(Last Updated on : 19/03/2010)
Mahabharat is a saga of Kauravas and Pandavas. It is great legend that narrates the tale about the descendants of King Bharatha, the son of Sakunthala and Dushyanta. Among the two branches of the Kuru clan Pandavas were renowned for their righteousness, nobility, courage and truthfulness. Pandavas of Mahabharat were mainly identified for their suffering and renouncement of worldly pleasures also.
In the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, the Pandavas of Mahabharat are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu. The great king Pandu was married to two wives Kunti and Madri. The eldest three Pandavas Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna were sons of Kunti, the youngest two Nakula and Sahadeva were the sons of Madri. According to mythology those five brothers came from the ancestry of distinctive Gods of the Hindus. They were the personification and the begotten sons. Yudhishtira, was fathered by God of Wisdom and Justice, Dharma, God of Wind, Bayu - fathered Bhima. Arjuna was fathered by God of Heaven, Indra while Nakula and Sahadeva were sired by the twin Gods of Medicine Aswini.
Since Pandu had been cursed to die he tried having a child from his wives, the actual fatherhood of the children is attributed to various gods, this was a boon received by Kunti from Durvasa and in turn transferred to Madri. When Vichitravirya died young without any heirs, Satyavati his second wife asked her first son Vyasa to father children on the widows. The first queen Ambika shuts her eyes and Dhritarashtra was born blind. Ambalika turned pale and bloodless, and her son Pandu was thus born pale. Vyasa fathered a third son Vidura, by a serving maid who did not fear him and the son turned to be intelligent.
After Pandu`s death, Pandava were brought up as the Kuru princes and got their education from guru Drona along with the Kauravas. The Kauravas were the cousins of Pandavas and they harassed Pandavas in many ways, as they were jealous with them. Once Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, arranged for Pandavas to rest in a beautiful house in Varanavata. The house was actually made of lac which was very inflammable and Kauravas made a conspiracy to set fire in the house. However, Pandavas came to know about the plan and they left the house before the fire was set. Pandavas, invited one tribal female with her five sons who burnt in that house and everybody thought that Pandavas were dead. Mother Kunti, along with her five sons started to live in a village in the guise of Brahmins. They earned their livings by begging alms.
Pandavas of Mahabharat were collectively married to Draupadi. In the Van Parva of Mahabharata, a vivid description by Draupadi about her five husbands is found. According to Draupadi, Yudhishthira possessed a just character and had a correct sense of morality, and was merciful to surrendering foes. Bhima was described by Draupadi as tall and long-armed man. He had superhuman feats and those who offended him are never suffered to live. His personality is such that he never forgets a foe. Arjun was praised by her as the greatest of archers, intelligent, and having senses under complete control. "Neither lust nor fear nor anger could make him forsake virtue". Arjun though capable of withstanding any foeman, would never commit an act of cruelty.
Nakul was considered to be the most handsome person in the whole world and an accomplished swordsman. Moreover, he was also versed in every question of morality and profit and is endued with high wisdom. He was valiantly devoted to his brothers, who in turn regarded him as more valuable than their own lives. The name Nakul has implications of Intelligence, Focus, Hard-Work, Handsomeness, Health, Attractiveness, Success, Popularity, Respect, and unconditional Love. Sahadeva was the youngest preferred by others. Draupadi attaches the qualities of being formidable in war and observant of morality. His heroic, intelligent, wise and ever wrathful character makes him a man unequal.
Pandavas of Mahabharat were favoured by the Kuru elders such as Bhishma, Vidura ,Kripa and Drona as they showed devotion to their elders and possessed pious habits and great aptitude in religion and military skills. When the Pandavas of Mahabharat came of age, King Dhritarashtra sought Yudhishtira to accept half the Kuru kingdom according to their inheritance. However this rendered jealousy among the Kauravas of Mahabharat, the hundred sons of King Dhritarashtra, This envious action resulted in the occurrence of the Great Battle at Kurukshetra.
Yudhishtira the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti, was the king of Hastinapura and Indraprastha, and also regarded as the World Emperor. He was the principal protagonist of the Kurukshetra War and he was also termed as Dharma raja or the ` Most pious one`. The magnitude of suffering faced by the Pandavas of Mahabharat finds meaning in this Historical saga. They were sent to exile for thirteen years and invited by Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurav Prince to come for war in order to reclaim their birthright.
The Pandavas of Mahabharat were assisted by the almighty himself Lord Krishna. His constant support made the Pandavas victorious. The winning of the Kurukshetra War by the Pandavas is regarded as a victory of truthfulness over evil.
Bhima served at the great general in the great battle of Kurukshetra. He possessed superhuman strengths and is portrayed as a man with little control of mind and senses. He was a highly sensitive personality and swayed between extreme emotions of love and hatred. His name is synonymous with short-temper or a large appetite. Arjuna is one of the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Among the five Pandavas of Mahabharat, his name relates to a bright, shining person. Arjuna was a peerless archer and is often referred to as the undefeatable. Arjuna is considered to be an incarnation of Nara, the younger brother of Narayana. He is sometimes referred to as the `fourth Krishna` of the Mahabharata. Nakul in the Mahabharata was portrayed as extremely good-looking, full of love, and devastatingly handsome. He was compared to "Kamadeva", the god of love, due to his good looks. Among the Pandavas of Mahabharat Nakul`s deep understanding of horse breeding and training is documented in the Mahabharat after the death of Nakrasur by Krishna. He was a qualified veterinary surgeon, specializing in horses.
When Pandavas grew old, Yudhishtira renounced the throne and anointed their heir in the throne. The Pandava brothers and Draupadi set their journey for heaven but except Yudhisthira all of them died in the way. Yudhishtira was Dharmaraja and hence he could enter the heaven with mortal body.
Though the Pandavas had to face much diversity in their life they never got deviated from the path of truth and righteousness. Thus Pandava set up the Kingdom of dharma by fighting against all the sins.