Chapter Three

The Pandavas Move to Hastinapura

Teachers should read about the following events in Mahabharat:

  •  the death of Pandu 
  • Duryodhana’s plots to kill the Pandavas (poisoning Bhima, the house
    of lac)
  • the marriage of Draupadi to the five Pandavas
  •  the meeting of Krishna and Balaram with the Pandavas

1. Chant the verse for the session.

2. Check the homework assignment (Page 13). This will also serve as a review. Children who did the homework can be given incentives at this time. This can be something as simple as a sticker on the inside oftheir book or a star next to their name on a chart. If you want to review any other POiIlts made last week, do so now.

3. The story for this lesson can be acted out by the students. Help them along with cues and suggested dialogue. The students can use Olle or two simple props to define each character. They can also carry the appropriate flannelboard figure to show who they are. One child can easily fill in more than one role this way. TIle story follows as it appears in the children’s booklets. Once again, add dialogue and details to add to the excitement. Pause often to let the children act out as much as possible. The following characters appear: Pandu (have a girl be Pandu so you won’t have a boy and girl embracing in the beginning ofthe story)


The Death of Pandu

The sons of Pandu were now in their teens. They had spent their time happily in Satasringa with their parents. One day Kunti took her boys to visit a nearby ashram. Madri stayed behind with Pandu. Pandu looked upon his wife, who looked enchantingly beautiful. He was overcome with love for her and wanted to embrace her. Forgetting all about the curse, he approached her. Madri ran away like a frightened deer but Pandu caught her and held her in his arms. Although Madri cried and tried to warn him, he embraced her tightly to him, and in the next instant he fell down dead. Kunti heard the cries of Madri and rushed to the spot with the boys. Their grief was pitiful to see as they gathered around their dead father. The rishis took the children away and tried to console them. Madri and Kunti, both numb with the loss of their lord, thought about what should be done now. Madri insisted that she should enter the funeral fire and die along with her husband. She asked Kunti to stay behind and guard all five children. The rishis agreed that this was the right thing to do. As Yudhisthira lit the fire, his eyes streaming with tears, Madri placed herself in the funeral fire, her face reflecting the peace and joy she felt within. What were Kunti and her five sons to do now? The residents of Satasringa decided that it would be best for them to return to Hastinapura. There, Bhishma and their uncle Dhritarashtra could care for them. So the rishis, with Kunti and the five sons of Pandu, set off for the beautiful city of Hastinapura. What was to become of them no one knew.

The Pandavas in Danger

In Hastinapura the Pandavas lived in the lifestyle of the princes they were. They were the pride and joy of Grandfather Bhishma, who was like a father to them. Bhishma appointed Kripa and later Drona to educate all of the boys in the ksatriya arts. Arjuna quickly became a favorite of Drona’s because of his devotion and love of archery. Young Arjuna’s goal was to be the best archer in the world and Drona was sure he could do it. The Pandavas were very popular in the kingdom. Their respectful natures, good looks and delightful manners were impossible to resist. But young Duryodhana felt no love in his heart for the Pandavas. Bhima was an energetic and wild boy. He liked teasing the other boys and defeating them in all sorts of games. It was all in fun but Duryodhana soon tired of it and became angry and jealous of Bhima’s strength. Duryodhana hated his cousin and began to think of ways to get revenge. Duryodhana became so maddened by his envy that he tried to kill Bhima. He tried to drown him and poison him but Bhima was not hurt. Vidura and the others knew that it was Duryodhana who tried to murder his cousin so they were all on guard. Years later Duryodhana hatched a plot to destroy Queen Kunti and her five sons. He reasoned that he would then be the heir to the throne rather than the elder Yudhisthira. Duryodhana had his father Dhritarashtra send them away to a distant city called Varanavat, where he had a house built especially for them. Duryodhana had the house made of lac and ghee and other things that burn easily. His plan was to start a fire when they were sleeping in the house and kill them all. Vidura was able to warn them about this plot, so when the house was set afire the Pandavas and Kunti escaped through underground tunnels that had been dug. They thought that Duryodhana would surely come after them if he knew they were alive, so the five brothers and their mother disguised themselves as poor, simple brahmans. They got whatever they needed by begging alms and sharing what they received. In this way, they lived in the forest until the time was right for them to come out of hiding.

