The pages in the current category are some of the encouraging feed-backs I got about the AncientVoice Web site in the form of emails some running into lengthy dialogs. I spent considerable time receiving and answering them. But all the information generated in these emails are locked up inside them. I thought to make it useful for the general research community, so that the time I spent on it will be useful for more than just two people who are communicating (me and the other person). These contain a wealth of information, naturally emerged during the process of dialogs. It will help to answer similar questions somebody else may have. I can also avoid repeating what I told once. Being myself a researcher who unearth information from the ancient dialogs recorded in the epics and other ancient scriptures, I hope this will be useful for the general research community.

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 17 Nov 2011 11:04 and updated at 17 Nov 2011 11:15

Swastic Pictures is a leading Television content producer in India, with offices in Mumbai and other cities. They wanted to get information on various topics on Mahabharata for their TV serial. The information sought include details on the Pandavas and Kauravas, life of Pandu and Dhritarashtra, the costumes used by the people during Mahabharata period etc.

Table of Contents

Email Communication 1

Charmaine joseph <email ID>
May 26

to me
Dear Mr Jijith Nadumuri Ravi,

This is Charmaine Joseph from SWASTIK PICTURES PVT. LTD. I am writing to you regarding your article on Mahabharata posted on

Briefly, If I may introduces myself, we at swastik pictures are producing a television show on MAHABHARATA for STAR PLUS. I am one of the writers from the content team. We read you article and realised you have a huge knowledge and passion for the subject. And we feel our association could be fruitful.

Kindly let us know your views on the same. Also, if you could mail us your telephone number then we can have a detailed conversation with you on the same thanks. Thanks

Warm Regards,

Jijith Nadumuri Ravi
May 30

to Charmaine
Dear Charmaine Joseph

Good to see your mail and to know about your plans for the TV show on Mahabharata.

Warm Regards

Jijith Nadumuri Ravi
May 31

to Charmaine
Hi Charmaine

Below is the specific link that I was talking about > Bestiality of Kindama, Did Pandu shoot upon an unseen target?, Strange dialog between Pandu and Kindama, Did Pandu really kill Kindama?, Kindama's curse on Pandu

The site is also accessible by Googling:- "Mahabharata Research", "AncientVoice", "Rigveda search engine" etc.


Jijith Nadumuri Ravi
Jun 1

to Charmaine
Hi Charmaine

Hope the interaction with Pandu and sage Kindama is now clear.

You asked me if "during Mahabharata period did the king take taxes from his praja".

The answer is YES.

During those periods, the kingdom was divided into provinces and groups of 1000s, 100s and 10s of villages and officers were appointed at each level of hierarchy to collect taxes from people, especially from the Vaisyas (the holders of wealth, trade, commerce and agriculture). Excess tax collection was considered as wrong. However during war, attacks from enemy kings or during other calamities, more tax was collected, but with the consent and support of the Praja.

Below is the passage in Mahabharata that describe the subject of collection of taxes. It is a dialog between Yudhisthira and Bhishma:-

Yudhishthira said, How, O king, may a kingdom be consolidated, and how should it be protected? I desire to know this. Tell me all this, O bull of Bharata's race' Bhishma said, Listen to me with concentrated attention. I shall tell thee how a kingdom may be consolidated, and how also it may be protected. A headman should be selected for each village. Over ten villages or ten headmen there should be cone superintendent. Over two such superintendents there should be one officer having the control, therefore, of twenty villages. Above the latter should be appointed persons under each of whom should be a century of villages; and above the last kind of officers, should be appointed men each of whom should have a thousand villages under his control. The headman should ascertain the characteristics of every person in the village and all the faults also that need correction.

He should report everything to the officer who is above him and is in charge of ten villages. The latter, again, should report the same to the officer who is above him and is in charge of twenty villages. The latter, in his turn, should report the conduct of all the persons within his dominion to the officer who is above him and is in charge of a hundred villages. The village headman should have control over all the produce and the possessions of the village. Every headman should contribute his share for maintaining the lord of ten villages, and the latter should do the same for supporting the lord of twenty villages. The lord of a hundred villages should receive every honour from the king and should have for his support a large village, O chief of the Bharatas, populous and teeming with wealth. Such a village, so assigned to a lord of hundred villages, should be, however, within the control of the lord of a thousand villages. That high officer, again, viz, the lord of a thousand villages, should have a minor town for his support. He should enjoy the grain and gold and other possessions derivable from it. He should perform all the duties of its wars and other internal affairs pertaining to it.

Some virtuous minister, with wrathfulness should exercise supervision over the administration affairs and mutual relations of those officers. In every town, again, there should be an officer for attending to every matter relating to his jurisdiction. Like some planet of dreadful form moving above all the asterisms below, the officer with plenary powers mentioned last should move and act above all the officers subordinate to him. Such an officer should ascertain the conduct of those under him through his spies. Such high officers should protect the people from all persons of murderous disposition, all men of wicked deeds, all who rob other people of their wealth, and all who are full of deceit, and all of whom are regarded to be possessed by the devil. Taking note of the sales and the purchases, the state of the roads, the food and dress, and the stocks and profits of those that are engaged in trade, the king should levy taxes on them. Ascertaining on all occasions the extent of the manufactures, the receipts and expenses of those that are engaged in them, and the state of the arts, the king should levy taxes upon the artisans in respect of the arts they follow. The king, O Yudhishthira, may take high taxes, but he should never levy such taxes as would emasculate his people. No tax should be levied without ascertaining the outturn and the amount of labour that has been necessary to produce it. Nobody would work or seek for outturns without sufficient cause

The king should, after reflection, levy taxes in such a way that he and the person who labours to produce the article taxed may both share the value. The king should not, by his thirst, destroy his own foundations as also those of others. He should always avoid those acts in consequence of which he may become an object of hatred to his people. Indeed, by acting in this way he may succeed in winning popularity. The subjects hate that king who earns a notoriety for voraciousness of appetite in the matter of taxes and imposts. Whence can a king who becomes an object of hatred have prosperity? Such a king can never acquire what is for his good. A king who is possessed of sound intelligence should milk his kingdom after the analogy of men acting in the matter of calves. If the calf be permitted to suck, it grows strong, O Bharata, and bears heavy burthens. If, on the other hand, O Yudhishthira, the cow be milked too much, the calf becomes lean and fails to do much service to the owner.

Similarly, if the kingdom be drained much, the subjects fail to achieve any act that is great. That king who protects his kingdom himself and shows favour to his subjects in the matter of taxes and imposts and supports himself upon what is easily obtained, succeeds in earning many grand results. Does not the king then obtain wealth sufficient for enabling him to cope with his wants The entire kingdom, in that case, becomes to him his treasury, while that which is his treasury becomes his bed chamber. If the inhabitants of the cities and the provinces be poor, the king should, whether they depend upon him immediately or mediately, show them compassion to the best of his power. Chastising all robbers that infest the outskirts, the king should protect the people of his villages and make them happy. The subjects, in the case, becoming sharers of the king's weal and woe, feel exceedingly gratified with him. Thinking, in the first instance, of collecting wealth, the king should repair to the chief centres of his kingdom one after another and endeavour to inspire his people with fright. He should say unto them, Here, calamity threatens us. A great danger has arisen in consequence of the acts of the foe.

There is every reason, however, to hope that the danger will pass away, for the enemy, like a bamboo that has flowered, will very soon meet with destruction. Many foes of mine, having risen up and combined with a large number of robbers, desire to put our kingdom into difficulties, for meeting with destruction themselves. In view of this great calamity fraught with dreadful danger, I solicit your wealth for devising the means of your protection. When the danger passes away, I will give you what I now take. Our foes, however, will not give back what they if unopposed will take from you by force. On the other hand if unopposed, they will even slay all your relatives beginning with your very spouses. You certainly desire wealth for the sake of your children and wives. I am glad at your prosperity, and I beseech you as I would my own children. I shall take from you what it may be within your power to give me. I do not wish to give pain to any one.

