DHRITARASHTRA (THE BLIND) VICHITRAVIRYA (-3140 - -3050)

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Birthplace: Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Death: Died in Haridwar, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India
Cause of death: GOT CAUGHT IN FOREST FIRE
Managed by: Krishnan s g
Last Updated:

About DHRITARASHTRA (THE BLIND) VICHITRAVIRYA

Dhritarashtra . Dhritarastra

The blind king Dhrtarastra listens as the visionary narrator Sanjaya relates the events of the battle between the Kaurava and the Pandava clans Yudhisthira

Predecessor Pandu

Successor Yudhisthira

Spouse Gandhari

Issue 100 Kaurava sons and a daughter

Royal House Kuru Father Vyasa as foster-son ofVichitravirya

Mother Ambika

Occupation Maharaja Religion Hindu Kshatriya

	

In the Mahābhārata, Dhritarashtra (Sanskrit: धृतराष्ट्र,dhritarāshtra) was King of Hastinapur at the time of theKurukshetra War, the epic's climactic event. He was born the son of Vichitravirya's first wife Ambika, and was fathered by Vyasa. He was blind from birth, and became father to a hundred children by his wife Gandhari(Gāndhārī). These children, including the eldest sonDuryodhana, came to be known as the Kauravas. Dhritarashtra was half-brother of Pandu, and was uncle to the five Pandavas, with whom his sons fought theKurukshetra War. All of his sons perished in the war, with the exception of Yuyutsu, his son with a Vaishya woman, who fought on the Pandava side. Dhritarashtra appears inMahābhārata sections that have been circulated as separate scriptures, most notably the Bhagavad Gita, whose dialogue was narrated to him. Contents

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• 1 Biography in Mahābhārata o 1.1 Birth o 1.2 Reign as king  1.2.1 The succession crisis  1.2.2 The dice game o 1.3 Battle of Kurukshetra  1.3.1 Crushing of Bhima's Metal Statue o 1.4 Later years and death o 1.5 Story of Dhritarastra's blindness • 2 Roles in Bhagavad Gita and Sanatsujatiya • 3 Dhritarashtra in later arts • 4 References

Biography in Mahābhārata Birth After Vichitravirya's death, his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Vyasa. According to his mother's wishes, he visited both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them a son with his yogic powers. When Vyasa visited Ambika, she saw his dreadful and forbidding appearance with burning eyes. In her frightened state, she closed her eyes and dared not open them. Hence her son, Dhritarashtra, was born blind. His brother Pandu, the son of Vichitravirya's second wife Ambalika, got the crown of Hastinapur and after the death of Pandu no one could agree on the selection of a king. Duryodhana became the crown prince of Hastinapur and Yudhishthira became the emperor of Indraprastha. Reign as king At the birth of his first son Duryodhana, Dhritarashtra was advised by Vidura and Bhishma to abandon the child due to bad omens surrounding him, but Dhritarashtra's love stopped him. Dhritarashtra was advised by his elders to be fair to the Pandavas, who were returning from the forest with their mother,Kunti. His second son was Dushasana. The succession crisis Duryodhana was focused on making sure that the he would be the next heir for the kingdom. The king himself wanted his son to be his heir but he was also forced to consider the eldest Pandava,Yudhisthira who was older than Duryodhana. Against his will, he named Yudhisthira his heir which left Duryodhana frustrated. As a solution Bhishma suggested the partition of Hastinapur. Trying to maintain peace, Dhritarashtra gave Yudhisthira half the Kuru kingdom, albeit the lands which were arid, unprosperous and scantily populated, known as Khandavaprastha. He purposely kept the better half of the kingdom for himself so that his son may one day rule his half of the kingdom. The dice game


Draupadi disrobed in Dhritarashtra's assembly. Dhritarashtra seated in the centre. Dhritarashtra was one of the many men present whenYudhisthira lost the dice game against Shakuni, Duryodhana, Dushasana and Karna. With each throw, the King Yudhisthira lost everything gambling away his kingdom, his wealth, his brothers and finally his wife. Dhritarashtra was silent when Dushasana tried to disrobeDraupadi (the Pandavas' wife) in front of the court. Finally, the blind monarch's conscience was stirred, in part fearing the wrath of Pandavas against his sons. Fearing retribution from the five brothers he returned all the things they lost in the dice game. However, Shakuni challenged Yudhisthira one more time, and Yudhisthira once more lost. This time, he, his brothers and his wife were forced to discharge the debt by spending thirteen years in exile in the forest before they could reclaim their kingdom. Dhritarashtra was warned by many that the Pandavas will not forget their humiliation. He was constantly told by many that he needed to remember that his responsibilities as king must be placed before his affection as a father. Battle of Kurukshetra


Dhrutarastra Lament Sanjaya, Dhritrashtra’s charioteer was blessed by Sage Vyasa with the ability to see the past, present and the future, narrated important events of the Kurukshetra war, a war fought between the Kauravas (the sons of Dhritarashtra) and the Pandavas, to the blind king. Dhritarashtra's sorrow increased day by day as an ever increasing number of his sons were slain by Bhima. He frequently bemoaned his ineffectiveness in preventing Duryodhana from going to war. Sanjaya often consoled the bereaved king but reminded him every time that dharma was on the Pandava side and a war against Krishna and Arjuna could not be humanly won regardless of the strength of the opposing force. [Crushing of Bhima's Metal Statue

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DHRITARASHTRA (THE BLIND) VICHITRAVIRYA's Timeline

-3140
-3140
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3115
-3115
Age 24
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3113
September 18, -3113
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3112
-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India

During Ghandari’s pregnancy complications, Dhritarashtra, fearing that he will never have an heir, had a son Yuyutsu, born to a lady-in-waiting of Ghandari's. In some versions, Yuyutsu was older than Duryodhana, in others, they were the exact age, and in even others, Yuyutsu was unspecifically younger than Duryodhana. There is the implication that Dhritarashtra was hoping to have a child before his brother had a child.

-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3112
Age 27
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India