In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation after the birth of Dhirdiraashtra and Paandu. Upon Satyavati’s request to Sage Veda-Vyaasa, Ambika and Ambaalika were to meet him again so that there might be a solution for the handicaps that both the children had, but both were reluctant to do so. Instead, Ambika sent her helper to Sage Vyaasa. She was however very tolerant by nature and felt blessed to approach such a powerful and a divine sage in her life. As she went to Sage Vyaasa, with his divine “Anugraha”, she gave birth to Vidura, who was an epitome of “Dharma”. As months and years progressed by, Paandu was crowned the king of Hastinapura, even though Dhirdiraashtra should have been the due successor of King Vichitraveerya. Paandu was preferred over Dhirdiraashtra for the simple reason that he was blind by birth, and he might not be able to fulfil the responsibilities of the kingdom efficiently. Eventually, King Paandu was ruling the kingdom for a few years, before Bhishmaachaarya decided to get both Paandu and Dhirdiraashtra married. King Paandu was married to Kunthi Devi, whose background was described in detail in the previous episode. Today we shall continue from this point and witness who was destined to be Dhirdiraashtra’s wife and her background.
Just like how King Paandu was settled for his life, Bhishmaachaarya started his look-out for a bride for Dhirdiraashtra. Bhishmaachaarya narrowed down on the daughter of King Shubala of the Gaandhaara Desha (Present day Afghanistan). The kingdom was also known as “Gaandhaara Desha” and the daughter of King Shubala was named as Gaandhaari. Thus, the decision was made and Bhishmaachaarya finalized the alliance between Dhirdiraashtra and Gaandhaari. Similarly, Devaka’s daughter was fixed for Vidura, and thus, all the three marriages took place simultaneously at Hastinaapura. A grand ceremony was arranged and the marriages took place with a lot of extravaganza. The marriages were extremely successful and the couples started leading their married lives happily. King Paandu continued to discharge the duties of the Hastinapura kingdom.
As time progressed, King Paandu met Maadri, who was the sister of the king of “Madra Desha”. This person was none other than King Shalya. As both of them fell for each other, King Paandu got married for the second time and thus, he had two wives – Kunthi Devi and Maadri Devi. Again, life went on peacefully for the next few years for all the couples at Hastinaapura, until one fine day when things took a huge “U” turn! King Paandu was going for his hunting exercise for the day and came across Sage Kindama who was in the form of a deer. This Sage Kindama, because of some previous curse that he had obtained, was roaming around in the thick forest in the form of a deer. He was happily walking around with his wife, who was also a deer. Both of them were enjoying each other’s presence and were wanting to give birth to a baby deer and it was at this time, King Paandu’s arrow directly went and hit Sage Kindama! Unable to bare the extreme pain of the arrow coming and hitting him, Sage Kindama shrieked aloud and looked around, only to find King Paandu standing in front of him with the bow and arrow! It is to be noted that King Paandu too did not realize that the deer that he had hit was not an ordinary deer, but was a great sage.
As Sage Kindama was shrieking with pain, he cursed King Paandu thus, “Oh Paandu! You’ve hit me when I was involved with my wife in bringing up our next generation! Hence from today, just like how myself and my wife had lost the opportunity to produce a child, you would also lose the ability to produce a child in your life!” Sage Kindama did not stop with this. He went a step further and cursed King Paandu thus, “Oh Paandu! It is not only that you’ll not be able to produce children. You would meet an end to your life immediately when you involve yourself with your wives to produce children!” Upon hearing this from Sage Kindama, King Paandu was shell-shocked! First of all, he did not expect that deer to be such a great sage! Secondly, even if it was to be so, he did not expect such a harsh curse to be put on his head for just a mere hunting exercise that he had undertaken!
So what is King Paandu going to do next? Let us wait till the next episode to find out what happened to King Paandu, Kunthi Devi and Maadri Devi after this curse! An interesting accord awaits us yet again! Stay tuned! 🙂