The story teller “Ugrasravasu” continued to say to Saint Sounaka and other saints. Under the protection of Bheeshma, Dhrutaraashtra, Panduraaja and Viduraa, were growing up day by day. Bheeshma performed upanayana” to all the three princes. They were learning Vedas, Saastraas and archery and other marshal arts. hen Bheeshma enthroned Dhrutaraashtra as “Yuva Raajaa” for the Bharata empire.

With the wisdom of Vidura, with the muscle power of Panduraja, Dhrutaraashtra was ruling the country. Bheeshma intended to perform the marriage of Dhrutarashtra. He heard about the daughter of the King of Gaandhaara Kingdom. Bheeshma consulted with Vidura. “Viduraa, I heard that the daughter of King Subala, ruler of the Kingdom of andhara, was blessed by Lord Siva, that she will beget one hundred sons and one daughter. Therefore, she is fit girl for Dhrutarashtra. If this marriage is performed, the Kuruvamsha, will continue uninterruptedly.” said Bheeshma. Vidura also agreed for this proposal.

Bheeshma sent “purohits” to fix the marriage alliance. Subala, king of Gandhara, also agreed for the mrriage proposal. He agreed to give his daughter, Gaandhaari in marriage to Dhrutaraashtra. But his relatives did not agree to give Gandhaari to a blind man by birth. But Gandhari agreed for the marriage. Because, his father gave word, she decided that Dhrutarashtra wouldbe her husband. As her husband was blind, she also tied a cloth to her eyes because she does not want to see the world outside which her husband cannot see. Subala, the king of Gandaar, sent his daughter Gandhari along with his son Sakuni to Hastinaapura for performing the marriage, with all princelyhonours.

Bheeshma performed the marriage of Dhrutarastra with Gandhari. Dhrutarashtra also married, other ten sisters of Gandhari for the same “Muhurat” (auspicious time fixed for marriage). Bheeshma also brought one hundred more girls and Dhrutarashtra married them also.With his 110wives, Dhrutarashtra was living happily, enjoying the sensual pleasures with his wives. Pandu Raaja, the brother of Dhrutarashtra,also learnt Vedas, Sastras and archery and all marshal arts.

Bheeshma also intended to performthe marriage of Pandu Raja. There was a Yadava King called Soora. His elderdaughter was Prudha. His son was Vasudeva, father of Lord Krishna. His aunt’s son was King KuntiBhoja. Kunti Bhoja was issueless. King Soora gave his elder daughter, Prudha, in adoption to KuntiBhoja. Hence Prudha was brought up in the palace of Kunti Bhoja.

One day, a great saint calledDoorvasa visited the Palace of Kunti Bhoja. Princess Kunti was deputed to look after the comforts of Saint Doorvasa. Doorvasa was very much satisfied with the service done by Kunti. While leaving, he calledKunti: “O Kunti, I am very much satisfied with your service. I will give you a powerful “mantra”. If you worship any Devata (divine person) in your mind and chant this mantra, that Devata (divineperson) will appear before you and bless you with a son”. So saying, Doorvasa gave that “mantra” toKunti and went away.

One day, Prudha wanted to test the Mantra given by Saint Doorvasa. She went to the banks of river ganges alone. She took holy bath. She worshipped the Sun God, chanted the mantra and prayed “Oh Sun God. bless me with a son who resembles you”. Immediately, Sun God appeared before her. On seeing Sun God Kunti shivered. “Kunti ! dont fear. I have come to bless you with a son” said Sun god. “O Sun God, Iaman unmarried girl. I requested for a son childishly. Please forgive me” she prayed. “Kunti, my visit will never go in waste. You will give birth to a son” said Sun God.

“O Sun God, I am unnmarried. How can I show myface to my parents, if I am pregnant?” said Kunti. “If that is your doubt, Iwill bless you with a son withoutspoiling your chastity.” With the power of mantra and with theblessings of Sun God, Kunti gave birth to a child (Karna) with natural body coverings and chestplates(kavacha) and ear rings (kundala). Sun God went away. Prudha was left with the child in her arms.

She did not know what to do. She was thinking aloud: “Why should Saint Doorvasa come to my house? Why should he give me that powerful mantra? Why should I childishly worship SunGod and ask for a malechild? Why should Sun God bless me with a male child? What should I do with this child? If I take thischild to my palace, everybody will curse me. Still, I cannot abandon this child. What to do? What to do?”she was thinking, thinknig and thinking. At that time, by God’s grace, a box with full of diamonds, pearlsand gold ornaments, was floating on the water.

