Episode # 74 – Sage Vaishampayana explains who the Pandava brothers are!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important point as Sage Vaishampayana commences with the Mahabharata story. We’ve witnessed that Sage Vaishampayana is empowered by Sage Veda-Vyaasa to narrate the entire Mahabharata text to King Janame-Jaya and the others who have assembled there, as the “Sarpa-Yaaga” was brought to a grinding halt. It is this narration that we’re going to witness from now. As Sage Vaishampayana begins, he gives us a “shocker” that Sage Vyaasa was the grandfather to the Paandava brothers. We analyzed this “shocker” message and witnessed how Sage Vyaasa was responsible for the birth of Dhiridiraashtra and Paandu. The Paandava brothers were in turn born to Paandu. King Vichitraveerya had a curse that he cannot have children with his wives Ambika and Ambaalika, and because of this, the two wives had to obtain the divine “Anugraha” (Grace) of Sage Veda Vyaasa to obtain two children namely Dhiridiraashtra and Paandu. When Paandu became the king of Hastinapura, he too had a curse that if he unites with his wives Kunthi Devi and Maadri to have children, he would die immediately. Thus, Kunthi and Maadri too had kids that weren’t born out of the natural biological way. These kids were none other than the “Paandava” brothers. 

Hearing thus from Sage Vaishampayana, King Janame-Jaya was all the more interested and eager now to know more about his grandfathers and how they entered into a ghastly war. Thus, King Janame-Jaya paid all the due respects to Sage Vaishampayana, accepted him as his “Guru” (Spiritual Master) and sat down on the floor beside him. As the “Sishya” (King Janame-Jaya) is ready to listen to the entire narration of the “Guru” (Sage Vaishampayana), the great text called the “Mahabharata” was born! As Sage Vaishampayana commences thus, he first salutes all the sages assembled there, along with Bhagawan Vishnu – The one who is involved in this text in each and every corner of it, and to Sage Veda-Vyaasa himself, who has authored it. Sage Vaishampayana’s prayer is only this – He should be able to narrate the text without interpreting anything wrongly. In other words, he should be able to convey the text in exact similar terms as Sage Vyaasa has authored. This includes even the thought processes of Sage Vyaasa to be communicated exactly the same. This is very important here because, one phrase of a sloka might have multiple meanings if read differently by different people. The point here is that, Sage Vaishampayana should convey exactly the same meaning that Sage Vyaasa had in mind while writing each and every sloka. This is extremely important isn’t it? Thus, Sage Vaishampayana seeks Sage Vyaasa’s divine “Anugraha” to commence the Mahabharata narration. 

Sage Vaishampayana starts from a point wherein the Paandavas were born to King Paandu and his wives, Kunthi Devi and Maadri Devi. As we’ve seen earlier, King Paandu had a curse and because of that, he was unable to contribute in having children with his wives. However, Kunthi Devi had a boon from the Devas that if she prays to them, she would be able to obtain children. With this, Kunthi Devi prayed to Yama-Dharma-Raja, Vaayu Bhagawan and Indra to obtain Yudishtra, Bheemasena and Arjuna respectively. Similarly, Kunthi Devi had apprised Maadri of this prayer and in turn, Maadri Devi prayed to the “Ashwini Kumaras” to obtain two twin children by names Nakula and Sahadeva. Thus, all these five brothers together are referred to as the Paandava brothers. Sage Vaishampayana adds a brief about all of this, and continues to narrate how the Paandava brothers were born in the forest and not in the Hastinapura palace, unlike Duryodhana and the Kauravas. 

As time progressed, the five children were brought up by the sages in the forest after the demise of King Paandu and Maadri Devi. Only Kunthi Devi was left alone and after a point in time, the Sages decided that the five children along with Kunthi Devi should go back to their Hastinapura kingdom. When they went back, Dhirdiraashtra had become the king of the country after Paandu’s demise. King Dhirdiraashtra had a doubt whether these five children were really born to King Paandu or not. He refused to accept these five children as part of the Hastinapura family. He knew that his brother Paandu had a curse and he wouldn’t be able to have kids. Yet, how were these children born to Kunthi Devi? As King Dhiridraashtra failed to understand the mystery behind this, a divine voice from the skies thundered loudly! This divine voice advised King Dhiridraashtra to accept these five kids as his own sons and bring them up alongside Duryodhana and co. It should be remembered here that Duryodhana and the Kaurava brothers were born to King Dhirdiraashtra and Gaandhaari. 

As the divine voice thundered thus, King Dhirdiraashtra had no option but to accept the Paandavas as his sons. The entire Hastinapura family welcomed the Paandava brothers, but there was one person who refused to accept them – This was none other than Duryodhana! Thus, even as a child, Duroydhana had extreme jealousy and insecurity towards the Paandava brothers and had a feeling that his parents are giving the Paandavas an undue advantage and care over him. This feud is what led to the war ultimately! As Sage Vaishampayana narrates thus in a brief, King Janame-Jaya wasn’t very happy! He wanted to know the intricate details of what all conspired over the years! He requests Sage Vaishampayana for a detailed description! What does Sage Vaishampayana say now? Let’s commence this detailed discussion in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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