In seasons of calamity, you should, like strong bulls, bear such burthens. In seasons of distress, wealth should not be so dear to you. A king conversant with the considerations relating to Time should, with such agreeable, sweet, and complimentary words, send his agents and collect imposts from his people. Pointing out to them the necessity of repairing his fortifications and of defraying the expenses of his establishment and other heads, inspiring them with the fear of foreign invasion, and impressing them with the necessity that exists for protecting them and enabling them to ensure the means of living in peace, the king should levy imposts upon the Vaisyas of his realm. If the king disregards the Vaisyas, they become lost to him, and abandoning his dominions remove themselves to the woods. The king should, therefore, behave with leniency towards them. The king, O son of Pritha, should always conciliate and protect the Vaisyas, adopt measures for inspiring them with a sense of security and for ensuring them in the enjoyment of what they possess, and always do what is agreeable to them. The king, O Bharata, should always act in such a way towards the Vaisyas that their productive powers may be enhanced. The Vaisyas increase the strength of a kingdom, improve its agriculture, and develop its trade. A wise king, therefore, should always gratify them.

Acting with heedfulness and leniency, he should levy mild imposts upon them. It is always easy to behave with goodness towards the Vaisyas. There is nothing productive of greater good to a kingdom, O Yudhishthira, then the adoption of such behaviour towards the Vaisyas of the realm.


Study document on life of Pandu, Dhritarashtra, Pandavas and KAurvas

For helping script writers of Swastic Pictures, I had created a study document. This will be helpful for writers who are planning novels on the life of Pandavas and Kaurvas and their parents. It will also be useful for script wiriters working on TV serials or Movies on similar topics.


(Along with the original text, info from all possible scriptures & also your analysis on the same)

How did pandu get the shrap??

KMG Mbh:
When he shot a deer united with Sage Kindama, Kindama gave him the curse.
Pandu While roaming about in the woods on the southern slopes of the Himavat that teemed with deer and wild animals of fierce disposition, saw a large deer, that seemed to be the leader of a herd, serving his mate. Beholding the animals, the monarch pierced them both with five of his sharp and swift arrows winged with golden feathers. That was no deer that Pandu struck at, but a Rishi's son of great ascetic merit who was enjoying his mate in the form of a deer. Pierced by Pandu, while engaged in the act of intercourse, he fell down to the ground, uttering cries that were of a man

Original Sanskrit Verses:-

rājā pāṇḍur mahāraṇye mṛgavyālaniṣevite
vane maithuna kālasthaṃ dadarśa mṛgayūthapam
6 tatas tāṃ ca mṛgīṃ taṃ ca rukmapuṅkhaiḥ supatribhiḥ
nirbibheda śarais tīkṣṇaiḥ pāṇḍuḥ pañcabhir āśugaiḥ
7 sa ca rājan mahātejā ṛṣiputras tapodhanaḥ
bhāryayā saha tejasvī mṛgarūpeṇa saṃgataḥ
8 saṃsaktas tu tayā mṛgyā mānuṣīm īrayan giram
kṣaṇena patito bhūmau vilalāpākulendriyaḥ

This narration shows that Pandu saw the target of his arrows. It was not a Sabda-bhedi (sound-seeking) arrow which was shot without seeing the target. He saw the target and shot it. One confusion we have is that why Pandu considered his target to be large deer. Probably the narrator of Mahabharata interchanged the sexes, to make us think that what Pandu saw was a sage disguised as a large male deer. So the actual narration would have been a large deer serving her mate rather than a large deer serving his mate. Or it could be that the sage disguised as a deer (probably he fitted the horns of a male deer on his head and covered his body with deer skin) so that an onlooker from far away will consider him to be a deer. Probably Pandu recognized the sage's disguise and struck him with arrows purposefully.

Where his wives present then?

KGM Mbh: No

Any new take on the rishi kindam episode (Details are in this link) (Only mention of the name Kindama in KMG Mbh):- I am a Muni of the name of Kindama, possessed of ascetic merit.

Kindama – a sage chosen for Niyoga by Pandu; Bhima born to Kunti through Kindama this way. Later, during hunting deer Pandu notices the dark side of Kindama (bestiality with deer) and killed him in anger. He curses Pandu. Due to turn of fate Pandu killed as if the curse is getting materialized. The act was done by Sakuni’s spies or relatives of Kindama; or both together. In the process, Madri too got murdered along with Pandu.

Original KMG Mbh Text:-
One day Pandu, while roaming about in the woods on the southern slopes of the Himavat that teemed with deer and wild animals of fierce disposition, saw a large deer, that seemed to be the leader of a herd, serving his mate. Beholding the animals, the monarch pierced them both with five of his sharp and swift arrows winged with golden feathers. O monarch, that was no deer that Pandu struck at, but a Rishi's son of great ascetic merit who was enjoying his mate in the form of a deer. Pierced by Pandu, while engaged in the act of intercourse, he fell down to the ground, uttering cries that was of a man and began to weep bitterly. The deer then addressed Pandu and said, O king, even men that are slaves to lust and wrath, and void of reason, and ever sinful, never commit such a cruel act as this. Individual judgment prevailed not against the ordinance, the ordinance prevaileth against individual judgment. The wise never sanction anything discountenanced by the ordinance. Thou art born, O Bharata, in a race that hath ever been virtuous. How is it, therefore, that even thou, suffering thyself to be overpowered by passion and wrath losest thy reason' Hearing this, Pandu replied, O deer, kings behave in the matter of slaying animals of thy species exactly as they do in the matter of slaying foes. (MY ANALYSIS: SEE, PANDU IS NOT APOLOGETIC HERE BUT SPEAK FULLY CONVINCED ABOUT THE CORRECTNESS OF HIS ACTION)
It behoveth thee not, therefore, to reprove me thus from ignorance. Animals of thy species are slain by open or covert means. This, indeed, is the practice of kings. Then why dost thou reprove me?Formerly, the Rishi Agastya, while engaged in the performance of a grand sacrifice, chased the deer, and devoted every deer in the forest unto the gods in general. Thou hast been slain, pursuant to the usage sanctioned by such precedent. Wherefore reprovest us then? For his especial sacrificesAgastya performed the homa with fat of the deer' The deer then said, O king, men do not let fly their arrows at their enemies when the latter are unprepared. But there is a time for doing it viz, after declaration of hostilities.
Slaughter at such a time is not censurable' Pandu replied, It is well-known that men slay deer by various effective means without regarding whether the animals are careful or careless. Therefore, O deer, why dost thou reprove me' The deer then said, O, king, I did not blame thee for thy having killed a deer, or for the injury thou hast done to me. But, instead of acting so cruelly, thou shouldst have waited till the completion of my act of intercourse. What man of wisdom and virtue is there that can kill a deer while engaged in such an act? The time of sexual intercourse is agreeable to every creature and productive of good to all. O king, with this my mate I was engaged in the gratification of my sexual desire. But that effort of mine hath been rendered futile by thee. O king of the Kurus, as thou art born in the race of the Pauravas ever noted for white virtuous deeds, such an act hath scarcely been worthy of thee.
O Bharata, this act must be regarded as extremely cruel, deserving of universal execration, infamous, and sinful, and certainly leading to hell. Thou art acquainted with the pleasures of sexual intercourse. Thou art acquainted also with the teaching of morality and dictates of duty. Like unto a celestial as thou art, it behoveth thee not to do such an act as leadeth to hell. O best of kings, thy duty is to chastise all who act cruelly, who are engaged in sinful practices and who have thrown to the winds religion, profit, and pleasure as explained in the scriptures. What hast thou done, O best of men, in killing me who have given thee no offence? I am, O king, a Muni who liveth on fruits and roots, though disguised as a deer. I was living in the woods in peace with all. Yet thou hast killed me, O king, for which I will curse thee certainly. As thou hast been cruel unto a couple of opposite sexes, death shall certainly overtake thee as soon as thou feelest the influence of sexual desire.
Original Sanskrit Verse:-
ahaṃ hi kiṃdamo nāma tapasāpratimo muniḥ
vyapatrapan manuṣyāṇāṃ mṛgyāṃ maithunam ācaram
I am a Muni of the name of Kindama, possessed of ascetic merit. I was engaged in sexual intercourse with this deer, because my feelings of modesty did not permit me to indulge in such an act in human society. In the form of a deer I rove in the deep woods in the company of other deer.Thou hast slain me without knowing that I am a Brahmana, the sin of having slain a Brahmana shall not, therefore, be thine. But senseless man, as you have killed me, disguised as a deer, at such a time, thy fate shall certainly be even like mine. When, approaching thy wife lustfully, thou wilt unite with her even as I had done with mine, in that very state shalt thou have to go to the world of the spirits. And that wife of thine with whom thou mayst be united in intercourse at the time of thy death shall also follow thee with affection and reverence to the domains of the king of the dead.Thou hast brought me grief when I was happy. So shall grief come to thee when thou art in happiness' Vaisampayana continued, Saying this, that deer, afflicted with grief gave up the ghost; and Pandu also was plunged in woe at the sight

What was kunti and madri’s take on pandu’s renunciation?

