Friday, 25 November 2016

Pandu Was Never the King of Hastinapura!

Did the Pandavas really have the right to claim the throne of Hastinapura? Many would say, no they didn't as they were born by Kunti from Niyoga, and hence not the biological children of Pandu. Well that is true... But the same applies to Pandu, Dhritarashtra, and Vidura, as they were all children born from Niyoga, and not the biological children of Vichitravirya. Furthermore, the Kauravas were born by Gandhari, from Niyoga with Rishi Vyasa. So saying that Pandavas did not have a claim to throne of Hastinapura because they were born from Niyoga, is completely false, because if that were the basis for rejecting the Pandavas' claim to the throne of Hastinapura, then the same applies to Dhritarashtra, Pandu, Vidura, and the Kauravas. That would mean that there would be nobody in the generation of Pandavas eligible for occupying the throne of Hastinapura. Hence, that claim as the basis for not giving the Pandavas the throne of Hastinapura is faulty. In the time of Mahabharatha, children born from Niyoga were considered to be the same as biological children. This is substantiated by the speech of Pandu to Kunti in Adi Parva, when he tries to convince her for Niyoga. He says:

Adi Parva Section CXX

The religious institutes mention six kinds of sons that are heirs and kinsmen, and six other kinds that are not heirs but kinsmen. I shall speak of them presently. O Pritha, listen to me. They are: 1st, the son begotten by one's own self upon his wedded wife; 2nd, the son begotten upon one's wife by an accomplished person from motives of kindness; 3rd, the son begotten upon one's wife by a person for pecuniary consideration; 4th, the son begotten upon the wife after the husband's death; 5th, the maiden-born son; 6th, the son born of an unchaste wife; 7th, the son given; 8th, the son bought for a consideration; 9th, the son self-given; 10th, the son received with a pregnant bride; 11th, the brother's son; and 12th, the son begotten upon a wife of lower caste.

This brings us back to the original question: Did the Pandavas really have the right to claim the throne of Hastinapura? Well, many people would say that yes, they did have a claim on the throne as their father Pandu was the original king of Hastinapura, not Dhritarashtra, and hence Pandu's children should have first claim on the throne. Since Dhritarashtra was blind, he had no claim on the throne of Hastinapura, and hence, it went to Pandu. After Pandu, it should have gone to his children, the Pandavas... This entire claim rests on the fact that Pandu was the king of Hastinapura at one point in time. But what if I tell you that the claim has no basis as Pandu was never king of Hastinapura?

Yes, Pandu was never king of Hastinapura. Hence, the Pandavas had no biological claim on the throne of Hastinapura. The king of Hastinapura was and remained Dhritarashtra. In this post, I will provide some evidence to show that Pandu was never the king of Hastinapura.

All textual evidence in this post is from the Mahabharatha, translated into English by Kisari Mohan Ganguly. This 18-parva long epic can be accessed by the link below:

Dhritarashtra was always king and Pandu did the digvijaya for his elder brother and king, Dhritarashtra. So technically, the right to the kingdom (by virtue of birth) belongs to the Kauravas and not the pandavas. Below is some evidence from Mahabharatha that Pandu was not the king of Hastinapura. The evidence suggests that Dhritarashtra was always the king of Hastinapura, even before Pandu went to the woods:

