Mahabharat is one of the longest ancient epic texts written. Pandavas were five learned and knowledgeable sons of king Pandu. Yudhisthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahdev are all five sons born to king Pandu’s two wives Kunti princess and Madri princess of Madra. Yudhisthir was the eldest among all Pandavas. Yudhisthir, Bhim and Arjun were born to the Kunti, twins Nakul and Sahdev were born to queen Madri.
Read below to check out some mind-blowing unknown facts about Pandavas.
1. Pandu King Was Not Real Father Of Pandavas
King Pandu was a good archer and keen hunter. Once while hunting his vision was obstructed by trees in the forest hearing voice of deer Pandu shot an arrow. Arrow hurt Rishi Kindama who was in the form of deer making love with his wife. Pandu mistakenly shot rishi not knowing the fact and sage was badly injured. Rishi Kindama was very really angry with Pandu’s act and cursed him at that moment whenever he will make love to any of his wife he will die.
Queen Kunti belonged to the Yadava clan, she was the sister of Vasudeva and aunt of Lord Krishna. Her father was Shursena and Kuntibhoja Shursena’s cousin brother was her foster father with whom Kunti stayed in her childhood. Once in their kingdom when Kunti was a small girl, Rishi Durvasa came for a visit to seek hospitality. Kuntibhoja entrusted Kunti with the responsibility of the sage, entertaining him and making sure his all needs are fulfilled during his stay. Rishi Durvasa was very happy with Kunti’s hospitality and granted her boon in the form of a secret mantra.
This secret mantra could invoke any god of her choice and one can beget children from them. Before Kunti was married she mistakenly recited this secret mantra and invoked Surya god and was blessed with a handsome son with the grace of Surya Dev, who was known as Karna.
Pandu wanted to have children but because of the curse, he was afraid that he might die. He didn’t want the Hastinapur throne to rule by Dhristirastras sons, so he requested Kunti to use that secret mantra and reproduce heir. Kunti invoked Lord of Dharma, Vayu, and Indra and beget Yudhisthir, Bhim, and Arjun respectively. Kunti’s co-wife Madri requested Pandu to ask Kunti to give her secret mantra to beget a child. Kunti gave her that mantra, she summoned God Ashvini and was blessed with twins Nakul and Sahdev.
2. Sahdev Had Ability To See Future
Sahadev was considered to be one of the wisest among all Pandavas. He was a very known astrologer and played major roles in Mahabharat. When King Pandu decided to live life as a celibate, he and his wife Madri left for the forest. During this time he had gained a lot of knowledge while medicating. Pandu had prenotion of his death, he called Sahadev and told him to his brain after he dies. Once Pandu engaged in intercourse with Madri forgetting about the curse and died immediately. On his pyre, Sahadev saw his father’s body burning and remembered what his father had told. He consumed a piece of his father’s brain and ran into the forest.
After this incident, Sahadev was enlightened with the knowledge of the past, present, and future. Lord Krishna came to know of this incident when he was in Mathura. He took the disguise of Brahmin and met Sahadev in the forest, Krishna instructed Sahadev not to tell anybody about the knowledge that he possessed or he may die.
Duryodhana once approached Sahadev before the Kurukshetra war for finding an appropriate mahurat for ‘Kalabali’ – a ritual of sacrifice that happens before any war starts to ensure his win. Sahadev followed the path of Dharma and being honest he gave all the details which would cause the downfall of Pandavas.
3. Lord Shiva Granted A Boon To Draupadi
Draupadi was not the wife of five Pandavas by the incident but by boon, she was granted the boon of having fourteen husbands by Lord Shiva in her previous birth. She was the daughter of Nala and Damyavati and was very adamant about having a husband who would acquire all fourteen qualities she desired. In order to get that, Draupadi prayed to Lord Shiva, seeing her devotion God was pleased. He granted Draupadi the boon that she could have fourteen husbands.
