Shikhandi is a character in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Here’s a summary of Shikhandi’s story:
Shikhandi was born as a woman named Amba, the eldest daughter of the king of Kashi. She fell in love with the prince of the neighboring kingdom of Shalva and chose him as her groom during a Swayamvar (a ceremony in which a princess chooses her husband). However, the prince rejected her, as he had already been defeated by Bhishma, the patriarch of the Kuru dynasty, and was seeking revenge against him.
Amba was heartbroken and humiliated, and she vowed to take revenge against Bhishma. She sought out various warriors to aid her in her quest for revenge, but none were successful in defeating Bhishma. Finally, she sought the help of Lord Shiva and performed severe penance to become a male warrior. Shiva granted her wish, and she was reborn as Shikhandi, a male warrior with the body of a woman.
Shikhandi participated in the Kurukshetra war, which was fought between the Kauravas and Pandavas. On the tenth day of the war, he fought alongside Arjuna against Bhishma. Bhishma, who had taken a vow to never fight a woman or one who was born a woman, saw Shikhandi as a woman and did not attack him. This allowed Arjuna to shoot arrows at Bhishma and ultimately defeat him.
Shikhandi’s story is often seen as a tale of revenge, gender identity, and the complexities of gender roles in Indian society. His story highlights the fluidity of gender identity and the power of devotion and penance in Hindu mythology.