Gandhari

Gandhari and Dhritarasthra
  • Gandhari was the princess of Gandhar and the daughter of Subal, the king of Gandhar, and sister of Shakuni.
  • Gandhari was married to Dhritrashtra, king of Hastinapur.
  • She was a devoted wife and on learning that Dhritrashtra was blind, she too tightly covered her eyes and made herself blind.
  • Gandhari was granted a boon by Vyas that she would have a hundred sons. She conceived after sometime, but did not deliver for two years. This irritated her, and when she heard that Kunti had given birth to a son, she got angry and struck her womb violently, at which a huge mass of flesh came out. Vyas appeared before her. As Gandhari also expressed her desire for a daughter, Vyas cut the mass of flesh into a hundred and one pieces, and asked Gandhari to preserve the mass in jars containing ghee. She could open the jars only after two years.
  • Two years later, Gandhari became the mother of a hundred sons, the eldest of whom was Duryodhan, and one daughter named Duhshala. When Dhritrashtra gave in to Duryodhan's unreasonable demands, Gandhari constantly reminded her husband about his wrongs, advising him not to place the throne above his kingdom. When the war began, she stood firm by her statement, that only the righteous would win.
  • After the war, the destruction caused by the battle, and the loss of all her sons, was too much for her and she cursed Krishna, who had had the power to stop the war, that in thirty-six years from then he too would die alone and his whole race would be destroyed. Later, she retired to the forest, along with her husband Dhritrashtra; they were accompanied by Kunti, where they all died a few years later in a forest conflagration. Gandhari was an incarnation of Mati.


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