Pandavas

From Academic Kids

The Pandavas were the five sons of the king Pandu. They are among the main protagonists of the Mahabharata. Pandu, inheirited his father's kingdom, despite being the younger of the two brothers; because his elder brother Dhritarashtra was born blind.

Pandu married Kunti and Madri. Kunti was the adopted daughter of king Kuntibhoja (from whom she gets her name). She was also known as Pritha. Madri was a princess of the Matsya kingdom.

Pandu accidentally killed a rishi in the form of a deer; who was copulating with his wife in the forest, mistaking him to be a wild animal. He was cursed by the rishi that if he ever touched a woman, he would fall dead. Pandu went into exile with his two wives leaving the kingdom in the hands of Drithrashtra.

Kunti had been granted a boon by rishi Durvasa. By using that mantra, she could summon any god, who would beget her a son. When she was unmarried, she had tested this mantra out of curiousity to summon Surya, the Sun-God. She gave birth to Karna, who she left in the river in a basket, fearing stigma attached to unwed motherhood. Karna features prominently in the Mahabharata.

Pandu asked Kunti to use this boon so that he could have a heir. Kunti used the boon to invoke Yama or Dharma Raj, Vayu (the god of wind) and Indra (the king of the gods) to give birth to Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjun respectively. She also told this mantra to Madri, who invoked the Ashwini twins to give birth to the twins Nakula and Sahadeva.

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