KGM Mbh: They follow the husband as it was their duty.
My analysis:- There was a purpose. They went to forest to begat a good son for Hastinapura by curing Pandu’s impotency and he did not renounce anything. He just spent his holiday in the forest after a tiring war. The original text also supports this since it is clearly mentioned that Pandu had all the luxuries of the city brought to the forest. A little while after, O bull of Bharata's race, Pandu who had achieved a victory over sloth and lethargy, accompanied by his two wives, Kunti and Madri, retired into the woods. Leaving his excellent palace with its luxurious beds, he became a permanent inhabitant of the woods, devoting the whole of his time to the chase of the deer. And fixing his abode in a delightful and hilly region overgrown with huge sala trees, on the southern slope of the Himavat mountains, he roamed about in perfect freedom. The handsome Pandu with his two wives wandered in those woods like Airavata accompanied by two she-elephants. And the dwellers in those woods, beholding the heroic Bharataprince in the company of his wives, armed with sword, arrows, and bow, clad with his beautiful armor, and skilled in all excellent weapons, regarded him as the very god wandering amongst them.And at the command of Dhritarashtra, people were busy in supplying Pandu in his retirement with every object of pleasure and enjoyment.

How was their life in the jungle??

He just spent his holiday in the forest after a tiring war. The original text also supports this since it is clearly mentioned that Pandu had all the luxuries of the city brought to the forest.
It is true that Pandu was attracted to ascetic life by seeing sages in the forest. He also wanted to cross Himalayas and go to northern countries along with sages who were on a pilgrimage. They told him it is dangerous for him and his wives and asked him to get children first. (Person may die trekking Himalayas and so his race may get extinct. Hence anybody who wants to cross Himalayas is advised to have children).

Any attacks any adventures for Pandu??

No, except the Kindama episode.

How was their equation in years in the jungle?

They lived supporting each other. The society was less conservative in those days. Though two women sometimes had jealously each other they don’t express it directly each other but will tell only to Pandu in private, never direct. Often they (Kunti-Madri, Kunti-Pandu, Madri-Pandu) were good friends.

What made kunti tell pandu about the vardan given to her by rishi durwasa?

When Pandu’s treatment for impotency by the sages in the forest seems to have not giving any results, they both thought about Niyoga. Then Kunti told about his encounter with Durvasa. Durvasa’s vardan:- it is actually some seduction mantras in Atharva Veda to attract men.

Why Pandu wanted to have kids and why did he have five he could have stopped at one?

The more the number of children the better in those days as infant mortality was very high then. Also a king (elder brother) should have many brothers so that all of them can support the king / elder brother in adversity. Unlike in Sultanate traditions of Mougals (where uterine brothers compete each other for throne), ancient Indian tradition is such that uterine brothers support an elder brother king against his enemies and was not a threat to the king himself. Eg:- Kumvakarna’s support to Ravana; Lakshmana and Bharata’s support to Rama; Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula & Sahadeva’s support for Yudhisthira; Duhsasana and Vikarna’s support for Duryodhana.

How the kids were born and what were the omens during their birth?

Mbh.1.123 Birth of Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna
Mbh.1.124 Birth of Nakula and Sahadeva

Yudhisthira is compared to Yama Dharma. Please note that Vidura too is compared to the same Yama Dharma. This is a hidden message of Vyasa that Yudhisthira is the son of Vidura.
Bhima is compared to Vayu. The ‘vahan’ of Vayu Dev is deer. Rig Veda often mentions the chariot of Vayu is driven by deers. It is a hint to the Kindama episode. Kindama is mentioned as mating with a deer, probably disguising himself as a deer (may be fitting deer horns and attired in deer skins).
Arjuna is compared to Indra. This is because Pandu was a devotee of Indra. So he likened his son own Arjuna as Indra personified. Arjuna was the biological son of Pandu. Hence there was much celebration when Arjuna was born compared to when Yudhisthira or Bhima was born. Pandavas later chose Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu and his grandson Parikshit as their legal successors.
Nakula and Sahadeva were compared to Aswani Devas, who were twin gods. This is because Nakula and Sahadeva were twins and it was only natural that they were compared to twin gods. The real father of Nakula and Sahadeva was sage Dhaumya who was mentioned as the guardian father of the Pandavas during their 12 year exile in forest. Pandavas were reunited with Dhaumya after house of lac episode, while on their journey towards Panchala to witness the swayamvar of Panchali. They then made Dhaumya their priest.

Describe each god who gave the vardan to kunti and why each of them was selected??

Mbh.1.123 Birth of Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna
Mbh.1.124 Birth of Nakula and Sahadeva

The gods mentioned as the fathers of the Pandavas were only an attribution to glorify their birth. Their real fathers were all humans. It all started as mere comparison of each Pandava with the respective god and later solidified as if these gods fathered them! This is how history transforms into mythology.
Let us examine the gods. All the five gods were Rig Vedic gods, i.e. they were mentioned extensively in Rig Veda, which was highly popular during the life time of Pandu as the primary text of religion. In current society, the Puranas are more prominent than Rig Veda. Today, Puranas assume the role of Rig Veda and wield great influence upon Hindu society. An average Hindu only knows about Puranas and totally confined to Puranic lore. Hence they believe in stories of vardan and shrap as if all of these were true. There are no stories of vardan and shrap in Rig Veda. It contains only pure logical narrations.
Indra is the most prominent god mentioned in Rig Veda. Every Puru–Bharata king during Mahabharata period was a devotee of India and Pandu was not an exception. Agni is second in terms of number of references in Rig Veda. Dhritadyumna and Panchali were described as born of Agni. Vayu comes third. Bhima is considered as born of Vayu. Aswini devas comes next. Nakula and Sahadeva were considered as born of them. Yama is mentioned very little in Rig Veda but was prominent god during the life time of Pandu, perhaps gained more prominence than Indra. Yudhisthira is considered as born of him (so is Vidura).

Kunti’s take on pandu wanting madri to give birth also?

Jealousy and unwillingness in the beginning and final consent.

How was Pandu’s relation with the kids?

A friendly and affectionate father.

Did Madri ever differentiate between hers and kunti’s kids?


How was kunti’s relation with madri’s kids and vice versa?

Never any hostility to the kids; Equation with Madri depends on mood and fluctuates; But she never show any displeasure to Madri nor Madri show it to Kunti directly; such things were told only to Pandu who act as a buffer who never transmit this negative feelings to the other side. Full support in danger and during her death;

Did any point of time during the vanvas kunti madri happen to meet gandhari?

Never as per KMG Mbh.

How did the Pandu die?
Due to the fulfillment of curse: - The original text will make us believe it was like a heart attack. My analysis: - by arrows shot by enemies. This is the only way he will die exactly like Kindama died. Kindama was died of arrows shot by Pandu and Pandu dies the same death.

Six months after the birth of Nakula and Sahadeva, when Pandu's second wife Madri became capable of begetting another son she approached Pandu. She might have wanted one more son so that she would get three sons, thus she would be equal to Kunti in number of sons. It was not the only reason. She knew that Arjuna was Pandu's original son born to Kunti. She might have wanted a similar son from Pandu, apart from Nakula and Sahadeva born through Niyoga. Pandu might have agreed to it. During his intercourse with Madri Pandu dies mysteriously. Mbh.1.125:- And the Kuru king Pandu, of virtuous soul, thus succumbed to the inevitable influence of Time, while united in intercourse with his wife.