"Vaisampayana said, 'Pandu, then, at the command of Dhritarashtra, offered the wealth he had acquired by the prowess of his arms to Bhishma, their grand-mother Satyavati and their mothers. And he sent portion of his wealth to Vidura also. And the virtuous Pandu gratified his other relatives also with similar presents. Then Satyavati and Bhishma and the Kosala princes were all gratified with the presents Pandu made out of the acquisitions of his prowess. And Ambalika in particular, upon embracing her son of incomparable prowess, became as glad as the queen of heaven upon embracing Jayanta. And with the wealth acquired by that hero Dhritarashtra performed five great sacrifices that were equal unto a hundred great horse-sacrifices, at all of which the offerings to Brahmanas were by hundreds and thousands.
"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 Bharata prince in the company of his wives, armed with sword, arrows, and bow, clad with his beautiful armour, 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.
As you can see above, Pandu distributed the wealth he obtained from the digvijaya to the others. If he was king, the wealth should have been his, and he would not need an order from Dhritarashtra to tell him whom to distrubute the wealth to. The truth is that the king was Dhritarashtra, and thats why he needed to wait for Dhritarashtra’s order to see whom to distribute the wealth to. Also Dhritarashtra performed 5 Ashwamedha sacrifices. If Pandu was king he would have performed these sacrifices, not Dhritarashtra…
After the digvijaya and the Ashwamedha sacrifices, Pandu went to the woods PERMANENTLY with his wives. This was not a small trip to the woods, like has shown in many TV shows. They went to the woods for good. If Pandu was king, he wouldnt be allowed to retire to the woods (when he doesn’t even have a heir). Also, even if he was king and decided to go to the woods, it would have been mentioned that Pandu gave the kingdom to his elder brother Dhritarashtra. But that is also not mentioned. This implies that Pandu was never king and therefore could go to the woods whenever he wanted (he was not bound to the kingdom). Instead, Dhritarashtra was king!
Also, note that Pandu went permanently to the woods. This means that this visit to the woods was not a small trip, but instead, permanent. So the decision to retire permanently to the woods was taken by Pandu even before killing Rishi Kindama! For this reason, the kingdom belonged to Dhritarashtra, and after him, it should have gone to Duryodhana. Hence, by birth, Pandavas had no right on the throne! They got the throne because they were more worthy (compared to Duryodhana) for the throne, and because they were a favorite among the masses. This pressurized Dhritarashtra to make Yuddhistira crown prince against his own wish. After all, emperor Bharatha gave the throne to someone that was not his own biological son, but more worthy to be a king than his biological sons!

The fact that Duryodhana did not get the kingdom explains his jealousy and hatred for the pandavas all his life!

Image result for pandu mahabharata br chopra


  1. Bhishma said - And he begot three sons in all, O best of Bharata's race. Thy father was born blind, and in consequence of this congenital defect of a sense, he could not become king. The high-souled and celebrated Pandu became king. And when Pandu became king, his sons must obtain their paternal inheritance. O sire, do not quarrel, give them half the kingdom. When I am alive, what other man is competent to reign? Do not disregard my words. I only wish that there should be peace amongst you.

    1. Yeah, I saw that. I was just looking at the possibilities. If what I said is incorrect (meaning the text in this post is an interpolation), it puts to doubt the entire passage of Pandu's digvijaya and marriage to Madri...

      So, Pandu may have not even married Madri. But then why did he leave his kingdom permanently if he was king? The answer may be given by Bhishma in Udyoga Parva. He says:

      When my father ascended to heaven, I instated him in my kingdom as a king. I myself behaved like a servant who was inferior to him. O Indra among kings! After defeating an array of kings, I brought him appropriate wives. You have heard about this many times. I then confronted Rama in a duel. Because of fear of Rama, the citizens banished him from the city. Because of excessive addiction to his wives, he was soon afflicted by pulmonary disease.

      (Bori ce - udyoga parva section 145)...

      The equivalent of that text in KMG mahabharatha can be found here:

      We also know that Pandu often lamented (in the forest) that he made the same mistake as Vichitravirya... So he probably lusted after his wife (Kunti) a lot and refused to marry a new one (Madri) that Bhishma wanted him to marry. For this reason, he was probably banished to the woods by Bhishma:

      I have heard that my father, though begotten by Santanu of virtuous soul, was cut off while still a youth, only because he had become a slave to his lust. In the soil of that lustful king, the illustrious Rishi Krishna-Dwaipayana himself, of truthful speech, begot me. A son though I am of such a being, with my wicked heart wedded to vice, I am yet leading a wandering life in the woods in the chase of the deer. Oh, the very gods have forsaken me!

