Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Pandu - The Father of the Pandavas


Pandu was the son of the Kashi princess Ambalika, by Vyasa. He was deemed to be a descendent of his mother's husband Vichitraveerya, who had died issueless. He was born pale, as his mother had turned pale with fright while conceiving him. Since his elder brother Dhritharashtra was born blind, Pandu was crowned as the king and ruled over the kingdom well. He married Kunti (also known as Prita), the adopted daughter of KuntiBhoja. He also took a second wife Madri, the sister of Salya.

Once he accidentally shot a stag while it was copulating with its wife. It turned out that the stag and deer were actually a sage and his wife, who had taken this form to enjoy themselves. They cursed Pandu that he would die the instant he indulged in carnal pleasures. At this point of time Pandu was issueless. He relenquished his kingdom to his elder brother and went away to the forest to lead the life of an Ascetic.

Since the scriptures say that an issuless man cannot attain heaven, he suggested that his wives beget children with other worthy men (such children will be considered as Pandu's). At this time, his wife Kunti recounted the boon given to her by the sage Durvasa, which could bless her with a child through any God of her chosing. With Pandu's consent, she begat Yudhishtra with Yama, Bheema with Vayu, Arjuna with Indra. She also helped her co-wife Madri beget the twins Nakula and Sahadeva with the Ashwini twins.

Some time after this, one day Pandu was filled with desire for his beautiful wife Madri. Despite her pleas, reminding him of the curse, he proceeded to have his way with her, and was immediately struck dead, thanks to the curse. Madri committed sucide by immolating herself on the Pandu's funeral pyre.

Last Modified At: Thu Oct 21 22:11:49 2004