18- Why are Yudishtira, Bheema and Arjuna known as the Parthas?

That Arjuna is known as Partha is common knowledge, but in the MB, Yudisthira is also quite frequently called Partha by krishna and the others. All the three sons of Kunti are called 'Partha' since they are sons of Pritha, who was later known by the name Kunti.

Pritha's father was Sura who was also the father of Vasudeva, Krishna's father. Sura had promised in front of Agni that his first born child would be given in adoption to King Kuntibhoja, his cousin, who was childless. Kuntibhoja adopted Pritha and she came to be known as Kunti from then on.

Since Yudishtira, Bheema and Arjuna are all Kunti, that is Pritha's sons, they are all called Parthas.

Source: The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva: Section LXVII



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