The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

Kunti, the first wife of King Pandu of Hastinapur, was blessed with a special boon. The boon gave her powers to invoke any God of her choice and the God invoked would bless Kunti with a son. Kunti used the boon four times. Before her marriage to King Pandu of Hastinapur, she invoked the Sun god and bore Karn. Fearing questions from people about the birth of the child, she abandoned Karn. After her marriage to Pandu, she invoked Yama (God of Death and righteousness), Vayu (God of Wind) and Indra (God of Sky and the ruler of heaven) and bore Yudhisthir, Bheem and Arjun respectively.  The sons of Kunti were the finest warriors of the Mahabharat. Each of them had their share of testing times and they all came out as winners. Their stories have inspiration for us. Here’s from Bheem: 

Bheem – This son of Kunti was different. Strong and well-built since childhood, he relied more on his physical strength than anything else. While the other Pandav siblings were orderly, disciplined and obedient, Bheem had his own ways. He was impulsive and instinctive. He lived to eat and his appetite equalled to that of all his brothers put together. Bheem would bully and thrash all Kaurav cousins and mock them for none could stand his blows. This became a regular feature during their play time. Duryodhan, the eldest of the Kauravs and Bheem’s bête noire couldn’t stand this. With guidance from his uncle Shakuni, Duryodhan decided to end the menace called Bheem once and for all. He decided to invite Bheem for a feast by the river side. Coming from Duryodhan, the invitation surprised Bheem. But the gastronome that he was, he happily accepted the invitation. His love for food was such that he also decided to go all alone, for he didn’t want the other Pandav siblings to reduce his share of the feast. Duryodhan served generous portions of pudding and Bheem didn’t disappoint his host. He licked bowls after bowls clean before letting out a hearty burp. Soon, Bheem felt tizzy and thought it’s the effect of the sumptuous feast he’s just had. Duryodhan had poisoned the pudding Bheem ate copiously and was overjoyed when he saw Bheem lay unconscious. Duryodhan and his brothers immediately carried Bheem to the river bank and rolled him into the running water. Happy their ploy was successful, they headed back to the palace. Bheem’s body flowed into the kingdom of snakes on the river bed. Seeing an alien body in their waters, guarding snakes bit into Bheem’s flesh. The poison from the snakes acted as an antidote and Bheem came back to life. Surrounded by snakes, Bheem’s instinct took over and he starting thrashing them. Soon there was panic among the snakes guarding their kingdom as Bheem turned out to be too much for them to handle. Bheem wreaked havoc and reinforcements were called. When overpowered finally, Bheem was taken to the court of Vasuki – the King of snakes. Surprised with all that had just happened at the hands of a mere boy, Vasuki asked Bheem to introduce himself. On hearing Bheem, Vasuki was overjoyed. The boy who seem to be a threatening enemy turned out to be a long lost kin. Vasuki was Kunti’s granduncle and hence Bheem’s maternal grandfather. Impressed by Bheem’s strength and courage, Vasuki offered him a potion that contained the strength of a thousand elephants. Hungry after all the exertion, Bheem gulped ten portions of that. Vasuki then had Bheem escorted back to the palace, much to the joy of Kunti. Bheem narrated the incidents that took place in the kingdom of snakes and bragged about his strength – now equalling that of ten thousand elephants. Duryodhan stood listening, aghast. Under unusual and difficult situations, Bheem followed his instincts and ended up being more powerful than before!

Read Part 1 – Inspiration from Karn here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

Read Part 2 – Inspiration from Yudhisthir here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

–X–

Varanasi 1.3

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The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

Kunti, the first wife of King Pandu of Hastinapur, was blessed with a special boon. The boon gave her powers to invoke any God of her choice and the God invoked would bless Kunti with a son. Kunti used the boon four times. Before her marriage to King Pandu of Hastinapur, she invoked the Sun god and bore Karn. Fearing questions from people about the birth of the child, she abandoned Karn. After her marriage to Pandu, she invoked Yama (God of Death and righteousness), Vayu (God of Wind) and Indra (God of Sky and the ruler of heaven) and bore Yudhisthir, Bheem and Arjun respectively.  The sons of Kunti were the finest warriors of the Mahabharat. Each of them had their share of testing times and they all came out as winners. Their stories have inspiration for us. Here’s from Yudhisthir: 