Draupadi Weds the Pandavas

While they were in disguise, they heard that a swayamvara was being held for a beautiful princess named Draupadi, the daughter of King Drupada. Whoever wished to claim her as his wife must first pass a very difficult test of archery. Draupadi’s father had really wanted his daughter to marry Arjuna and he knew that this challenge would lure Arjuna to his kingdom. The Pandavas decided to attend the swayamvara and came in their disguises as brahmans. They sat amongst hundreds of kings hoping to win Draupadi’s hand in marriage. Krishna and Balaram, who were cousins of the Pandavas, were also there to watch the event. They recognized their cousins even though they were in disguise. King after king came forward to show their skills but they were not even able string the bow. Suddenly Arjuna, whom all thought was a gentle brahman, stepped forward and strung the bow easily. He sent his arrows whizzing through the air and felled the target, which no one had come close to doing before. The whole assembly was astounded as Draupadi garlanded him as her husband and followed him out of the swayamvara hall. The Pandavas went home with Draupadi following them. When they reached the house they went inside calling jokingly to their mother, “Mother, we have brought our alms!” Kunti did not see them come in and replied in her usual way, “You can all share what alms you have brought home.” When she saw the lovely Draupadi standing beside Arjuna and realized that Draupadi was what they meant by “alms” she was horrified. She had never spoken a lie and had never done anything wrong. But it was not proper for a woman to have more than one husband. How could they all share Draupadi? It was finally decided that Draupadi would be the husband of all five Pandavas. They all loved her already. She had previously received a boon that she would have five husbands. The great sage Vyasadeva confirmed that this was the proper thing to do in this circumstance. At this time, Krishna and His brother Balaram went to the house where the Pandavas were staying. The cousins had never met although they had heard much about each other. Immediately a strong friendship grew between Krishna and the Pandavas. All eyes were shining with love. Krishna blessed His aunt Kunti and her sons and warned them to be careful o·f the sons of Dhritarashtra. He and Balaram then left to return to Their own camp. The Pandavas soon went to King Drupada, who was satisfied with his daughter’s marriage. The Pandavas now felt that with King Drupada’s support and Krishna’s help it was safe for them to come out of hiding. News soon reached Hastinapura that the Pandavas were alive and well. This was a terrible discovery for the Kauravas. Thinking that the Pandavas were dead, Duryodhana had already thought of himself as the ruler of the entire kingdom. He didn’t want to give up that position to Yudhisthira. Duryodhana and his army challenged the Pandavas to a battle but it was short and decisive. Arjuna, Bhima and their brothers showed their superior strength and conquered their cousins. The Kauravas were no match for the Pandavas and Duryodhana returned to Hastinapura with his army. His mind was fixed on finding a way of defeating his cousins once and for all.

4. Ask a few questions after telling the story to make sure the children followed the chain of events.

5. Write the following words on separate index cards: Sad, Happy, Lonely, Jealous, Scared, Surprised, and Worried. Have the children sit in a circle with the index cards face down in the middle. Ask one volunteer to tum over the first card, read it and show it to the others. Children tell of a time when one ofthe characters in the story we just acted out felt this emotion. When several children have answered, another volunteer can draw the next card. Some possible answers:

• Sad — Kunti, Madri al1d the Pandavas when Pandu died; citizens when they thought the Pandavas died in the fire, many kings when they failed to win Draupadi’shand.

• Happy — Draupadi and Arjuna when he won her hand; Vidllra when it was discovered the Pandavas didn’t die in the fire; Madri as she died with her husband; Duryodhana when he thought the Pandavas were dead.

• Lonely — Kllnti, Madri and the Pandavas after the death ofPandu; the Pandavas while in hiding.

• Jealous — Duryodhana

• Scared — Kllnti and her sons when they learned ofthe plot to bum them; the Pandavas as they escaped from the fire; Duryodhana after he was defeated by the Pandavas.

• Surprised — Duryodhana when learning that the Pandavas were alive; Kllnti when her sons brought home Draupadi; the kings when Arjllna, in disguise as a brahmana, shot the target at the swayamvara.

• Worried — Kunti as she thought ofraising her children alone; Kunti when she said that the Pandavas should share Draupadi.

6. Take a few momel1ts now to discuss jealousy. What makes people jealous? (Someone may have nlore power, more money, more beatlty and we beconle jealous.) Ask the students what are some things that make them jealous. Share some of your feelings and tlloughts too. Explain that because ofthis one quality ofjealousy, or envy, many sins (and many crimes) are committed. Dllryodhana’s story shows that. His jealousy drove him to do unspeakable acts. Even as a yOUl1g boy he was trying to kill his cousins. You can tell the students tllat if they are feeling jealous of sonleone, they can take help from Krishna. They can remember that Krishna loves them and Krishna is giving them whatever they need. If they are not rich, or beautiful or famous, it may be because it would not be good for them. There are a lot of problems that go along with being rich, beautiful and famous. Ask the students for some otller suggestions of what to do or think if they are feeling jealous of someone. Tell them not to do what Duyodhana did! Instead they can pray to Krishna to help them to stop feeling jealous; they can be thankful for what they have, etc.

7. Homework assignment: Tell the children that during the week they are to read Chapter Three and complete the questions on Page 21. Remind them tllat their parents can read the chapter to them and help them with the questions. Answers will be checked next week in class. If you have class time left, they can do the Secret Messages activity on Page 20 or it can also be assigned for homework.

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