What was madri’s state?
Madri was in a state of shock. It was an unexpected attack. Pandu died instantly due to the attack. Madri lived to speak a few words to Kunti. She asked Kunti to take care of her sons. As per my analysis her sons Nakula and Sahadeva were then six month old toddlers. Hence I rule out the possibility that Madri will abandon those infants and chose to enter funeral pyre of Pandu. No sane women will do that. Psychologically, woman’s affection towards her sons, especially infants who were breast-fed, will be several times higher than her affection towards her husband, especially towards a husband shared with another woman. She was mortally wounded by the same attack that took the life of Pandu). Soon after uttering these last words Madri died.

She committed sati? How does dharma explain her act?

Never! Madra kingdom’s culture was liberal like the European culture of today. She will never commit Sati. (My personal appeal: I would recommend you send this message to audience as it helps stop promoting Sati.) KMG Mbh: also has verses describing how two dead bodies (Pandu’s and Madri’s) were carried to Hastinapura. This is same in original Sanskrit text as well. This clearly indicates she never committed Sati. The ascetics set out that very moment, taking with them those children and Kunti and the two dead bodies.
Of course several verses were later added to make us believe that something like Sati happened.
This “Sati business” was probably added by later editors of Mahabharata, to glorify the custom of Sati. We didn't see Vichitravirya's wives Amvika and Amvalika killing themselves after the death of their husband. Nor did Satyavati die after her husband Santanu's death. There is no chance Kunti will allow Madri to die, while Madri's twin sons (Nakula and Sahadeva) were only six months old babies. Nor will Madri herself think to leave her six month old sons in the hands of Kunti and then commit suicide by jumping into the funeral pyre of her dead husband. May be these stories were scrupulously believed by people till 20th century. Not anymore in 21st century.

What were the last exchange of words between kunti and madri? Was kunti angry with madri?

Madri to Kunti:- Thou wilt certainly bring up the children carefully. That indeed, would be very agreeable to me. I have no other direction to give.

Was madri ashamed of her act?

No. She did not do anything a wife and husband shall not do.

Finally how did the final rituals occur?

Possibility 1:-
Dead bodies of Pandu and Madri were carried to Hastinapura. There they were cremated with proper rites.
Possibility 2:- (This is more likely the case).
Dead bodies of Pandu and Madri were cremated at the forest. The un-burnt remains (bones etc) were carried to Hastinapura where they were further cremated with proper rites.


Vidur’s marriage??

Vidura's marriage with the daughter of Devaka occurred soon after Pandu's marriage with Kunti. That was the third year since Pandu ascended the throne. By the time Pandu left to forest to cure his impotency (first half of the fifth year), Vidura became a successful father after two and a half years of married life. By the time Pandu was contemplating about the route of Niyoga for obtaining children, Vidura's married life was three years old and he was a father of two children. Mbh.1.114:-Vidura begot upon her (daughter of king Devaka) many children like unto himself in accomplishments.

Though Mahabharata discussed the marriage of Dhritatashtra and Pandu, it reserved only a few words to describe the marriage of Vidura, who is believed to be born to a Sudra (servant of Ambika) women by Vyasa.Mbh.1.114:- The son of the ocean-going Ganga heard that king Devaka had a daughter endued with youth and beauty and begotten upon a Sudra wife. Bringing her from her father's abode, Bhishma married her to Viduraof great wisdom. And Vidura begot upon her many children like unto himself in accomplishments.

Who was Devaka? Mahabharata contain very less information about Devaka. This name appears only three times in Mahabharata. However in Bhagavata we learn that Devaka was a Yadava king like Surasena, Sura andKuntibhoja. Krishna's mother Devaki is believed to be the daughter of the same Devaka. This makes Krishna and Vidura remote cousins, apart from the strong friendship they shared with each other. Krishna's role as a young statesman of Surasena and Dwaraka kingdoms and Vidura's role as a statesman of the Kuru kingdom too brought them closer. Subsequently Krishna became a statesman for the Pandavas at Indraprastha, whom Vidura too supported which brought these two intellectuals further close.

How was he coping as King? Any attacks, any incidents where his kingship/Kingdom was threatened??

No attacks. But he was worried that he is not having a male child. His whole activity those days was in plotting how to get a male child much before Pandu had one. Sakuni obviously helped him there.

Was shakuni present in the kingdom post Pandu leaving??

Yes. He was helping Dhritarashtra beget a male child earlier than Pandu beget one. To maximize the chances he encouraged the king to have children upon as many as women possible. He brought beautiful Dasi women from Gandhara to Dhritarashtra.

Bhishm’s take on the changing Dhritrashtra and his proximity to Shakuni??

Bishma was a setting sun in the politics of Hastinapura while Sakuni was a rising sun. Bhishma’s influence on politics was getting reduced. He was reduced to the commander in chief position (which he obviously was). Sakuni gained prominence by being close to Dhritarastra and influenced him in all respect. Bhishma was not happy but he could do nothing.

Gandhari’s pregnancy lasted for how many months and for how many days where the lumps buried in the ground??

My analysis: Gandhari’s pregnancy lasted for 11 months.
KMG Mahabharata:- Gandhari’s pregnancy lasted for 2 years; and 2 years buried in jars filled with butter. (Not buried in ground).
The next half of the year too Pandu could not beget a child in his two wives while staying in the forest. That would be the end of the fifth year. By this time Gandhari should have given birth to a child. Who was that child? Was it the ball of flesh mentioned in Mahabharata? I guess not. I presume it was a girl. It was Duhsala! Probably this news might have given Pandu a new hope. Since it was a girl, Dhritarashtra might have wanted another child quickly. Hence, by the start of the sixth year, another child started developing inside Gandhari. Pandu then urged his wife Kunti to beget children through the practice of Niyoga. Kunti became pregnant through Niyoga, while Gandhari's second pregnancy was probably two months old. By the end of the sixth year Yudhisthira was born to Kunti by Niyoga. Around the same time Gandhari should have given birth to another child. What happened? Since Gandhari became pregnant again soon before a healthy gap of three to six months since her first pregnancy, it would have been a complicated pregnancy right from the beginning. This could be the case of a prolonged pregnancy (pregnancy beyond 42 weeks i.e. beyond 9 months and 3 weeks). It is a known fact that on rare occasions pregnancy may prolong beyond ten months. It is possible that Kunti's pregnancy was a short but healthy one (37 weeks or 8 months and 3 weeks). Gandhari's pregnancy on the other hand might have prolonged to 11 months. When the news came that Kunti's child Yudhishthira was born, Gandhari might have stuck her stomach hard making a forced delivery. What came out was the lump of flesh as mentioned in Mahabharata. The reason for this prolonged pregnancy could be due to this deformity of the baby. This complication probably arose due to the unhealthy conception of the second child soon after the first child (Duhsala) was born, Gandhari's anxiety, her urge to give birth to the next heir for the throne before Kunti delivers a child, anxiety of husband Dhritarashtra and his (and probably also brother Sakuni's) constant persuasion to get a male child to sit in the throne of Hastinapura.
While Pandu was ready to leave the palace, it is highly likely that Gandhari had advanced in pregnancy. Probably she had a six month old pregnancy. This could be the reason why while leaving the palace Pandu chose to give the throne to Dhritarashtra, till he returns back. It was a temporary transfer of power. A conditional transfer. Because he knew that when he remained childless, his brother already had a six month old baby though in the womb of its mother. There is a high probability that this baby was a boy. If yes, then that baby is the next king of Hastinapura. But there is a chance that that baby was a girl. Then Pandu still had a chance to retain the throne of Hastinapura to his own lineage.

Dhritrashtra equation with Gandhari during the prolonged pregnancy?

Dhritarashtra wanted to see a male child born to her. But he was disappointed every time this was not materialized. First child was a female (Duhsala) and the second child got aborted after a long pregnancy. Now this put tremendous pressure on Dhritarashtra. So when Gandhari was conceived for the third time (Duryodhana) Dhritarashtra took no chances and chose to beget children upon Gandhari’s Vaisya Dasi. This son was Yuyutsu and he was born a few months after Duryodhana was born to Gandhari.
Dhritarashtra’s equation with Gandhari: He put a lot of pressure on Gandhari to deliver a male child. This stress on Gandhari also contributed to her failed second pregnancy leading to the delivery of the lump of flesh after a prolonged (approx. 11 months) pregnancy period.

