The Birth of the Pandavas

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Years passed.

Meanwhile, for Pandu’s wives the desire to have children became more and more overbearing. Then, even knowing the curse inflicted on her husband, they decided to talk to him to find a solution.

“The years dissolve like snow in the sun,” Kunti said, “and we haven’t had children yet. Every woman wants to have them, and in us, the need for motherhood has become very strong. How can we solve this dilemma that has been disturbing us for a long time?”

Pandu was desolate. He responded:

“I too would like to have children, but you know very well that I can’t, as that would cost me my life. In such a circumstances I really don’t know what the best decision might be for everyone.”

In those days Kunti was thinking a lot about the problem and had decided to reveal to her husband the secret of Durvasa’s blessing, but had not spoken to him for fear that he might not agree. Instead, what was Pandu’s joy at the news of becoming the father of an offspring engendered by beings from the higher planets!


In the days that followed, Kunti prepared herself to call the Devas.

“I want my first child to have, first of all, the qualities of justice and righteousness,” she thought, “so I will call Yamaraja.”

From the union of the Deva who rules justice and the passage of souls from one body to another, a male was born who was called Yudhisthira.

“Now I want a son who is as strong as no one has ever been,” Kunti thought. “I will call Vayu.”

And a second male was born who was named Bhima.

“Now I desire a third son who will be the bravest in combat. I will have this child with Indra.”

And from their union, Arjuna was born.


At that point, feeling completely satisfied, she decided not to procreate anymore. But seeing Madri dejected, Kunti smiled at her and said:

“Dear friend, I know that you too want children very much. Now I will teach you the mantra, so that you can procreate.”

Wanting to have a beautiful offspring with great erudition and wisdom, Madri appealed to the Ashvini Kumara twins, the doctors of the Devas, and from them she had two twins whom she named Nakula and Sahadeva.

Although they were not Pandu’s direct sons, they were always known as the five Pandavas, because they were born to his wives.


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

To buy the complete book, click above

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