Dhritarashtra | Revolvy
Then Satyavati informed Ambika of Vyasa's visit and advised her that she should welcome the Rishi accordingly for the purpose of obtaining an heir to the throne. Dhritarashtra's mother Ambika was Vichitravirya's wife who was Bheeshma's Dhritrashtra was the elder brother of PAndu. hence the mother of dhritrashtra. In the Mahabharata epic, Pandu was the king of Hastinapur, the son of Ambalika and Vyasa. He is more popularly known as the earthly father of the Pandavas.
His mother had become a widow at the death of Prince Vichitra. When he met with his early death due, according to the epic, to overindulgence in sex with his two wives, Ambika and Ambalika, he had produced no offspring. The illustrious line of the Kuru-Bharatas was now without a man qualified to sit on the throne on which such legendary kings as Manu, Puroorava, Nahusha, Yayati, Dushyanta, Bharata, Hastin, Ajameedha, Kuru, and Shantanu had sat, without a head to wear their proud crown.
Devavrata Bheeshma was there, of course, but he had taken the vow not to sit on the throne though he would stand by it. The Kurus were desperately in need of a prince. Bheeshma refused — vows were vows and he would not break them. Perhaps it was the bitterness in him speaking, perhaps this is what had become of him because of that bitterness or maybe he had become really Bheeshma — the aura around his vows had imprisoned him in its awesome glare.
The act of conceiving Pandu was an act of indescribable horror and repugnance to his mother. So great was the repugnance and horror the sisters felt that they refused to undergo the torture a second time and when forced, sent a maid in their place.
And after the conception and giving birth to Pandu, Ambalika, like her sister after conceiving and giving birth to Dhritarashtra, withdrew into a shell from which she never came out. It is unlikely that Pandu grew up without hearing palace rumors about his birth. In a place packed with maids and slaves as the palace of Hastinapura was, it is impossible that this did not happen to a child who had no father and was totally neglected by his mother. It should not surprise us if he had heard, or at least overheard, what happened in some graphic details.
How a young sensitive mind would react to such talk he hears is impossible to predict and Pandu was definitely a very sensitive child and later a very sensitive man. The images that the gossip he heard generated must have been played repeatedly over and over again in his mind, rendering him eventually psychologically impotent. From the picture of him that the Mahabharata presents to us, Pandu appears to have been a man capable of great love, at least to begin with.
As a child he must have loved his mother deeply, as is shown by his act of offering at her feet part of the wealth he had brought from the conquest.
Listening to all those stories from palace gossip, stories that could have been very confusing to a child, he must have felt like countless other children that sex was something horrid that men did to women. The result would have been guilt, powerful guilt. The Mahabharata tells us that it was Bheeshma who mostly brought him up. Here was a man who had become a legend in his own lifetime for more than anything else because he had denied sex to himself.
The whole world looked up at him with awe. He had said no to women once and then, even when begged to break his vow, stuck to his vow. The Mahabharata does not tell us what his relations with Satyavati were — when Shantanu saw her and fell hopelessly in love with her, Devavrata had already been officially appointed the crown prince and what she had done was to snatch away from his head that crown of yuvaraja.
The Mahabharata does not tell us if he hated her for this, if he hated all women because of this.महाभारत एपिसोड ७ - व्यास के पुत्र
It is possible that he did, considering how adamantly he stuck to his vow of having nothing to do with women, though he was always perfectly gentlemanly and chivalrous in his behavior towards them. The vow that he would never fight a woman too speaks of his dislike and contempt for women.
At the opening of this chapter, Yudhishthira tells Bheeshma that women are the root of all evil and it has been said that they are mean-minded. He then asks Bheeshma to tell him about the nature of women.
What follows is a downright condemnation of women. We are told that even pretty women with husbands, born in noble families, do not remain within bounds. Once they get an opportunity to meet outsiders, they do not bother even for husbands who are famous, rich and endowed with unparalleled handsomeness, even when these husbands do everything to please them.
Women can give themselves to the greatest sinners, without feeling any shame about it.
He may be a deformed dwarf, it does not matter; he may be nauseatingly repulsive, that does not matter. All that matters to women is that he is male. And if men are not available to satisfy their lust, women will have no hesitation to seek sexual pleasure from other women. For, women are just never satiated sexually; with them it is as fire is never satiated with wood, the ocean is never satiated with rivers, death by consuming mortals.
Panchachooda has words to say about the nature of women which I am reluctant to write here — so blunt and crude is she in her description of the evil that women are.
Put death, fierce storms, the evil world underground, massive, all consuming conflagrations, the sharp edges of weapons, poison, fierce snakes, weigh all these against just woman on the other side and woman would be no less than all these terrors put together, says Panchachooda in words that Bheeshma approves of and quotes to Yudhishthira answering his question.
And if that is not enough, consider the two references to his lineage Pandu makes immediately after killing the deer in coitus and feeling guilty about it: What is the legacy of Vichitraveerya that Pandu considers himself an heir to? Lust that brought death. Lust in which Eros and Thanatos met. The adolescent Vichitra was so enamored by the two beautiful princesses whom his half-brother had brought for him that he spent his days and nights in a single passion — making love to them.
And Satyavati herself is a product of lust. She had made her desire known to him through a message she had sent him informing him she had just had her ritual bath after her monthly periods and was eagerly waiting for him in their bedchamber. In the jungle the king was unable to control his lust — all around him nature stood bathed in all her estrous glory, the mating calls of birds filled the air around him thick with the scent of passion.
