Pritha’s father gave her in adoption to his childless cousin Kuntibhoja. Thenceforth, people hailed her as Kunti and history swallowed the name Pritha.
Pritha ministered to the sage Durvasa, who gave her a son-bearing boon. She has to but evoke the mantra to summon the gods, the sun or the moon.
With youthful curiosity, Kunti spoke the mantra, summoned the life-giving sun. The Sun-God appeared and, held by the power of her boon, gave her a divine son.
That night Kunti gave virgin birth to a god-child, Karna; born with divine earrings and armour to deflect karma.
An unwed mother, she placed the child in a box, down the river to flow. Little did she know that her son was destined to be a tragic hero.
A charioteer rescued the god-child and brought him up as a low-born. Thus, Karna, Son of the Sun, was destined for a life of the forlorn.
Kunti Devi married Pandu, the King of Hastinapur; a wealthy king but in some ways, he was fated to be poor.
Advised by Bhishma, Pandu took a second wife to ensure a progeny. But Madri, daughter of King Madra, would fail to erase his ignominy.
There was but one hope, Kunti’s son-giving mantra. Would Pandu’s first wife save his race, the Bharata?
Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2020
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Next Friday: Pandu’s Demise
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