Draupadi was confused so she asked Lord Shiva whether it was a boon or curse? Shiva blessed her with lifelong virginity. Every morning when she would wake up, she will regain her virginity. The fourteen qualities that she wanted were available in all five Pandavas. Yudhisthir was his wisdom, Arjun for his knowledge of warfare, Bhima for his strength, Nakul and Sahadev were handsome.
4. Ekalavya Was Best Archer In World
Ekalavya was the son of a poor hunter. He wanted to learn archery so he approached Guru Dronacharya who had gained excellence in warfare. Dronacharya was a teacher of the royal family and in those days it was not allowed for teachers of the royal family to teach any other state art apart from the royal family. Society during the time of Mahabharat was based on casteism.
Ekalavya approached Dronacharya for teaching him archery but Guru refused Ekalavya as he was bounded by state law. Ekalavya had accepted Dronacharya as his guru and so he made a statue of Dronacharya and started practising archery. Years of practice and sincerity made him an excellent archer.
One day Arjun saw Ekalavya’s archery and was jealous of Ekalavya being better than him. He went to Ekalavya and asked him who had taught him? Ekalavya replied it was Guru Dronacharya. Arjun went to Dronacharya and criticized him for teaching Ekalavya who didn’t belong to the royal family. Dronacharya was really confused about who was this boy he had taught who possessed far better skills than Arjun. Dronaacharya went to meet Ekalavya and asked him to cut his right thumb in the form of guru Dakshina. Ekalavaya had always considered Acharya as his guru so without any hesitation. The day when Ekalavya cut his right thumb, Arjun became the best archer in the world.
5. Barbareeka, The Mighty Grandson Of Bhima
Barbareek was the son of Ghatotkacha and Mauri, grandson of Bhim and was a pupil of Lord Krishna. Barbareeck was considered unbeatable in the war as he had been given three arrows by Goddess Kamakhya. A single arrow had the ability to kill an entire army of enemies. But Barbareeck had sworn to help the weaker side in the war. Pandavas were very concerned that if Barabereeck would take the side of Kauravas half of their army would be wiped out.
So they approached Lord Krishna for help. As Barbareeka was Krishna’s pupil in order to save Pandavas from the defeat he asked Barbareeka’s head in Guru Dakshina. Barbareek sacrificed himself to ensure the win for his grandparents Pandavas.
6. Pandavas Went To Hell Except Yudhisthir
After the winning Mahabharat war Pandavas started to rule Hastinapura. They had earned a good name and fame in all other kingdoms. On the other side, Gandhari was angry as she lost all her sons in the war and she cursed Lord Krishna for the destruction of the Yadav clan.
Later after some years in the Yadav empire during some festival fight breaks out and Yadav’s ended up killing each other. During this time hunter named Jara mistook Lord Krishna as sleeping deer and shot a poisonous arrow on his foot. He was severely injured and died. After the death of the lord, Pandavas lost interest in this world and decided to leave all pleasures and start their journey towards Mount Meru.
Leaving all the people of Hastinapur Pandavas with their wife Draupadi started their journey towards the gate of heaven in Mount Meru. Parikshita was appointed king of Hastinapur and Krupa as their guru. First, they went to Dwarka to see the whole city immersed in the sea, after that they started their journey towards the gates of heaven. During their entire journey, they were accompanied by a dog. Draupadi died first, Yudhisthir claimed that the reason for her death was pa being more affectionate to Arjun than the rest of Pandavas. Next Sahadev dies on their way to heaven, Yudhishthira explains Sahadev like his other brothers had pride and vanity, considered himself to be not equal to anyone in wisdom.
Nakul died after Sahadev, again Yudhishthira gave the same reason for him having pride and vanity, considered himself to be the most handsome person in the world. After Nakul Arjun died, was the same explanation given by Yudhisthir for Arjun was had too much pride and considered himself to be the best archer in the world. Bhima died right after Arjun, Yudhisthir’s reasoning for his death was too much pride for his gluttony, he couldn’t think of other people’s hunger and eat without thinking. At last, it was the dog and Yudhisthir who reached the gates of heaven.