Kunti got an idea. She pulled that box to the shore. She kept the child in the box and left the box in the river. The box was floating in the river. One chariot-driver(Sootha) saw that box. He brought that box to the shore and opened it. He saw a child along with gold,diamods and pearls. As he was not having any children, he immediately took the child to his house and gave the child to his wife, Radha. She felt very happy. As the child was found along with Gold and Diamonds, he was named as “Sushena”.

Karna was brought up inthehouse of a soota (chariot driver) and his wife Radha. KuntibhOja intended to perform the marriage of hisdaughter, Prudha. He proclaimed “Svayamvara”. In that Svayamvaraa, among the Kings gathered, Prudha selected King Pandu as her betterhalf. Marriage was performed. With the permission of Bheeshma,King Pandu also married the daughter of King of Madra Kingdom, called Maadri.

After marriage,King Pandu intended to expand the territories of his Kingdom. He conquered all the Kings on the four corners and expanded his Kingdom. All the kings have become the deputees of the Kuru Empire. KingPandu also performed one hundred Asvamedha Yagaas.

One day, King Pandu went to forest forhunting animals. His wives, Kunti and Madri also followed him. One day, since morning, he could not find a single animal for hunting. King Pandu was so much tired and uneasy. At that time, he found one male deer and one female deer, enjoying sexual plesure in the forest. King Pandu hit the two deers with his arrows. The female deer died on the spot. The male was seriously injured. King Pandu went near the deers to collect them.

On seeing King Pandu, the male deer said: “O king Pandu, hunting is natural for kings. I do agree. Therefore, there is no wrong in killing us, as we are animals. But, animals who are unable to run,who are enjoying sexual pleasure and who are suffering with diseases, should not be killed. Even cruel hunters who are hunting animals for flesh, also will not kill such animals. Knowing fully well the above dharma, why you hit us while we were enjoying sexual intercourse?” the male deer questioned KingPandu.

“I have not killed you by cheating you or in hide or disguise. I killed you directly. As Kshatriya,hunting animals is my Dharma. I am not at fault in killing you” replied King Pandu. The male deerdid not satisfy with his reply. “O King you killed me and my lover deer. While we are enjoying sexual pleasures you hit us and killed us. Therefore, whenever you join your wife for sexual pleasure, you will also die like us. This is my Saapa (curse) to you for your misdeeds”

So saying, the male deer fell downand died. King Pandu was very much annoyed with this Saapa given by male deer. “When there is no sexual pleasure, the life is waste. It would be better if I go for Tapassu (penance).” He returned to his wives, Kunti and Madri and told them what had happened. “I am going for Tapassu(penance). You go back to Hastinapuram. Tell Bheeshma, Satyvati and brother Dhrutarastra about this Saapa. You stay there along with them” said King Pandu. Kunti and Madri did not agree for this proposal. “We will never leaveyou in this forest. We will accompany you whereever you go” said Kunti and Madri.

King Pandu gaveaway all his valuable belongings in charity to those who accompanied him. He sent them back to capital.He adopted saintly life and started for “Vaanaprastha”***. Along with his wives, he went toSatasrunga Hill and lived there, doing penance. Both his wifes, Kunti and Madri were serving him. (***In aman’s life, there are four stages. They are: (1)Brahmacarya (life before marriage), (2)Garhasthyam (marriedlife), (3) Vaanaprastham (going to forests along with wives for leading virtuous life, leaving all wordlypleasures (4) Sanyaasam (leaving everything including family life and doing penace and preparinghimself for Moksha(liberation), the eternal stage. (Now, King Pandu is in the third stage,Vaanaprastha).

On one Amaavasya Day(No moon day), all the sages and saints were going to BrahmalOka (abode of Brahma) to serve Lord Brahma. King Pandu, along with his wives, also tried to accompany them. But those saints told King Pandu “ O king, these are heavenly paths. Persons like you should not travel along these paths”. King Pandu understood the innermeaning of those words.

