Sex in the Mahabharata
Mayank Austen Soofi
[Since these are unusual times and it is important to carry one's religion in one's sleeve, this author declares a certain pride to have been born in a Hindu family and being fortunate enough to be raised in its traditions and ethos]
Hinduism is perhaps the only religion in the world which justly recognizes sex as the fountainhead of all the worldly pleasures. Sex, if legends in Hindu mythology are to be believed, is not only about producing one's own images; it is also about reaching out to a spiritual and physical merging with a fellow human-being who, in the longer run, is but only a medium to aspire for the greater goal of attaining a supreme union with the universe itself.
Here is a 3-question quiz based on a certain episode of Mahabharat:
Prologue: In the ancient times, there lived a woman called Satyavti. When she was still a maiden, she had borne a son named Vyasa to the sage Parashar. Happily due to the blessing of the sage, Satyavati did not lose her maidenhood. Later after her marriage to King Shantanu of the illustrious Chandravansha dynasty, Satyavati gave birth to two sons - Chitragadha and Vichitravirya. The former died young and the latter married the two daughters of the king of Kashi - Amba and Ambalika.
Unfortunately Vichitravirya died before any progeny was born to him. Satyavati turned to her first son Vyasa to save the dynasty from extinction. The problem was that Vyasa was an ugly sage with matted hair who, to make matter worse, always dressed in a smelly deer skin.
Quiz - Three Outcomes of Three Nights of Love Making
In the Mahabharata, who was conceived when an unwilling Ambika, on being commanded by her mother-in-law Satyavati, slept with a physically unattractive Vyasa who repulsed her so much that she closed her eyes during the entire period of the sex act?
[And so he was born blind]
Who was conceived when Satyavati's other daughter-in-law Ambalika, who had turned pale-white on seeing the ugly Vyasa, slept with him the next day?
[And so the child was pale white in colour and hence was named Pandu, meaning 'pale white' in Sanskrit]
During the third day, who was conceived when a maidservant willingly and with pleasure shared the bed with Vyas, and remained happy and cheerful during the entire time of love-making?
[And so he was born handsome and went on to became an intelligent scholar]
Moral of the story: Happy mating leads to happier results
Epilogue: Dhratrashtra fathered 100 Kauravas and Pandu procreated 5 Pandavas while Vidur served as an advisor in the court of his blind brother. The great war of Mahabharata was the consequence of a bitter rivalry between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The battle lasted for 18 days and ended with the Panch Pandavas emerging victorious.
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia. A Comprehensive Work with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. By Vettam Mani. Page 564.
Printed by Motilal Banarasi Das Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.