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Gaandhaaree is a Mahaabhaarat character. She was the Princess of Gaandhaar Desh in Baloochistaan (now in Paakistaan). She had a brother named Shakuni - his son's name was Ulook.

When Dhritraashtra, Paandu and Vidur grew up and the time came for their marriages, Bheeshm went to Gaandhaar Desh to ask for Gaandhaaree's hand for Dhritraashtra. Gaandhaaree had a great respect for Bheeshm, so she immediately accepted this proposal. Her father was a bit hesitant to marry her to a blind man, but when she came to know about his blindness, she said, "I have already accepted him as my husband, then whoever he is, he is my husband. And if he is blind, then I also have no right to see this world." and saying thus she tied a cloth strip on her eyes for the rest of her life. She was a great Pativrataa and a great devotee of Shiv Jee. She was very contented and intelligent woman. She spent her whole life in guiding and advising her husband and sons but nobody listened to her.

Both Dhritraashtra (her husband) and Duryodhan (her son) were mad after the crown and never wanted to part with it while it was not theirs. Shakuni was putting Ghee in the fire. Gaandhaaree was never in their favor and always tried to advise them justly but Dhritraashtra couldn't reconcile with his blindness, and Duryodhan never reconciled with his status - being younger to Yudhishthir. His logic was "I am the eldest son of the eldest son (Dhritraashtra) of Kaurav family, so I am the King."

Her Children
She had 100 sons and one daughter Dushalaa who was married to Jayadrath. Duryodhan was her eldest son and then was Dushaasan. She wanted her child to be elder to Paandu's sons but it didn't happen. Although she got pregnant before any news came from from Kuntee but she did not give birth to any child before Kuntee's Yudhishthir and Bheem. It was overdue. Then Muni hit her stomach, so she gave birth to 101 pieces. They were kept in pitchers, and then they were born as 100 sons and one daughter. So they remained younger to two Paandav brothers - Yudhishthir and Bheem, that is why her son was not legible to become the King. And the problem started here.

Gaandhaaree Wanted to Save Duryodhan Also But..
During her whole life she had been guiding her husband and son Duryodhan but nobody listened to her. But on the last day of Mahaabhaarat war, when Duryodhan was going to fight with Bheemsen, as Bheemsen had vowed to break his thigh at the time of Draupadee's insult in the royal court and he was going to fulfill that vow on that day; Gaandhaaree wanted to save her child, because she also knew that once Bheemsen has vowed to break his thigh he will surely break it, so she said to Duryodhan, "Putra! I have not seen you since you are born. Let me see you once before you go to the battlefield to fight with Bheemsen. Besides I want to send you in the battlefield with my Rakshaa Kavach (protection armor). So you go and take bath in Gangaa River and come naked before me." Duryodhan asked astonished, "Naked?" Gandhaaree said, "Yes, What shyness from mother? Do as I say."

Duryodhan neither understood it nor he could say a word and went to take bath in Gangaa River. Now Krishn knew this before as what Gaandhaaree was planning to do so, so He had to stop Duryodhan going naked before Gaandhaaree, because He also knew that Gandhaaree had power to do what she wanted to do and in this way Bheemsen will not be able to fulfill his vow.

So when Duryodhan was coming back from Gangaa River after taking bath, he met Krishn on his way to Gaandhaaree's palace. Krishn asked, "Where are you coming from at this hour of night." Duryodhan said, "I went to take bath in Gangaa River, because my mother told me to do so. She wants to see me for the first time." "And you are going naked before her?" "Yes, that is what she has said to me." "So you are going naked before your mother? You are a grownup man. I agree that she is your mother, but still she is a woman and you should not go naked before her. At least tie a loin cloth before going in front of her." and Krishn Jee went away after advising him like this.

Duryodhan also thought that Krishn was right, so he tied a cloth around his hips. It covered his hips and thighs. When he went to his mother and stood there in front of her, she asked, "Are you ready? Should I remove my cloth strip from my eyes now to see you?" Duryodhan said "Yes, I am ready" "Are you completely naked?" "Yes".

And at that time, she first time removed the cloth strip from her eyes, since her marriage to Dhritraashtra, to see her child, to protect her child, to save her child. When she saw him, a light beam emerged from her eyes and covered his whole body for a few seconds. Duryodhan's whole body had got her Rakshaa Kavach, except his covered part of the body, i.e. hips and thighs. After that she saw him properly that he was not completely naked but was wearing a loin cloth around his hips.

Gaandhaaree beat her head, and cried and cried and said, "You did not listen to me even at the last moment. Your whole body would have become of steel and Bheem could have never harmed you, but now the covered part of your body has remained weak because you have covered it. Now Bheemsen will not leave you alive. My Tapasyaa went waste, I could not save my son. As Bhagavaan Shankar's wish." And she cried and cried.

Gaandhaaree After the War
After the war all Paandav, Krishn and Vidur Jee came to see Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree. Both parents were very furious with Bheem at killing their 100 sons but especially their two sons - Duryodhan and Dushaasan. After everybody had met them Gaandhaaree gave Shaap to Krishn - "As you have destroyed my whole family, your family must also be wiped out from the face of the Earth." Krishn accepted her Shaap happily, as He knew that this was going to happen with His family too, sooner or later.

After Yudhishthir became the King of Hastinaapur, he respectfully kept Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree with him. He used to go to greet him, to touch his feet and take blessings every day before going to royal court. But one day Vidur Jee advised them to leave that place and go to Van. So one morning when Yudhishthir went to them for his usual greetings, he didn't find them. He got worried and asked about them here and there but he couldn't find them. He got worried thinking that they were not happy with him that is why they had left him. Then Vidur Jee consoled him that it was not so. He told him that they had left for Van and the seventh day from that day they would leave this world.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 02/20/13