What was Gandhari’s reaction to yudhister’s birth and how exactly did the lump come out

When the news of Yudhisthira’s birth reached Gandhari, she was terribly disappointed. She knew that she lost the race to beget the next heir to sit at the throne of Hastinapur. She was disappointed she could not give Dhritarashtra a male child, before Kunti delivered a male child for Pandu. Due to this tremendous disappointment she struck her stomach with great force and her failed pregnancy came out as a lump of flesh.
The lump of flesh came out exactly as babies come out during a delivery.

What were Dhritrashtra’s reaction to this news and his reaction towards Gandhari?

When the news of Yudhisthira’s birth reached Dhritarashtra his reaction was the same as that of Gandhari. He was terribly disappointed. He obviously did not spare Gandhari and expressed his displeasure. But the couple hoped that they will get a male child in the next delivery and started working for that after a few months gap. But now Dhritarashtra was not very sure that he will get a male child from Gandhari and while she was pregnant for a few months he started searching for other mates to beget children.

Who was the woman Dhritrashtra fathered yuyutusu with? Was she a royal, Viaishaya class or dasi? If she was dasi then was she Gandhari’s dasi?

She was a dasi of Gandhari and belonged to the Vaisya class. (A queen can have Dasis belonging to Kshatriya, Vaisya or Sudra class).
Mahabharata clearly mentions the following at Mbh.1.115 about the birth of Yuyutsu:-
During the time when Gandhari was in a state of advanced pregnancy, there was a maid servant of the Vaisya class who used to attend on Dhritarashtra. During that year was begotten upon her by the illustrious Dhritarashtra a son endued with great intelligence who was afterwards named Yuvutsu. And because he was begotten by a Kshatriya upon a Vaisya woman, he came to be called Karna.
I find no problem in accepting this information at face value. But we saw that Gandhari became pregnant five times. Which was the pregnancy in which time Dhritarashta beget Yuyutsu upon the Vaisya women? I guess it was during the third pregnancy when Gandhari was carrying Duryodhana in his womb. Thus Yuyutsu was born as second son of Dhritarashtra after Duryodhana and before Duhsasana. This is also confirmed by references in Mahabharata. Probably Dhritarashtra felt insecurity since Gandhari delivered a girl in her first delivery and a lump of flesh in her second delivery. Perhaps he wanted to increase the chances of getting a son while Gandhari was carrying Duryodhana in her third pregnancy. Perhaps he was never sure a healthy baby would be ever born to her and that baby, if at all healthy, would be a son. Apart from this, Dhritarashtra might have compared himself with Pandu who had two wives. Hence Pandu had chances to beget more children in a shorter duration. He might have wanted to be equal to Pandu in terms of the number of wives. But unlike Pandu, Dhritarashta was blind and even though he was then the temporary king of Hastinapura , no king in any kingdom will give their daughters to him in marriage. Hence he opted to beget a child in the Vaisya servant of Gandhari. Thus was Yuyutsu born as the second son of Dhritarashtra. Among all the sons born to Dhritarashtra, upon women other than Gandhari, he was the eldest. Among all sons of Dhritarashtra only Duryodhana was elder than him.

Gandhari’s reaction to this woman?

She was sad but finally accepted her. In those days kings engaged in such practices and begetting children especially sons were very important for them. Apart from this, since her own brother Sakuni supported Dhritarashtra and helped him beget even more children by bringing more dasis from Gandhara, she lost all voices of opposition.

Bhishm, satyavati, Shakuni’s reaction towards the birth of Yudhister?

Bishma and Satyavati were happy as a son is born to Pandu the chosen king. It was Bhishma and Satyavati who appointed Pandu as the king. They wanted Pandu’s son to sit in the throne of Hastinapur after him, also taking into consideration the good character of Pandu compared to that of Dhritarashtra, apart from Dhritarashtra’s blindness. Sakuni was unhappy since his plans foiled. He already was close to Dhritarashtra and wanted Dhritarashtra’s son to sit in the throne of Hastinapur as it will secure his political future in Hastinapur.

Did bhishm or Satyavati make any attempt to get the Pandavs to Hastinapur..??

No. Why should they? Pandu was enjoying his holiday there and secretly undergoing treatment to cure his impotency. This was an official secret known to the royals but unkonwn to the public. They expected that Pandu and family will come back after their tasks were completed.

Did they ever attempt to meet Pandav’s in the forest and why if they didn’t??

They were free to visit Pandu in forest. Mahabharata indicates that. He has not shunned any luxury. All objects of luxury were brought to them. However there are no references to indicate that big people, the royals (meaning Bhisma, Gandhari etc) visited them, rather than their messengers.

Did shakuni plan any attack on Pandu and family in the forest post this news??

Yes. This is pretty much the result of my whole research in this subject. Sakuni has a role in murdering Pandu with his wife Madri. He could be the one who propagated the curse-story (Shrap – Shapa). It is supported by the fact that he again planned to murder the Pandavas and Kunti who was left over (after they came to Hastinapura and grew up). Thus, you see, the whole family (Pandu, Madri, Kunti and the five Pandavas) were subjected to murder attempts. Kunti and Pandavas survived but Pandu and Madri succumbed to it. That is the core historical aspect of Mahabharata.

Its mentioned somewhere that Satyvati leaves with Vyas post Pandu’s and madri’s cremation??

Yes. After the cremation ceremony of Pandu, Satyavati renounced palace life and went to forest along with Amvika and Amvalika.

Entry of Vedvyas and how he helped in solving the mystery of lump..

Myth:- Vyas helped the lump to grow into 100 sons through some sort of magic (cutting the lump into 100 pieces and keeping them in jars filled with clarified butter and water). Scientific explanation:- it was some sort of bio-engineering. My alternate explanation: - nothing magical happened. The 100 sons were different sons of Dhritarastra upon different women (Dasis from Gandhara who were Kshatriyas and Vaisyas).

I believe all the stories of Shraap and Vardan were added to Mahabharata by later redactors in the style of Puranas and during the periods when Puranas were written.

Explain the birth of Duryodhan, bad omen and respective reactions from everyone in the family, other educated councilors?

Bad omens included the howling of donkeys and asses etc.
It is mentioned that when Duryodhana was born many evil omens occurred. I guess it is an allusion to the inauspicious second delivery of Gandhari, that resulted in the birth of the ball of flesh. Some myth-makers allied to the Pandavas probably made use of this event, by saying that Duryodhana was born from this ball of flesh. The full two years of wait-period mentioned as required for the pieces of flesh in each pot to become babies, is probably the two (and a half) years of gap between the birth of Duhsala and Duryodhana, on account of the abnormal pregnancy and delivery in between Duhsala and Duryodhana. Apart from this, if we take this 2 year period at face-value, this will make Duryodhana, younger than Bhima, which is not true. Then what is the explanation for the two long years of pregnancy of Gandhari which ended in the delivery of the ball of flesh? It was probably an exaggeration of Gandhari's prolonged pregnancy (which could have lasted around 11 months).

Birth of duhshala and her story?