On the gate of heaven, Lord Indra was waiting in his chariot to take Yudhisthir to heaven. He refused to go with him and asked where all his brothers and wife are. Indra tells Yudhishthira all his brothers and wife will be in hell for some time because of sins that they have committed. Yudhisthir asked Indra if the dog could accompany him in the chariot, but Lord Indra refused the dog couldn’t enter heaven in his chariot.
Yudhisthir refused to enter the chariot and said the dog was his friend as it has accompanied him in the entire journey so he couldn’t abandon the dog. After this gesture from Yudhisthir dog got transformed into diety Dharma and he praised Yudhisthir for his virtues.
7. Duryodhana Granted Arjun Boon
While Pandavas were in exile before the Kurukshetra war, Duryodhana set his camp on the opposite side of the river where Pandavas lived. Duryodhana while taking bath in the river got into a fight with Gandharva. He was captured by Gandharva from heaven. It was Arjuna who saved him. Duryodhana happy with this gesture of Arjuna asked him to grant anything he wanted in return. Arjun said he will tell him when the time comes.
During the war of Kurukshetra when Kauravas were on verge of losing frustrated Duryodhana went to Bhishmapitma and blamed him for the whole situation. Bhishma Pitama calmed Duryodhana by saying they will kill all Pandavas the next morning. He took out five arrows and chanted some mantras. Duryodhana not trusting Pitama asked him to give all the arrows.
On the same night, Krishna reminded Arjun of that incomplete wish he had to ask from Duryodhana. Arjun went to Duryodhana and asked him for the five golden arrows which Bhishma Pitama had given. Duryodhana was known truly for being Shatriya handed Arjun all the five golden arrows.
8. Arjun Was Cursed Which Turned Into Boon
Arjun once visited Indralok to acquire divine celestial weapons. These weapons were indeed needed to fight an upcoming battle against Kauravas. Urvashi was apsara (nymph) in Lord Indra’s court. She was considered to be the most beautiful apsara in Devlok. She was the most attractive and desirable apsara in the entire Devlok. Urvashi was attracted by Arjun’s charm and wanted him. But Arjun referred to Urvashi as her mother which made her really angry and she cursed him to be a eunuch for one year.
Before the war of Kurukshetra when Pandavas completed 12 years of exile they had to spend their 13th year in exile without exposing their identities. Arjun’s curse of being a eunuch for 1 year helped him keep his identity secret in the court of king Virat. He maintained his identity as a Brihannala eunuch.
9. Rules For Pandavas To Stay With Draupadi
Living with five husbands is a complicated task. There was a rule between five brothers that each brother will have one year with Draupadi. The next turn will be after four years. If anybody breaks the rule then he has to go exile for 12 years.
Nakula married Karenumati, daughter of Dhristaketu who was the son of Sishupala; she bore him one son, Niramitra.
10. Pandavas Had Wives & Sons Apart From Draupadi
Yudhisthir had a wife named Devika who was the daughter of Govasana of the Saiva tribe. They had a son named Yaudheya. Bhima also had two wives. He got married to Hidimbi who was a sister of Hidimba King of the demon Kamyaka forest. They both had a son name Ghatokacha who played a major role in the Kurukshetra war. Arjun had four fives Draupadi, Chitrangada, Ullupi, Subhadra from who he had four sons Srutakriti, Abhimanyu, Babhruvahana, and Iravan respectively. Abhimanyu died in the Kurukshetra war but his role had helped Pandavas in winning the war.
One day when Draupadi was with Yudhishthir, few robbers stole the cow of a Brahmin. As Brahmin asked for Arjun’s help, he went to get weapons from Yudhishthir’s palace where he was alone with Draupadi. Arjun thought for a second that if he enters Yudhishthir’s palace, he will break the rule and would have to spend 12 years in the forest, but it does not help the Brahmin, it will be against the religion. So he went to Yudhishthir’s palace and picked his weapons and brought the Brahmin’s cow back. Because of this Arjun had to go in exile for thirteen years for breaking the rule.
