The Birth of Dhritarastra’s Children

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Meanwhile, an important event had happened in Hastinapura. Gandhari, who also became pregnant, had hoped to give birth before Kunti, so that her son would have the prerogative of the right to the throne. So, one can well imagine her disappointment when the news of Yudhisthira’s birth was given to her. Anger made her completely lose the light of reason and, blinded by rage, she struck her belly and miscarried. At court, they were all desperate, but Vyasa came and recomposed the fetus, dividing it into a hundred parts.


The next year, on the same day as Bhima’s birth, Dhritarastra’s firstborn was born, who was named Duryodhana. At the time of his birth, however, terrible warning signs appeared, foreshadowing grave misfortunes.

Vidura observed those ominous omens and, absorbed in serious reflections, went to see Dhritarastra.

“I know how happy you are with the birth of your first child, but the signs that have appeared over our city make us understand that he is not a pious soul. On the contrary, he seems destined to cause enormous damage. Look at those lightning bolts above the buildings, and listen to how our dogs howl; feel the tremors on our bodies and see how the Murtis cry. My brother, your son carries with him a fate of misfortune and immense pain that he will share with us all. Listen to me: if you want to save our family, our kingdom and all the Kshatriya race, do not let him live. Get him killed immediately.”

Dhritarastra quivered at those words, and replied:

“Even though I am unable to see, I too feel in my heart the terrible signals foreshadowing death, and I also understand how right your advice is. But I can’t even think of killing my son; how could I? I have waited so long for this moment. I never would.”

Vidura and Bhishma insisted, but neither were able to convince him. And so Duryodhana lived.

Over time, 100 more sons and a daughter were born.


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

To buy the complete book, click above

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