“O Saints,we have no sons.We are issueless. Hence we are not fit to travel along heavenly paths. Is it not?” said King Pandu. Then those saints viewed future through their divine vision (divya dhrushti). “You are not issueless. you will beget children. Try for them” so saying, they went away. Then King Pandu was thinking for himself. Human beings have four debts(Runas). (1)Deva Runa(debt), (2)Rushi Runa (3)Pitru Runa and (4) Manushya Runa. One has to discharge these four debts during his life time. Othewise, he will not get higher paths. By performing Yagnas, Deva Runa, by chanting Vedas, Rushi Runa, by performing rituals to parents and fore fathers, Pitru Runa and by showng kindness towards fellowmen,Maanusha Runa, will be discharged. I discharged all Runas (debts) except pitru runa. Without sons, Pitru Runa cannot be discharged. Due to the curse given by that male deer, I could not beget children.What to do?” So thinking, he reached his Ashram.

He called Kunti and told her about his mental agony. “My dear Kunti, without children, it is useless to live in this world. It is better to die.Therefore, you also think about it. You have to beget children through a proper way. I will tell you onething. Sons are of six kinds. Aurasa,dattaka, krutrima, goodhOtpanna, apaviddha and kshetraja. All thesesons are entitled to share in the ancestral properties or kingdom.

But there are another six kinds of sons.They are, kaaneena, sahOdha, kreeta, pounarbhava, svayamdatta, and jnaata. These are also equal tosons. But they are not entitled to a share in the ancestral property or kingdom. In the first set of six sons,aurasa and kshetraja are important. As you are well aware, you cannot beget aurasas due to this Saapa.The next alternative is Kshetraja. Kshetraja, born through “Devara nyaya”, is best. ( “Devara nyaya”means begetting sons through a virtuous person or Bramin other than husband.)

In the olden days,therewas a king ruling Kekaya Kingdom. He has no children. With the permission of the king (husband),his wife performed “Pumsavana HOma” and begot three sons through virtuous brahmins.Therefore when there is no possibility of getting “Ourasas” (children through husband), Kshetrajasare much better” said King Pandu. On hearing this Kunti was a bit annoyed. “We are your wives married to you through Dharma. We donot even think about others even in our mind. How is it possible to lay with them and beget children trough them?. We have to beget children through you only and not otherwise. I will also tell some other way.. In the Pooru Dynasty, there was a king called Vyushithaasva. He performed one hundred Asvamedha Yagas. He conquered all the kings. He was alustful man.He enjoyed sex without any limit. Due to that, he died with Tubercolosis. His wife was weepingsitting by his side. “I never stay in this world without children. I will come along with you. Take me also along with you.” so saying she was weeping aloud. At that time, she heard a divine voice from the dead body of her husband. “Listen carefully. On the eighth or fourteenth day after day of your monthly period,have a holy bath, lay on a bed, think about me. I will lay with you and you will get children through me.” The wife of Vyushithaasva, did what all her husband said and begot seven sons through her husband. Therefore, we also will beget children
in the above manner” said Kunti.

Then King Pandu told Kunti: “I will also tell you another story which is according Dharma. In those days,there were no restrictions for the married ladies. They were enjoying sexual pleasure with others, with o rwithout the permission of their husbands. One day, the wife of a great saint, Uddalaka, was in monthly periods. One old brahmin came to their house. He saw the wife of Uddalaka. He expressed his desire to get children through her. Svetaketu, the son of Uddalaka, strongly opposed this that it was against Dharma. Immediately, he made a rule. “Hereinafter, no married woman should have sexual relation with persons other than their husbands. The married women will attain all kinds of sins if they have sexual intercourse with others.This is my rule throughout the world”.

(The rule enunciated by Svethakethuis followed even today. It is added as a punishable offence -- Adultery, in the Indian PenalCode). Since that Day, the married women are not having sexual intercourse with persons other than husband. But they can do it with the permission of the husband because, according to Manu, violating the order of husband is a sin and wrong.

One Rajarshi,(formerly a king later transformed into a Saint)Kalmaashapaada, ordered his wife, Damayanti, to beget children through a virtuous Brahmin, Vasishta.His wife obeyed the orders of her husband and begot a son,Ashmaka, through Vasishta.You know, we were also born by Devara Nyaya, through KrishNadvaipaayana. Therefore, please obey my words and beget children according to dharma.” said King Pandu with a sorrowful voice.

