In Part-I of this story, we learnt about the birth of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Now let us know about their offspring. They are the main villains and heroes of this story (respectively). Pandu was the nice guy. He was the ruler of Hastinapur because his elder brother Dhritarashtra was blind.
One day he was out hunting in the woods. He came across a gazelle in the act of mating. Pandu killed it and turns out; he was a sage in disguise. The now furious sage curses Pandu. If he ever tries to mate, he will die. At this point, Pandu had two wives Kunti and Madri but no kids. Dejected, Pandu rejects the throne and decides to hang out in the woods with his wives. Dhritarashtra is crowned the new ruler. If you are wondering how did this blind guy manage a kingdom, he was a pretty bad ruler.
Pandu’s first wife Kunti has a little history, which is important to this story. Before marrying Pandu, she was out in the woods one day (what is it with people and woods, I don’t know.). She called out to the sun god, Surya. Surya appeared before her. She and Surya shared some time in the woods, and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and named him Karna. But since the baby was born out of wedlock, she decides to get rid of him. Kunti puts Karna in a basket and sends him down a river. He is discovered by a poor man who raises him as his own. Karna later on returns to the story and becomes a force to be reckoned with.
HEROES AND VILLAINS
Now let us get back to our story. Pandu and his wives have been camping out in the woods, full-time. One day, Kunti tells him that she knows a powerful mantra which can invoke a god. They put the mantra to the test, and she gives birth to three sons from three different gods.
The son of the god Dharma, Yudhistira the elder-born, righteous, and truthful. Bhima, son of wind god, Vayu and the strongest of all men. Arjuna was born of Indra, the king of the Gods (he is also the god of Lightning, Thunder, Rains, river flows and the King of Heaven) and became a master archer. Madri got together with twin gods Aswins (Hindu gods of medicine) and gave birth to twins Nakula and Sahadeva. These five siblings are together called Pandavas, meaning sons of Pandu. The story revolves around these guys, who are the heroes of the story.
Later on, Pandu cannot control his urges and gets together with his second wife Madri. Because of his curse, he dies instantly in her arms. Devastated, Madri jumps at his funeral pyre, leaving Kunti to raise all five brothers.
Meanwhile, at Camp Villain, Dhritarashtra marries Gandhari, the princess of the kingdom Gandhara. Sympathizing with the plight of her blind husband, she blindfolds herself on their wedding day and vows to never see again (she does keep her promise, if you guys are wondering). Few years into their wedding, Gandhari becomes pregnant with their first child. After an abnormally long pregnancy of 2 years, she gives birth to a ball of flesh. She splits open the flesh and out pop 100 boys. They are collectively called the Kauravas. They are the bad guys. Kauravas keep picking fights with their cousins Pandavas throughout the course of the story.
If you like Part-II of this saga, you will love what is coming your way! Up next our heroes and villains deal with gambling, arson, exile and the whole nine yards of good vs. evil stories.
WAIT FOR PART-III
Check out Part-I of the story.