18 minutes | Jun 7, 2020

Ādiparva : Sandhi 01 : Part 1 of 4 : Pāṇḍu – marriage, coronation, hunt, curse

In the 1st half of the 4th Sandhi of Ādiparva, Vaiśampāyana narrates the story of Pāndu’s marriage to Kunti and Śalya’s sister Mādri. After his wedding, on an auspicious day, with the approval of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Vidura, Bhīṣma arranged for Pāṇḍu’s Paṭṭābhiṣeka ceremony. Through his valor, Pāṇḍu extended the boundaries of his Kingdom. While Pāṇḍu was busy ruling the kingdom, Dhṛtarāṣṭra was worried for the future of his family. Neither Dhṛtarāṣṭra nor Pāṇḍu had any children. He was hoping that Vedavyāsa, who had, in the past, ensured that the line of the Bharata-s was not broken, would come to their rescue. And one fine day, Vedavyāsa arrived in Hastināpura, consoled Dhṛtarāṣṭra and gave him a mantra-piṇḍa, telling him that his wife will bear him one-hundred valorous children. Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s wife became pregnant after consuming the mantra-piṇḍa. One day, some hunters arrived in Pāṇḍu’s court asking for help with the hunt, since they were facing problems from the wild animals. Pāṇḍu, along with all the equipments of the hunt accompanied them, and enjoyed himself thoroughly, hunting down various animals in the forest. In that forest, one Ṛṣi-couple was roaming around, having assumed the form of a pair of deers. Unaware of this fact, Pāṇḍu shot an arrow at the pair of deers and his arrow found its mark, piercing simultaneously through both the deers in the pair. As soon as the arrow hit them, the deers transformed into their original human form and screamed out aloud. Pāṇḍu was shocked and awestruck. He ran to the place where the injured Ṛṣi-couple was laying in the ground. Having removed the arrow, and washed their wounds, out of sadness and frustration Pāṇḍu berated them for enjoying in the forest in the form of deers instead of carrying out austerities. At this, the injures Ṛṣi, with great effort pronounced a curse – “You have killed us when we were together. O wretched King, you too shall die when you lie with your wife.” . They couple died soon after. Dejected by what transpired, Pāṇḍu returned to Hastināpura with a heavy heart. Audio Link : https://archive.org/download/kumaravyasa-bharata-recitation/Parva-01-Adiparva-004-Sandhi-Part-01-of-04.mp3
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