Introduction/ Family Lineage/ Maze Extravaganza in Adi Parva
The Mahabharata is divided into eighteen parts which are called ‘Parvas’. The first is called ‘Adi Parva’ which introduced different character and their relations wit hone another. Adi Parva begins with the family history of the Bharatas. It contains the history of Chandra Vasha and describes the origin of the Pandava and the Kauravas, the ancestor of the royal family is Shantanu who marries
and their son is Bishma.
Shantanu takes as his second wife, Satyavati who gives him two-sons Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Both dies without children both the widows get sons Dhritarashtra and Pandu through Niyog with Vyasa, the illegitimate son of Satyavati. Dhritarashtra marries Gandhir and get one hundred sons. Pandu has two wives, Kunti and Madri. Kunti has already one son, Karna and ten gives three more sons. Yudhishthira, Bhima, and Arjuna The second wife, Madri gives two sons, Nakula and Sahadeva. Vyasa is very ugly and when he comes near, the widow of Vichitravirya closes her eyes and gives birth to a blind son, Dhritarashtra. The second widow of Chitrangada grows pale and gives birth to a pale child, Pandu. The third child, Vidura is born to Vyasa from a loyal maid.
Bishma the virtuous rules, arranges for the marriages of his three nephews. Dhritarashtra, the blind prince, marries Gandhari and gets one hundred sons,. The elder son Duryodhana. Pandu has two wives. The first wife is Kunti who has already one Karna. Then she gives three more sons, Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna. And Madri gives twins Nakula and Sahadeva.
In a later edition, the five sons of Pandu are begotten by five Gods, Yudhishthira is given as the son of Dharma, the God of justice, Bhima as the son of Vayu, Arjuna as the son of Indra and the twins as the sons of the Ashvins. Pandu, who had been made king because of his brother’s blindness, dies and the blind Dhritarashtra becomes the ruler. Pandu’s five sons are educated with the blind King’s’ hundred sons at the Court of Hastinapura. Soon the cousins come rival of one another. They learn the art of war under the guidance to two leaned Bhramins, Kripa and Dron. They complete with one another in the part of war. Two more pupils are added to the group, Ashvathama, son of Drona and the Karna, the ‘low-born’ son fo Kunti, Karn’s half-brother’s hate him.
When Yudhishthira becomes young, the old King Dhritarashtra appoints him King, and Pandava earn name and fame. Duryodhana feels jealous of them and plots against them. He is supported by his younger brother, Dudhasana, his canning maternal uncle, Shakuni and Karna. They build a house of lace and invite the Pandava to live in it with their mother. But Vidur warns them right in time. They set it on fire and escape to the forest through an underground passage. The Kauravas think that heir cousins are dead. So they perform their funeral rites. On the other hand, the Pandava are threatened in the forest by the giant, Hidimba. Bhima kills the demon, marries his sister and gets as son, Ghatotkacha.
The King of Panchala, Draupada’s Kingdom was partly conquered by Arjuna under the instigation of Drona.. Now Draupada prepared for the Svayamavar’ of his daughter, Draupadi. The Pandavas go to Draupada’s capital in the guise of Brahmins. Here the Kauravas also come. Dhristhi-dumna, the son of Draupada declares that the prince who will bend the big bow to Draupada and hit the target will get Draupadi as his wife. Prince after prince tries and fails. At last Karn, the low-born son of Kunti is about to hit the mark. At this time Draupadi says that she will not accept a Charioteer as her husband. At that times, ama was the charioteer of Adhiratha and his wife, Radha. Then Arjuna bends the bow and hits the mark. She garlands him. Other princes become violent and try to kill Draupada, but Bhima and Arjuna defeat them all. Then the Pandavas go their mother, Kunti, take her blessing and decide to take Draupadi as their common wife. They are congratulated by
Krishna and Balarama. Then
their identity is revealed, old Dhritarashtra gives them half the Kingdom and
they at Indraparashta ( )
All the five Pandavas agree not to disturb the private meeting of any of them with Draupadi. One day, Arjuna, in quest of weapons, enters the room where Yudhishthira and Draupadi are alone. As a punishment he goes into exile and has many adventures, both amorous and heroic. He visits Krishna at Dvaraka, falls in love with
Krishna’s sister, Subhdra and carries her away. She
gives him a son. Abhimanyu. Then the friendship between Arjuna and Krishna grows stronger and stronger from time to time.
Thus Adi Parva is the first part, ‘Parva’ of Mahabharata. It is a ‘maha-kavya’ the great epic. It is also the fifth Veda. Of course, it is itihas, history ‘his story’. A good question is linked with the first part, ‘Adi Parva’, whose story? Adi Parva answers this question. It draws the lineage being the ancestor of royal family. It also draws the lineage of Krishna from Bhrigu to Yadu for which
is called a Yadava. Really the whole story is a maze extravaganza.