The Pandavas and the Kauravas

Vichitravirya had two sons. The eldest was Dhritarashtra, born blind. Hence Bhishma crowned the second son, Pandu, as the king. Pandu was a very capable king and ruled the land well.
Vichitravirya had a son by name Vidura through a chamber maid. Vidura was an able statesman and a scholar. He acted as an advisor to Pandu. Bhishma was the father figure to all of them.
Kunthi, daughter of the king of Mathura was Pandu’s wife. Prior to her marriage, a sage had taught her some mantras. He had indicated to her that by chanting these, Kunthi could summon any celestial God and beget a son from him. Just to test the veracity of this, the young Kunthi invited Surya, the Sun God and acquired a son from him. But being a virgin, she feared social outcry against her and placed the baby, which had been born with a pair of brilliant ear ornaments, in a wooden box and gently pushed it into the river. Floating on the river, the box reached the hands of a childless charioteer. He handed the baby to his wife Radha. The couple named the boy as Kama because of his ear-ornaments and brought him up with love and affection.
According to a royal custom, Pandu took another wife Madri. But because of a curse, he could not father any child. Seeing his plight, Kunthi confided to him about the mantra taught to her. So, he urged her an’d Madri to use these mantras.With the result, Kunthi had three sons born of gods – Dharmaraj from Yama, Bhirna from Vayu, the wind
God and Arjun from Devendra. Madri gave birth to two sons Nakul and Sahadev. These five sons of Pandu were the Pandavas. All of them were handsome, noble and courageous.
Because of his curse, Pandu had given up his kingdom and was living in the forest. He did not live for long. He died when the Pandavas were still youngsters. Entreating Kunthi to be a mother to all the five sons of Pandu, Madri burnt herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.On hearing about the death of Pandu and Madri, Bhishma and Vidur hastened to the forest and brought Kunthi and the Pandavas to Hastinapur.
Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons by the name of Kauravas. His wife was Gandhari.The eldest of the Kauravas was Duryodhana who, from a very young age, had nursed a deep hatred for the Pandavas, and that is why he could not tolerate the Pandavas in Hastinapur. Pretending to be friendly with them, he plotted devious means of getting rid of them from the kingdom.

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