Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Vyushitaswa and Bhadra

Stories From the Mahabharata


This story is narrated by Kunti to her husband Pandu in [Maha:1.121].

In ancient times, there was a King named Vyushitaswa, in the dynasty of Puru. He was a righteous king, ever devoted to the cause of truth and justice. He once performed a great sacrifice, which was visited by the best sages and the celestials. So drunk did the celestials, especially Indra become with the Soma juice in this sacrifice, that they started performing the sacrifice themselves.

Since the Gods had themselves performed the sacrifice for this king, his glory spread far and wide. He performed the great Ashwamedha (horse) sacrifice, to mark his conquest of the world. After this, he ruled over his subject justly. There was no hunger in his kingdom, no body did anything that was not proper.

The King's glory continued to increase and he performed various other sacrifices to propitiate the Gods, including the Agnishtoma sacrifice. He married Bhadra, who was the daughter of a king (?) named Kakshivat. This woman was rivalled the Apsaras in beauty. Tragedy struck them, and the king died of phthisis, brought on by sexual excess.

His queen, Bhadra was grief-struck. With the husband's corpse in front of her, she began to lament her fate. "O my husband", she said, "Women have purpose in life when their husband passes away. Their existence is miserable after the Lord of their life is dead. I cannot support life without you. May the Gods take pity upon me and strike me dead, so that I may join you in the regions meant for the virtuous. O King, you have fallen into the sleep from which none may wake, let the Gods grant the same boon to me. I shall lie down upon a bed of grass and abstain from food. May the Gods be kind enough to grant me a sight of you as you were before death, even if it merely for a moment!"

As she wept over her lord, an incorporeal voice from the heavens said in a booming voice, "Rise up, O daughter, Go to your apartment. I grant you this boon. You shall be blessed with offspring soon. Lie down with this corpse on you bed, after purifying yourself with a bath. Illustrious children shall be born to you."

She did as directed, and the corpse of her husband begat upon her Seven children, namely, three Salwas and four Madras.

This story is narrated by Kunti, extorting her husband to raise offspring upon her by his ascetic power.


Last Modified At: Tue Oct 19 20:21:55 2004