Of dominating fathers and submissive sons in Indian stories…

King Yayati wanted to enjoy the pleasures of life for long and demanded that his sons trade their youth for his old age. Puru, his youngest son, satisfied his father’s lust for life by sacrificing his youth.

King Shantanu fell in love with a fisherwoman at an advanced stage of his life. His son, Devavrata, ensured that his father’s desire was satisfied even though it meant he would have to sacrifice his kingship and sex life forever!

Why do we find dominating fathers and submissive sons in Indian stories?

How Bhishma made the Kurus a matrilineal clan!

Bhishma, a key character in the Mahabharata, is known for the supreme sacrifice of his sex life for the sake of his father.

But this selfless act of his changed the patriarchal nature of the Kuru clan forever.

After Bhishma, we find succession in the Kuru throne becomes matrilineal, with the Kuru throne being handed down through the mother’s bloodline.

Copyright to this image is owned by Kulture Katha

For more on the Bhishma story, check this video!

Did Yudhishtra have a rightful claim to the Hastinapur throne?

In the Mahabharata, the entire premise of the horrific Kurukshetra war was that the Pandavas had a legitimate claim to a part (if not the whole) of Hastinapur, which they were being denied.

But did the Pandavas led by Yudhishtra have a truly credible claim to the throne?

Surprisingly, one look at the history of the Kuru clan tells us that primo geniture, which is the right to succession that comes from being the first-born, was never the norm among the Kurus.

Listen in to hear the stories of Yayati and King Bharata that tell you how, in the Kuru clan, issues of succession were decided by factors other than primo geniture!

Why did Draupadi have five husbands?

The great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, is full of riddles, puzzles and dilemmas. The epic poses several intriguing problems that make us wonder, who was right and who was wrong, who was good and who was bad…

But the one big question about the epic that baffles us no end is about Draupadi….

Why did she have five husbands?

Was Draupadi a victim of fraternal polyandry – a system where all the brothers in a family married the same woman to prevent land fragmentation?

Or was this Kunti’s idea to use Draupadi as the glue to keep her sons struck together?

Or, was poor Draupadi merely a pawn in the game fought by Pandavas and Kauravas for land?

Watch the video to know the answer to the trickiest riddle posed by the Mahabharata!