Here im compiling a list of answers in response to some valid question posted here.
Ill answer as many as possible as per the time and as i get to research more and more on this topic. So please bear with me. Also please bear with the order of points. Ill rearrange them after i have all of the consolidated list.

Technically, the person who becomes the king is the one most capable, physically for taking on that role. In the most general case, it becomes the eldest son that takes this up. But since Dhrithraashtra was blind, the throne went to Paandu.

The whole of the Kurukshetra war was based on the single question of who was the rightful heir to the throne of Hastinapura. Is it Suyodhana because he was the eldest son of the eldest of the three brothers(D, P and Vidura) or is it Yudhishtira, for he being born the first among all the sons. [We cannot consider Karna here.He was never a prince or recognised or not known to be of royal lineage]

Well, yes, you can say so…Pandavas aren’t technically sons of Pandu. They are sons of Kunti and Madri. See, in the most of the cases, the progeny need not always be related by blood relationship.

Janaki, Sita was the daughter of Janaka, born from earth[Vasudha/Vasundhara]
Karna, Radheya, son of Radha.

You can get many many such instances where the father’s name was part of the progeny’s name.

And you have instances of Ganga, as Bhaagirathi, because she was brought to the land from the sky to ground by Bhagiratha.

6. I cant say much about this. But how come polygamy is fine but not polyandry? I dont see the similar question being raised when a man has 5+ wives…Is that not problem? How does it affect the sensibilities there?

He has no right and no commends him for that action. And thats why gambling is given as an example of things not-to-do.

Just because they havent been shown or talked about, doesnt mean hr/she doesnt exist. Abhimanyu was son of Subhadra. There were also five sons of Pandavas[borne by Draupadi] slayed by Ashvatthama at night[which is why his mani was taken by Krishna]. Anonymity doesnt negate their total existence, does it? And these characters werent given due importance, because they didnt add much to the story.

According to the standard texts, Gandhari wanted a hundred sons, and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. She became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a hunderd and pieces, and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl.

The other version is where on hearing Kunti having her first son Yudhishtira, Gandhari gets jealous and breaks her womb, which breaks into a 101 pieces. Vyasa is then said to have put each of them in a pot each, out of which children are born.

— This is sometimes cited as the first instance of a test-tube baby in the whole of the history of ancient literature. Also, these need not be pots but just a figurative noun used for a surrogate womb. —

updated 3:54pm 4th feb.2005

3. & 4.
At the end, while on their ascent to heaven, Yudhistira spurs the offer to ascend to heaven without the faithful dog [inspite of the pain of having lost all his brothers and wife].

Yudhishtira’s character was for never telling a lie. I guess after searching the Mahabharata, you can get many such instances.

5. For this the generic answer is ‘All is fair in love and war’. But give me time to answer each one individually.

At the end of the epic, the Pandavas are distraught at the destruction only that is left after the war. None of the next generation is left on either Pandavas side or Kauravas side. It is then that they give up their weapons and all and leave for aranya-vaasa[it is swargaarohana].

I dont exactly remember any instance where they becoming powerless is given. It was voluntary.

‘Maatru devobhava, Pitru devobhava, Guru devobhava’ When they were [considered]gods, guess giving boons doesnt appear so surprising. Of course, the character of the god is another matter. Devavrata is granted the boon of ‘death at will’ and not of infinite life.

This definitely clashes with the view that any of the Rakshasas could have asked for that…Quite interesting. Guess they were stupid to not to ask so.

Or consider their character. Death at will is a big issue. Any slang usage and gods might pounce at that very issue. Such a colloquial issue and he might just utter ‘i want to die’.

‘Oh my head is aching, its splittting.I want to die’ Lo! and Behold! Dead.
‘Its such a lousy day. I want to die’ Oops 🙂

Seriously, the intention/premise of living forever is to be also considered. For Rakshasas is for their own self, to spread their tyrannical empire. Bhishma, for the loyalty of the kingdom.

Again as in (11), the reasons in both cases are different.Drona acted like Kshatriya for money. Parashurama had to act like a Kshatriya for killing the Kshatriyas.[Had to avenge the murder of his family]. And that was where his act like a Kshatriya ended. Thereafter he left for penance on Mount Mahesha.

