14. Pandu – The More Capable King

With Dhritarashtra getting married and becoming an adult (yes it could be in this order too!) it was now time to give Hastinapur its king. Satyavati and Bheeshm thought it was time for the coronation of a new king, one from the new generation. Dhritarashtra being the eldest of the three, was considered in the first place.

Announcement was made that Vidur would be the chief minister, Pandu the right hand of the king, and Dhritarashtra, the king. Preparations were made, festivities were organized around the kingdom and the auspicious time for the coronation was communicated to the respective parties and rishis. The new generation of the Kuru family was ready to take the reigns of Hastinapur in its hand to lead it to a better future.

After Vidur’s and Pandu’s announcement when the time came for Dhritarashtra to be coronated, Vidur being the chief minister, put forward the point that a person who was blind since birth could not be king as per the shastras. He insisted that Pandu became the king of Hastinapur as he was more capable than Dhritarashtra even if he was younger. Satyavati, Bheeshm and others supported the idea and Pandu was coronated as the king.Pandu, however, thought it would be injustice for a younger brother to inherit the throne while the elder brother was alive.

The¬†blind prince’s longing of years was shattered. He always knew inside that there was something missing in him to become the king. Now it was apparent to the entire kingdom, and there was no hope for him anymore.¬†Though he was broken and indignant inside on hearing the decision, he was smart enough not to reveal his contempt. Rather, he tried displaying a softer side and made himself appear to be more happy on Pandu’s coronation thereby trying to impress the people around. He continued to feel indignant inside, and over time the feeling grew more and more to engulf the entire Kuru clan.

Pandu took the reigns of Hastinapur in his hands but the important task of getting married was still pending. And so, it was decided to fetch a wife for Pandu. As always, Bheeshm was to take the responsibility of finding the best queen for the new king of Hastinapur.

(While Dhritarashtra was blind since birth, Pandu too was pale/weak in appearance. There are speculations that he might have been impotent/sterile which is, of course, highly debatable. But the fact is that where Dhritarashtra’s blindness was visible to the world, Pandu’s impotency was not.)