Biographies | Women
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."
Gaandhaaree Wanted to Save Duryodhan Also But..
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 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.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 02/20/13