VedaVyasa - 5

Gandhari said in great shame,"Revered sage, when I heard the news that Kunti had become a mother before I did, I wasangry and in a desperate mood I hit my stomach." so saying she began to cry. She implored "What shall I do? What is going to be my fate?" she wailed.

Vyasa consoled her saying,"Do not cry dear, my words will not prove false" So saying, he took out a handful of water fromhis holy water pot and sprinkled it on the lump of flesh. It broke into one hundered and one peices. Vedavyasa thengot one hundered and one earthern pots and filled them with ghee and put each peice of flesh in a pot. He closed each with a lid and asked Gandhari to protect them with great care. He told her that she would get one hundered sons anda daughter. Then he disappeared.

In a course of time a child came out of each pot. The child which came first was called Duryodhana. When the childwas born a number of bad omens were seen and they clearly indicated that he was going to bring great disaster to theworld. Nonety nine more boys came out of those pots and from the last pot came out a pretty little girl. She was namedDushale.

On the very day Duryodhana was born, Kunti was blessed with a son. she had prayed to Vayudeva. The child was namedBhimasena. Then with the blessings of Devendra she got Arjuna. Then Pandu's second queen got Nakula and Sahadevawith the blessings of Aswini Devas. When Pandu died as a result of a curse, Madri commited Sattee. The sages livingin the surrounding area took Kunti and the five children to Hastinapur and put them under the care of Bhishma. Pandu'seldest son Yudhishtra won the hearts of the people of Hastinapur with his great good qualities. Everyone desired him to become to Yuvaraja. This made duryodhana who hoped to become king after his father, very angry and he became intolerantof the very presence of the Pandavas in Hastinapur. He never expected a rival to his authority. Now Yudhishtira camein the form of a rival and to add fuel to fire, he became very popular among the subjects. Duryodhana began to burywith jelously, and anger. This anger turned into hatred as days rolled by. He hatched plots to kill the Pandavas,especially Bhima whom he consired his cheif rival. Finally in a desperate mood he made up his mind to kill all the Pandavas including their mother Kunti. He got a beautiful palace built of lac and other inflammable materials at Varanavathaand requested the Pandavas to go to that place and live there for a few days for a change.

By God's grace of God anf timely advice from Vidura, the Pandavas excaped from danger when they set fire to the palaceand escaped through a secret tunnel got dug by Vidura and saved themselves. They had to spend months in the forestlike ascetics. Their mother, Kunti also looked like a tapasvini in their midst. The Pandava princes did not waste their time in the forest. They continued practising the royal arts they had studied under Achraya Droana. On someoccasions they had to carry their mother who could not walk because of exhaustion.

Once on one of their sojourns, Maharshi Vedavyasa appeared before them. As soon as they saw the Bhagwan they touched his feet and stood before him with folded hands. Vedavyasa blessed them and said, "My dear Pandukumaras, may God bless you.Duryodhana has caused these trobles for you and you have to be wandering in the forest. When I came to know aboutyour trobles, I came here to help you. Do not worry about your trials and tribulations you have been experiencingnow. All these troubles will end soon and good days are ahead for you. Do as I advice you. There is a small town calledEkachakranagar. Disguise yourselves as brahmins and go there and live there until I come and meet you again." Hewalked with them for a distance. As he walked with them he told Kunti,"Do not worry much about your sons, O greatqueen. Your eldest son will never tread the path of adarma, rest assured of that. In the end he will conquer all thekings on the earth and will become an emperor. There is no doubt about your sons becoming world conquerors. Yours sonsand Madri's sons will live happily. Besides they will perform a number of Yajnas for the good of the world." So sayingVedavyasa went with the Pandavas to Ekachakranagri and introduced them to a brahmin family.

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