Death Of Pandu - MAHABHARATA


ONE day King Pandu was out hunting. A sage and his wife were also sporting in the forest in the  guise of deer. Pandu shot the male with an arrow, in ignorance of the fact that it was a sage in  disguise. Stricken to death the rishi thus cursed Pandu: "Sinner, you will meet with death the moment you taste the pleasures of the bed."

Pandu was heartbroken at this curse and retreated to the forest with his wives after entrusting his kingdom to Bhishma and Vidura and lived there a life of perfect abstinence. Seeing that Pandu was desirous of offspring, which the rishi’s curse had denied him, Kunti confided to him  the story of the mantra she had received from Durvasa. He urged Kunti and Madri to use the mantra and thus it was that the five Pandavas were born of the gods to Kunti and Madri. 

They were born and brought up in the forest among ascetics. King Pandu lived for many years in  the forest with his wives and children. It was springtime. And one day Pandu and Madri forgot  their sorrows in the rapture of sympathy with the throbbing life around them, the happy flowers,  creepers, birds and other creatures of the forest. 

In spite of Madri’s earnest and repeated protests Pandu’s resolution broke down under the  exhilarating influence of the season, and at once the curse of the sage took effect and Pandu  fell, dead. Madri could not contain her sorrow. Since she felt that she was responsible for the death of the king. She burnt herself on the pyre of her husband entreating Kunti to remain and be  a mother to her doubly orphaned children. The sages of the forest took the bereaved and grief-stricken Kunti and the Pandavas to Hastinapura and entrusted them to Bhishma. 

Yudhishthira was but sixteen years old at that time. When the sages came to Hastinapura and  reported the death of Pandu in the forest, the whole kingdom was plunged in sorrow. Vidura,  Bhishma, Vyasa, Dhritarashtra and others performed the funeral rites. All the people in the  kingdom lamented as at a personal loss. Vyasa said to Satyavati, the grandmother: "The past  has gone by pleasantly, but the future has many sorrows in store. The world has passed its youth like a happy dream and it is now entering on disillusionment, sin, sorrow and suffering. Time is  inexorable. You need not wait to see the miseries and misfortunes that will befall this race. It will  be good for you to leave the city and spend the rest of your days in a hermitage in the forest."  Satyavati agreed and went to the forest with Ambika and Ambalika. These three aged queens  passed through holy asceticism to the higher regions of bliss and spared themselves the  sorrows of their children.  

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