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.
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?