19. The Childhood of Kauravs and Pandavas

The news spread across the kingdom that Pandu was no more. The kingdom was filled with rumors about the reason for Pandu’s death. Some speculated that Pandu discovered his wife, Kunti, had conceived multiple sons from other men (who were actually devas) and he couldn’t bear the shame and thus, committed suicide. Others, who were aware that the sons were actually conceived on Pandu’s will knew that Kunti wasn’t to be blamed, but they were equally unaware of the reasons. No one knew the complete picture but what they knew was enough for them to be depressed. The capable king was dead and now his blind elder brother would be the acting king forever.

Bheeshm and Vidhur arranged for Kunti and her 5 sons to be brought to the palace where they would grow with the 100 sons of Dhritarashtra as the princes of the Kuru clan. They believed that the sons of Kunti, though being born by the grace of the gods, were ultimately sons of Pandu as Kunti was Pandu’s wife. But not every person in the house saw it this way.

Shakuni perceived Pandavas as a challenge to his dear Duryodhan’s claim to the throne and since beginning set Duryodhan against them re-insisting it in Duryodhan’s mind if there’s was somebody who was the legitimate heir to the throne, it was he and not the five random kids from the jungle. The elders of the Kuru family and the subjects of Hastinapur welcomed the Pandavas with affection. Duryodhan, along with his 99 brothers, saw them as weeds to be wiped out of the palace farm as soon as possible.

It was decided by the elders of the family that the 100 sons of Dhritarashtra and 5 sons of Pandu should grow under tutelage of the royal guru, Kripacharya (details of his origin will be here some day). Kripacharya was considered a Brahmin by all, thanks to his knowledge of the Vedas, and was a man with simplistic expectations in life. He had a twin sister, Kripi, who was married to sage Dronacharya (details of whose origin will be here some day). From the first day in his gurukul, Kripacharya knew that he was not going to raise any ordinary set of Kshatriya students but rather and entire generation of princes of Hastinapur. Education of princes was carried out differently than rest of the students of the society because they eventually had to evolve into beings whose life was meant for a bigger cause, optimistically speaking, welfare of the nation.

(Realistically speaking, a devastating war!)

Days passed and the princes grew up with decent knowledge of Vedas, literature, economics, philosophy, theatre and other arts. There was fierce yet hidden competition amongst the sons of Pandu and Dhritarashtra from the first day of school. Yudhishthira could quote esoteric sections of vedas as a teenager and Arjun had a unique talent of not missing a mark ever in throwball. All other brothers too had some unique strengths (and weaknesses, but they will find a place in the story later).

Since the increasing responsibility on the shoulders of Kripacharya was leading to his ignoring political matters, Bheeshm and Vidhur realized that someone has to take up the martial arts training of the princes and ease of some pressure from Kripacharya. But they knew that these princes can’t be handed over to any ordinary tutor. “Where can be one such tutor?” wondered both.

Somewhere, hundreds of miles away, there was an old sage lying down on his grass bed with closed eyes, trying to fall asleep. His sleep was however ruined by one old memory – a sarcastic remark from a dear friend that had shattered his honour to pieces once.

5 thoughts on “19. The Childhood of Kauravs and Pandavas

  1. Honestly I was lost when I entered this site. I wanted to narrate Mahabharata to few of my friends who are just not so much into reading. Your work here has been very helpful . Now I know how to go about it. Good work.

  2. There are lot of mis-interpretations about Goddess Draupadi (Mahabharathi – the heroine of Mahabharath) )on the web, maybe because of the individual’s assumptions or what they think polyandry is. In fact, She cannot be compared with anyone/ anything, nor do we have that standard to comment on Her. Please read the content in this URL and I hope you will understand who She is.

    “Draupadi Amman Thunai” – Meaning, may Goddess Draupadi’s Blessing be on you all, always.

    http://blog.thitherwards.com/draupadi/

    Know more about one of the diving shrines/ temples of Goddess Draupadi in KONDAL village, near Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu.

  3. Some nice comments on Pandavas here, thanks for sharing. One cannot stop thinking about Draupadi while discussing Mahabharata or Pandavas. She is considered to be ‘Kula Devata’ and/ or ‘Grama Devatha’ by many people.

    In fact, there are many shrines for Goddess Draupadi, spread in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. One of the shrines, where She is a Grama-Devatha and Kula-Devatha to many, is located in one of the small villages of Tamil Nadu.

    If you got time, patience and willingness to know about ‘Draupadi’, you can visit my blog and comment.

    The village is named KONDAL, Mayiladuthurai Taluk, Nagapattinam District, Nidur P.O, Tamil Nadu.

    http://blog.thitherwards.com/draupadi/

    Draupadi Amman Thunai – May you all be BLESSED by HER grace!!

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