Bhaagvat Puraan | Biographies
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Gaandhaaree was the Princess of Gaandhaar Desh. She had a brother named Shakuni. When Dhritraashtra, Paandu and Vidur grew up and the time came for their marriages, Bheeshm Jee went to Gaandhaar Desh to ask for her hand for Dhritraashtra. She had a great respect for Bheeshm, so she 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. She spent her whole life in guiding and advising her husband and sons but nobody listened to her.
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 that didn't happen. She was pregnant but she did not give birth to any. Then Vyaas Jee hit her stomach, so she gave birth to a loath of flesh which he divided into 101 pieces later. 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.
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, he had already killed her 99 sons according to his vow, he had already drank Dushaasan's chest's blood according to his vow, 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, "Naked?" Gandhaaree said, "What shyness from mother? Do as I say."
Duryodhan neither understood it nor he could say a word, so he went to take bath in Gangaa. Now Krishn Jee knew this before, so He had to stop him 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. And if Gaandhaaree had put her Kavach on his body, Bheemsen will not be able to kill him. So He had to do something. So when Duryodhan was coming back from Gangaa River after taking bath, he met Krishn. 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. And she wants to see me for the first and last time," "And you are going naked before her?" "Yes, that is what she wants." "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 cloth around your loin." and Krishn Jee went away after advising him not to go naked before her.
Duryodhan also thought that Krishn was right, so he tied a cloth around his loins. When he went to his mother and stood there in front of her, she asked, "Have you come, my son?" "Yes" "Should I remove my cloth strip from my eyes now?" Duryodhan said "Yes, I am ready" "Are you completely naked?" "Yes" And at that time she first time removed her bandage, since the marriage to Dhritraashtra, from her eyes to see her child, to protect her child. As she saw him, a light came out of her eyes and Duryodhan's whole body was covered with Rakshaa Kavach, except his covered body, ie hips and thighs.
Gaandhaaree cried and cried and said, "You never listened to me, you did not listen to me even at the last moment, your whole body would have become of steel and Bheem could never harm you, but now the covered part of your body has remained weak because you have covered it. Now Bheem 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.
When Mahaabhaarat war ended, Gaandhaaree again wept bitterly, because all her 100 sons were killed by Bheem. She blamed Krishn for this war, and gave a Shaap to Him - "As you have finished my Vansh (lineage), your own Vansh will also finish like this." Krishn accepted the Shaap.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/09/11