The Mahabharata tells us that on Pandu’s death, his wife Madri entered his funeral pyre and left for the nether world with him.
Or, does it?
Why did Madri actually choose to end her life?
Or, did she?
Click the link to explore some interesting possibilities!
Pandu, the father of the Pandavas dies as a result of a curse on his head. On closer observation, one finds that Pandu’s life, bears some similarities with Bhishma’s life.
Both of them are forced to give up the throne or their claim to sovereignty when young. While Bhishma is forced to abdicate his kingship to fulfil his father Shantanu’s desire to marry Satyavati, Pandu is forced to relinquish his throne because the deer’s curse would never allow him to become a father and bear a successor for the throne.
Again, both Pandu and Bhishma are forced to give up their sex life. Bhishma after he swears to a strict vow of celibacy as part of his promise to Satyavati’s father, and Pandu, because of the dying deer’s curse. Both men are thus forced to lose their social status as well as their manhood and the right to have their basic human needs satisfied.
This is just one of the many recurring patterns in the epic. Explore what they are, and why events tend to repeat in the greatest story ever told.
Yuyutsu was the second son of Dhritarashtra. Yet, he was rarely acknowledged as one of the Kaurava siblings by his own family.
The epic says he was a Maharatha, capable of single-handedly taking on10,000 warriors. Yet, like Karna, Yuyutsu chose to fight his own brothers in the Kurukshetra war.
Watch the video to find out the story of Yuyutsu from his initial years of oblivion to his final moment of glory at the end of the epic.
Did you know that Duryodhana almost became the rightful heir to the Kuru throne but missed the chance by a cruel twist of fate?
Duryodhana was conceived first, before Yudhishtra. Yet he was born after his cousin.
What went wrong?
Click to find the story of the birth of the Kauravas from where the story of discord between the two cousins begins!
The Mahabharata has inspired several artists & creators and spawned several great literary works and cinema.
Watch the video to know about how some film makers and writers have explored the ideas of Niyoga and parthenogenisis in their works!
The Mahabharata is the largest treasure house of stories in the world, particularly of miraculous or super-natural births.Drona is born in a cup.
Two women come together to produce a child and a King gives birth to his son from his right thigh. These are only some of the several amazing stories in the epic.
But what was the idea behind telling these stories?
Were they merely fantasies of a fertile mind or was there was some meaning to these fantastic tales?
As always, Kulture Katha gets behind the why of the stories!
There are several theories around the birth stories of the Pandavas.
The epic, while being a little secretive on this matter, also gives us a solid clue to unravelling the mystery.
Click to listen in to the puzzling birth story of the Pandavas.
The farmer either sowed his own seed or let someone else’s seed be sown in his field. Either way, the output from the field belonged to the farmer.
That was the logic behind the Bija Kshetra nyaya, the seed-field metaphor that defined the relationship between man, woman and their heirs.
Click the link to know why knowing this rule is important for understanding the key predicament in the epic!
Also: Birth of Pandu & Dhritarshtra
Sexual freedom of women in the epic &
How Niyoga acquired a stigma
Some of the key characters in the epic were born through an ancient custom called the Niyoga. A custom that traces its origins to a Rig Vedic ritual and a myth around Parashurama.
Click to know more about the Whats, the Whys and the Hows of the custom!
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!