11. Kauravas Presence In Heaven Surprised Yudhisthir
The whole concept of Mahabharat is based on Karma. It was said by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita that if anyone dies performing their duty during the war, they will get heaven. Duryodhana fought the battle bravely and died as Kshatriya’s death.
When Yudhisthir entered heaven in Chariot with Lord Indra, he saw Duryodhana sitting on a golden embezzled throne with lots of deities around him. He was wearing lots of ornaments and his presence was like a god shining bright like a son. His presence made Yudhisthir uneasy and he asked Narada why was Duryodhana in heaven. Narada told him Duryodhana died on the battlefield fighting as Kshatriya. Yudhisthir had a small tour of hell before entering heaven as he once lied to his guru on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
12. Yudhisthir Cursed Mother Kunti
After Karna was killed in the Kurukshetra war, Kunti revealed to her sons that Karna was their elder brother and his first son from Lord Surya. Karna was born to Kunti before she was married. She mistakenly chanted secret mantra taught to her by rishi Durvasa, before her marriage and invoked Surya Dev, Karna was born to her. She kept this a secret for her entire life.
When Yudhisthir came to know about this he was very angry with his mother Kunti and he cursed her. He wanted Karna to have more respect. So he cursed Kunti that no woman will ever be able to keep any secret.
13. Arjun Was Killed By His Son Babruvahan
After the end of the Mahabharat war, Pandavas performed Ashwa Megh Yagna and Arjun was made in charge of the horse. Wherever the horse went Arjun had to follow that horse. While wandering the horse reached the kingdom of Manipur whose princess Chritangada was Arjun’s wife. They had a son name Babruvahan who was king of Manipur at that time.
As Yaga horse entered Manipur, Arjun asked the king of Manipur to fight with him. Babruvahan introduced him as his son but Arjun refused to recognize him and asked to fight. Both of them fought fiercely and Arjun died fighting.
Both Arjun’s wife Chitraganda and Ullupi were present during this fight. Ullupi encouraged Babruvahan to fight with his father and as a result, Arjun died. Ullupi had a divine gem Sanjeevani mani which she gave to Babruvahan. When Babrubahan kept that diamond on his heart and then on his father’s body, Arjun came back to life.
14. Draupadi Boon During Cheer Haran
One day when rishi Durvasa was walking on the banks of Ganga, his loincloth got carried away by the wind. At that time Draupadi was present there she tore a piece of cloth from her garment and gave it to Rishi Durvasa. By this gesture of Draupadi Rishi was really pleased and gave Draupadi a boon she will always have abundant clothing.
During Cheer Haran when Dushasan was snatching Draupadi’s clothing it was not only Lord Krishna who helped her, but it was always Rishi Durvasa who protected her.
15. Bhishma, Drona & Shalya Were Killed Against Rules Of War
Mahabharat war lasted for nearly eighteen days. On the tenth day of the war Arjun using Shikandi as his shield for killing Bhishma Pitama. Pitama would never attack women and Shikandi had been women. So Arjun didn’t fight Bhishma Pitama but by making Shikandi shield. he killed Pitama. This was against the rules of Kshytria’s and warfare for not bravely fighting against your enemy.
On fifteen days of the war guru, Drona started killing a lot of Pandavas army by using celestial weapons. Guru Drona had one celestial weapon in his hand which can wipe out a huge army.
Pandavas were frustrated as many were killed on that day. They all approach Lord Krishna for help and Lord helps them with a plan. Pandavas army holds Awsathamma and Karna on other locations and Bhima killed Elephant names Awsathamma. Aswathamma was the son of Guru Drona. News reached Guru Drona about the death of Aswathamma, Drona mistook Aswthamma his son and wanted to confirm this news from Yudhisthir.
Yudhisthir never lied but for the first time he lied by confirming Aswthamma’s death, Drona hearing the news put his weapons down and started mourning for his son’s death. Drona went to meditation stance and at that time Dhristyadhumma killed Drona which was again against the rules of Kshatriyas and warfare.