      [As we see here, Pandu laments over following his father's path and being forced to live in the woods. According to the common story, Pandu's decision to live in the woods was his own. Then why would he lament over being forced to live a miserable life in the forests? This suggests that Pandu was banished to live in the woods]

      Why was he banished? Most likely, it was due to the same mistake made by his father. He lusted after his wife (Kunti) too much, just like how his father lusted over Ambika and Ambalika. Then, Bhishma pressurized Pandu to marry Madri (Bhishma did not like Kunti), just like how Parshurama pressurized Vichitravirya to marry Amba. But Pandu refused, and was banished to the forest, just like his father. Pandu likely became impotent because of excessive sex, forcing his wife to do Niyoga...


      Here is evidence that Bhisma did not like Pandu-Kunti marriage:

      So, after winning Kunti in the swayamvara, he took her to Hastinapura. She was welcomed by the brahmins, but NOT by Bhishma. This is unusual. A daughter in law, would normally be welcomed by her father in laws, when she moves to her husband's place:

      Then the Kuru prince Pandu, accompanied by a large force bearing various kinds of banners and pennons, and eulogised by Brahmanas and great Rishis pronouncing benedictions, reached his capital. And after arriving at his own palace, he established his queen therein.'"

    2. This doesn't change the fact that according to Bhishma Pandu was a king of Hastinapura at a time though. Also how many sections does Bori CE's Udyoga Parva version have? And Bhishma did come to Salya with the proposal to make Madri a wife of Pandu. And Madri is considered more beautiful than Kunti and she was the mother of the most handsome Pandava Nakula. So why would Pandu not want her?

    3. Ok. I agree that Pandu may have been king at one point in time. But Pandu was later banished because he rejected Madri. He rejected Madri because Bhishma was trying to use Madri as a replacement for Kunti, which Pandu could not handle...

      Yuddhistira laments over the bad treatment of Kunti ever since she got married, and asks Krishna to see how Kunti is doing when he goes for the peace mission:

      BORI CE - Udyoga Parva Section 81:

      O destroyer of enemies! She did not deserve unhappiness. But ever since she got married, she has suffered from hardships
      and deceit in her father-in-law’s house. O Krishna! O destroyer of enemies! My mother has suffered a lot. Will there be a time when this tide of suffering will turn, so that I can give her happiness?

      When Krishna meets Kunti, she tells him:

      BORI CE - Udyoga Parva Section 88:

      I was given to Kuntibhoja, a friend, as a mark of great-souled friendship. O scorcher of enemies! I have been deceived by my father and my fathers-in-law. O Krishna! I have been extremely unhappy. What has been the point of my being alive?

      O Madhava! I am a widow. My prosperity has been destroyed
      and I have enemies. But nothing distresses me as much as separation from my sons.

      Krishna then replies:

      BORI CE - Udyoga Parva Section 88:

      You are a goddess who is fortunate in every way. You
      have been greatly honoured by your husband. You have given birth to warriors.

      [Just see how Kunti, and Yuddhistira lament over the fact that Kunti was deceived and treated bad by her father in law, Bhishma. Krishna also says that Kunti was greatly honored by Pandu, suggesting that even during tough times, Pandu never abandoned her. Since Bhishma created all these problems for Kunti, Pandu never wanted to bend down to Bhishma's desires and marry Madri...

      Kunti also suggests that her enemies were responsible for the death of her husband...]

      Udyoga Parva has 197 sections.

    4. Could the text that kagami uchiha had shown about Bhishma's statement in Udyoga Parva be an interpolation then? Also isn't it supposed to have 198 sections so it all adds up to 18. 1+9+8 equals 18.

    5. BORI CE removes many verses, so thats why it has 197 sections. I don't think it has to add up to 18. That is not true for all the parvas.

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