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The history and genealogy of the Bharata and Bhrigu races is recalled, as is the birth and early life of the Kuru princes adi means first. Includes the Bhagavad Gita in chapters 25— This is the major book of the war.
Most of the great warriors on both sides are dead by the end of this book. Also told in detail, is the pilgrimage of Balarama to the fords of the river Saraswati and the mace fight between Bhima and Duryodhana which ends the war, since Bhima kills Duryodhana by smashing him on the thighs with a mace.
Only 7 warriors remain on the Pandava side and 3 on the Kaurava side. This is the longest book of the Mahabharata. Kisari Mohan Ganguli considers this Parva as a later interpolation. The world conquest by Arjuna. The Anugita is told by Krishna to Arjuna. The evidence of the Puranas is of two kinds. Some sources mark this as the disappearance of Krishna from earth. The two collateral branches of the family that participate in the struggle are the Kaurava and the Pandava.
Although the Kaurava is the senior branch of the family, Duryodhana , the eldest Kaurava, is younger than Yudhishthira , the eldest Pandava. Both Duryodhana and Yudhishthira claim to be first in line to inherit the throne. The struggle culminates in the great battle of Kurukshetra , in which the Pandavas are ultimately victorious. The battle produces complex conflicts of kinship and friendship, instances of family loyalty and duty taking precedence over what is right, as well as the converse.
It also marks the beginning of the Hindu age of Kali Yuga , the fourth and final age of humankind, in which great values and noble ideas have crumbled, and people are heading towards the complete dissolution of right action, morality and virtue. The older generations Shantanu woos Satyavati, the fisherwoman. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma. Many years later, when King Shantanu goes hunting, he sees Satyavati , the daughter of the chief of fisherman, and asks her father for her hand.
Her father refuses to consent to the marriage unless Shantanu promises to make any future son of Satyavati the king upon his death. He lives a very short uneventful life and dies.
Vichitravirya, the younger son, rules Hastinapura. In order to arrange the marriage of young Vichitravirya, Bhishma attends the swayamvara of the three princesses Amba , Ambika and Ambalika , uninvited, and proceeds to abduct them. Ambika and Ambalika consent to be married to Vichitravirya. The oldest princess Amba, however, informs Bhishma that she wishes to marry king of Shalva whom Bhishma defeated at their swayamvara.
Bhishma lets her leave to marry king of Shalva, but Shalva refuses to marry her, still smarting at his humiliation at the hands of Bhishma.
Amba then returns to marry Bhishma but he refuses due to his vow of celibacy. The Pandava and Kaurava princes Draupadi with her five husbands - the Pandavas. The central figure is Yudhishthira ; the two on the bottom are Bhima and Arjuna.
Nakula and Sahadeva , the twins, are standing. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma , c. When Vichitravirya dies young without any heirs, Satyavati asks her first son Vyasa to father children with the widows. The eldest, Ambika, shuts her eyes when she sees him, and so her son Dhritarashtra is born blind.
Due to the physical challenges of the first two children, Satyavati asks Vyasa to try once again. Vyasa fathers a third son, Vidura , by the maid.
He is born healthy and grows up to be one of the wisest characters in the Mahabharata. When the princes grow up, Dhritarashtra is about to be crowned king by Bhishma when Vidura intervenes and uses his knowledge of politics to assert that a blind person cannot be king. This is because a blind man cannot control and protect his subjects.
Pandu marries twice, to Kunti and Madri. Dhritarashtra marries Gandhari , a princess from Gandhara, who blindfolds herself for the rest of her life so that she may feel the pain that her husband feels.
Her brother Shakuni is enraged by this and vows to take revenge on the Kuru family. One day, when Pandu is relaxing in the forest, he hears the sound of a wild animal. He shoots an arrow in the direction of the sound. However the arrow hits the sage Kindama , who was in engaged in a sexual act in the guise of a deer.
He curses Pandu that if he engages in a sexual act, he will die. Pandu then retires to the forest along with his two wives, and his brother Dhritarashtra rules thereafter, despite his blindness. Kunti uses this boon to ask Dharma.
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