Kunti was moved by the words of her husband. Suddenly, she recollected the mantra given by Saint Doorvaasa, while she was young. She told the same to her husband. “With the help of that Mantra, I can invoke any divine personality, and beget sons through him. Please tell me whom I have to invoke?” asked Kunti.” “Kunti,Dharma (Yama Dharma Raja) is the embodiment of Dharma. Please invoke him through your Mantra”said King Pandu.

With the permission of her husband, King Pandu, Kunti chanted the Mantra and invoked Dharma. Dharma appeared before her and blessed her with a son. Through him, Kunti became pregnant. After one year, she gave birth to a son. A divine voice from heaven named the child asYudhishtira. All the saints gathered there praised Yudhishtira that he will be the future king of Kuru Dynastyand he will rule the people according to Dharma and do Justice to one and all.

In Hastinapura,Gaandhari became pregnant through Dhrutaraashtra. But she could not deliver the child for alonng time. In the meantime, she heard that Kunti gave birth to a son, Yudhishtira She could not bear this.Gandhari started to beat her stomach for getting early delivery. But there was an abortion. On hearing this,Krishnadvaipaayana hurriedly came to Hastinapura. He collected all the pieces of flesh aborted from the womb of Gandhari. He divided them into 101 parts and preserved them in ghee pots carefully. He told Gandhari that she will get 100 sons and one daughter.

Gandhari repented for hermistake. She preserved them carefully. There, at Satasrunga hill, King Pandu desired to have one more son. He called Kunti “Kunti, this time you invoke Vayudeva (air god) and beget a child, equivalent to Vayu in strength, vigour and mighty body.”asked King Pandu. With the permission of herhusband, Kunti chanted the Mantra given by Saint Doorvasa, invoked VaayudEva, and prayed for a son.With the blessings of Vayu Deva, Kunti became pregnant. After one year, she gave birth to a son with mighty body and enormous strength. As usual, the divine voice from heaven named the child as“BheemasEna”.

On the same day when BhimasEna was born, Duryodhana was born with “Kali Amsa”.Thereafter, daily one son was born, for one hundred days, to Gandhari. They are:1.Duryodhana,2.Dussaasana, 3.Dussaha, 4.Dussala, 5.Jalasandha, 6.Sama, 7.Saha, 8.Vinda, 9.Anuvinda, 10.Durdarsha, 11.Subaahu, 12.Dushpradarshana, 13.Durmarshana, 14.Durmukha, 15.Dushkarna, 16.Karna,17.Vivimsata,18.Vikarna, 19.Sala, 20.Satva, 21SulOchana, 22.Chitra, 23.Upachitra,24.Chitraaksha, 25.Charucitra, 26.Saraasana, 27.Durmada, 28.Durvigaaha, 29.Vivitsa,30.VikaTaanana, 31.Nornanaabha, 32.Sunaabha, 33.Nanda, 34.Upananda, 35.Chitrabaana,36.Chitravarma, 37.Suvarma, 38DurvimOcana, 39.AyObaaha, 40.Mahaabaaha,41.Chitranga, 42.Chitrakundala, 43.Bheemavega, 44.Bheemabalaa, 45.Balaaka,46.Balavardha,47.NOgraayudha,48.SushEna,49.Kundadhaara,50.MahOdara,51.Chitraayudha,52.Nishanga, 53.Paasa,54.Brundaaraka, 55.Dhrudhavarma, 56.Dhrudhakshatra, 57.Somakeerthi, 58.Anoodara,59.Dhrudhasandha, 60.Jaraasandha, 61. Sada, 62.Suvaaga, 63.Ugrasrava, 64.Ugrasena,65.Senaani, 66.Dushpraaja, 67.Aparaajitha, 68.Kundasaayi, 69.Visaalaksha, 70.Duraadhara,71.Durjaya,72.Dhrudhahasta, 73.Suhastha, 74.VaatavEga, 75.Suvarcha, 76.Aaadityaketa,77.Bahvaasi,78.Naagadatta, 79.Agrayaayi, 80.Kavacha, 81.Kradhana, 82.Kundina,83.DhanurdharOgra, 84.Bheemaradha, 85.Veerabaahu, 86.ValOla, 87.Rudrakarma,88.Dhrudaradhaasrya, 89.Adrushya, 90.KundabhEdi, 91.Viravi, 92.Pramadha,93.Pramaadhi, 94.DeergharOma, 95.Dheerghabaahu, 96.OoDhOra, 97.Kanakadhvaja,98.Upaabhaya, 99.Kundaasi and 100.Vijarasa. From out of the 101th Anda, a femalechild was born. She was named as Dussala.

