Pandu’s Death

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The Pandavas spent their childhood in the forest, receiving the first teachings from the sages who lived in the hermitages.


Fifteen happy years passed for Pandu in the company of his children and wives, but what is written in the book of karma for each of us is inevitably bound to happen. In fact, you will remember what Vyasa said to his mother after meeting Ambalika:

“… This grandson of yours is not destined to live long”.

So, it happened that one spring day Pandu, while the others were in the forest, saw his wife Madri alone, and a strong sexual desire invaded him to the point that he could not resist it. Therefore, although she tried to remind him of the curse of the Rishi, he possessed her. In that precise instant he fell to the ground lifeless. Madri wept and cried for help, drawing the attention of Kunti and the five boys who, upon arriving on the spot, saw Pandu lifeless on the ground.

“How did you agree to mate with him,” Kunti shouted, “knowing about the curse that weighed on him? You should have rejected him and reminded him of what awaited him if he did…”

“I tried to resist him, to remind him of the Brahmana’s curse,” the heartbroken queen sobbed in despair, “but he seemed to be out of himself, as if possessed by a demon. I didn’t have the physical strength to restrain him.”

The wise men of the forest consoled the two women and the five boys and a few days later they celebrated the funeral rites during which the body was burned on the pyre. Madri thought she would not be able to live with the remorse for what she had caused, even though it was done involuntarily, and she followed Pandu into death. Kunti adopted her children.


After the tragedy, the Pandavas decided to return to Hastinapura, their father’s kingdom, to continue their studies. Furthermore, Yudhisthira was the heir to the throne, so as soon as the school period ended, he should begin to rule over the vast kingdom of Bharata.

So the five young men, accompanied by their mother and many sages, set out for the capital.

Kunti and the five Pandavas were warmly received by their relatives.


This is a section of the book “Maha-bharata, Vol. 1”.

To buy the complete book, click above

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