— The premise/intention is as important as the means and the end —

If Yudhistara did anything about it, his own identity would have come out and they would have to go into exile for another 12 years. Thats why all that was done in stealth.

It is this misplaced loyalty/feeling of dharma that was the cause of the Kurukshetra war. Bhishma’s unfettering loyalty to the Kaurava dynasty inspite of all their acts; Krupacharya, Drona’s loyalty to the king that employed them;Karna’s misplaced loyalty to a friend even though he was doing wrong… their misconception of their own dharmas caused the war. And it was because of this the Kurukshetra war was called the ‘Dharma Yuddha’ , not for as much for the fight between evil and good as much as it was for the redefinition of ‘Dharma’. Thats why Krishna’s Gitopadesha achieves cult status here.


5 thoughts on “answers

  1. Let me just give some inline replies:

    1) The fact that Yudhishtra is elder to Dhuryodhana is new to me. (nice to see u decide to call Dhuryodhana by his actual name :))

    But I am still not sure if the elder brothers son is given preference or the eldest son among all the progeny is given a preference.

    2) I was more bothered about their right to rule when I asked this question rather than their name being “Pandavas”

    6) I never said polygamy is fine 🙂 It is not. And read my question again…I wanted to ask , why did they jump to the conclusion of 5 ppl. marrying Draupadi, without even knowing if Kunti really “Intended” them to do so

    7) hmm

    8) I am not sure if you have heard of the Naga Kannika Ulupi, whom Arjuna married, and never took along with him. I also used to know a couple more of his wives, who stayed only in their parents house and never shared Arjunas trials and tribulations as did Draupadi.

    In fact, even Subadhra, of whom you speak of , did not go with Arjuna to the forest. Only Draupadi was “Pativrata” enough to do so.

    10) Hmm….nice to see u giving some scientific backing to ur answers…but it still occurs to me that if they were clones, it ought to have been mentioned.

    Anyway, could be possible.

  2. 1. The question has been there and will remain. As said, that was what the Kurukshetra war was fought for, in the first place.

    2. I guess 1 answers 2. Sorry if i interpreted yr q wrong.

    6. Well, it was a country then when the parent’s word was the final word. Come on, didnt Rama go to jungle without uttering a single word, when he was taken off the throne, when his coronation ceremony was the next day?

    8. Well, Bhima had wives other than Draupadi.Im not sure about the other three though. Why they were no in Indraprastha, im not sure. They were not placed as a bet in the game, were they?

    10. Yeah, guess they were not clones then. I havent come across any version that says they are.

  3. 6) In the case of Rama it is very explicit what the mother “Intends”

    The question here is that, Kunti does not even know what they have brought home, and she says share it…that does not mean the pounce on this opportunity does it 🙂

    8) Yeah, thanks for reminding, Bhima married a rakshasi who gave birth to Gatothkacha…what happened to her? huh…noone goes with their husbands those days is it?, and they talk of pativrata blah blah (but I think there was an explanation for Bhimas wife not following him…not sure of it though…but I am sure there was one good explanation)

  4. 6.
    Yup, words once spoken are the final spoken. Thats why the lesson is taught that before uttering something, utmost care should be taken, because once they are uttered cannot be taken back.

    Kunti actually realises her folly soon later, but acc. to dharma the words cannot be taken back. And so she has to live with that folly till the end of her life.

    According to my own knowledge, Bhima marries[rakshasa vivaha;which is not recommended/recognised by the hindu system of marriages] Hidimbi during the other time when they stay in exile, after the lac palace is burnt by Suyodhana.

    As per Hidimbi[sister of Hidimbasura slayed by Bhima], she doesnt go with them because she’s a Rakshasi. And Bhima has no memory of that marriage, until Ghatotkacha comes to him during Kurukshetra war.

  5. I would just like to comment on point two here. In ancient India, if a king could not bear a child with her wife, it was a custom to summon the most respected Brahmin from the kingdom and have his wife ‘serve’ him. This is a pretty common happening in most of kings’ stories. typically you had a great sage who would enjoy ‘sewa’ of the wife. A child born from this ‘sewa’ was lawfully the king’s and not the sage. So he had all rights to his father kingdom. In fact this custom was made to ensure that the lineage continues and a higher caste person (brahmin or sage) was sought only to ensure that there are better genes.

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