Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vyasa's Sons

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.  

With no king, the land of Hastinapura was in real trouble.  Some people suggested that Bhisma assume kingship and continue the family line, but Bhisma had taken a vow of celibacy.

So Satyavati proposed a solution.  Before she married King Samtanu, she had given birth to the great seer Vyasa, compiler of the sacred Vedas and author of the Mahabharata.  Vyasa had promised his mother that, if she ever needed him, he would appear to help.  So Satyavati summoned Vyasa and asked him to have sex with the two queens Ambika and Ambalika, to father a king of Hastinapura.  Vyasa agreed, but warned the queens that (due to his life of austerity), he was very dirty, smelly, and ugly.  The queens had no choice.  For the sake of the kingdom, they had to fuck this smelly, bearded mystic.

So Vyasa had sex with the eldest queen Ambika first.  However, she was so horrified by the seer's appearance that she closed her eyes during sex.  Consequently, she gave birth to a blind son named Dhrtarastra.  A blind boy, everyone agreed, did not make an ideal king.  So Vyasa then had sex with the younger queen Ambalika,  But she, too, was so horrified by the seer's appearance that she turned pale during sex.  Consequently, she gave birth to a pale son named Pandu--the pale king.

From these two sons--the blind Dhrtarastra and the pale Pandu--would be born the two warring factions of cousins--the Kauravas and Pandavas--whose epic battle forms the central conflict of the Mahabharata.  Interestingly, the guy who wrote the Mahabharata (Vyasa) was also the guy who literally fathered the two sons who would go to war.  So, in both a literary and a literal sense, one could say that Vyasa the seer birthed the Mahabharata.

Unsatisfied with the blind king and the pale king, Satyavati asked Vyasa to once again have sex with the eldest queen Ambika.  But the queen was not down with that, so she dressed up her servant-girl to do the deed.  Unlike the queens, this servant-girl was not disgusted by the seer's appearance.  They made sweet love all night.  In the morning, Vyasa said, "You are no longer a servant."  Ultimately, the servant-girl would give birth to a great man named Vidura, "foremost among all the world's wise men."  He was an incarnation of the god Dharma.

Vyasa the seer and Queen Ambika.

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