Dhrutaraashtra also married one Vysya lady. Through her,he got a son. His name was Yuyutsa. When Duryodhana was born, there were several bad omens. On seeing them, Bheeshma and Vidura were very much annoyed. They approached Dhrutraashtra and said“As you know, when Duryodhana was born, there were several bad omens. They are not good for the country. You have got one hundred children. Why cannot you leave Duryodhana and save the country?”advised Bheeshma and Vidura. But due to the paternal affection towards his elder son,Dhrutarashtra did not agree for this.

On Satasrunga hill, one day, Kunti went to a temple on a hill. Shewas carrying Bheemasena in her arms. Suddenly one tiger came there and jumped on Kunti. She was very much frightened. King Pandu immediately killed that tiger with his arrows. Still, Kunti was shiveringand dropped the child Bheemasena who fell on a rock.The rock was crushed to powder. KingPandu was surprised on seeing this.

Later, King Pandu came to know that Gandhari gave birth to 100sons. King PanDu wanted to have more sons. He did “tapassu” about Indra. Indra appeared before him and said “King PanDu, a son who can conquer all the three lOkas will be born to you”. Then King Pandu called Kunti. “I wanted to have more sons in a virtuous path. The chief of divine bodies is Indra. You chant the mantra given by Saint Doorvasa and invoke Lord Indra and request him for a son” said KingPandu. As per the permission given by her husband, Kunti chanted the Mantra and invoked Lord Indra.Indra appeared before her and blessed her with a son with his Amsa (genesis). Kunti became pregnantand gave birth to a glorious mighty warrior in “Uttara Phalguni” star with his Amsa. As usual, the divine voice from heavenn spoke “As thisboyis greater warrior than Kaartaveeryaarjuna, he will be called as Arjuna.”

King Pandu and his wife Kunti were happily spending time with their three sons. Gandhari got 100 sons and Kunti gotthreesons. But poor Maadri, second wife of King Pandu, remainned issueless. She was very much worried about it.One day, before King Pandu, she expressed her desire to have sons. Already, a way is paved for begetting childrenthrough Devaranyaaya. King Pandu called Kunti. “Kunti, your sister Madri is issueless. Please help her also.Youchant the Mantra given by Saint Doorvasa and invoke Asvins who are most beautiful and helpful to mankind andrequest them to bless Madri with sons”.

As per the directions of her husband, Kunti chanted the Mantra and invoked Asvinis. Asvins appeared before Kunti. Sherequested them to bless Madri with children. Asvins blessed Madri with sons with their Amsas. Accordingly, Madri became pregnant and gave birth to two sons with the Amsas of Asvins. As usual, the divine voice from heaven named them as “Nakula” and “Sahadeva”. Vasudeva (father of Lord Krishna) is the elder brother of Kunti. On hearing that Kunti was blessed with three sons, he sent all kinds of presentations to Kunti through Purohit Kashyapa. In the meanwhile spring season entered.

One day King Pandu went to nearby forest along with his second wife Madri.While he was strolling in the forest, he became horny on looking at the beautiful body of his wife Madri and looked at her with lustful looks.He forgot the curse of the male deer. Inspite of her protests, he enjoyed sexual pleasure with her. King Pandu died on the spot. Madri was shocked about this unexpected happening. She was shivering.She began to weep loudly. Kunti came there running. She undersood the situation. She desired to have “sati”along with her husband. Madri did not agree for it. “Kunti, this is all happened due to my negligence. Knowing fully well about the curse of the male deer, I was totally careless. Such a careless woman like me cannot manage our sons and protect them and bring them up. You are fit for that. I follow our husband by observing “Sati”.

