Were Kauravas and Pandavas the biological decendants of Vyasa? Mahabharata

2 points | Post submitted by jay 40 days ago | 5 comments | viewed 140 times

as per this tree, Vyasa is somehow connected with the birth of Dhritarastra and Pandu also to Kauravas, how its possible? 

enter image description here

Add your comment

Please Login or Signup to leave a comment
  • metadota 40 days ago | +1 points

    The Kauravas are biological descendants of Vyasa, but the Pandavas are not, as I'll explain below. But first, let me explain above tree.

    Shantanu, king of Hastinapura many generations before the Pandavas and Kauravas, married the goddess Ganga and had a son named Bhishma. But then Ganga abandoned Shantanu, and Shantanu later fell in love with a woman Satyavati. But Satyavati's (adopted) father Matsyagandha, the chief of a fisherman tribe, wouldn't consent to the marriage, because he was afraid that Bhishma and his descendants would rule Hastinapura rather than Satyavati's children. So Bhishma made a vow that he would never become king, and that he would remain celibate so that his descendants could never claim the throne. (It's because of that terrible vow that he got the name "Bhishma" or terrible.) 

    Then Matsyagandha agreed to the marriage, and in due course of time, Shantanu and Satyavati had two sons, Vichitravirya and Chitrangadaa. When Shantanu died Chitrangada became king, but he soon died after a confrontation with a Gandharva because the two of them had the same name (yes, really!). (YOU CAN ASK A DIFFERENT QUESTION FOR THIS STORY)

    Now coming to the next generation kids 

    When Vichitravirya became of marriageable age, Bhishma heard that the king of Kashi was holding a Swayamvara for his daughters Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika. So Bhishma went to the Swayamvara kidnapped the three princesses. 

    But, he released the eldest princess Amba, a decision that would later have devastating consequences. (Again an interesting story, another question in needed for the same)  

    In any case, Vichitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika, but almost immediately thereafter he died of a disease. So now the kingdom faced an uncertain future because Vichitravirya and Chitrangadu were dead, and Bhishma could not have children, which meant there was no prospect of heirs to the throne. 

    So Shantanu's widow Satyavati sent for the sage Vyasa, a son she had with the sage Parashara before she met Shantanu, and told him to father sons with the two queens.

    Now Vyasa, being an ascetic, didn't pay much attention to his appearance, so the queens were quite hesitant to have children with him. As described in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, Ambika closed her eyes the whole time, so Vyasa got angry and put a curse on her that she would have a blind son, Dhritharashtra. And Ambalika was pale the whole time, so Vyasa put a curse on her that her son Pandu would have leprosy. 

    (On the other hand, Ambika's maidservant was eager to have a child with such an illustrious sage, so Vyasa fathered a child with her as well, Vidura.)

    So yes, this does mean that biologically the Kauravas were the grandchildren of Vyasa, since they were the sons of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari. 

    But that doesn't mean that the Pandavas are the grandsons of Vyasa as well. 

    You see, although the Pandavas were the sons of Kunti and Madri, the two wives of Pandu, they are not in fact Pandu's biological children. Pandu had incurred a curse that he could not touch any woman with desire. 

    So Kunti used a special mantra she had acquired from the sage Durvasa which allowed you to have children with any god. So Kunti used the mantra to have three sons - Yudhishtra from Yama the god of death, Arjuna from Indra, and Bhima from Vayu the wind god. And she taught the mantra to Madri who used it to have two sons, Nakula and Sahadeva, with the two Ashwini Kumaras.

    So to sum up, the Kauravas had the blood of Vyasa, and thus some small amount of blood from Shantanu's wife Satyavati, albeit not the blood of Shantanu himself. The Pandavas, on the other hand, didn't even have the blood of Vyasa, being the sons of gods. 

    Ironically, the only living person at the time of the Mahabharata war who had blood from the actual royal family of Hastinapura was Bhishma, the one person who couldn't be king or have children. So in the strictest sense the bloodline of Shantanu ended with the death of Bhishma at the end of the Mahabharata war.

    • jay 40 days ago | +1 points

      thanks for the reply, that was nicely explained clap

    • harigoyal 40 days ago | +1 points

      3 points

      1. Shantanu and Ganga’s son name was Devvart. He was called Bhisam because of the hard oath he took.

      2. Pandu suffered from Jaundice not leprosy. Pandu fought and won many wars.  How can a leper even hold a weapon? 

      3. Yes, Pandav and Kaurav did not strictly had Bharatwansi bloodline but they were all considered as Bharatwansi as they were legitimate descendent. See my Q and A on Hindi Site


      • jay 39 days ago | +0 points

        Bharatwansi as they were legitimate descendent. See my Q and A on Hindi Site 

        I need to know more on this , Bharat and Mahabharat connection. 

        • harigoyal 38 days ago | +0 points

          Kurav were also called as Bharatwansi or Bharath Vansm. See link below. Whenever Bhagwan Krishna is using word “Bharat” in Gita it is for Arjun one of the descendent of King Bharath and not for the country Bharat. 


          In famous Saloka 

          यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भव- ति भारत । अभ्युत्थान- मधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्- ॥४-७॥ 

          परित्राणाय- साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्- । धर्मसंस्था- पनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥४-८॥

          Bharat is used for Arjun.

          The Bharat Vasam lineage goes to Janemajay ( grandson of Abhimanyu) and beyond.