In the epic Mahabharata, King Shalya was the brother of Madri (mother of Nakula and Sahadeva), as well as the ruler of the kingdom of Madra (Madra-desa). A powerful yet righteous ruler, Shalya had a unique gift - he became stronger when faced with aggression, hence requiring everyone to be kind towards him. In Sanskrit, Shalya means a thorn (or any pointed weapon, like a dart). Shalya, being a skilled archer,a powerful mace fighter and formidable warrior, was tricked by Duryodana to fight the war on the side of the Kauravas. Shalya was an incredibly calm and deliberate fighter, which why he was such a good charioteer and why he could excel at mace-fighting despite his unimposing bulk. Krishna suggested that Yudhishthira should kill the powerful warrior because the eldest Pandava was not a man of aggression and could meet Shalya's coolness in battle.