Complied by  London Swaminathan

Uploaded in London on  – 31 December 2019

Post No.7404

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Gandhari made Sri Krishna responsible for the  Kurukshetra War  and uttered a fearful curse on the

Yadavas, of which he was the most distinguished representative. She prophesied that a cruel calamity would overtake the house of the Yadavas, inasmuch as Shri Krishna ignored or failed to prevent the ruinous war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. on the strength of her chastity and ascetism, she even said that Shri Krishna himself in no distant future would fall a prey to a foul death. It is important to bear in this mind that in this connection that Shri Krishna smilingly  accepted this curse and recognised her truthfulness, piety and penance.

After the Kurushetra war, Dhritarastra and Gandhari lived for sixteen years  at Hastinapura under the protection of Pandavas. They forgot to a great extent their grief at the loss of their sons on account of the wonderful care and sympathy bestowed upon them by Yudhisthira . At the end of the sixteenth year, however, they decided to go on a mission of pilgrimage to the Himalayas. In this mission they were accompanied by d Dhritarastra’s half brother Vidura, his minister Sanjaya and Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas .


 On the eve of their departure,  Dhritarastra addressed a big assembly of the citizens of Hastinapura and men from the countryside. In this meeting Gandhari appeared by the side of her husband with her eyes bandaged, and made a request to the assembled multitude through her husband asking their forgiveness of the sins of her sons.

The final departure scene of the old sorrowful King Dhritarastra  was pathetic. Kunti came forward to lead the journey, Gandhari  put her hands on the shoulders of Kunti and Dhritarastra  followed Gandhari , placing his hands on her shoulders. Vidura and Sanjaya were on either side of the procession. The citizens of Hastinapura wept like orphans as the procession came out of the main gate of the city, but Dhritarastra and Gandhari and others walked on unmoved.


In the Himalayas, they spent a few more years till they were burnt alive by a conflagration which had enveloped that part of the forest in which they lived. . confronted by it they showed remarkable courage and fortitude. They refused to escape from the fire; on the other hand, they sat down on the ground with calmness and in a spirit of resignation welcoming the approach of the fire.

On the day of her passing away from the earth, Gandhari’s eyes were still bandaged, and she made the supreme sacrifice  with unflinching loyalty to her ideals. She exemplifies the best ideals of Indian womanhood through the ages from the days of Mababharata , and remains immortal  in the minds of millions of Indians  who derive their inspiration from the Great Epic.

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Almora, Himalayas, 1953


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1 Comment

  1. R Nanjappa

     /  January 1, 2020

    Women played a great and significant part in the Mahabharata. Krishna had such great regard for Kunti and Daupadi, that I feel He permitted the great war to happen only due to the insults and suffering that they had been subject to. I have noticed that whenever he has something important to convey, he would call Arjuna by the name Kaunteya, showing his remembrance of his connection to Kunti.
    Dhitarashtra in fact settled down and lived rather well after the war under the Pandavas. It was Vidura who chided Dhritarashtra for thus living shamelessly under the Pandavas, accepting food like dog from the hands of Bhima whom his son had tried to poison. It was after this that Dhritarashtra was roused to leave Hastinapura. However, the final scenes of their parting are really heart-rending. Their end is also heroic.
    The role of the great women of Mahabharata is not generally well appreciated. They were greater adherents of Dharma than the men, and suffered even more intensely. Chaturvedi Badrinath has brought out the detailed and finer aspects of their lives in his study “The women of The Mahabharata” [ Orient Blackswan, 2008].

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