbent king. Duryodhana’s most notable achievement is in executing a global military campaign conquering all kings and establishing himself as emperor of the world for a time while his cousins, the Pandevas, were in exile. However, he loses the throne upon their return to the kingdom and becomes the main antagonist of the “Mahabharata” as their enemy.


Yogapedia Explains Duryodhana

Duryodhana’s name is derived from the Sanskrit root words, dur, meaning “difficult” or “unconquerable”; and either yodha, meaning “fighting,” or yodhana, meaning “warrior.” Thus, the name has two translations: “unconquerable warrior” or “the one for whom fighting is difficult.”

Duryodhana is said to be the incarnation of Kali, the demon. Some believe he is the overlord of Kali Yuga and embodiment of evil. Despite these more negative connotations, like many characters in the “Mahabharata,” Duryodhana is not a one-dimensional character; he has both good and evil aspects. He is often praised for his sense of duty and his brave fighting, even in his final combat, and he is loved by the people. His skills in mace-fighting are also noted. However, ultimately, he is presented as a power-hungry and vitriolic king.

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