So saying, she sat by the side of the body of her husband and set to fire and reduced to ashes. Kunti was left alone with her five sons and other saints in the neighbouring Ashrams. All those Saints, along wih Kunti and her five sons, went to Hastinapura. The residents of Hastinapuram extended warm welcome to Kunti and Pandavas. They came to see the sons of King Pandu and his wife, Kunti. Duryodhana, along with 99 brother and purohits accorded a warm welcome to the Saints, Kunti and Pandavas and led them into the Palace. Bheeshma,Vidura, Satyavati, Amba, Ambaalika, Dhrutarashtra welcomed the Saints, Kunti and Pandavas.They consoled Kunti for the sudden death of her husband. They all showered love and affection on Pandavas, sons of King Pandu. One of the Saints accompanied Kunti said: “King Pandu was staying on the Satasrunga Hill. He begot these five sons, through his wives, Kunti and Madri, with the blessings of Yama, Vaayu, Indra, and Asvins. On a fateful day,he along with his wife went to heaven. Therefore, we brought Kunti and her sons here and hand them over to you.”Then all the saints went away.

One day, Krishnadvaipayana called his mother Satyavati and told her: “The sons of Dhrutarashtra are cruel and indisciplined. You cannot tolerate them. You please proceed to forest for doing tapassu.” As per the advise of Krishnadvaipaayana, Satyavati, with the permission of Bheeshma,went to forest along with her daughters-in-law Ambika and Ambaalika. In the passage of time, they all left the human bodies and went to heaven. In Hastinapuram, KingDhruta-rashtra was bringing up his sons and the sons of King Pandu without any discrimination between them.

But,while playing, Bheema was overpowering the other brothers. Bheema was teasing them and beating them and subjecting them to much troubles. Unable to bear those troubles, Duryodhana conspired with his maternal uncle,Sakuni, and his immediate brother Dussasana, and was planning to put an end to Bheema by some means or other.Sakuni supported them. One day, after playing all kinds of water- sports in a nearby river, all are tired and were sleeping. At that time, Duryodhana with the help of Sakuni, got Bheema tied with wires and threw him in the deep waters of the river. Bheema woke up and just shrugged his shoulders. All the wires were broken and Bheema was freed. On the other day, Duryodhana got Bheema bit by dreadful poisonous cobras. But, the stings of the Cobras couldnot inflict into his strong body. Bheema woke up and killed all the snakes with one hand.

At last, Duryodhana got mixed powerful poison in the food intended for Bheema. Bheema consumed the entire food mixed with poison and digested it. The poison could not cause any harm to Bheema. Thus, all the attempts to kill Bheema werefoiled. Duryodhana was seriously thinking how to kill Bheema. Bheeshma, appointed eminent teachers likeKrupaacaarya and Dronacaarya to teach all the skills of archery to Pandavas and Kouravas. Janamejaya asked SaintVaisampaayana: “Kindly tell us about the birth of Krupaacarya and Dronaacarya who were the Teachers of Kouravasand Pandavas.”

Saint Vaisampaayan continued to say: There was a great saint called Goutama. His son was Saradvanta. Sardvanta did not like to learn Vedas. He was more interested in learning archery.He learnt many skills in archery. To know more about archery, he did Tapassu.To break that Tapassu, Indra sent young beautiful lady called Jalapada. Saradvanta saw that lady. He became so horny. His deer skin, bow and arrows fell down from his hand. His sperm fell down in a grass bush in two parts. Sarvadvanta then went away. From out of that sperm, one boy and one girl were born. One day, King Santana went there for hunting. He saw the boy and girl and also the arrow sand bow and the deer skin left by Saradvanta. He thought that they were born to a Brahmin. He brought them to his palace. He named them as Krupa and Krupi.

After some time, Sardvanta came back to Santana. He identified his son and daughter. He performed thread marriage to Krupa. He taught the skills in archery to his son Krupa. Later, Bheeshma heard about Krupa and called him to Hastinapuraand deputed him to teach archery to Pandavas and Kouravas. After that, Saint Vaisampaayana narrated about the birth of Dronacharya who was the main teacher of Kourvas and Pandvas.

A great saint called Bharadvajwas doing “Tapassu” on the banks of River Ganges. One day, a divine beauty, Ghrutachi, was swimming in the waters of River Ganges. Due to the wind, her saree was dislocated and her naked body was visible to the eyes of others. Saint Bharadvaja saw her naked beauty. He became horny. His semen fell down. Saint Bharadvaja collected that semen into a pot (Droni). From that semen, a boy was born with the Amsa of Sukra. As he wasborn in a Droni (vessel) he was called Drona. King Prushata, a friend of Saint Bharadwaja, was ruling the Panchala Kingdom. He went to forest for Tapassu. One day, he saw, one of the divine beauty called Menaka. As usual, hebecame horny. His semen fell down. But Prushata covered it with his foot. From that semen, a boy was born with the Amsa of Maruttu.. He was named as Drupada. Prushata kept that boy in the Ashram of Bharadvaja and returned to his capital of Pancala.

