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Synopsis: The tragic and heroic figure of Queen Kunti emerges from an explosive era in the history of ancient India. As related in the Mahabharata, India's grand epic poem of 110,000 couplets, Kunti was the wife of King Pandu and the mother of five illustrious sons known as the Pandavas. As such, she was one of the central figures in a complex political drama that culminated fifty centuries ago in the Kuruksetra War, a devastating war of ascendancy that changed the course of world events. The Mahabharata describes the prelude to the holocaust as follows:
Pandu became king because his elder brother Dhrtarastra had been born blind, a condition that excluded him from direct succession. Some time after Pandu ascended to the throne, Dhrtarastra married Gandhari and fathered one hundred sons. This was the ruling family of the Kaurava dynasty, of whom the eldest was the ambitious and cruel Duryodhana.
Meanwhile, Pandu had taken two wives, Madri and Kunti. Originally named Prtha, Kunti was the daughter of Surasena, the chief of the glorious Yadu dynasty. The Mahabharata relates that Kunti "was gifted with beauty and character; she rejoiced in the law [dharma] and was great in her vows." She also possessed an unusual benediction. When she was a child, her father Surasena had given her in adoption to his childless cousin and close friend Kuntibhoja (hence the name "Kunti"). In her stepfather's house, Kunti's duty was to look after the welfare of guests. One day the powerful sage and mystic Durvasa came there and was pleased by Kunti's selfless service. Foreseeing that she would have difficulty conceiving sons, Durvasa gave her the benediction that she could invoke any demigod and by him obtain progeny.
After Kunti married Pandu, he was placed under a curse that prevented him from begetting children. So he renounced the throne and retired with his wives to the forest. There Kunti's special benediction enabled her to conceive (at her husband's request) three glorious sons. First she invoked Dharma, the demigod of religion. After worshiping him and repeating an invocation Durvasa had taught her, she united with Dharma and, in time, gave birth to a boy. As soon as the child was born, a voice with no visible source said, "This child will be called Yudhisthira, and he will be very virtuous. He will be splendid, determined, renounced, and famous throughout the three worlds."
Having been blessed with this virtuous son, Pandu then asked Kunti for a son of great physical strength. Thus Kunti invoked Vayu, the demigod of the wind, who begot the mighty Bhima. Upon Bhima's birth the supernatural voice said, "This child will be the foremost of all strong men."
Thereafter Pandu consulted with great sages in the forest and then asked Kunti to observe vows of austerity for one full year. At the end of this period Pandu said to Kunti, "O beautiful one, Indra, the King of heaven, is pleased with you, so invoke him and conceive a son." Kunti then invoked Indra, who came to her and begot Arjuna. As soon as the prince was born, the same celestial voice boomed through the sky: "O Kunti, this child will be as strong as Kartavirya and Sibi [two powerful kings of Vedic times] and as invincible in battle as Indra himself. He will spread your fame everywhere and acquire many divine weapons." Subsequently, Pandu's junior wife Madri bore two sons named Nakula and Sahadeva. These five sons of Pandu (Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva) then came to be known as the Pandavas.
Title: Teachings of Queen Kunti
Publisher: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Publication Date: 1990
Book Condition: new
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 3430048023
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, will have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 3447328573
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 3478380061
Book Description Condition: Very Good. 1St Edition. Used book that is in excellent condition. May show signs of wear or have minor defects. Seller Inventory # 3619875-6
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cdrom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!. Seller Inventory # S_253543711
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cdrom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!. Seller Inventory # S_306390667
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Good. This item shows signs of wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact , but may have aesthetic issues such as small tears, bends, scratches, and scuffs. Spine may also show signs of wear. Pages may include some notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Seller Inventory # 4BQGBJ00BMG5_ns
Book Description Condition: Very Good. 1St Edition. Ships from the UK. Used book that is in excellent condition. May show signs of wear or have minor defects. Seller Inventory # 3619875-6
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Second Printing. A hardback book with both book and jacket in very good condition, dated 1979. Jacket is protected by a new, clear, loose fitting sellophane wrapper. Seller Inventory # 057619
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Good. No Jacket. Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0892131020I3N00