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Pandu Biography

Pandu

In the Mahābhārata epic, King Pandu (Sanskrit: पाण्‍डु Pāṇḍu ) is the son of Ambalika and Rishi Ved Vyasa. He is more popularly known as the father of the Pandavas.

Birth

After Vichitravirya's death his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Rishi Veda Vyasa. According to his mother's wishes, he visited both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them a son. Ambalika was instructed by Satyavati to keep her eyes open lest she would bear a blind son like Ambika (Dhritarashtra). She did keep her eyes open but she became pale after seeing the formidable form of the Sage. Therefore, Pandu was born pale.

Life

Pandu was an excellent archer. He became the successor to his kingdom and was corronated Emperor of Hastinapur. Pandu later conquered the territories of Dasarnas, Kashi, Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Magadha etc. and thus re-established their superiority over all the kings and increasing his empire.

Pandu married Madri, daughter of the King of Madra, and Kunti, daughter of King Kuntibhoja of Vrishni. While hunting in a forest, (looking from a long distance, his vision partially obscured by plants and trees) Pandu mistook a sage (Rishi Kindama) and his wife for deer and shot an arrow at them, killing the conjugal couple. The dying sage placed a curse on Pandu. Since he had killed them in in the midst of lovemaking, the curse was that were he to approach a woman with the intent of making love, he would die. Upset and seeking to repent his action, Pandu renounced his kingdom and lived as an ascetic with his wives.

Childless at the time, Maharaja Pandu left his kingdom in the command of his elder brother, the blind Dhritrashtra, who was then crowned as king of Hastinapura. When Pandu expressed to Kunti his despair at the prospect of dying childless, Kunti used her boons given by Sage Durvasa to bear three sons-Yudhishtira (by Lord Dharma), Bhima (by Lord Vayu), and Arjuna (by Lord Indra). Also Kunti gave birth to Karna through Surya. She also gave her boons to Madri, who bore Nakula and Sahadeva, twins from the physicians to the gods, the Ashwini Kumaras twins. Thus the Pandavas of Pandu were born.

Death

After 15 years of celibacy, when Kunti and his sons were away, Pandu suddenly became strongly attracted to his wife Madri. Due to the aforementioned curse, he died after attempting to be intimate with her. Madri, out of repentance and grief, committed sati, burning herself alive on her husband's funeral pyre.

Pandava
The Pandeism of Godfrey Higgins

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