Pandu and Kunti
  • Pandu was a son of Ambalika, the younger widow of Vichitravirya, by Vyas and the brother of Dhritrashtra and Vidur.
  • Since Ambalika had grown ashen at the sight of Vyas. Pandu was born pale and weak.
  • As Dhritrashtra was blind, Pandu was crowned king. Pandu was married to Kunti, daughter of king Kuntibhoj, and Maadri, daughter of the king of Madra.
  • Once, sage Kindam and his wife were sporting in the forest in the form of deer. Pandu, who was out hunting, saw the deer and, not knowing it to be the sage, shot his arrow. The male deer fell to the ground, and immediately took on his real form. Much to the surprise of Pandu, the dying sage cursed him that he would die should he share physical intimacies with his wives. The curse of sage Kindam, grieved Pandu tremendously, and he retired to the forest with his wives, leaving Dhritrashtra in charge of the throne. But the king longed for an issue, and seeing his unhappiness Kunti confided in him about the Mantras she had received as a boon from sage Durvasa. Pandu was overjoyed and he asked them to bear children from the gods.
  • Accordingly, Kunti gave birth to three sons, viz. Yudhishthir, Bhim and Arjun from the gods, Dharm, Vayu and Indra respectively. Maadri was taught the Mantra by Kunti, and she delivered the twins, Nakula and Sahdeva from the Ashvinikumars. One day, when spring was in the air and the flowers in bloom, Pandu could not suppress his longings any more, and despite the protests of Maadri, he embraced her. The curse took effect instantly, and the king died. The sages performed the last rites of Pandu and after handing over her children to Kunti, Maadri joined her husband on his funeral pyre.