Mbh.1.115:- Within a month, were born a full hundred sons unto Dhritarashtra and a daughter also in excess of this hundred. Mbh.1.116:- Here is one part in excess of the hundred, intended for giving thee a daughter's son. This part shall develop into an amiable and fortunate daughter.
Based on the references mentioned above, the reader may point out that Duhsala is mentioned as youngest of all the hundred Kauravas as per Mahabharata. I guess if we can reject the myth that all the Kauravas were born from the ball of flesh divided into a hundred parts and Duhsala was born from the remnant portion, we can as well reject the information that Duhsala was the youngest. There is no reference in Mahabharata were Duhsala is addressed as a younger sister by any of the Kauravas. On the contrary, there are several references in Mahabharata where Duhsala is referred by Arjuna as an elder sister. One may argue that Arjuna was younger to Duhsala, since the 100 Kauravas and Duhsala were born within 2 years and 30 days and so all of them were elder to Arjuna. But this also depends on the myth of the division of the ball of flesh and the gestation (after 2 years) of 101 babies from it within a month. Apart from this, Mahabharata has two references where Duhsala is not mentioned as the youngest, but as the fifth in number. At Mbh.1.67 andMbh.1.117 we have Duhsala, mentioned as the 5th among the list:- Duryodhana, Yuyutsu, Duhsasana, Duhsaha, Duhsala, , …… But at Mbh.1.117 after mentioning the names of all the Kauravas (which include names of Duhsala and Yuyutsu), Duhsala is mentioned again like this:- Besides these hundred sons, there was a daughter named Duhsala. She was then married to Jayadratha the king of Sindhu. I assume this Duhsala to be the eldest offspring of Dhritarashta.
Original Sanskrit Verse:-
18 duḥśalāṃ samaye rājā sindhurājāya bhārata
jayadrathāya pradadau saubalānumate tadā
Pandu spent the first year after becoming king in reorganizing his kingdom and army. In the second year he marched to Dasarna and defeated that kingdom. In the same year he married Kunti and returned to Hastinapura. Leaving Kunti there he immediately set forth for the second expedition towards east. The third year he spent for this military expedition reaching up to Suhma and Pundrain the eastern sea shore (Bay of Bangal in Bangladesh). Most of the fourth year was spent with Kunti. Since he remained childless Bhishma made him marry Madri towards the end of the fourth year. Dhritarashtra remained bachelor for all these four years. Had he married Gandhari before Pandu married Kunti, he would already have had three to four years to beget a child and Duryodhana would have been born before Yudhisthira. This is not true. Hence Dhritarashtra married Gandhari when Pandu married Madri. Gandhari soon became pregnant, but Kunti and Madri remained childless. Pandu might have left to the forest when Gandhari's pregnancy reached six months. That was the first half of the fifth year since Pandu ascended the throne.
The next half of the year too Pandu could not beget a child in his two wives while staying in the forest. That would be the end of the fifth year. By this time Gandhari should have given birth to a child. Who was that child? Was it the ball of flesh mentioned in Mahabharata? I guess not. I presume it was a girl. It was Duhsala!
She was later married to Jayadratha and this happens while the Pandavas and Kauravas were students of Kripa and Drona. This indicates that Duhsala was much elder to both Pandavas and Kauravas. There is zero reference in Mahabharata where any among the Kauravas or Pandavas address her as a younger sister. But there are plenty adressing her as elder sister (especially Arjuna) in Aswamedha Parva.

Pandavas in their Childhood

My Analysis:- The five Pandavas stay in forest was very short. After the death of their father Pandu, they immediately left forest when Yudhisthira was around 4 years old, Bhima 2.5, Arjuna 1 years and the twins 6 to 7 months old. Hence I am considering Pandavs life in Hastinapur as well (along with their Kaurava brothers), as in the short period of life in forest no characteristics of any of them has emerged.

Describe each Pandav and their character? (Grown up Yudhisthira)
Yudhisthira as a child was calm and composed. He had a sharp sense of right and wrong. He always tried to find good in others. He took care of his brothers as if he was their father, though he was not very elder to them (just 2 to 5 years elder). He probably was trying to fill in the gaps of their deceased father. He was also good at resolving disputes when ever it arose between Bhima and Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva or Bhima and Duryodhana. He was charming. He was attracted to beauty. He liked luxury though in mature life he shunned it due to the ability to control his mind. He had typical Libran character (trying to love everybody and loosing themselves). (Grown up Bhima)
Bhima as a child was very bold and adventurous. His body was very strong. He was sometimes very mischievous and he was often a bully. He sometimes does mischief to his younger brothers viz. Arjuna and the growing twins but also was affectionate to them. He behaved the same way with Duryodhana. He bullied Duryodhana but also was affectionate to him. But Duryodhana considered Bhima’s childhood acts as the acts of an enemy especially due to the influence of Sakuni who did not like him mingling with the Pandavas and always tried to keep the Kauravas at a distance from the Pandavas.
It is also suspected that when Bhima was born, Kunti underwent some psychological issues so that she could not bond well with the infant Bhima. There was an incidence of infant Bhima falling off from Kunti’s hands during their forest life. Fortunately nothing happened to Bhima. This physiological trauma was probably because Kunti did not like her interaction with the person (Kindama) who was responsible for the birth of Bhima. Kunti however makes up this lack of proper affection towards Bhima in his infancy after he grew up to a child of age of 3 and 4. Now, Kunti will feed Bhima first than any other of her five sons (sons of Madri included). Bhima was to Kunti, what Krishna was to Yasoda. He became Kunti’s ‘Laadla’, ‘Natkhat’, ‘Makhan Chor’. Bhima took the larger share of food given to children. The larger share of food Bhima took also contributed to his strong body.
Bhima was of a typical Leo character, with a childhood innocence, extremely loyal to power (in his case to his brother Yudhisthira), but powerful and a leader himself, all the while a lion or tempest to his opponents. (Grown up Arjuna)
Arjuna as a child was a sharp boy. He was more interested in learning than in playing. His quick grasping ability leads to his mastery of archery in childhood ages. His studious attitude got him the affection of grandfather Bhishma who saw a great archer in him and also his preceptor’s viz. Kripa and Drona. Thus while Bhima was the pyari baccha of his mother (infact mothers viz. Kunti and Gandhari), Arjuna was the pyari baccha of his teachers and his grandfather.
Arjuna’s charecteristics was that of a Sagittarian (studious, sharp, energetic, with some leadership qualities as well). (Grown up Nakula)
Nakula as a child was the most beautiful among the five Pandavas. He got all the beauty of his mother Madri and all the genes of the Bahlikas (westerners:- people beyond Punjab. As per the theory of Srikant Talageri, it was the same people who later migrated to further west into Europe and spread Indo-Aryan language there). (It won’t be an exaggeration if you (Swastik-Pictures) characterize Nakula with blue eyes and Caucasian features.) He later grew into most handsome among all the five Pandavas.
Nakula sometimes bonded with Bhima.
Nakula and Sahadeva were the recipient of affection of several people including their mothers and brothers. They had the characteristics of Geminies (intelligent, childlike and cheerful).
Sahadeva as a child was a second Arjuna. Sahadeva followed the footsteps of Arjuna and became studious even in childhood. In later life we know he became the scientist among the five Pandavas with great knowledge in sword fight, astronomy, astrology and South Indian geography (geography of India to the south of Vindhya Ranges). He had the same genes of Madri and was indeed very beautiful though it was Nakula who was more handsome than him and became famous as the most beautiful.
Nakula and Sahadeva were the recipient of affection of several people including their mothers and brothers. They had the characteristics of Gemini’s (intelligent, childlike and cheerful).

The difference of age between each pandav?

The gap between Yudhisthira and Bhima was 1.5 years; that between Bhima and Arjuna was 1.5 years. Gap between Arjuna and the twins was 8 months. Gap between Duryodhana and Duhsasana was 1.5 years and gap between Duhsasana and Vikarna was 1.5 years.
Based on my detail analysis the table of Kauravas and Pandavas is as follows:-

Duhsala 0.00
Yudhisthira 1.00
Ball of Flesh 1.01
Duryodhana 2.50
Bhima 2.51
Yuyutsu Other-Kauravas 2.75
Duhsasana Other-Kauravas 4.00
Arjuna Other-Kauravas 4.01
Nakula, Sahadeva Other-Kauravas 4.70
Vikarna Other-Kauravas 5.50

The omens /akashwani/blessings that each god bestowed on the kids when born??