In the Aashram of Bharadwaja, Drona and Drupada together learnt Vedas and skills of archery. After Prushata, Drupada succeeded to the throne of Panchala .Drona learnt many skills of archery under the guid ance of Saint AgnivEsya. As per the order of Bharadwaja, Krupi, the sister of Krupacharya, was given in marriage to Drona. A son was born to Drona through Krupi. He was called Asvathama. Having come to know that Parasurama was giving away money and gold as gifts to all the Brahmins,Drona approached Parsurma for some money as he was poor. “Drona, I am sorry. I have completely given away all the money to the Brahmins. I am not having anyting to be given to you. But I am having “Astras and Sastras”(missilees). If you require, I will give them to you” said Parasurama. Drona gladly agreed for it. Parasurama taught Drona many “Astras and Sastras” with the skill of “Prayoga and Upasamhaara” (shoot and retract).

After learning all the archery skills from Parasurama, Drona came back home. One day, Drona went to Drupada, who was his friend since childhood. Drona talked to him freely as a close friend. But Drupada did not relish it. “You are a poor brahmin. How can you make friendship with Kings like me. Friendship or enemity should be between equals only.What is the use for a King like me with a friend like you. Therefore, there is no scope for friendship between us. You can go” said Drupada proudly.

Drona couldnot bear this insult. But he could not do anything. Unable to stay there, he proceeded to Hastinapura with his wife and son, Asvathama. On the way, he saw Duryodhana and his other brothers in the precincts of Hastinapura. At that time they were playing with a ball. That ball fell in a deep well. They do not knowhow to take the ball out of the well. They are all looking into the well helplessly. Drona came near the well. He sawthe princes in helpless condition. Drona took out his bow and arrows. He attached one arrow to the other and made an arrow thread. With the help of arrow thread he took out the ball from out of the well.

Duryodhana and other princes went back home and informed the same to Bheeshma. Bheeshma immeditely met Drona “ Who are you?From where you are coming?” asked Bheeshma. “I am Drona son of Bharadwja. I learnt skills of archery with Agnivesya. Drupada, the king of Panchala, was my friend since childhood. When I met him he insulted me. This boy ismy son, Asvathama. I am a poor Brahmin. I have no sufficient money to feed my wife and son. I suffered a lot. While my son was a child, I had no money even to purchase milk for the child. I approached Drupada, who was my friend sincechildhood, and requested him to give four milching cows to feed the child. But Drupada, heckled my poverty and denied my friendship, insulted me and refused to help me.” said Drona.

Bheeshma gave sufficient money to Drona. Bheeshma requested Drona to teach all the skills of archery to the sons of Dhrutarashtra and sons of King Pandu.Drona agreed for it. One day, Drona expressed a desire" after learning all the skills of archery from me, who, amongst you, will accomplish my desire?” asked Drona. Kouravas kept silent. Arjuna came forward “O Guru, I am Arjuna.I am here to accomplish your desire, whatever you desire.” said Arjuna. Drona was very happy with the words of Arjuna. He hugged Arjuna. Then he started teaching archery to Pandavas and Kouravas.

Not only Kouravas and Pandavas, several princes from various countries came to him and learnt archery. Karna, the son of Kunti, born to her while she was unmarried, with the blessings of Sun God, and who was brought up by a Soota, also learnt Archery under the guidance of Drona. But Karna was always supporting Duryodhana and remained on his side. Arjuna was obedient to his Guru, Drona and was serving him with devotion and won the confidence of Drona.

Asvathama, son of Drona, was a proud and jealous man. He did not relish Arjuna to learn how to shoot arrows even in darkness. He called the cook and told him not to serve food to Arjuna when there was no light. One day, Arjuna was taking food. Alight was burning by his side. Suddenly there was a wind and the light went off. But Arjuna continued to put his food inhismouth as a habit. Suddenly he got an idea.“While I was able to take food even in darkness, why cannot I shoot arrows in darkness, if I practice.” Since then he started practicing, shooting the objects with arrows in darkness.

