Mumbai: The Pancha Pandavas – Yudishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahdeva were raised by Kunti, King Pandu’s first wife. They were addressed as Pandu Putra but were not his biological sons. Surprised? Well, that’s the truth.
None of the Pandavas were born to Pandu. There’s a legend associated with Pandu’s helplessness to produce an offspring despite being biologically capable of fathering children.
Here’s how the legend goes:
Pandu, the king of Hastinapur, had once been to jungle to hunt. He shot an arrow at a deer that was mating with a female deer. It was actually Rishi Kindama who, in disguise of a deer was making love to his spouse. Pandu, who was oblivious of the deer’s actual identity sought apology but was cursed by the dying Rishi.
Kindama cursed Pandu by telling him that his sexual association with his wives would land him at the threshold of death. And hence, Pandu, despite having two wives - Kunti and Madri, couldn’t consummate his marriage.
He lived as a hermit but wished to have children. Hence he asked Kunti to make use of her special boon given to her by sage Durvasa to bear children for him. Kunti sought blessings from Yama, Vayu and Indra to give birth to Yudishthir, Bhima and Arjuna respectively.
Madri bore Nakul and Sahadev with the blessings of Ashwin.
Once, Pandu couldn’t resist the beauty of Madri and succumbed to his sexual desires, thereby inviting death. Madri ended her life owing to the grief of being responsible for her husband’s death.
Kunti was thus left with five sons.