My analysis rules out ‘akashwani/blessings’ etc as real. These are added later as part of glorification of heroes. In those days, it was a custom to glorify the birth of every hero with unusual happenings. These songs of glorifications were created by bards and story-tellers to get gifts and favors from the heroes / kings. These were often sung in praise in the court of the king or while the heroes are engaged in battles.
Having said that, these are the omens/ akashwanis/blessings mentioned in original text:-

Kunti summoned Yama (god of justice) to obtain offspring from him. And she offered without loss of time, sacrifices unto the god and began to duly repeat the formula that Durvasa had imparted to her some time before. Then the god, overpowered by her incantations, arrived at the spot where Kunti was seated in his car resplendent as the Sun.Smiling, he asked, O Kunti, what am I to give thee'
And Kunti too smiling in her turn, replied, Thou must even give me offspring' Then the handsome Kunti was united in intercourse with the god of justice in his spiritual form and obtained from him a son devoted to the good of all creatures. And she brought his excellent child, who lived to acquire a great fame, at the eighth Muhurta called Abhijit, of the hour of noon of that very auspicious day of the seventh month Kartika, viz, the fifth of the lighted fortnight, when the star Jyeshtha in conjunction with the moon was ascendant. And as soon as the child was born, an incorporeal voice from the skies said, This child shall be the best of men, the foremost of those that are virtuous.Endued with great prowess and truthful in speech, he shall certainly be the ruler of the earth. And this first child of Pandu shall be known by the name of Yudhishthira. Possessed of prowess and honesty of disposition, he shall be a famous king, known throughout the three worlds'

Kunti invoked Vayu. And the mighty god of wind, thus invoked, came unto her, riding upon a deer, and said, What, O Kunti, am I to give thee? Tell me what is in thy heart Smiling in modesty, she said to him, Give me, O best of celestials, a child endued with great strength and largeness of limbs and capable of humbling the pride of every body' The god of wind thereupon begat upon her the child afterwards known as Bhima of mighty arms and fierce prowess. And upon the birth of that child endued with extraordinary strength, an incorporeal voice, O Bharata, as before, said, This child shall be the foremost of all endued with strength'
I must tell you, O Bharata, of another wonderful event occurred after the birth of Bhima. While he fell from the lap of his mother upon the mountain breast, the violence of the fall broke into fragments the stone upon which he fell without his infant body being injured in the least. And he fell from his mother's lap because Kunti, frightened by a tiger, had risen up suddenly, unconscious of the child that lay asleep on her lap. And as she had risen, the infant, of body hard as the thunderbolt, falling down upon the mountain breast, broke into a hundred fragments the rocky mass upon which he fell. And beholding this, Pandu wondered much.
My Analysis:- See this second para:- It describes the body strength of Bhima but hidden in the lines is the physiological stress of Kunti who caused his infant baby to fall. In reality a mother will cling her baby close to herself upon the presence of a danger. This indicates she was suffering from psychological stress after the birth of Bhima.


The Kuru king Pandu, taking counsel with the great Rishis commanded Kunti to observe an auspicious vow for one full year, while he himself commenced, O Bharata, to stand upon one leg from morning to evening, and practise other severe austerities with mind rapt in meditation, for gratifying the lord of the celestials.
It was after a long time that Indra gratified with such devotion approached Pandu and, addressing him, said, I shall give thee, O king, a son who will be celebrated all over the three worlds…

Kunti, thus addressed by her lord, invoked Sakra the king of the gods who thereupon came unto her and begat him that was afterwards called Arjuna.
And as soon as this child was born, an incorporeal voice, loud and deep as that of the clouds and filling the whole welkin, distinctly said, addressing Kunti in the hearing of every creature dwelling in that asylum, This child of thine, O Kunti, will be equal unto Kartavirya in energy and Siva in prowess.Invincible like Sakra himself he will spread thy fame far and wide. As Vishnu the youngest of Aditi'ssons had enhanced Aditi's joy, so shall this child enhance thy joy. Subjugating the Madras, theKurus along with the Somakas, and the people of Chedi, Kasi and Karusha, he will maintain the prosperity of the Kurus. Surfeited with libations at the sacrifice of king Swetaketu, Agni will derive great gratification from the fat of all creatures dwelling in the Khandava woods to be burnt down by the might of this one's arms. This mighty hero, vanquishing all the effeminate monarchs of the earth, will, with his brothers perform three great sacrifices. In prowess, O Kunti, he will be even asJamadagnya or Vishnu. The foremost of all men endued with prowess, he will achieve great fame. He will gratify in battle by his heroism Sankara, the god of gods Mahadeva, and will receive from him the great weapon named Pasupata. This thy son of mighty arms will also slay, at the command of Indra, those Daityas called the Nivatakavachas who are the enemies of the gods.


He will also acquire all kinds of celestial weapons, and this bull among men will also retrieve the fortunes of his race' Kunti heard these extraordinary words, while lying in the room. And hearing those words uttered so loudly, the ascetics dwelling on the mountain of a hundred peaks, and the celestials with Indra sitting in their cars, became exceedingly glad.

The sounds of the invisible drum filled the entire welkin. There were shouts of joy, and the whole region was covered with flowers showered down by invisible agents. The various tribes of celestials assembled together, began to offer their respectful adorations to the son of Pritha. The sons of Kadru Nagas, the son of Vinata, the Gandharvas, the lords of the creation, and the seven great Rishis, ……..
For full list of all the people of the world who assembled there see this passage:-

Nakula and Sahadeva
Madri thought of the twin Aswins, who coming unto her with speed begat upon her two sons that were twins named Nakula and Sahadeva, unrivalled on earth for personal beauty. And as soon as they were born, an incorporeal voice said, In energy and beauty these twins shall transcend even the twin Aswins themselves' Indeed possessed of great energy and beauty, they illumined the whole region.

Their growing years in the forest, i.e. education, adventures if any?

As I said, their life in forest was short. It was only 4 years for Yudhisthira, 2.5 years for Bhima, 1 year for Arjuna and 6 months for the twins. They were taken care of their mothers and got the affection of their father Pandu. May be they interacted with the tiger cubs, rabbit babies and deer babies in the forest. This will be good for televisation.

Incidence that made the bond of the five brothers

As I said, Yudhisthira was a ‘I will take care of you’ boy or brother for all. Bhima was little mischievous and caused some trouble to Arjuna and to the six month old twins when ever Kunti or Madri was not around. But he had great affection for them and never dangerously harmed them. When grew up Nakula liked to be with Bhima and Sahadeva with Arjuna. Yushisthira bonded with all as a self-appointed father-boy.

Its mentioned that Pandav while in forest learnt a bit of warfare with king shukh..Explain??

Not mentioned in KMG Mahabharata. I checked the critical edition it is not found there as well. After all they were too small to be initiated in warfare. They learned it along with their Kaurava brothers in Hastinapur. First teacher was Kripa, next came Drona. When Yudhisthira was 6 they started getting Vedic education. When Yudhisthira was 12 they started getting military education. Then the Pandavas were aged between 12 and 8.

Did Yaduvanshis ( kunit’s family) ever sent any purohits to the forest for pandavas education?

No. It is not in Mahabharata. It is not in KMG and critical editions. It is probably from Bhagavata which is not accurate in describing the life of Pandavas since too much importance is given to Yaduvanshis in it. Bhagavata is a Purana (past-history) and its narrations cannot be trusted as those in Mahabharata which is an Itihasa (contemporary-history).

What the kids feeling about Pandu’s sudden death? How much information they had as to how did he die?

The scene of death of Pandu and Madri was awful for any kids to watch. Madri who had some life left in her shouted Kunti not to bring children closer to the scene. Hence only Kunti aproached the dead Pandu and the dying Madri. Madri asked Kunti to take care of her breast feeding six month old twin babies and died. Like in any family where traumatic incidents are filtered from the kids here also Kunti filtered much information about the violent death of their father and one of their mothers from the kids. May be only the 4 year old Yudhisthira could understand something. But Bhima, Arjun and the twins understood nothing.
Kunti could have guessed that it was the ploy of Sakuni but she kept quite and simply allowed the curse-story about the death of the Pandu to propagate or never questioned it, assuming that the assasination of her husband and Madri was planned by him and the curse story too was planted by him. She might have feared, if she resisted or questioned Sakuni she and her young sons too might have got killed by Sakuni. So probably Kunti never told anything to anybody till the Pandavas grew up and became stronger and thus safer to defend any injury from Sakuni


Pandavas and Kauravas had their education togather in Hastinapur

How was Kaurava’s education going on in the palace

Kripa was appointed as the instructor of the kids. Later Drona became their preceptor. Kripa taught them Vedic knowledge when Yudhisthira turned 6 and started military science when he turned 12.