Yudhisthir – Considered the eldest son of Kunti till the time Karn’s true identity was revealed to the world, Yudhisthir was popular for this honesty, righteousness and sound sense of justice. The eldest of the Pandav siblings lost his kingdom and dignity in gamble and was forced into exile as a result, along with his brothers. Wandering forests in scorching heat, the youngest of the Pandav siblings – Sahadev walked to a lake to fetch water. The lake was guarded by a demigod, who warned Sahadev of dire consequences if the water was touched before some questions were answered correctly. Sahadev, usually gentle and mannerly, ignored the warning and drank of the lake. The warning wasn’t a mere hoax and Sahadev died instantly. Not sighting their youngest brother for a long time, one by one each of the Pandav siblings came to the lake. Nakul, Bheem and Arjun too ignored the warning and died on drinking of the lake. Yudhisthir reached the spot and found his brothers dead. The demigod explained the cause of the deaths and warned Yudhisthir too. Being calm in difficult situations came naturally to Yudhisthir who volunteered to answer the questions. The demigod shot one question after another covering philosophy, justice, righteousness and religion. The learned Yudhisthir answered each question to the demigod’s satisfaction. Impressed, the demigod blessed Yudhisthir with a boon. Yudhisthir could now choose one of his brothers to be brought back to life. Without much deliberation, Yudhisthir chose Nakul. Surprised, the demigod questioned Yudhisthir’s choice of Nakul over the powerful Bheem and Arjun. Yudhisthir stated that his father – late King Pandu of Hastinapur had five sons from two wives Queen Kunti and the late Queen Madri. Yudhisthir reasoned that he himself, Kunti’s eldest son, was alive. It would now be fair if Nakul, Madri’s eldest son, too lived. Impressed yet again by Yudhisthir’s sense of justice which prevailed over everything else, the demigod appeared in his actual form. The demigod was none other than Yama, Yudhisthir’s godfather. All that had transpired was nothing but a test which Yudhisthir had successfully passed. Yama granted life to all Pandav siblings who then continued their journey into exile. Given the choice to bring only one brother back to life, Yudhisthir’s fine judgement and poise ensured all his brothers lived!

Read Part 1 – Inspiration from Karn here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

Read Part 3 – Inspiration from Bheem here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

–X–

Varanasi 1.2

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 1 of 4

Kunti, the first wife of King Pandu of Hastinapur, was blessed with a special boon. The boon gave her powers to invoke any God of her choice and the God invoked would bless Kunti with a son. Kunti used the boon four times. Before her marriage to King Pandu of Hastinapur, she invoked the Sun god and bore Karn. Fearing questions from people about the birth of the child, she abandoned Karn. After her marriage to Pandu, she invoked Yama (God of Death and righteousness), Vayu (God of Wind) and Indra (God of Sky and the ruler of heaven) and bore Yudhisthir, Bheem and Arjun respectively.  The sons of Kunti were the finest warriors of the Mahabharat. Each of them had their share of testing times and they all came out as winners. Their stories have inspiration for us. Here’s from Karn: 

Karn – Born with a divine armour and a pair of earrings, Karn was abandoned by Kunti at birth. Adopted and brought up by foster parents and braving his share of struggles, he grew up to be one of the finest archers of the time. Circumstances led to a situation where Karn was to fight his brothers at Kurukshetra. Karn, over the years, had loathed the Pandavs siblings, particularly Arjun. Karn’s feelings were equally reciprocated by Arjun. The war at Kurukshetra was expected to be the decider when it came to their rivalry. Only Karn and none other could prove to be the nemesis of Arjun and that’s what kept Indra worried. Indra had equipped Arjun with powerful divine weapons for the war but he also knew none would prove effective against Karn’s divine armour and earrings. Karn’s benevolence was known far and wide. Karn would never let down a request, irrespective of its nature. He had particularly pledged to honour requests that came in right after his prayers and people from all walks of life lined up to see him after his prayers. None ever returned dissatisfied. Indra decided to guise as a sage and request Karn for his armour and earrings as alms. The Sun god, Karn’s godfather, got an inkling of Indra’s plan and warned Karn. On hearing the conspiracy, Karn wasn’t perturbed. Instead, he said that he would happily part with his armour and earrings but wouldn’t go back on his pledge. Sun warned Karn of the dire consequences of losing his divine possessions. Fearless that Karn was, he stood firm on his stance. The next day, Indra played his plan. He appeared as a sage after Karn was done with his prayers and asked for the armour and earnings. Karn smiled and happily scrapped off the armour from his body. He then snapped his earrings. There was no remorse on Karn’s face as he profusely bled and finally handed over the armour and earrings to Indra. Impressed by Karn’s commitment to his pledge and guilty of the pain he had caused, Indra appeared in his actual form and blessed Karn with a boon. Karn thought for a minute and asked Indra for his thunderbolt. Indra’s thunderbolt was a fatal divine weapon, known to never miss its mark. Since Indra had granted the boon, he handed over his weapon to Karn. Indra however added a condition, stating that Karn would be able to use the weapon just once. Karn smiled and assured Indra that he too had no intentions of using the weapon twice. Indra knew Karn would use the thunderbolt against Arjun and his worry only worsened, as he disappeared from the scene. Though devoid of his divine armour and earrings, Karn returned home more powerful than before for he stuck to his principles!  

Read Part 2 – Inspiration from Yudhisthir here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 2 of 4

Read Part 3 – Inspiration from Bheem here: The Sons of Kunti & Their Inspirational Stories – Part 3 of 4

–X–

Varanasi 1.1