Gandhari was the princess of Gandhara kingdom, which at present is Kandahar in Afghanistan. She was the daughter of the Gandhara king Subala and the elder sister of Shakuni. She was a very kind sister and an obedient daughter. She married Dritharashtra, the blind king of hastinapura. She was a loyal wife who had blindfolded her eyes intentionally. She chose not to see the world which her husband Dritharashtra could not see.
She gave birth to 100 sons and 1 daughter. The eldest son was Duryodhana and the second son was Dushasana and their daughter’s name was Dushyale. She loved her children so much and took care of them very well. When all of them grew up, none of them wanted Gandhari to cry. She loved them so much that, one day she was narrating her past to her eldest son Duryodhana, she told him that her parents, her uncles and her brother made her marry without telling that his father was blind. Furious Duryodhana put his grandfather, Gandhari’s uncles and his uncle Shakuni to prison.
He used to give just a handful of rice for all of them to share. Seeing this Subala said that whoever makes a small hole in a stick without using any other tool will get all the food and will survive. Later will destroy the kuru vamsha to take revenge. Shakuni, a very brilliant man and cunning too had a brilliant plan. He used to place a piece of rice on the tip of the stick and ants used to eat the rice and in the end eat a bit of the stick as well. That way ants made a hole in the stick. Thus Shakuni ate the little food offered and survived while all his uncles died. When his father was about to die Subala said to take his bones and make the dice for the dice gambling game and avenge the kauravas or the sons of Dritharashtra. Gandhari intervenes after all her relatives died and rescues her brother Shakuni.
As we know that Shakuni is famous for the dice gambling game. Gandhari also allowed Karna to stay with them. During the Kurukshetra war between the pandavas and the kauravas, to make her son she removed her blind fold and with used her tapas shakthi to make Duryodhana’s body as strong as metal. But all the kauravas were killed and pandavas won the war with the blessings of Shri Krishna. When Lord Krishna approached her after the war, she cursed him that Krishna’s dynasty will also get destroyed the same way as kauravas. With this we can see that Gandhari was a great tapaswini, loyal wife, an obedient daughter, a caring sister and a loving mother.
Illustration Image: Abhignya Aghalayam
Featured Image: Suyagnya Simha
About the Author
Abhignya is a class 6 student at Acharya Vidya Kula, Mysore. She is also training to be a musician. She also likes to read books and draw.