Describe Duryodhan’s childhood and education

Duryodhana lived together with his brother Duhsasana 1.5 years younger to him with all the love and affection of his mother Gandhari and elder sister Duhsala. When he was around 2.5 years of age the Pandavas joined him. It does not affect him much and as a toddler he bonded with them well. He also liked Bhima since he was of the same age and ran around in the palace along with Bhima delighting the mothers (Kunti and Gandhari).
He had his education together with the Pandavas. When Duryodhana was able to think for himself (as he grew as old as 6 years), Sakuni started influencing him and tried to distance him from the Pandavas. He taught Duryodhana to hate the Pandavas.
Duryodhana’s character too was that of a Leo, but a failed, corrupted Leo.

Describe Duryodhan’s relationship with Dhritrashtra and Gandhari

Duryodhana was the ‘ladla’ of Gandhari. The affection Kunti showed to Bhima, Gandhari showed to Duryodhana. Dhritarastra was extremely affectionate towards Duryodhana (hence we have this Mahabharata!!!!). After all he was his first male child after several trials and errors (Duhsala and the aborted pregnancy leading to the lump of flesh). Dhritarashtra dreamed about him being the next king of Hastinapur, right from his birth.

Describe his relationship with Shakuni and shakuni’s influence in Duryodhan’s life?

When Duryodhana was able to think for himself (as he grew as old as 6 years), Sakuni started influencing him and tried to distance him from the Pandavas. He taught Duryodhana to hate the Pandavas. He was much like Bhima, though weaker in strength than Bhima. He had the same heart of Bhima. He was childlike, naughty but affectionate towards his brothers (that included the Pandavas). But Sakuni corrupted his Leo mind and made him a hater of the Pandavas and a man of ego and pride, adamant and inflexible.

Duryodhan’s relationship with Bheeshm?

As a child, Duryodhana was the first to get the affection of the grandfather Bhisma, as Pandavas came to the palace later. He had great love and affection towards baby and child Duryodhana. A grandfather usually is heavily attached to his first grandson even if more grandsons are born. This was much true in Bhisma’s affection towards Duryodhana, which lasted till the Kurukshetra War. Bhishma never gave up his grandson Duryodhana, in spite of all his adamance and evils. Since Bhishma knew that Duryodhana was originally as pure as Bhima but only later corrupted by Sakuni, he had a hope that he can talk him and make him a good guy. But Bhishma failed miserably in this.

Duryodhan and his brother’s adventures during childhood.

Duryodhana and his brothers grew together with the Pandavas since their child hood though they were separate during their infancy. They made friends with the Pandavas except for the evil influences of Sakuni. After continued influence of Sakuni Duryodhana learned to hate Pandavas, especially Bhima. He once took all the Pandavas and Kauravas to a retreat named Pramanakoti where they enjoyed well. There he poisoned the food of Bhima and threw an unconscious Bhima into Ganga. This was observed by some Naga tribes and they rescued Bhima.

Duhshala’s Childhood and her relationship with brothers?

It is clear. Duhsala was the eldest among both the Pandavas and Kauravas. She was one year elder to Yudhisthira. So she was five years when Pandavas joined Kauravas. She was like a mother-girl to both Kauravas and Pandvas, much like Yudhisthira who was like a father-boy towards them.

What is Dhritrashtra and Gandhari’s relation Post the children’s birth? Is it good or is it strange?

Gandhari was a loyal wife to Dhritarashtra. She always wanted the well being of the king and advised him even if the king could not understand that what Gandhari says is for his own good. She was also broad minded to consider all the sons born to Dhritarashtra as her own sons. But she was not happy with what Dhritarashtra did during her pregnancy coming under the influence of her own brother Sakuni.
This is the reality of Mahabharata! It is true history! Both the brother and sister (Sakuni and Gandhari) worked for the good of Dhritarashtra. But their approaches were radically different. Sakuni took the path of Adharma and crookedness for the well being of Dhritarashtra while Gandhari took the path of Dharma for the well being of Dhritarashtra. Thus Gandhari and Sakuni were opposed to each other though their objective (the well being of Dhritarashtra) was same!

How did Gandhari react to Yuyutsu?

As I said earlier, Gandhari welcomed Yuyutsu as her own son.

Duryodhan’s take on Yuyutsu? Did they ever treat him as a brother? And Dhritrashtra’s relationship with Yuyutsu?

As a child Duryodhana had no enmity towards Yuyutsu. They were together till the Kurukshetra War. During war brook Yuyutsu split up from Duryodhana and joined the Pandavas (much like Vibhishana deserting Ravana). Yuyutsu bonded well with Duryodhana’s other brother Vikarna. (My APPEAL:- GIVE SOME CHARACTER TO VIKARNA TOO STARTING FROM CHILDHOOD. HE IS NEXT ONLY TO DUHSASANA IN FAME IN MAHABHARAT).
Vikarna and Yuyutsu bonded like Bhima-Nakula, Arjuna-Sahadeva, Duryodhana-Dhusasana. Yuyutsu and Vikarna shared same political ideology often criticizing Duryodhan for some of his evil acts like disrobing of Draupadi.
Yes. All the Kauravas and Pandavas treated Yuyutsu as their true brother. Dhritarashtra also had affection to him as he was his alternate investment, in case Gandhari could not deliver (Duryodhana). But he later learned that politics of Hastinapura will never allow a Vaisya born Yuyutsu any throne or kingship. But he still had affection to Yuyutsu his second son. (Yuyutsu was elder to Duhsasana but younger to Duryodhana).
Kurukshetra war split up the Yuyutsu-Vikarna pair as Vikarna chose to be with Duryodhana and die as a faithful brother must do, but Yuyutsu chose to be with Pandavas who were on the side of Dharma. Here Vikarna acted like Kumbakarna and Yuyutsu like Vibhishana.

Specify Duhshashan’s character and any new stories on Duhshashan?

Duhsasana was a loyal brother to Duryodhana supporting him for all his acts good or evil. He was the brother Duryodhna trusted most. Duryodhna-Duhsasana was a pair like other pairs (Vikarna-Yuyutsu, Arjuna-Sahadeva, Bhima-Nakula). Duhsasana had the characteristics of Aries, firry, bold, loyal and stubborn, a character which can turn evil if comes under the company of evil.

Karan’s Life during this period , what was his age when Pandava’s and Kaurava’s were born and where was he all this time?

Karna was atleast 6 years elder than Yudhsithira. So when the military education started he was around 18 years old. Karna lived at Hastinapur along with his father Adhiratha. Karna was given the role to guard the Kaurava todlers including Duryodhana as he was (or living like) the son of Dhritarashtra’s chariot driver Adhiratha. When Pandavas arrived at Hastinapura he was around 10 years old and taking care of Kauravas (most of whom where toddlers then) as an elder boy-guard. He did not like the new arrivals. The 10 year old Karna was also under the influence of Sakuni. Sakuni used Karna to increase the rift between Duryodhana and the Pandavas, as Sakuni cannot be always with the kids but Karna can.
Karna disliked Yudhisthira first. Due to the mischief of Bhima and due to his bulling of Duryodhana, Karna started disliking Bhima as well. But when Arjuna emerged as a great archer, his hatred focused on Arjuna rather than on any other Pandavas. He never knew that Pandavas were his uterine brothers. He knew it only some years before the Kurukshetr war.

Karna’s character was that of Libra, much like Yudhisthira, who wanted to play a father-boy and who had a sense of justice and balance. But unfortunately this great soul came under the influence of Sakuni.


Some references in my Wiki that will be useful for your project:-
Political layout of ancient India during Mahabharata period:- (Map of Ancient India with kingdoms, cities forest)
Travel Narratives (Pandu’s military expedition, marriage with Kunti and Madri) (Kunti’s return from forest to Hastinapur) (Poisoning of Bhima by Duryodhana at Pramanakoti)
Character analysis

BR Chopras Episodes: Errors, Analysis to
General Suggestion
It will be great if your televisation of Mahabharata becomes unique based on sound research. It can give out a message if it can give a social message against Sati etc. As indicated, a proper analysis of Mahabharata rules out such absurdities and is good if misconceptions like these are eliminated and known to people through your project.
Even after removing all magical things Mahabharata still has tremendous potential for real characterization and dramatization! This is the genius of Vyasa.

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