Friday, March 4, 2011

Morality of King Pandu

You can never get enough of Mahabharat. I got to advocate this once again, when I watched the television series, now neatly captured in a series of DVDs. During the rewatch, I remembered the subtle and gross details from my childhood. Calling with "Aryaputra", remarking "Ati Suddha Vichaar" and all such colorful additions to my fast growing Hindi vocabulary almost 20 years ago.

Coming to the "Ati Suddha Vichaar" point. It was the part where, King Pandu have gone to the forest with Kunti and Madri to take off some time from his busy schedule. He spent time roaming in the forest, attending some philosophical discourses at an Ashrama and hunting - a favorite pastime of kings. One day, on request of Madri, King Pandu went for a big kill  - there were roars of lion near their tent. As exactly happened with Dasaratha in Ramayana, King Pandu mistook the energetic sounds of a hermit, Rishi Kindama, to be for a lion and applied Sabdavedi baan. Soon, the hermit was dead. King Pandu was crestfallen. He returned to his tent and subsequently to Hastinapur with a heavy heart. Upon arrival at Hastinapur, sitting at the King's throne (which was managed by King Dhritarashtra during his absence), what King Pandu did is unthinkable. He judged his own actions. No one around knew how the hermit died and whatever happened was completely unintentional. Still, King Pandu was remorseful for his actions. He judged himself to be guilty and offered himself a punishment - to renounce the throne, stay in the forest and live like a hermit.

If you tell me now that, our beloved telecom minister, told everyone around how he succumbed to the lust of money and offered himself the punishment of uplifting the life of one thousand Indians below poverty line with sheer hard work - I would say - OK nothing special with King Pandu then. But, I know you will laugh at the sheer proposition of something like King Pandu's self-effacing, strict moral behavior. The rationale for such an action escapes the common mind.

Mahabharat is an age-old story told and listened millions of times. Still, it never falls short of stories to inspire, which act as the guiding light of values we ought to have.


  1. Very true. I remember, watching Mahabharat, was somewhere similar to watching Matrix multiple times...every time a new understanding struck my mind.
    So many colourful characters with different perspectives...a complete lesson of life. If any doubts left, Geeta comes to rescue.

  2. Kindama was disguised as a deer and having sex with his wife. He cursed Pandu that any time he is arounsed and indulges, he would die. This added to the psychological burden of Pandu who then tried to be a recluse. He died nonetheless when he was aroused by Madri.

    Indian TV would never show such details. Hypocrites.