Mahabharata for children
Mahabharata Episode 5
During the time of Pandu, the kingdom of the Kurus expanded far and wide. Pandu was married twice, first to Kunti and then to Madri. After many years of rule, Pandu decided to retire to Himalayas leaving the kingdom in the hands of Dhritarashtra and grandfather Bheeshma. There was no heir to the throne since none of the brothers had any children.
Later one day, when Pandu was hunting in the forest, he shot an arrow to a deer who was in the state of making love. Before dying, the deer cursed Pandu that he will die instantly when he will touch any of his wives. Pandu was shocked. After returning to the hermitage, he explained what happened to his wives. They all agreed to lead the life of an ascetic. They were, however, sad that any chance of having their children to succeed the throne of Kaurava dynasty was gone.
In Hastinapur, Gandhari called Veda Vyasa and requested him the boon to bear one hundred sons and a daughter. Veda Vyas very kindly agreed but informed Gandhari that it will take some time before they arrive. Gandhari was in no rush since she knew that Pandu could not have any children because of the deer's curse. However, things turned out differently.
In the forest, Pandu began to suffer from a deep depression, due to the deer's curse, Kunti painfully noticed it. Kunti was concerned and wanted to reveal a secret that she kept in her heart until then, in order to make Pandu happy.
Kunti said, "When I was a young maid, sage Durbasha came to my father's house. I served the sage devotionally and, as a result, the sage blessed me with a mantra through which I could invoke any god I desire to get a son. The mantra, however, can be used only five times."
Pandu was very happy. He can now have his sons without even touching Kunti. Kunti, however, did not disclose to Pandu that she has already used the mantra once. This happened when, after receiving the mantra, she became impatient to use it without comprehending the consequences. She called the sun god and was blessed with a son wearing earrings from birth. Now she realized that the child is born out of wedlock. For fear of infamy, she put the newborn into a basket and set it afloat the river Ganga. A charioteer who was childless, luckily discovered the basket. He brought up the abandoned child who was later named Karna because he was born with the earrings.