This is a legacy of lust — straight and unmixed with anything else. The other lineage he speaks of is perhaps more confusing. Their union took place in the boat itself, right in the middle of the river. Vyasa brings in his blood the irrepressible lust of Parashara and of Uparichara Vasu.
Chapter 5 - The Birth of Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura
But at the same time, Vyasa is an ascetic too — a man who had his sexuality under control, though he too had slipped once, thus begetting his son Shuka. A very restrictive upbringing concerning sex, negative attitudes toward sex, negative or traumatic sexual experiences, though at second-hand, other deep-seated factors such as unconscious feelings of hostility, fear, and guilt… Pandu seems to have had his share of all these elements that cause psychopathological impotence — and a rich share of them at that.
Kalmashapada was an ancestor of Rama who had received a curse from his guru Vasishtha which transformed him into a Rakshasa. While living his accursed life as a Rakshasa, Kalmashapada meets a Brahman youth and his young wife in a forest. The couple were in the jungle making love and they had not yet completed their act when they saw the Rakshasa and ran away. Kalmashapada caught the brahmana, and the brahmani begged him not to eat him up.
Kalmashapada did not heed her and went ahead and ate up the Brahmin youth. Angirasi, the brahmani, wept bitter tears — and so deep was her pain that as each drop of her tears fell on the ground, it became a blazing fire and burnt up the place.
Dhritarashtra - Wikipedia
The brahmani then cursed Kalmashapada. He had interrupted her and her husband making love and killed her husband. Almost the identical curse as Pandu received and for almost identical reasons. It is this curse that made it impossible for Kalmashapada to have sex with his wife Madayanti and forced him to offer her to his guru Vasishtha forniyoga.
Like Kalmashapada, Pandu too carried a curse on him. His impotence was the result of that curse — but that curse was not given by Kindama.
The Birth of Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura [Chapter 5]
Pandu was cursed long before he killed the deer. His curse was a result of his very restrictive upbringing concerning sex, his negative attitudes toward sex, the traumatic sexual experience of his mother the trauma of which he had internalized, unconscious feelings of sexual hostility, fear, guilt. Satyavati then approached Ambika, explaining to her the situation. With great e fort Ambika was convinced that it was for the good of the world. When the right time came for conceiving a child, Satyavati took Ambika to the bed chamber and told her, Vichitravirya had an older brother who has been, until this time, unknown to you.
He will soon come here and conceive a child by you that will perpetuate our dynasty. Wait for him here without dropping off to sleep. Ambika then waited in her room contemplating the person to be Bhishma or one of the other Kuru elders. Suddenly Vyasadeva entered the room, and Ambika, seeing his matted locks, ugly features and grim visage, closed her eyes in fear and did not open them once during the time of conception.
When Vyasa came out of the chambers, he met his mother who inquired, Will this princess have a worthy son? Hearing her, he replied, The child born shall have the power of ten thousand elephants. He will be equal to a royal sage, and will possess learning, intelligence and prowess. However, because the princess has closed her eyes during conception, the child shall be born blind. Upon hearing this prediction from her son, Satyavati wondered, How can a blind king rule this earth?
How will he protect his family and the people of this world? You must again conceive another child that can act as a King. Vyasadeva agreed and went away. In due course of time, Ambika gave birth to a male child who was blind.
After the child's birth, he was given the name Dhritarastra. Satyavati was anxious to beget another male child who could rule the world, and after receiving Ambalika's consent, she called for Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva came as promised and approached the chambers of Ambalika.
Ambalika, seeing the repulsive features of Vyasa, turned pale with fear.
After conception, the sage left the chambers and told his mother, Because this queen has paled upon seeing my austere features, the child born will be white in color.
His name, therefore, will be Panduor one with a white complexion. In due course of time, Ambalika gave birth to a child endowed with auspicious marks. He was pale in complexion, but was handsome in all respects.
Indeed, it was this child who would become the future father of the Pandavas. Sometime after this child was born, Satyavati approached the beautiful Ambalika, again asking her to conceive a child by Vyasadeva. The princess felt she could not bear again to see the ugly features of the sage, and thus she sent to her chambers one of her maid servants who had heavenly beauty.
When Vyasa entered the chambers, the maid servant offered respects to the sage, treating him kindly. She took her seat near him when asked. She kept her eyes closed for the entire duration of the encounter. When Satyavati asked Vyasa next morning how things went,he said to her that a very strong and learned son would be born to Ambika.
However, because she closed her eyes at the time of her conception,the child would be born blind. This was very disappointing news for Satyavati and so she now instructed Vyasa to impregnate Vichitravirya's second wife,Ambalika. Satyavati advised Ambalika not to close her eyes and she did not. However,at the sight of Vyasa,she became pale. When Vyasa was done,he reported back to his mother and told her that Ambalika would have a son who would be handsome and brave but because she became pale at the time of impregnation,her son would also be pale.
Satyavati was still disappointed and told Vyasa that after Ambika gives birth to the child that he should return and impregnate her once more so that she will also have a son with eyesight. Vyasa agreed and then left for the forest. In time both queens Ambika and Ambalika gave birth to their sons and as Vyasa had said,one was blind and the other was pale. The blind son was named Dhritarashtra and the pale one was named Pandu. Then Satyavati again sent for Vyasa and she warned Ambika to be careful this time.