One day, Drona heard the sound of bow-thread in dark ness. He saw Arjuna practising shooting in darkness. He was very much pleased for the keen interest and devotion in learning archery. Drona taught all the “Astras and Sastraas” learnt from Parasurama, to Arjuna. Drona made Arjuna equal to him. On hearing about the name and fame of Acharya Drona,one Ekalavya, son of a Tribal King, Hiranyadhanva, came to Drona and requested him to teach him archery.Drona refused to teach him archery because he belonged to a Tribal Community. Then Ekalavya went into the forest. He made and idol of Drona with mud. He worshipped that idol with utmost devotion. He kept Drona in his mind.He thought that Drona was before him and teaching him archery. He began to practice archery.

One Day, Pandavas and Kouravs went into the nearby forest for hunting. The hunting dog of Pandavas trespassed into the placewhere Ekalavya was practising archery and began to bark loudly. Ekalavya shot seven arrows into the mouth of thedog. The dog returned back to Pandavas. They saw the dog was wounded by arrows. They went in search of theperson who shot the dog with arrows. They found Ekalavya in the forest, practising archery. “Who are you? Who isyour teacher in archery?” askedPandavas. “My name is Ekalvya son of a Tribal King. He is my Guru. He isDronacharya”so saying he showed the idol of Dronacarya. Pandavas returned to Ashram and told Drona what had happened.

But Arjuna was suffering with mental agony. He met Dronacarya alone “Guruji, you told me that I am yourfavourite student. You taught me all the skills in archery. But that Tribal is saying that you are his Guru. He is moreefficient than me. How is it?” asked Arjuna. Drona could not understand this. Immediately, Dronacharya, along withArjuna, visited the place where Ekalavya was living Ekalavya welcomed Dronacarya and bowed before him. “Guruji, I am your student in archery.” said Ekalavya. Then Dronacharya asked Ekalavya “ If you are my student and I am your Teacher, where is your “Guru Dakshina” (reward for the Guru)” asked Drona. “Guruji, this is my body. Here is my wealth. These are my servants. You choose whatever you want. I will whole heartedly give you” requested Ekalavya.”replied Ekalavya. “If that is so, sever your right thumb and give it to me” asked Drona. Withouthesitation, Ekalavya took out a knife, cut his right thumb and placed it at the feet of Drona.The result was that Ekalavya cannot hold the bow and shoot an arrow. He lost all his skills in archery.Arjuna got mental peace.Duryodhana and his brothers were very much jealous about the strength of Bheema and archery skills of Arjuna.

One day, Drona wanted to test the archery skills of his students. He made a toy bird and tied it to the top branch ofa tree. Drona showed the toy bird to all his students. “You all take out your bows and arrows and be ready to shoot.When I give signal, you have to hit that toy bird.” said Drona. First he called Dharmaraj. “Dharmaa, take your bow and fix an arrow. See that toy bird and its head” “Yes Guruji” “Are you seeing the tree, me, your brothers?” “Yes Guruji. I could see all of you” “You have no concentration. You cannot hit the toy bird. Go away.” said Drona. In the same way, he asked all his students. All of them gave same reply that they are seeing all other things including the object.At last, Dronacarya called Arjuna and asked Arjuna what he was seeing. “Guruji,I could see only the head of thebird and the head alone and nothing else. No other object is visible to me. I do not see anything except the object”replied Arjuna. “Hit” ordered Dronacarya. Arjuna hit the object successfully. Dronachary was very much pleased with the concentration and shrewdness of Arjuna.

One day, Pandavas, Kouravas and other students went to a nearby river for bathing. While Dronacharya was taking a dip in the river, one crocodile caught the leg of Dronacarya and dragging him deep into the river.Dronacharya raised hue and cry. “Come on my students. help me. save me from this crocodile” cried aloud. All the princes were running here and there serching ways and means to save the Guru. But Arjuna fixed the arrows to his bow and hit the invisible crocodile hid in the river water, killed it and saved Dronacharya.Dronacharya felt very much happy for the archery skills of Arjuna. He believed that Arjuna was the only person who can take vengeance against Drupada on his behalf. He gave all amazing and powerful Astras and Sastrasto Arjuna and made him a full fledged warrior.

{MahaBharat--Adi Parva
Panchama Asvaasa
(fifth chapter)
Om Tatsat.