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Pandu enjoyed his life in the forest with his two wives and five sons along with other sages.  But due to a curse, he was restricted from intimacy with his wives. One day, Pandu saw Madri sitting alone and he approached her with lust. He could not resist touching her. No sooner, Pandu touched Madri the Kindama’s curse was realized and he died instantly. A brokenhearted Madri jumped into Pandu’s funeral pyre by leaving Nakul and Sahadeva in the care of Kunti.

Later the sages took Kunti and the five sons to Hastina-puri, so that their children could be raised as the princes of Kuru Dynasty. Before Pandu’s death, he had told his sons to eat his flesh after his death in order to attain great knowledge from him that he acquired through deep meditation in the forest. The Pandu’s sons forget their father’s advice after his cremation. But Sahadeva noticed some ants carrying a tiny piece of father’s flesh. He ate that piece and suddenly he got a boon for knowing the past and future incidents. He then rushed to his mother and brothers to tell about it. But on the way, a stranger stopped him and said not to tell this fact to anyone in order to get god as his friend. The stranger is none other than god, Krishna. Sahadeva divined Krishna and he decided to keep quiet about the past and future predictions that he knew.

As for himself, Sahadeva waited for people to ask him the right question. They asked him many questions—but never the right one. Hence, he was always reflective and sad, the youngest of widow Kunti’s five sons.

Gandhari was angry on learning that Kunti had become a mother of one child before her, perhaps she had conceived much earlier than Kunti. Earlier Gandhari got a boon from sage vyasa of begetting hundred sons. She can’t wait more, so she decided to force the child out of her womb. Gandhari ordered her maids to get an iron bar and strike on her belly to deliver the child. Upon Gandhari’s order, the maids started to strike her womb until the child is delivered. As a result of this strike, her womb quivered and pushed out a ball of flesh, cold as iron. Gandhari was devastated as she had expected a hundred sons according to the blessing of sage Vyasa. She then inquired Vyasa about the reason for this. The sage vyasa told her that his blessings could not have been in vain. Vyasa then instructed Gandhari’s maid to break the ball of flesh into a hundred pieces and put them in jars full of ghee. So that after two years, they will transform into human children. Gandhari told vyasa that she needs a daughter also. Vyasa agreed his desire and said the maid to cut the ball of flesh into 101 pieces and put them in jars full of ghee.

Thus after two years of patience, Gandhari decided to open the jars. When the first jar was opened the first baby was born and was named "Duryodhana". As soon as the baby started crying, the palace dogs wailed and many signs of bad omens were seen. On seeing the bad omens, Vidura advised Dhritarashtra to abandon the baby, since it brings misfortune to the Kuru clan. But Gandhari refused vidura’s advice and also said that Duryodhana will be her favorite son. At the same time, Bhima was born to Kunti in the forest. During his wife’s long pregnancy, Dhritarashtra shared bed with a maid called Sukhada and she too gave birth to Dhritarashtra’s son named Yuyutsu on the same day as Bhima and Duryodhana were born. Like Vidura, Yuyutsu is also a wise man, but disqualified from ever sitting on the throne. The second born child to Kunti was Dusshasana and the only daughter born was Dusshala (later Dusshala was married to Jayadhrata, king of Sindhu). Thus one by one, all the 101 children were born consecutively. Collectively, the sons were called the Kauravas.
Pandu after some days of his second marriage was really unhappy, since his second wife was also unable to produce a child. He then realized the fact that Kunti and Madri are highly fertile and it was his problem for being not produce a child. He is frustrated that, he would die, like his father, leaving two childless widows.

One day, Pandu went on a hunt in the forest. During the hunting, his arrow struck an antelope. When Pandu came closer, he found that he had killed an antelope while it was mating with a doe. Suddenly the antelope changed into a sage called Kindama and the doe changed into sage’s wife. Using their supernatural powers, they are converted into animals to make their love openly. Before dying, Kindama cursed Pandu that he will never enjoy the pleasure of lovemaking in his remaining life, if he does so then he will die instantly.

Birth of Kunti's Children:

A distressed Pandu felt that a man who cannot father a child is unfit to be king. So he decided to leave the kingdom and to spare his remaining life in the forest along with other sages. He then went to forest and started a lonely life. The decision made by Pandu shocked everyone and they rushed to the Pandu’s hermitage in forest and asked to rethink his decision. But Pandu refused his both wives request. So the wives, Kunti and Madri decided to live along with their husband, since it is the dharma of every woman to share joy and sorrows of husband.

In the absence of Pandu, Bhishma decided to transfer the kingdom to the blind Dhritarashtra. The decision is against the law, but bhishma has no choice as there is no heir available and it may be the destiny of Hastinapuri to be ruled by a blind king and his blindfolded queen. After a few months later, Gandhari, the wife of Dhritarashtra became pregnant and this news reached Pandu’s ears. Pandu depressed with this news and he shared his sorrow with Kunti.  Kunti consoled Pandu that there is a rule in the texts of Dharma, that a women can approach any man for begetting child and the child born should belongs to the woman’s husband. There should be no rights for the approached man to claim the child’s fatherhood. Likewise the planet Mercury becomes the son of planet Jupiter (star’s husband), even though it was the moon who conceived Mercury in the womb of the stars.

Pandu decided to take advantage of this rule. He decided to approach any sage for the purpose. But Kunti informs her husband that she had got a magic formula from sage Durvasa to beget a child from any devas. But she never informed her husband about a child born before marriage. Delighted with Kunti’s solution, Pandu said to her that he want a child from Yama, the god of dharma. Kunti used the magic formula, invoked Yama and had a child with him. He was named Yudhishtira. As per Pandu’s choice, Kunti later invoked Vayu. Thus they got Bhima, the son from Vayu (wind). This time upon the wish from Kunti, she invoked Indra to get a son. Thus the son born upon Kunti’s wish is Arjuna and he became the favorite for Kunti. Only he was referred by all as Partha, the son of Pritha (Kunti). After giving birth to Arjuna, Pandu said her to invoke a child once more from another deva. But Kunti refused it by saying that she can’t invoke once more since she already have been with four men and it is decreed in the texts of dharma. If she does so, then she will become a whore. Pandu thought that the four men Kunti was referring were he and the three gods. Kunti however hides the secret of her one son from the Sun before marriage to Pandu. She never informed the truth to anyone including his husband about this act of shame that weighed heavy on her heart.

Birth of Madris’ children:

After the three babies born, Kunti refused to invoke another deva for fourth Son. But this time Pandu asked Kunti to invoke a deva for Madri to get the baby. Kunti obeyed and upon Madri’s request she invoked the Ashwini twins for getting the twin babies. Ashwini twins are shining of sunrise and shining of sunset. Thus through Ashwini Kumaras, Pandu got the twin sons, Nakul and Sahadev. Nakula became the handsome man, whereas Sahadeva became most knowledgeable man.
The five sons of Pandu, three by Kunti and two by Madri, became known as the Pandavas. Collectively, the five sons had the five qualities of a great king - Yudhisthira as honesty, Bhima as strength, Arjuna as skill, Nakul as beauty and Sahadev as wisdom.

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