Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Mahabharata: The Death of Pandu and Madri

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Mahabharata: a Book Report, in which I'm slowly reading through the Hindu epic poem The Mahabharata, and writing a book report on what I read.  

Remember Pandu's curse?  The pale king had been cursed to die should ever have sex with his wife.  Not only that, she would die too.  One spring day, overcome by lust for his wife, Pandu had sex with Madri, and so he died.  Shortly after, she died too.  You can't beat a curse.

At this time, Pandu, his wives, and his five sons (the Pandavas) were living as ascetics in the Himalayas.  After Pandu and Madri's death, Kunti (Pandu's other wife) and the Pandava boys moved back to the kingdom of Hastinapura to take their rightful place as royalty.

Elaborate funeral rites were performed for Pandu and Madri, followed by days of feasting.  After this, the seer Vyasa told Pandu's grieving mother Satyavati that hard times were coming, and that she should retreat to the forest, away from palace life.  So Satyavati, along with the princesses Ambika and Ambalika, retired to the forest, lived ascetic lives, and then died there.

Pandu, the Pale King

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